Warning: If you haven’t seen the episode, don’t worry. I won’t be dropping spoilers in here. Just taking a lighthearted approach over your traditional TV analysis, with only subtle references to characters and storylines.
There’s a lot to watch on television, which is what makes my DVR a handy resource. But I’ll stop everything to watch TV live (or close to live) on Thursday nights. That’s when Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder are catapulted to my priority list, like millions of others. I settle in with a glass of red and engross myself with characters I love to love and hate.
But, tonight’s for the newer kid on the block: How To Get Away With Murder (from here on in referenced as HTGAWM, for fans everywhere). This show’s about drama, scandal, intensity… And, relationships.
Now before you roll your eyes, hear me out: there is no way you can have such an intense, show filled with deceit, danger, and craziness if love and human relationships aren’t at the heart of it. (An analysis that has been very well documented by critics and pop culture fans alike). Otherwise, it wouldn’t be so fun.
That said, I was watching another intense filled night. And while I won’t go into specifics, I WILL say that it dawned on me just how deep, not only their world is, but just how much they care about each other (and/or about someone else) to keep these secrets and continue to create these twisted webs.
So, I started to think about some of the lessons Annalise and the Keating Five (a name I think we realize can’t be a total accident, right?) have taught me, which I’m breaking down below. (I’ll preemptively say that I may have tried to get a bit intense here. But this show is about a complex, troubled woman. That’s going to come with relationship depth.)
- Don’t let one lie spin out of control: So the entire premise of the show is directly rooted in one cover up becoming a massive series of cover ups… Some that have even done damage to anyone who has so much as dared to breathe the same air as Annalise (Hello… Nate?!). But one issue grew out of control. And now we have a second season built off the lies from the first season AND some new ones. Sheesh, it’s like trying to untangle Christmas lights.
- Think about what your limits are: Love it or not, the Keating Five have a twisted relationship are bonded for life, thanks to a law professor who’s a bit too close to these students. They’re lying to their loved ones and need to cover up so much. Have they given up too much? All that they’ve given up pretty much means they’re bound to continue to give up more. At some point, if they’re tired of it, it has to stop right? When will the madness end?!
- Stick to your guns: This may appear to be contradictory to the one before it, but I would say it’s complementary. If you’re going to stay in the game, then commit to staying in the game. If you want out, then get out. Pick a side and go for it. Life’s too short and the stress will get to you! (I know this one hits close to home!)
- Be prepared for the truth: You would think I would say the truth will set you free. But, I won’t be debating that. Instead, I’ll say this: If you want the truth, you have you want to handle it at all costs. Let’s take Wes. He’s like on a MISSION. But, he’s a fragile one. Can he handle it? Based on how he handles things, he may not be so ready to deal with reality. And he’s going to have to handle it if he’s going to get through law school
- Protect the ones you love… Although, hopefully not at the expense of another: Seriously, what I love and hate about the character of Annalise (who Viola Davis plays BRILLIANTLY) is that no matter how you feel about her, she does love those nutty, hormonal students of hers and her loyal staffers, Bonnie and Frank. Putting aside that she’s hurt others, Annalise will go out of her way to protect. Misguided? Sometimes, yes. Self-serving? I guess in some cases. But protect she will, and you have to admire (OK, well appreciate, maybe) what she’ll do to make sure they stay out of harm’s way.
If nothing else, you find that they can make you feel a bit better about your own love life… So long as you’re not getting caught in these big, murder-filled webs of confusion.