ENTERTAINMENT

'How To Get Away With Murder' Returns With A Vengeance

Turns out we'll be attempting to figure out who tries to kill a main character all season.

Spoilers obviously abound below for Season 2, Episode 1, "It's Time to Move On."

Until about two-thirds of the way into this episode, "How to Get Away with Murder" appeared to have lost its spark in the sophomore season. The kids no longer had their newbie murderer shine, Annalise seemed down on her baller game and this Eve person was just another weird show-up from the past.

And then all hell broke loose.

We're getting everything and more that we could have possibly wanted in the show's sophomore season: Annalise has another hot lover on the take (and this time she's a white woman ex from college, what the what), she's doubling down on her creepy Mrs. Robinson routine with Wes, and we are going to spend all season figuring out who tries to kill her in the finale.

Our faith in Shonda Rhimes was restored, just like that. Prepare yourselves for 14 more episodes of insanity this year.

As for the particulars of last night … 

"How to Get Away with Murder" opens back in the classroom, although Viola Davis' Annalise Keating is missing her signature chalk. She calls on her favorite murderous quartet -- you know, that band of four students who killed her husband that are also her interns -- while going on about how the people you know are the ones most likely to kill you. All the while, we're seeing flashbacks that reveal the details of Rebecca's brutal murder via plastic bag suffocation. It's truly uplifting.

Wes is having none of Annalise's mind games, and refuses to answer her question in class. And Annalise lets him get away with it. What? Student upping teacher? How is this happening? How could Annalise not have the upper hand? Where is the chalk?!? Never fear, there's a master plan, folks.

Frank takes Wes' actions as a sign of guilt, and Annalise isn't quite sure. Annalise tries to get him to crack twice, first by telling Wes she's in a hotel, and second by cooking for him to see if he'll tell her he offed his girlfriend. No dice.

Wes continues apparently to still have those puppy (albeit, murderous) eyes (R.I.P. Sam), and thinks his girlfriend abandoned him like his mom. Ouch. 

Frank's next suspect for the crime is Laurel -- which was honestly where our money was for Rebecca's killer. Always suspect the quiet ones, especially those that might have a cartel-connected family. Annalise shoots this down immediately, as she's had the epiphany suddenly that she knows who it is (anyone else think this came out of the blue once Wes was cleared?)

But backing up a bit, we get a bit of a refresher with the rest of the gang. Connor and Oliver are happily domesticated, although struggling with Oliver's HIV diagnosis. Props to "How to Get Away with Murder" for basically running a PSA on the preventive HIV drug, PrEP -- going to go with that's one of the first times that's happened on major network TV.

In the romance department, Bonnie and Asher are thick as thieves, as are Frank and Laurel. Michaela tries to pick up a hot guy in a bar, but he's gay. Dating, after breaking up with your fiance who might also have been gay, is hard.

Michaela takes her dating rejection as a sign she should drunk text whoever Rebecca was texting when she was kidnapped. Rejection makes us all do crazy things.

As for Nate, he's still in jail. Annalise called in Eve, a old Harvard buddy who is apparently a kick-ass defense attorney to take his case. Eve isn't loving the whole "my college friend may have framed her boyfriend for her husband's murder" thing, so she drops this killer line: "You don't get to use people and expect them to stick around." Except, that's kind of exactly what happened with Nate and Eve, but we're getting ahead of ourselves.

The case of the week that Annalise and crew takes on is run of the mill for them -- defending an adopted brother and sister pair accused of murdering their gazillionaire parents. You know, the usual. The team tampers with some evidence (because no one needs to follow legal rules in this law universe) and manage to get themselves representing the sibling pair.

As Annalise sells herself to them: I was accused of killing my husband, and I'm off. I can get you off. What a sales pitch.

As for the big question of the episode -- who killed Rebecca? -- we see, via flashback, that the sleeper candidate took the stone-cold route and suffocated Rebecca with a plastic bag. Bonnie came out of nowhere and killed Rebecca to save Sam, Annalise, and most important, the version of Sam she loved in her head. Truly did not see that coming.

Big questions from this reveal: Annalise's big concern is that Bonnie lied to her, not that she killed someone. That's normal. Also, key detail -- where are the murder supplies? Does Bonnie have the plastic bag and tape she used to off Rebecca hidden in her apartment somewhere for Asher to eventually find?

 And while this reveal was huge, we were too blown away by the final two big twists to stop and ponder it. Turns out Eve and Annalise were college lovers, and Annalise is going to be the potential murder of the season. Stop the presses, TGIT just outdid itself.

Annalise rekindles her affair with Eve, either because she's lonely or really wants to get Nate out of jail -- or both. And we sat there watching with our mouths on the floor for the whole thing. Whichever way you slice it, Eve then becomes Nate's lawyer. So that's Annalise's college ex (who turns out to be a woman) defending her boyfriend for her husband's murder. Say what you want, but this show will never be boring.

 Episode 1 ends with Annalise taking the murderous group, who, in case you forgot, KILLED HER HUSBAND, out to party at an underground nightclub. As a friend currently in law school wisely pointed out, "I firmly hope none of my professors ever take me out drinking with sudden Victoria Beckham hair."

While everyone else is partying, Asher gets further wrapped up in helping the DA take down Annalise over some "Trouter Hill" background. Apparently everyone in law school has a blackmail-able secret.

On the dance floor, Annalise keeps making some questionable moves on her protege. So much Mrs. Robinson action -- so much. 

In the final shots of the episode, we learn whose murder we will be worrying about all season: Annalise's. In a jump ahead in time, we see Annalise lying in a pool of her own blood on the floor of her present-tense clients' house, with Wes sprinting away. Is he going to get help, or guilty of killing his professor turned lover?

 Looks like we have all of Season 2 to figure it out. Welcome back to the insanity that is "How to get Away with Murder."

Odds and Ends

  • Small quibble -- seems like no one is concerned about the whole we killed Sam, our professor's husband, thing. Makes sense they're worried about Rebecca, but maybe they should be worried about their original murder.
  • The framing of this episode, with Viola Davis narrating how you could be killed by your lover or someone who knows you, was brilliant. Actually, pretty sure Viola Davis could narrate a string of words that makes no sense and we would be hooked. Jimmy Fallon, you have your next segment.
  • Annalise's newest daily wig is a win.
  • WES WASN'T WEARING PLAID. It's like a whole new Wes.
  • How is Wes still living in that apartment after he knows what Rebecca did to Rudy to leave those horrific scratch marks? Dude, move out. Professor and creepy mother/lover figure Annalise will fund it.
  • "I was reading an excellent book about Nixon." Just leaving that here as a line to be able to aspire to say on a witness stand.
  • Wes left Michaela's bag unattended -- 10 bucks says the phone with the text from the person Rebecca had texted gets stolen.
  • Frank having everyone's computer doubled is terrifying. Imagine if someone was following your search history at midnight on a Thursday ...
  • When, if ever, will these kids start worrying about other classes or summer internships?
  • Both of Annalise's henchmen have killed for her and Sam. Now that Sam's dead, is she at risk?
  • Where is Nate's dying wife?
  • Apparently taking civ pro second semester of law school is inaccurate, according to law student sources. But really, neither is having time to murder people, so we'll let that one go.

"How to Get Away with Murder" airs on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

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