TV REVIEW: Shooting stars and strangers in HTGAWM’s “Let’s Get to Scooping”
BY The Screen Spy Team
Published 8 years ago
By Chelsea Hensley
The students have one of their first exams approaching, one that they’re all studying hard for. None are working as hard as Michaela who is quickly given the title of “shooting star.” What the shooting star is exactly is never explained though we can assume it’s something akin to a person who caves under extraordinary pressure and ends up committing suicide though the suicide part doesn’t seem to be mandatory. Since Michaela’s the one running around in a frenzy, trying to steal Laurel’s exceptional study tools, she seems the obvious choice. Throw in her reactions the night of the murder, and it’s clear Michaela’s not cut out for the kind of high-pressure situations that can make or break her whole life. But she’s still doing better than Connor.
Flashing forward to the night of Sam’s murder, Connor seems to have lost his mind. The glimpse we got of him in the premiere, singing Christmas carols about their certain doom, was indicative enough of how far he’s spiraling, but “Let’s Get to Scooping” takes it even further, juxtaposing Connor’s suave nature pre-murder with his hysteria post-murder. While he’s obsessed with pointing out how Michaela’s going to end up ruining everything, it’s more likely Connor who will do that. He can’t stop laughing when they’re trying to hide from Asher, even when they’re in the woods about to burn Sam’s body, and the other students exchange looks but say nothing, united in how disturbed they are.
Michaela’s falling apart is hardly unexpected, not when they’ve seen her running around Annalise’s office obsessing over a torts exam that the rest of them seem perfectly fine with taking. But Connor’s the one who always has it together, whose main advantage is his charm and how put-together he appears, enough so that he manages to seduce men into giving him information that he needs.
Connor and Oliver get a fair share of the spotlight in this week’s episode. Their flirtation and sex-only relationship is growing into something more, even as Connor sleeps his way to a revelation that blows the case of the week wide open. The fact that he lies to Oliver about how he got the recording is proof enough that he knows how Oliver would respond, kicking him out of his apartment when he learns the truth which makes Connor turning up at Oliver’s the morning following the murder in hysterics even more intriguing. The guy who easily seduces his way into winning a case for them isn’t the same guy who maniacally scrolls through all the evidence that will ruin them, tells the others to wave to the traffic cameras and collapses in tears in Oliver’s hallway, telling him how he screwed up. If it’s high-pressure situations that prove who we really are, Sam’s murder has thoroughly exposed Connor.
But there are some people who can thrive under that kind of pressure. Wes is one of these people, and so is Annalise who has made impossible cases her niche. This week’s case, of Marren Trudeau (Elizabeth Perkins) being charged with insider trading, never feels all that impossible, but there’s a lot to be mined from Marren and Annalise’s interactions. There’s a familiarity with which they interact, at least on Marren’s end as she’s been a client for a long time, but Marren notes that she doesn’t actually know anything about Annalise.
This is intentional on Annalise’s part, as she guards herself well against other people. She naturally distrusts people and keeps a particular distance between herself and her employees and clients. Her and Marren’s relationship has never evolved any further than Annalise knowing Marren’s legal issues. But they’re very similar, and Annalise even seems to admire her, talking up Marren’s accomplishments and reminding the students to take this case very seriously.
The same is true of Annalise and Bonnie whose relationship is just as intriguing because of how little they seem to know about each other. They’ve worked together for who knows how long, but are they really any better than strangers? Bonnie’s in the dark just as much as anyone else about Annalise, but Annalise is just as ignorant about Bonnie. When Bonnie’s the one who handles the matter of Rebecca’s confession tape, it’s surprising because the fix ends up being so easy, but also complicated. Parked outside Annalise’s office, Bonnie sees Nate doing an illegal search of Sam’s car and uses the information to their advantage, eventually getting Rebecca out on bail. This is all very impressive on Bonnie’s part, but it’s even more impressive (and shocking) that she lies to Annalise about it. Despite Bonnie’s obvious crush on Sam, there seems to be something in the way of professional respect and admiration there that Bonnie’s interested in having reciprocated despite the awkward fact that she’s really into Annalise’s husband.
This fact seems to evade Annalise completely, which isn’t that strange. How good at she at reading people really? She just distrusts people naturally, not because she senses anything about them, and that simultaneous knowing and not knowing is what builds such thick walls between her and others. The few people we’ve seen her be vulnerable with include Sam, Nate and Wes. Sam obviously can’t be trusted, Nate has ended their relationship, and she and Wes weren’t on the best terms this week.
When Wes’ relationship with Rebecca becomes known, she kicks him off the case, but he seems to be back on by episode’s end, and the two are back where they started. By that I mean Wes tries to hold his own against an obviously superior Annalise (who appears to be more emotional than usual and may be even considering more chest caressing) when he shows her Lila’s now-unlocked phone. Wes is certainly getting smarter, telling her that the reason he hid the phone from her for this long was to gain Rebecca’s trust (which it wasn’t ). Annalise is impressed with that logic but adds an asterisk to the notion of using the photos to help Rebecca’s case.
First she has to confront Sam about the phone’s contents.
Annalise must have trusted Sam at some point as she doesn’t seem the type to enter into a marriage she’s unsure about, as she doesn’t seem the type to do anything she’s unsure about. But somewhere along the way she realized her error. Even with that, Annalise has revealed herself to him intimately, proven when he returns home after she’s undressed, wiped off her makeup, removed her fake eyelashes and taken off her wig. It’s the first time even we have seen her this way, but it’s obviously not the first time Sam has. There’s history between them that adds new depth to the level of her disillusionment with him and their relationship. Their marriage was weakened long ago, presumably by Sam’s other affairs, and now she has confirmation that the strength she thought they’d returned to is false, and she has one question for him when he returns home: “Why is your penis on a dead girl’s phone?”
Which is a very good question.
- The night of the murder Asher comes looking for the trophy, which he says is his, and Michaela implies that it’s her fault he’s there so maybe she took it, and he came looking. Either way it means that Asher’s probably going to be able to place them in Annalise’s office that night.
- Laurel and Wes teamed up (with Khan, too!) to raise Rebecca’s bail. It was unnecessary, but Laurel and Wes have such an interesting dynamic, perhaps being the two like-minded of the group, that I want to see more of them together.
- I want to do an in-depth analysis of why Bastille’s “No One’s Here to Sleep” was chosen for the episode’s end, but my word count is high enough.
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