Okay, here is my take on things so far. This may be useful down the road, or not. Your opinions may vary. Please share with me. And forgive me, I’m writing at 5 am because I went into the world yesterday and got hit by one of my narcolepsy things when I got home. I hope I am making sense. I know this will be the water cooler talk for the day and I wanted to have something up.
Setting: Philadelphia, Middleton Law School, Courtrooms, Good Places to Dump Bodies.
Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) Keating is a law professor and practicing criminal defense attorney. Keatings opening line is “I don’t know what terrible things you’ve done in your life up to this point, but clearly your karma is out of balance to get assigned to my class.” There is an age-old rule given to new teachers, “Don’t smile until Christmas.” It’s generally thought to be a bad rule, but I say from about 7th grade on, it can be useful, if not a bit excessive. You don’t have to wait until Christmas, maybe just Halloween. The point is to be firm and in control until rules are set and behavioral expectations are being consistently met. Only then can you lighten up. I took Keating’s comment to be her version of that. Oh was I wrong. As it turns out, being assigned to her class can be life-altering, and making her short list of five interns can ruin your life.
Sam Keating (Tom Verica) Annalise’s husband who is a psychology professor. Sam is interviewing for a job a Yale.One of his female students has gone missing and is found dead in a big water tank of some kind that is connected to a sorority house on the first episode. What the heck kind of water tank was that? It was huge and made no sense. It seems like Sam could be connected to the dead girl, Lila Stangard’s, death. When the couple watch the news of Lila’s death on TV Annalise says, “I betcha the boyfriend did it.” It wasn’t said as a casual comment. The two stare at each other and Sam say, “I guess we’ll see.”
Wes Gibbins (Alfred Enoch) Enoch managed to steal scenes from Viola Davis. It was incredible to watch. This kid is actually the main character, and the center of everything and so far he is the only one who is already privy to the fact that Professor Keating is not what she appears. Much of the show is from his point of view. He barely made it into the school and was unprepared on the first day, but Keating takes a liking to him despite his lack of any apparent talent for law. He had no idea of basic legal terms and was unaware of the case discussed on the first day due to his late acceptance. Yet he makes the coveted top five. He also walks in on Professor Keating getting a sixty-eight from a cop in her office. Keating seems quite fond of Wes as um, more than a student. He’s not quiet realizing he is headed for trouble with her. She gives a dramatic performance to convince him that her relationship is strained over their unfulfilled desire to have a baby. Wes is naïve and Keating is setting him up to do her bidding. We are being led to believe that “her bidding” will be to off her husband.
Michaela Pratt (Aja Naomi King) is currently the top of the class and plays a key role in discrediting a witness for Keating’s Aspirin Assassin case they all work on this week. Basically, a wife and a mistress aspire to kill their shared lover and Keating does several unethical things to get the mistress off. Micheala had an odd story about how she found out that a key witness was colorblind, her tactics were not very believable. . She is totally aware the two conspired for whatever reason to kill the guy but participates with Keating in getting the client cleared of her charges.
Connor Walsh(Jack Falahee), Conner is an over eager gay man who, in the first episode, manages to get an IT guy to sleep with him and give him an email that wins the Aspirin Assassin case Keating and the top students were working on this weekend. He’s super ambitious and morally corrupt. He’s a top, if you are interested. On the first say of class he was the first student called on by name to answer a question about the Aspirin Assassin case. He also seemed to be having a great time getting rid of the body. He sang Jingle bells. Connor was distinguished in front of the entire class and given the coveted statue of the scales of justice. This is also the murder weapon in Sam’s murder. He also seemed to know about Keating’s reputation on the first day of class and warned Wes about her. I’m pretty sure this is all a set up and Connor and Annalise planned on him interning for her and winning the first task all along.
Laurel Castillo (Karla Souza) Bleeding heart liberal Brown graduate who immediately starts fucking Frank to get ahead. Many questions here. It takes Laurel half an episode to call Frank a misogynistic asshole. But three months later while they are burying the bodies she gets a late night booty call from Frank at an inopportune time. Laurel seemed surprised to be called to intern for the firm. Frank’s smile made it clear he got her in.
Asher Milstone ( Matt McGorry) entitled prick who used to clerk for Chief Justice John Roberts. I recall almost nothing interesting about him. AND he is not with the other four interns in the flash forward scenes where they are hiding the body. IS HE THE KILLER OF THE BODY THE OTHER FOUR ARE VERY STUPITY TRYING TO DISPOSE OF? Asher is the second student asked to be an intern. He cheers loudly for himself. IN THE PREVIEWS FOR NEXT WEEK, A white man with gray hair… Not sure who it is, appears to stab Asher in a bed. Do Asher and Connor both have beards? Because it might be Conner, but Asher is the one that seems to go missing very soon.
Frank (Charlie Weber), Frank is one of Keating’s full-time assistant attorneys. He has a history of fucking the students. Currently, he’s fucking Laurel, and God knows who else?
Bonnie Winterbottom (Liza Weil) Bonnie is Keating’s other assistant. . Something is going on with her and one or the other or both of the Keatings in a personal way. When Sam drops by after an interview at Yale, Bonnie jumps up and kisses him on the cheek and praises him like a giddy school girl. When Sam greets his wife with a passionate kiss and sweet nothings, Bonnie reacted with a jealous look of disproval.
Rebecca Wes’ annoying, loud music playing, neighbor who is rude to him at first and let’s him know she is over it with the law student neighbors. After a physical fight with a guy I THINK was dead Lila from the water tank’s boyfriend, she makes nice with him leaving him a bottle of booze. Seems like a very odd turn around. It appears that Wes‘ apartment came furnished. There are claw marks on the wall above the headboard and teeth marks on the headboard itself. Wes plays a lot of attention to these. This girl is NOT just a random neighbor. She may be working for Keating. Either Keating. I suspect she is one of the killers. Either Lila’s or Sam’s or both.
When Lila’s boyfriend, Griffin O’Reilly hears the news about the police finding Lila’s body, he goes straight to Rebecca’s apartment. He tells her to turn on the news. They watch together. They both seem… nervous.
Flash Forward 3 months:
The four interns can’t get along for shit. Especially now that they are trying to dispose of a body. Ultimately, they decide to set the body on fire to try to make it disappear because the ground is frozen. They have flame accelerators (light fluid or something) in a bag they bought at a convenience store. Their prints are all over everything. They are not very good at cleaning up evidence. Didn’t the procedural case this week (Aspirin Assassin) hinge on surveillance cameras from a convenience store? Didn’t Keating’s lover Nate the cop testify on the stand that he is aware of the department screwing with surveillance videos in the past to help the prosecution? Why do I feel like that testimony and Wes catching Nate eating at the Y will be super important later when someone gets arrested in three months? Buying tons of lighter fluid at a convenience store will come back to bite the person who made the purchase.
Oh and the body? It’s Keatings husband, Sam.
So the procedural case for the week, the Aspirin Assassin, taught us that murder makes for unlikely bedfellows, specifically the wife and the mistress in this case. The two long arc deaths, Lila Stangard’s and Sam Keating’s are clearly tied together somehow. Clearly, we won’t know that until season’s end.
Next week we have to pay attention to Asher. Is he involved or does he just wise up and withdraw from the class at some point? Who called the dude to check the water tank? Why is there a water tank at all? How long have Laurel and Frank been fucking? What is Bonnie’s relationship to the Keatings? How long will we tolerate all these back and forth in time scenes? Other than Wes, is there any other relatable character in the whole show? Who else will we even bother to care about?