'How to Get Away with Murder' Review: "It’s Called the Octopus"

Nora Dominick ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor

The cast of How to Get Away with Murder in the episode "It's Called the Octopus" Photo Credit: ABC/Mitch Haaseth
The cast of How to Get Away with Murder in the episode “It’s Called the Octopus.” Photo Credit: ABC/Mitch Haaseth
How to Get Away with Murder continued it’s explosive and killer second season with an episode that centered around something common in the Shondaland universe: Sex. How to Get Away with Murder raises the stakes in the latest episode entitled, “It’s Called the Octopus.”
“What does sex have to do with criminal law? Everything.” This week How to Get Away with Murder turned up the heat on Annalise (Viola Davis) and the Keating Five. The case this week focused on Tonya (Sherri Saum), a tantric sex specialist who is being accused of killing one of her clients. Sherri Saum is mostly known for her work on the hit ABC Family drama The Fosters, so this was a big change from her character of Lena. Saum created a character that held fans attention from start to finish and commands the screen in this latest episode. Saum holds her own up against Viola Davis and their scenes together added another layer of conflict to an already heart-pounding episode of How to Get with Murder.
Viola Davis continues to do an impeccable job with the development of Annalise Keating. Last season, fans gained very little information on Annalise Keating’s personal life and that seems to be changing this season. In this episode of How to Get Away with Murder, Davis showed sides to Annalise fans haven’t seen much of. Annalise first appeared stumbling, drunk and looking over a case. Davis has the ability to bring Annalise from moments of pure heartache to being the most powerful woman in a room and this was showcased in this latest episode. Davis proves why she is one of the most powerful actresses on TV as she peels back the layers to Annalise Keating.
Kendrick Sampson, Amy Okuda and Viola Davis in the How to Get Away with Murder episode "It's Called the Octopus." Photo Credit: ABC/Mitch Haaseth
Kendrick Sampson, Amy Okuda and Viola Davis in the How to Get Away with Murder episode “It’s Called the Octopus.” Photo Credit: ABC/Mitch Haaseth
The overarching case this season on How to Get Away with Murder deals with Catherine (Amy Okuda) and Caleb (Kendrick Sampson), two adopted siblings who are being accused of murdering their mother, father and Aunt. This episode fans watched as Annalise discovered that Catherine and Caleb are lovers. Talk about a How to Get Away with Murder twist. Although this case is important to season two of How to Get Away with Murder, it launched fans into several more important issues. One of the big plotlines to stem from this case was Asher (Matt McGorry) snitching to D.A Emily (Sarah Burns). In this episode, Asher snuck into Annalise’s house, stole her tape recorder and helped Emily leak the photos of the siblings together.
Matt McGorry was not a very key player during season one of How to Get Away with Murder and was mostly used as comedic relief, however this season he seems to be getting a bigger role. McGorry had several key moments in this episode of How to Get Away with Murder. Towards the end of the hour, Bonnie (Liza Weil) begins to suspect that Asher has been cheating on her and it turns out he’s been harboring a pretty big secret from everyone. Asher is being blackmailed with information about this girl, “Tiffany.” McGorry looks like he will be landing more of a crucial part on How to Get Away with Murder and it looks like fans should buckle up for more character development from everyone’s favorite funny boy.
How to Get Away with Murder also gave fans a bigger insight into some of the personal lives of the Keating Four. Fans found out that Michaela (Aja Naomi King) has been seeing Levi (Matt Cohen), the man from Rebecca’s photo, and he’s apparently here to stay. One of the most heart pounding moments of this week’s episode came when Wes (Alfred Enoch) confronted Levi asking how he knew Rebecca. Levi confesses that he’s Rebecca’s foster brother and she texted him “Eggs 911.” For now Levi appears to be a concerned brother who just wants to find Rebecca, however if How to Get Away with Murder has taught fans anything, no one is ever who they seem to be.
Karla Souza, Matt McGorry, Aja Naomi King, Alfred Enoch and Jack Falahee in the How to Get Away with Murder episode "It's Called the Octopus." Photo Credit: ABC/Mitch Haaseth
Karla Souza, Matt McGorry, Aja Naomi King, Alfred Enoch and Jack Falahee in the How to Get Away with Murder episode “It’s Called the Octopus.” Photo Credit: ABC/Mitch Haaseth
Laurel (Karla Souza) and Frank (Charlie Weber) also seem to be moving their relationship forward. After last week’s episode of How to Get Away with Murder where Frank wanted more than just sex with Laurel, she tries to make a connection with him. Both Souza and Weber are two of the characters fans know the least about so seeing them each grow together is spectacular. When Laurel tells Frank she wants to know everything about him, the good and the bad, Frank replies by saying “What if it’s mostly bad things?” Weber does an amazing job at playing two-sides to Frank. He plays the side that wants to be good and help Annalise and take care of Laurel, but there’s also the killer looming under the surface. Weber continues to astound alongside Souza’s and each of them will hopefully play a bigger role in this season of How to Get Away with Murder.
By episodes end, How to Get Away with Murder fans get another piece in the puzzle that follows Annalise getting fatally stabbed. This week fans learn that Nate (Billy Brown) has been trying to contact Annalise and he picks up the Keating Four as they flee the scene of the crime. Crazy. How to Get Away with Murder continues to add layer after layer to not only the plot, but also to each character. As the characters get more complex, the stakes get higher and it’s a crazy ride fans better buckle up for. How to Get Away with Murder is the drama to be watching this fall on ABC.

How to Get Away with Murder airs Thursday nights at 10/9c on ABC

Overall Grade: B+

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