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What Even The F**k, 'How To Get Away With Murder'?

By Emily Cutler | TV | May 15, 2020 |

By Emily Cutler | TV | May 15, 2020 |


I mean. So, like, what’s even happening anymore. Because How To Get Away With Murder has never been a good show, but before it’s never really mattered (“before” meaning Viola Davis). Only it’s apparent to me, based on last night’s series finale, that literally every person on the show has decided that nothing matters anymore either. And it was tremendous.

So for starters, what happened? It doesn’t matter. I could (sort of) recap the plot over the last couple of seasons for you, but the writers clearly didn’t care if it made sense so I don’t have to either. Someone wants to murder and hopefully get away with it. Some people take their clothes off. It’s fine. Because the show has always been an excuse for Viola Davis to perform the role of a complex and traumatized woman, and people thought we’d only pay attention to that if there was some flashy window dressing. So most importantly, Annalise Keating reaches a level of acceptance of who she is and finds some degree of contentment with herself. And the rest is just super, super wild nonsense.

Mostly, Keating is on trial for all of the murders she was super, very much involved in, and beats the charges. But also? Laurel faked her own kidnapping in order to get away from her family and Annalise; Asher was snitching to the Feds but got murdered by a dirty FBI agent working for the Castillo’s (I literally cannot remember what happened to that agent); Ollie and Connor maybe get divorced? Oh my god, Sam and Hannah Keating had an incest baby! And it was Frank! WHAT? And then Frank maybe kills Hannah? But maybe she killed herself? Partly because she couldn’t face the fact that she’d had an incest baby, and partly in order to screw over Annalise for whom she was going to testify. I think. So *then* Frank decides he has to kill the governor because [add motivation here], and ends up getting shot himself. Also, Bonnie got shot. Despite being literally twenty feet outside of the bullet’s path. Doesn’t matter. But Bonnie and Frank are both dead, and then the entire series ends ninety-seconds later because this show does not care about mourning the main characters in it.

Quick sidestep: have y’all seen Van Helsing? It’s terrible and I love it. Specifically, because most of the movie is run of the mill bad and I don’t get the choices that were made. But then, there’s a scene where a vampire (maybe?) has a ball at his mansion and the ballroom is filled with lightbulbs. Because it’s not actually the middle ages like I’d believed it to be. It was actually the 19th century, I guess? Like the small-town villagers were giving me a real strong Pre-Renaissance, mid-bubonic plague vibe, but actually maybe their world had automobiles I don’t know and I can’t figure it out WHAT CENTURY IS THIS? I was surprised and delighted in a way I can’t quite explain.

Except to tell you it is the identical feeling I had when it was revealed that the surprise of Wes Gibbons being alive and at Annalise’s funeral was a misdirect, and that person was *actually* Wes and Laurel’s son Christopher now all grown-up. Because yes, dun dun DUUUUUUUUUN, flash foward. (Note to showrunners: the misdirecting flash-forward has been perfected, and should no longer be employed.) Annalise didn’t die on the steps of the courthouse but went on to lead a full and happy life. In fact, everyone in the show went on to lead full and happy lives with people who loved them. Except for Asher because he’s dead. And also Bonnie and Frank because they’re dead. And Sam, Hannah, the DA Bonnie was in love with, that other DA that Asher killed, Asher’s dad, probably Asher’s mom and maybe sister after her whole family died, Wes’ girlfriend from the first season, the dead girl from the very beginning of the show who had a picture of Sam’s penis on her phone, and like, probably a bunch of other people that I’m just forgetting. But seriously, guys, Annalise played a role in a lot of deaths. Like a lot, a lot of deaths. And it’s one thing to work through your trauma and past mistakes in order to forgive yourself for something like getting involved with a married man or mistreating people because you have an addiction. It’s another to be like, “I didn’t personally kill a football team worth of people, so I’m probably good.”

I don’t want you to think that I’m judging Annalise because (I cannot stress this enough) it does not matter. What really, truly matters is how the show chose to go out. Because that tells us what the showrunners really wanted to convey in the whole twisted, sometimes glorious, always overwrought story of Annalise Keating. And that is that the show ends with Christopher, the son that Laurel needed to fake her own kidnapping in order to protect from Annalise, becoming Annalise’s protégé and taking over her classes. And the very last line of the show is Dean Thomas saying in a terrible Spanish accent “this is how to get away with murder.” That’s what they wanted to leave us with. And that’s what I’m going to take from it.

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