TV Review: How to Get Away with Murder 3×01 “We’re Good People Now”

HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER - "We're Good People Now" - With Wallace Mahoney's murder unsolved and Frank's whereabouts unknown, the "Keating 5" struggle to move on with their lives as they enter into their second year of law school. Meanwhile, Annalise's reputation at Middleton University is on the line, so she creates a criminal law clinic where the students will compete to try their own pro bono cases. Annalise also wrestles with a decision involving Frank that could change everything, on the highly anticipated season premiere of "How to Get Away with Murder," THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Mitch Haaseth) VIOLA DAVIS
(ABC/Mitch Haaseth)

Welcome to our newest method of reviewing/recapping season three of How to Get Away with Murder where I’ll be joined by film writer Alana Jane Chase in discussing (mainly reacting to) the latest episodes live. The discussion has been edited for (some) clarity.

Season three of How to Get Away with Murder is here and with it, a new model to write by on a week to week basis. Instead of writing individual reviews, myself and Alana (or others if she’s busy because I can’t monopolize everyone’s time all the time) are going to review by way of discussion, as live reactions might just be the best means of capturing the essence of what makes this show so fun to watch on a week to week basis.

The season premiere, “We’re Good People Now” is a fun, light on it’s feet and sun soaked episode that builds upon these characters and their dynamics. Season two became muddled in it’s back half-even for a show that loves to twist its storylines up until the answer is just as incomprehensible as the set up. Season three seems to be recapturing the spirit of season one where all the crazy is still present, just toned down enough and character focused so that by the time the big season reveal is rolled out, we’ll care.

Continue to page two to read the conversation Alana and I had live as the episode aired and trek through our exclamations of shock, my complete inability to accurately guess an upcoming twist and our unreliable focus as we are too often distracted by the gross amount of collective beauty the cast shares.

Because yes, How to Get Away with Murder is best watched as something to have fun with, and I intend to.


Allyson Johnson: So, last season ended with so much craziness that I’m having a hard time remembering everything. But, we know that something big always goes down in the first few episodes-and we know that someone typically is going to bite it. If you had to guess, who do you think is going to be the big mysterious death this year? I have my own personal theory.


Alana Jane Chase: In terms of who is going to be getting the axe (or the gun, or the shove off the mansion balcony) this season, I have some big worries about Laurel. In season 2, we dove into Laurel’s character a lot more than we had in season 1, and especially in later episodes where her blossoming relationship with Wes was so strongly highlighted, I’m concerned she’s going to be in danger. I’d hate to see her used as an emotional tool or end up as collateral damage in whatever schemes Wes gets himself into, but I can envision that possibility. And now that we know who his real father is, and his fate, the stakes are even higher for Wes. The puppy’s blunders are gettin’ dog-sized. Hopefully my worries hold little weight, since I absolutely adore Laurel!

AJ: Speaking of the puppy-side bar-goodness I hope he gets a better storyline this year! He still ranks low on the scale of who I care about on this series, but much higher than Frank who should be the next one to go.

But my guess is Nate based on how Annalise is screaming on one of the promos. It’s not like she actually cares about any of the Keating Five. 
AJC: Oooh, that’s a solid theory! And honestly, I wouldn’t mind saying sayonara to Nate. Like I had experienced with Wes, I started to care less and less about Nate as the episodes progressed. For me, he fizzled flat FAST.

AJ: I don’t love Nate but he and Annalise make for a good looking couple, and I’m shallow and want Annalise to have happiness.

But I can’t believe we’re getting flashbacks so soon! Wes could have had such a better character arc over the past two seasons if he hadn’t been so hung up on Rebecca. 
AJC:  I can totally agree with you on that. At the end of the day, I’m #TeamAnnalise.
My thoughts on Rebecca in general: *massive eye-roll*
AJ: Wait, did Frank kill Wes’s dad!? Frank is absolutely, 100% the worst character on the show. I can’t believe they wrapped up a death  so quickly though. Usually it would take an entire season.
AJC: I had a strange soft spot for him in the first season — ya know, before we found out he was a Super Murderer — but he’s the absolute worst now. The only aspect of Frank I’m here for is that raspy accent Charlie Weber puts on.
AJ: And now he has a buzz cut. So that’s unfortunate.
AJC: (We’re both shallow.)

AJ:  “Who are you” to the rando-student…meta moment on the show?

(On the shallow note, Connor and Laurel look stunning with the new do’s)



Was just going to comment on how fantastic they both look. Heart eyes all around.

AJ: There might as well not be a plot but there is SO MUCH PLOT.

AJC: Between them and Asher’s goofy faces, I have to actively remind myself to focus.

AJC: What’s worse than being called a killer, Annie?

AJ: Nothing she can say on network television.
AJ: Can I say that I also can’t stand Bonnie? Or will Gilmore Girl fans revolt?
AJC: I’m convinced there’s a curse going on somewhere here. BOTH Annalise’s senior “associates” infuriate me. I love Liza Weil, though. Fingers crossed they can miraculously revive Bonnie.
AJ: That would be surprising but a welcome change.
AJ: These flashbacks are going to screw me up. But hey, Laurel is getting more backstory!
AJC: There’s something there with Bonnie. She doesn’t lack a spark or substance, she just isn’t given the chance to be… interesting.
AJ: She was too much the sidekick for too long to really define out a role for herself. Despite Weil being a strong performer.


