How To Get Away With Murder Season 1 Episode 5 recap

Let’s be right up front and say that everything I know about lawyering I learned from TV, everything about people who know how to calculate people’s hearts but choose to turn off their own, those who want justice but know the reality is that sometimes getting reasonably close is good enough. 

So I don’t know, having not gone to law school, whether they tell you that you have to be a certain kind of person. I’m sure they do that thing, “look to the left, look to the right, someone won’t be here”… but do you have to be a particular temperament?

Because here’s what we’re up against. All these kids – plus Frank and Bonnie – stay working for Annaliese, complete with whatever emotional abuse that entails that day, because she’s supposed to be spectacular and amazing, right? That’s nothing new. Every time you watch a show about someone, they are supposed to be the most powerful, the most interesting, the most successful – that’s why we tell stories about them.  

Except I haven’t seen it yet. Annalise is skillful at clipped, angry sentences, and at quickly guessing the motivations of her suckup students and legal assistants, but she doesn’t effortlessly win cases. In fact, the things that happen that help her gain the upper hand in the courtroom come from our students. It’s giving me a better idea of them (the fact that they’re variously falling apart over a murder in the Darkest Timeline notwithstanding) but not of her. I know she gets shaky-quaky around her husband and her boyfriend, but…is she such a great lawyer? Or even such a great teacher?   

Like if I’m Bonnie, and I’m maybe in love with her husband, what the hell is the motivation to stay working for Annalise? And of course, equally – hell, no, more importantly – why wouldn’t the woman have her offices anywhere other than in her own main floor of her house? Or at least kick all her employees out before she takes off her face and goes to bed?

I don’t know. I don’t understand her, and I spend a reasonable amount of time with her. I understand the students a little bit, but again I know them in the universe where they killed someone, and the one where they haven’t yet.

As for Laurel…sure, OK, wants to do good, probably has daddy issues of her own, caught between men called Con and Frank (get it? One’s a con man, the other is Frank and straightforward?), and arguably has the best actual legal mind of any of them. So why is she there? Why put up with this?

We’re sort of getting somewhere with Rebecca and the Mr. Darcy business, except that the girl seems to go through a personality transplant from week to week. Meek and mute in the courtroom, now suddenly she’s sassy with a high IQ and a tendency toward paranoia? Who’s the real Rebecca?

Also – and I can’t believe I’m just realizing this now – for a show that shows us the same damn thing every week (I  believe that twirling cheerleader is seared into my brain) they haven’t showed us a picture of Lila’s body, or indeed of Lila when she was alive. If they want me to care about her, shouldn’t she be front and centre all the time?

Of all of them, who do you love? Anyone? Nobody?