Friday, September 7, 2018

Emmy Episodes: How to Get Away with Murder

It’s always my policy to watch every Emmy-nominated episode each year, which leads me to sample a handful of shows that I don’t tune in to on a regular basis. For the third year in a row, I’m making a special effort to spotlight each of those installments to offer my perspective on shows that I don’t review each week.

How to Get Away with Murder: Season 4, Episode 1 “I’m Going Away” (F)

This is one of my least favorite shows to watch every year come Emmy time, and I didn’t even process that this was the season premiere as I was watching it. Viola Davis got dropped from the Best Actress lineup but managed to get nominated for playing the same character in a “Scandal” crossover episode which I’ll watch and review next. But Cicely Tyson managed to earn her third nomination for portraying Annalise’s mother, who I remember being involved in whatever way in the deadly fire that was central to the two episodes I watched last season. In this hour, she gets a superb showcase as she comes to terms with her declining mental state, initially lashing out at her daughter for suggesting that she should be moved into a place better suited to help her but eventually accepting it and telling her daughter that she would hold on to herself as long as she could. I didn’t realize that Annalise was at risk of being disbarred because she was caught drinking while already on probation for alcohol abuse, and of course she had to make the follow-up to her unexpected victory in front of the committee incredibly dramatic by putting envelopes on every person’s plate. Firing them all and giving them letters of recommendation assured that they’ll hate her for the foreseeable future, leading I’m sure to a twist-filled season of betrayal. In the final flash-forward scene, did she somehow take Laurel’s baby? Because that’s believable. I’m intrigued that Jimmy Smits joined the cast as her court-ordered therapist, but that doesn’t make me interested enough to want to watch more of this terrible show.

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