AJ: Like there’s any doubt on who she should/would choose.


AJC: Yeah, Laurel. He’s (Frank) dead to us, too.

AJ: Especially with that buzz cut.

AJC: More like buzz kill.

AJ: Laurel should have continued to be the new Bonnie*. She’s so much more intriguing now that she isn’t just the “heart of gold” of the group.

AJC: Agreed! I have so much hope for Laurel, but I’m wary to get too attached in case she’s snatched from me. (Game of Thrones has ruined me in this way.)

AJ: I can’t imagine any of the five being killed because there’s such a fan base built around them. But maybe I’m naive.
How the hell is Wes first chair. Her favoritism in showing. Annalise and Wes still have the strangest relationship on the show.
AJC: Yeah, that makes no sense. Especially given his behavior last season. I’m glad to see him present both physically and mentally, though. I missed this Wes. I’ll never understand those who “ship” Wes/Annalise. The dynamic is just so odd, and was even before the big revelations last season.

AJ: I’ll be honest, in the first episode of season one I thought they might go there, but not because I “ship” it. I remember feeling incredible awkward.

AJC: That caught-in-the-act moment definitely had those undertones! It quickly turned uncomfortable, though, even in moments where Annalise was comforting Wes.

AJ: Can any of them actually trust Annalise? Or are they just desperate to have someone powerful in their corner? And Oliver and Connor are the only relationship (romantic at least) that is worth being invested in on this show and I feel it’s going to burn this season and I’m so, so worried.
AJC: Ollie, my tiny sweet prince. You are too pure for this.
AJ: But he screwed over Connor! My evil prince.
AJ: “I can be bad too” the tagline for this show?

AJC: Abso-freaking-lutely.

AJC: Gratuitous Shots of Nate’s Abs: 1

AJ: One thing to love about this show is the female gaze it gifts us with at ALL times.
AJ: What’s in the box Annalise?
AJC: Got us all shouting like we’re in SE7EN.
AJ: This show stresses me out more than most and has actually had me gasp out loud a number of times so now I will undoubtedly be wondering just WHAT Annalise is hiding this time. It’s all been so sketchy so far. Did SHE KILL WES’S DAD?
AJC: I 100% wouldn’t put it past her. More often than not, there’s some anxious sweat goin’ on on my end. I can’t ever get a step ahead of the show or predict what’s been happening or what’s to come. She can do ANYTHING. She could unzip the back of her neck and emerge as Rebecca in an Annalise skin suit and I would be like, “Yep. This is fine.”
AJ: But it wouldn’t be fine because it’s Rebecca and she was the worst.
AJ: Asher is the worst.
credit: crushable
AJC: There are more awful characters in this show than good, and I oddly love it.
AJ: “My perfect breasts are in your face and you want to talk about the case”. Maybe the best line of the night.
AJC: Michaela’s lines are consistently golden. Wes killin’ it seems to be a theme.
AJ: “I know how to win” go Michaela go.
AJC: I LIVE for these moments.
AJ: I do too! I love seeing this group excel and wheeling and dealing .Wes being good at being a lawyer just seems so unlikely to me and this is a series where people get away with murder on the regular
AJC: I saw it as more of a killing pun 😉 Connor and Annalise lookin’ FIRE in this scene.
AJ: I know! Again, I might be missing entire scenes of dialogue since I’m so transfixed with how STUNNING everyone looks
AJC: If looks could kill…
AJ: The amount of death puns in this review/recap/loose convo is fabulous.
AJC: What can I say? It’s pun-avoidable.

AJ: Do you have any idea where this episode is leading? Or am I the only one feeling confused.AJC: We’re 2/3 through and it’s still building. From past episodes, it seems like the trend was the last portion was most intense, with the final five minutes devolving into madness. (That signature backing music always kicks in, and there’s montage-y moments. Lots of signals!) I’m hoping this vague lead-up pays off.

