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HOW TO GET AWAY … Review: Eve Returns to Make Googly Eyes at Annalise in “I Want You to Die”

By on November 6, 2015
(ABC/John Fleenor)
VIOLA DAVIS

(ABC/John Fleenor) VIOLA DAVIS

By Chelsea A. Hensley

I didn’t know how much I’d missed Famke Janssen as Eve until she was back.

I knew I missed her, because how can’t you miss Annalise’s extremely smart and super-hot ex, but I didn’t know I missed her this much. It’s a tossup how boring Nate will be any given episode, but Nate being dragged back into court is elevated by Eve’s return. I’ll watch a whole Nate Goes to Court spinoff if Eve’s there as his lawyer (with Annalise making the requisite appearances of course), and I’m sure it would win all the awards.

“I Want You to Die” joins the ranks of HTGAWM’s other ominously titled episodes, and what a good episode it is. The case of the week is easily forgotten (in fact I had forgotten it by the time the episode wrapped up), to the extent that I wish the show would just do away with its weekly cases all together if they’re going to end up being this unimportant, but the episode is loaded with so many other, more integral plot points (and Eve!).

Annalise Doesn’t Know How to Love Anyone… Except Eve?

It’s a relief to have Eve back, a relief that is immediately felt when Eve and Annalise meet up to make googly eyes at one another in Eve’s car. Annalise is in the best spirits we’ve seen her in since, well, since Eve left. Their cuteness apparently knows no bounds, but Eve’s return lights up the screen more than just in her flirting with Annalise. She’s Annalise’s equal, able to pick out Annalise’s motivations where other people are left flailing. She knows Annalise is going to be at Nate’s door when Sinclair files charges, she knows Annalise sent Wes to spy on her, and she even figures out that Wes isn’t just some random student Annalise has decided to protect. He’s him.

Whatever that means, but it sure looks like those theories about Annalise being Wes’ mother could be coming true.

But back to Eve, who manages to live up to Annalise while everyone else wilts around her. Their back and forth is charming and even electrifying. The great thing about Eve’s return is that it feels important, and Eve feels substantial next to Annalise. Her role feels more lived in than some of the regular ones, due to the history that exists between her and Annalise. Whether or not Annalise and Eve really could run off to Paris (with Sam’s money!) and be together for the long haul, who knows, but does it matter when they’re joking about Eve’s love interest back in New York and snacking on potato skins and mozzarella sticks?

The happiness Annalise finds with Eve is short lived (isn’t it always?) as she’s forced to answer to Bonnie. Bonnie’s too horrified by Asher’s inaction when Tiffany was gang raped at a party to fathom a relationship with him. Her anger is swiftly redirected when she learns Annalise told him about her father’s abuse, which was bound to come back to bite Annalise sooner or later. She did overstep a line in exposing Bonnie’s past, but does it make it okay if she did it and ultimately saved Bonnie from a murder charge? If you ask Bonnie the answer is a big fat no. Bonnie’s pissed (Liza Weil is magnificent), and her words to Annalise are more cutting than one would expect from someone so intent on pleasing her: Annalise told Asher to ruin her, the good things in her life are despite Annalise’s influence, that Annalise doesn’t know how to love anyone and of course, that she wants her to die.

I’ve no doubt Annalise is capable of love. Whatever complexities exist between her and Eve, there’s love there, too, and obviously Annalise has plenty of deep feelings for her staff or else she’d have cut more than one of them loose eons ago. Annalise says her actions (taking care of Bonnie, not exposing her hand in Rebecca’s murder, etc) prove she loves Bonnie. But when Annalise is faced with problems, she sees solutions that often throw the people she loves under the bus, and the consequences for her relationships are secondary to her. The easiest answer to her problem is the one she accepts (though they often come with their own complications), but though she may be able to see practical responses to her actions, the emotional ones always escape her. With Bonnie (and Nate) Annalise is struggling to find a foothold after damaging the relationship, perhaps irreparably. Eve’s ability to come and go may be just what’s keeping hers and Annalise’s relationship in the honeymoon phase. It’s the people closest to Annalise, caught up in whirlwind of murder, who end up paying the price. So who’s to say the same couldn’t happen to Eve if she became a more permanent fixture, like Bonnie or Nate?

NEXT: Ding Dong, Sinclair is Dead

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