Sunday, September 8, 2019

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 fourth 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 5, Episode 9 “He Betrayed Us Both” (C-)

This episode was especially uninteresting to me because I don’t have any idea what’s going on and how many characters don’t know who their real parents or children are. That’s part of the appeal of watching these episodes, though I find this show so unappealing for so many reasons. This is the Emmy submission for Viola Davis, back in the lead actress category after she managed last year to still get nominated for the same role in the guest race during a “Scandal” crossover. It’s hard for me to commend her performance here when it’s nowhere near the quality of the formidable turn she delivered in the hugely underrated “Widows” and of course in her Oscar-winning role in “Fences.” This episode did show her experiencing quite a miserable time, unable to grasp what was happening around her and stuck on traumatic events from the past. I think Davis tends to be more impressive when she’s alert, angry, and yelling at people, and so to me this is far from her strongest submission. It’s exhausting watching and thinking about just how many secrets people are keeping from each other, and I’m not at all interested in any of them, which really surprises me. I did immediately recognize the song “No Fate Awaits Me” by Son Lux at the end of the episode, which I remember being powerfully featured at the end of the film “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby,” which just happens to have also featured none other than Viola Davis.

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