This week, Annalise Keating is tasked with defending a flippant billionaire accused of stabbing his second wife to death in their home. Max St. Vincent, Sir Creepy McCreepington, is inconvenienced by this whole murder trial business and enlists Annalise to make this annoying charge go away.
Introducing her class to the case, she warned, "Your instincts better be good, or you'll find yourself choosing the wrong people to make a study group with, to sleep with, or even marry." By the end of the episode, it becomes clear that she was talking about herself as well: Naturally, Annalise/or her husband Sam has killed someone. Or a few someones. Anything else would be off-brand for Shondaland.
Here's what's important about last night, for me, anyway:
Thanks to another set of flash-forwards, we learn that Unsavory Neighbor Girl, Rebecca, is more than Wes' sketchy, pushy floormate. A romance somehow blossoms between the first week of school and the night of The Murder. That's well and good. What I'm most impressed by was her paying homage to ethnic hair maven Kendall Jenner with her bold braids. Shonda stays right on the pulse. Next week: Afro Puffs? Anything's possible.
We saw Vulnerable Annalise again tonight, after suspicions of her husband's murderous sneaky-freaky-teachy ways consumed her. When she accosts Nate/BurlyCop on the sidewalk and power-whispers him into submission, I really needed him to lay her down by the fire somewhere and tell her it will all be just fine.
That is my one complaint about tonight's episode: I didn't feeeeel his commitment to help her investigate the murderous husband. A dreamy and artfully revealing post-sex scene would've really driven it home for me. (For the uninformed: Nate/BurlyCop basically looks like he could toss you over his shoulder and carry you upstairs for round three. Hi.)
Tonight, I also confirmed my theory that the ever-startled Wes The Young Tenderoni was born to live in a horror film. He scurries in shadows, ready to nervously throw down and/or save the day like a marvelously faced Chocolate Peter Parker. My Spidey Senses tell me that under that stumbling and bumbling hides a brilliant investigator simply in need of polishing and guidance. Add a dash of encouraged treachery at the hands of the Delegator In Chief, and you have an industrious young pony with many dastardly tricks. I can't wait to see what low down dirty double crossing he whips out this season.
More interracial primetime flip-flopping. We watched a gay man use sex to get what he wants. Just like in the first episode episode, Connor banged all the info he needed right out of Oliver the IT dude. It sounds strange, but that's all gays and anybody other underrepresented segment really ask for: the chance to be abysmal and callous (and human) in primetime like everybody else. Why should Fitzgerald and Olivia have the monopoly on abysmal? And, AND, more importantly, we witnessed a demonstration of the proper Date Night Bootyplay Procedure: skeet then eat. And, voilà: crisis (and 'itis) averted.
It has become clear Annalise has the same approach to human interaction as Scandal's Olivia Pope: Annalise toys with her sidepiece and throws him under the bus in court, yet demands absolute loyalty, just like how Olivia throws everyone under the bus at one time or another and requests favors with a straight face. Fun times! But everyone in Shondaland crashes and burns at some point, so: What do you think will break Annalise down this season?
Alexander Hardy is a writer and cultural critic who opines about the world and the disappointing people in it. Morning After is a new home for television discussion online, brought to you by Gawker. Follow @GawkerMA and read more about it here.