HTGAWM Season 1 Episode 3 Recap

Well, I guess we have our answer on whether or not we’re going to see some of the flash-forward every episode. Looks like that’s happening whether we like it or not, although this week seemed to have a lot of action. Like we went from being in a room with the pretty princess where she’s trying to cling to the bookcase, like it never did her wrong, to sometime later when her ring is missing.

Also, I don’t know if I realized before now that the douche student – the one who isn’t Wes or Connor – isn’t with them in the panicked screaming moments when they’re deciding whether to go back for the body and/or taking selfies at the bonfire. So does he Not Make It until then? Or is there some other reason why he’s not there?  See? Now you’re going to be watching for all the scenes where they’re all together to see if he stands apart from them, or is somehow separated.

Which is good, because we need to learn something about the group other than ‘the one dude has a lot of sex’. I mean, I guess it’s not preposterous that a boarding school buddy could turn up at the same law school as your girlfriend, not at all. But Connor didn’t have a secret about Aiden’s (ugh) spending, or cheating, or anything. It was his sexual predilection.

That’s what the show wants you to focus on. That if someone’s going to deceive you, it’s going to be because you love them. Like, everyone who is deceiving or being deceived is doing it under the label of love. If you want to get away with murder, make sure you have people in your orbit who love you, who believe you could never do something like that – or, more importantly, who need to believe you could never do something like that. That’s the case with Wes and his neighbour, it’s the case with Annalise and her husband (and maybe also with her boyfriend), and it’s the case with Liza Weil (did you know her character is called Bonnie?) and Annalise’s husband. They’re setting us up to see that they need to believe they couldn’t marry someone who would do something so terrible. Date someone who would. Love someone who would.

Which is where I think the ‘I had sex with another man once’ storyline got very uncomfortable for people, in the sense that they thought Michaela was expressing horror at the idea that her fiancé might be gay, and that it was homophobic – and that wasn’t quite the way I read it. Sure, she didn’t want to marry him if he was gay. Not because it was gross to her or horrifying but because she didn’t want to go into a marriage under false pretenses and then discover something later.

The irony being, of course, that he’s going in under false pretenses and going to discover something later. At least that’s what the flash-forwards want us to believe.

So three episodes in, I have questions. I know that Liza Weil plays a yes-woman who is secretly in love with Annalise’s husband. That’s super clear. I don’t understand what her male contemporary is supposed to do other than perv ineffectually on the female law students.  

I don’t know whether Annalise has a human connection with anyone. Notably not with her husband, and even though they seem to have couple-friends, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of warmth there – and then additionally, maybe not even with the boyfriend, who doesn’t strike me as particularly boyfriend-y, in terms of being caring or affectionate towards her. Is she an island? It’s not very clear.

And now I want to know what the other people in the group are for. Wes is our newbie, our way in. Michaela is the perfect princess who’s going to be ruined by this involvement, Conner is the evil guy who maybe has found an outlet for his evil. So that leaves Laurellllll, not Lauren, and Douche guy (whose character is called Asher).    What roles will they fill? Because this world still seems crowded, and I assume anyone who sticks around has some sort of connection with Annalise (remember that Wes saw her in flagrante) so let’s get to it already.

I’m interested. I’m not rabid. I’d like the show to get to the breathless shocks and turns, but it was only picked up for a full season last night. Maybe they wanted to pace themselves until they were sure. Great. Time to run.