Season 2 of How to Get Away With Murder has so far exceeded my already high expectations. Let’s see if the quality held up in this week’s episode, “Skanks Get Shanked.”
The episode opens in the future as the EMTs have finally arrived at the house where Annalise lies dying. They manage to get her in the ambulance as Nate and the interns drive away and hear about the report on the police radio. Michaela gets a phone call that requires everyone to stay quiet as we jump back four weeks to the current time frame. It seems like I mention it every week, but I’m really enjoying the level of tension and anticipation that the writers are managing to keep up in these flash-forwards. Last season’s were interesting, but the result of those were always going to be a death. With the looks into Annalise’s future, we really don’t know if she’s going to live or die, so it’s fun getting to see that play out on-screen.
In the present day, Annalise gets a call from Nate’s dying wife (played by guest star Enuka Okuma), which leads to a meeting that ends with Nia Lahey asking Annalise to help end her life. From what I can remember, this is actually the first time that we’ve seen Nate’s wife in the series, even though she’s always been such a huge part of Nate’s characterization. In some ways, it’s nice that we’ve waited this long to finally meet her as it’s allowed us to build something up in our minds while enabling an incredibly emotional appearance. On the other hand, bringing Nia here all of a sudden after knowing all that we know of Nate almost seems like a way of trying to redeem character flaws that probably should be redeemed. I guess it essentially balances out, but the appearance does seem to come out of nowhere. That said, Okuma’s performance is incredible, and it reminds me of the great performance Cicely Tyson gave in her guest appearance last season.
As with last week’s episode, the writing in “Skanks Get Shanked” is just as good as ever, but it also continues the trend of feeling soapier than usual. It’s hard to consider this a negative as How to Get Away With Murder is, for all intents and purposes, a soap opera, but I really think that this show works best when it contradicts the conventions of its genre rather than plays to them.
The case-of-the-week in “Skanks Get Shanked” was downplayed more than usual, but it still managed to keep your interest throughout. It’s not the best case that’s appeared on the show, but it’s far from being the worst, either. It got the job done just fine.
“Skanks Get Shanked” is probably the weakest episode so far this season on How to Get Away With Murder, but it was very comparable to the majority of the (enjoyable) episodes from Season 1. While it wasn’t great, it was still a very good episode that progressed the season-long story in an adequate way. Viola Davis and Enuka Okuma were both incredible in their scenes together, and Billy Brown is delivering better performances as Nate so far this season than last year.
What did you think of “Skanks Get Shanked”? Are you enjoying How to Get Away With Murder this season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!
[Photo via ABC]