Watch Those Hands
How To Get Away With Murder Season 2 Episode 2 recap
I mean, we could talk about the episode – the twin cases that are going to play out all season, figuring out whether Annalise will be charged with Sam’s murder, why Nate cares about her, and what happened at the Hapstall family house – but you know what, we’re going to get there. Katherine and Caleb are sketchy as anything else, but they’re on for the season, so we’re going to find out why they feel incest-y and why the hell everyone in their path drops dead in their creepy mansion. The stairs give me a real My Sweet Audrina feel, too.
Here’s what I’m much more interested in, instead:
When’s the last time we heard such a casual conversation about being HIV-positive on network TV? They’re joking about Connor’s PrEP treatment and his having disclosed that Oliver is HIV+ is only slightly more offensive than if he’d disclosed an embarrassing bathroom situation. This is nothing short of revolutionary. Lainey talked a few days ago about the way we were taught when we were growing up – there was immense fear. There was no cure. It was game over, if not in the most literal sense, then for your life as you knew it.
The fact that this isn’t the case anymore, and that it’s a serious medical condition - something these characters have to plan around but not stop their lives and relationship over – that’s just a phenomenal shift. That it’s appearing on network television is no less phenomenal.
And HTGAWM isn’t just normalizing discussions of PrEP and the frustrations of the wait time – it’s also bait-and-switching its audience, hinting at hot young-people sex and then substituting an absolutely incendiary sex scene between two women in their 50s. It’s subversive in the best way possible, and it’s very exciting to see that the boundaries can continue to be pushed.
It does make me wonder why Annalise married Sam. If Nate was about the sex, and Eve was about the sex but also, clearly, about mental chemistry, Annalise enjoys herself more in Eve’s company that anyone’s, and is able to be hurt by her too – then why Sam? Eve implies Annalise was lying the whole time she was with Sam, so why?
Was it to save Bonnie?
I think it might have been.
What does that mean?
Last week, when we first saw that image of Annaliese bleeding out on the carpet, I wondered if Viola Davis had only signed on for two or maybe three seasons of this show, so that she could continue to do important film work, not solely the ones that came up during her hiatus. I don’t know whether or not this is true, but I relish the idea that if it is, every episode until Annalise dies is just going to be jammed full of surprising, anti-hero, never-know-what-you’re-getting complicated flawed character stuff. This show is getting way better than it has any business being, and I want to see how far they can go.
Oh, and the title? There is a LOT of hand action in that last shot, where they’re trying to get Connor out of there. Hands on faces, hands in hair. I think it’s going to be important. Oh, and look who wasn’t there…again!?