“How to Get Away with Murder” has successful second season
By Olivia Stepp, Staff Writer
Rate: 4/5 stars
The ABC series “How to Get Away with Murder” is a show with a simple concept: a defense attorney/college professor takes on five students to work at her law firm. It seems like it should be a simple procedural court show, except for the fact that those five students have killed more people than their clients ever will.
Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) is a ruthless defense attorney and an antihero in the purest sense of the word. Her job is to protect those who are innocent or at the very least give those who are guilty a right to a fair trial, but her trials are rarely fair. Keating will break the law to get her usually guilty clients off the hook, even if that means getting someone else thrown in prison. Even though Keating is technically a horrible person, her strength in court mixed with her rare moments of vulnerability makes her an engaging character.
In the beginning, Keating chose five of her students to be interns: Wes Gibbins (Alfred Enoch), Laurel Castillo (Karla Souza), Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee), Michaela Pratt (Aja Naomi King), and Asher Millstone (Matt McGorry). Those students, known to the fans as “The Keating Five,” break the law just as much as their teacher and often at her request. Also working with Keating is Frank Delfino (Charlie Webber) and Bonnie Winterbottom (Liza Weil), both who are far too comfortable with breaking the law in order to gain Keating’s approval.
The first season of the show focuses on the murder of Lila Stangard (Megan West), who from first look seems like an average sorority girl. But, as the season goes on, it’s revealed that there’s more to what’s going on than what’s seen on the surface, including Stangard’s affair with a mystery man. The second season of the show focuses on the murder of the Hapstalls (Alan Brooks and Linda Demetrick). Although the immediate suspects are their adopted children, as it progresses, multiple people are presented as suspects.
Gibbins, however, is often at the center of Keating’s and the show’s attention; he’s heavily involved in the first season as he begins dating Keatings’s client, who’s accused of Stangard’s murder. Then, a majority of the second half of the second season is dedicated to Gibbins’ past, including his mother’s suicide. Although all of the Keating Five suffer from guilt and anxiety after they commit some of their more heinous crimes, Gibbins is the most heavily affected. He spends the second season dealing with the depression he developed after the events of the previous season.
Although Keating, Gibbins and the main story arc are usually at the center of the show, there are many interesting subplots: Walsh’s player tendencies and hatred of relationships evolving when he develops feelings for Oliver Hampton (Conrad Ricamora); Laurel and Frank’s messy relationship that is shaken by Frank’s dark past; Michaela dealing with her fiancé’s rich family and his possible homosexuality; and Asher realizing that his father may be an extremely corrupt judge.
What makes “How to Get Away with Murder” such a compelling show is that it is filled with sudden twists and extremely tense moments, making the viewers eagerly anticipate the next episode. It has incredible actors and actresses, including Viola Davis, who has been nominated for two Academy Awards and has won many awards for her portrayal of Keating. The role has even made her the first African-American woman to win an Emmy® for Lead Actress in a Drama Series. This TV show recognizes what its audience wants, so no matter if an episode focuses on a procedural case or the main story arc, it is incredibly enjoyable because everybody loves watching someone get away with murder.
The premier date of “How to Get Away with Murder” season three has yet to be announced, but is expected to be soon.