How to Get Away With Murder Recap: Penis Pics and Prejudice

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Photo: Nicole Wilder/ABC
How to Get Away With Murder
Episode Title
We’re Not Friends
Season
1
Episode
5
Editor’s Rating
3/5

“Why is your penis on a dead girl’s phone?”

That, of course, was the burning question at the end of last week’s How to Get Away With Murder. And this week — after a run-in with Nate in which he reveals that Annalise is, in fact, sleeping next to a killer — the ever-confrontational Ms. Keating interrogates her philandering husband Sam to get some real answers. His version: “I’m sorry I slept with her. I’m sorry I lied about it. But I didn’t kill her.”

The Big Reveal: Annalise is still vulnerable, sans wig, in her negligee. And we learn that she, too, was once the mistress. Which brings this Sam-screwing-a-student thing to a whole new level. Once a cheater, always a cheater, right? Oh, Annalise, you’re too smart not to realize that. But when she tries to kick Sam out, he gets violent. And Bitter Blonde has heard the whole thing. This is an über-weird triangle. Or square, given the lobbed-off Lila? Not quite getting Bonnie’s interest in protecting Sam, but Annalise knows that’s what’s happening, so we’ll go with it. B+

Case of the Week! A domestic-abuse situation that escalated to murder: Son Ryan Remini killed the abusive father, Anthony, who was a cop. “He wasn’t yelling anymore. I was so relieved. Things are better now that he’s dead. I’m glad I shot him.” Psycho kid? Or mama’s hero? Either way, the plan is to play the jury. The tactic: jury nullification. Find out what makes each juror tick, then work his or her emotions, convincing him or her to acquit despite the law. Illegal, for sure — when Laurel suggests it, Cranky Frankie points out that it could get Annalise disbarred — but it just might work. “What is right is what you feel and what you know in your bones,” Annalise expounds. “Ryan Remini protected his mother when no one else would. Don’t send this boy to prison for doing the same thing you would’ve done for someone you loved.” A strong argument. But the turning point is when Laurel prints out actual info about “jury nullification” and leaves it on a bench, strategically. When Frank tells Annalise what happened, she tells him to report it to the D.A. And voilà, mistrial! Which means, for Ryan: juvenile court, probation, and community service. Another painless victory for the Murder team. All in all, not a bad Case of the Week — even though it doesn’t add much to the bigger arc. B-

Crazy Connor’s Awesome Antics: Connor’s online-hookup app comes in handy when one of the jurors — whom he calls Lumberjack — confesses that he thinks cop killers should die. Um, sexting about the case? Lumberjack is dismissed. (And so not Connor’s type, anyway!) Barely a blip this week, especially after last week’s spicier take. D

This Week’s Lesson: Playing on emotions to weed out the problems. “Jury selection is a science. It’s the art of human study.” Things to think about: gender, personal connection to the case, distrust of authority — especially in a case of cop killer. “Twelve complete strangers will make or break your case before you’ve said one word of your opening statement.” Pretty solid. B

Hookup of the Week: It’s the one we’ve been waiting for: Laurel and Cranky Frankie. And we almost get there, but not quite. Turns out Laurel “connected” with Frank during the Remini trial because he protected her from the wrath of Annalise. But Khan’s still in the picture, so she turns all her sexual tension that way, attacking the poor guy in the lecture hall after the mistrial. Overall? A cop-out. We’re foiled again because we know there’s more to the story, especially when she comes to him after the bonfire with that murder weapon/trophy. Let us in on the action, already! Plus, I’m so not buying that he’d really “do anything” for her. Because, hello, no chemistry! Do two cold fish add up to one hot love scene? Guess we’ll have to wait and see. C

The Big Picture: Pissed and a bit reckless, Annalise sets Sam up to do a “psych eval” of Rebecca, pretty much to see if she knows who he is. Rebecca reveals that Lila had a married boyfriend she called Mr. Darcy. How original! She thinks that’s who killed the co-ed. “There’s a penis pic. Isn’t that proof?” Indeed. A

The Takeaway: After her rundown with Sam, Rebecca totally bails, packing her stuff and disappearing, leaving Wes panicked. He calls her and she says she can’t trust him — and he can’t trust Annalise. Why? The wallpaper! So he goes back to the house, to the bedroom. And there’s Annalise, exposed again — no wig, nightgown. This metaphor, while it was riveting at first, is starting to feel tired. “You lied to me,” Wes says. “The picture on Lila’s phone was taken here. Your husband’s Mr. Darcy!” A fun little reveal here, but it’s not really anything new. We already suspect Sam (even though that would be too easy, really), and we know he was hooking up with Lila, so taking penis photos in the comfort of his home isn’t really a shocker. And is it really enough to give Wes total dominion over Annalise next week? Not likely. C

All in all, a solid effort, moving the plot forward slowly but surely. But we want to get to the juice already. Also: Can we give Wes a backbone? Right now, his power-player status is a total fluke. Let’s make him work for it, like Connor does, or even wimpy Laurel. Because what’s he going to do when he really needs to step to the powerful Annalise?