AJ: Me too! If anything we’re at least seeing more of the groups dynamics. Annalise and Michaela are particularly interesting.
AJC: I love the Michaela/Annalise dynamic.
AJ: It’s so underrated too but I love the idea that Michaela idolizes her but also, like Connor, sees her as the flawed human being that she is.
AJC: She’s the one who seems least afraid of Annalise; Annalise cuts through Michaela’s sometimes hyperbolic reactions.
AJ: Which a wonderful interplay between characters to have.
AJC: Connor and Annalise are my favourite to watch, but Michaela and Annalise are my favourite to listen to.
AJ: I think I could completely agree with that.
AJ: Oliver, he should be mad!
AJC: And cue my heart breaking.
AJ: But look at this growth from Connor! Apologizing about being selfish. Their relationship is the closest we have to the heart of the series.
AJC: The good kind of breaking. Connor’s growth is so admirable and really underrated. Think of where he came from! He was timid to even get IN the relationship with Ollie.
AJ: Oh my goodness what is happening! Don’t break Connors heart!
AJ: WHAT THE HELL. I am distraught
AJC: [Michael Scott voice] Please, God. No!
AJ: Can this be the first time I ever say stupid Oliver? What on earth is he doing? Is this his downfall!? Are we getting evil Oliver this season?
AJC: Here lies my heart, 1994-2016. Rest in pieces.
AJ: Did he kill Wes’s dad?!
AJC: Oliver? More like Evil-er. Okay, that was a stretch. But imagine that! “I don’t know who I am anymore.” Maybe he had something to do with it!
AJ: Mr. Robot duel personalities? Oliver is actually Frank?
AJC: This has got to be the catalyst toward some serious crazy for Ollie.
AJ: This is what happens when you’re made a series regular. Shit gets crazy.
AJC: Definitely moving from passivity to activity. And fast. No time wasted here!
AJ: This show exhausts me. I need wine.
AJC: A glass, yes. Or perhaps 12.
AJ: “Topple the patriarchy” Annalise.
AJC: Oh hey, Captain LaGuerta. (Can’t think of Lauren Velez outside of Dexter ever.)

AJ: Who would ever think to fire Annalise?

AJC: I WONDER WHY. (RE: Keating Five having terrible grades) Kinda hard to juggle midterms and murder.

AJ: Torts take the backseat for sure.
AJC: Glad they finally acknowledged it! Struggle is real.
AJ: Them doing badly in class is the most realistic thing this show has ever done.
AJ: Men are the worst-new tagline for the show?
AJC: “Men are the worst” and “I can be bad too” sum the show flawlessly.
AJC: It’s terrible, but I can never tell when Annalise’s tears are sincere or tactical.
AJ: She, like Viola, is a genius actress.
AJ: Alana, is Maggie Rebecca….now THAT would be a twist.

AJC: OH MY GOD. IMAGINE. Because we never ACTUALLY saw Rebecca’s corpse…

AJ: Laurel is so much more then the dude with the beard she dated Wes….

AJC: Frank is now He Who Shall Not Be Named
AJ: Wait Maggie is actually super chill. And I agree, he is no longer necessary.
AJ: And oh it was the damn burner flip phone in the box.
AJ: Holy. Shit.
AJC: Ohshitohshitohshit
AJ: OH SHIT. Frank is going to target Annalise now?! My guess. Frank is going to kill Nate and he will feel Annalise’s wrath.
AJC: I’m on board with this theory. Makes SO much sense.
AJ: Oh shit oh shit. Are they not going to tell us
Continue to Page Three for our final thoughts on the episode…

credit: movienewsguide
AJC: Her mother?! First thought that flashed across my mind.
AJ: Who else would bother her so much? It has to be Bonnie or Nate right?
Okay. Deep breath.
Bets now-who do you think it is after the episode, and who would you me most upset about?
AJC: If not Nate, definitely Bonnie. The body looked quite small under the sheet. Maybe too small to be Nate’s?
Honestly, I wouldn’t be upset by either. UNLESS we get some serious character development in these next episodes that force me to empathize, I won’t be too affected. Now if it’s her mother or any of the Keating Five, I’d be broken. I could even see it leaning toward being Oliver. He got hired, spiraled downward into situations he didn’t know how to handle, and found himself in fatal danger. Annalise sees his body and knows instantly that her decision to let him enter her world ultimately killed him.
AJ: My main guess had been Nate since she seems truly devastated and I feel that only Bonnie would be the next legitimate choice unless Annalise is putting on a terrific show OR whoever is under the blanket is playing dead… which I don’t think we should rule out in this series. Oliver is now my third guess too for all of the reasons you mentioned. I doubt it would ever be Wes and would be angry devastated if it were Connor or Michaela, who are my favorites.
AJ: What about the house burning down?!
AJC: I’d be a shell of a human if Connor or Michaela were the victim…and maybe a hasty move to cover evidence? Annalise could have set fire to the house herself and is putting on a major show for the paramedics. Like you mentioned before, anything goes with this show. I’ll be taking that gallon of wine now. Thank you, Shonda Rhimes for the heart palpitations and the wine-stained teeth.
AJ: Her shows definitely don’t mesh well with my adoration of red wine. Or is it the perfect fit?
AJC: I vote the latter.
AJ: We should name the column “Wine Nights with the Keating Five”

AJ: So, final thoughts on the episode?

AJC: Overall, this was a solid start to the season. As expected. I would’ve liked maybe just a smidgen more intrigue with the case of the week, but beggars can’t be choosers, and I’ve been waiting for season three for what seems like an eon. Hooked as usual!

AJ: I thought it was a much better season opener than last year that left me feeling a little cold. Here we reestablish just why we care about these characters and their relationships and still delivers on a *killer* hook to sink our teeth into for the next half of the season.

AJC: I felt a kind of “warmth” from this premiere. Brought me back to season 1 and why exactly I adore the show for all the not-so-obvious reasons. So excited to be back in the Keating world. Also, the cast needs to stop being so damn good-looking, like yesterday.

Rating: 8/10


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