TV Show Review

TV Review: HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER: Season 4, Episode 1: I’m Going Away [ABC]

Viola Davis Cicely Tyson How To Get Away With Murder

How To Get Away With Murder I’m Going Away Review

How to Get Away with Murder: Season 4, Episode 1: I’m Going Away is a subdued entry for the series that explores the relationships and responsibilities that come with family.

For a program as cynical as Murder, Wednesday night’s premiere was unusually tender. Yes, it included some of the twists that the show is so known for as well as the barbs its characters are wont to exchange, but for the most part the episode feels largely earnest. This is all the more shocking considering it revolved mostly around Annalise (Viola Davis), that most un-earnest of persons. This feat is accomplished by forcing her to see the extent to which her mother Ophelia (Cicely Tyson) has succumbed to dementia and consequently ensure that she receives the care she needs.

In yet another departure from Murder‘s typical way of doing things, the most potent scene is the most restrained one. When Ophelia has one of her episodes, Annalise tries to calm her down and explain that her dementia is making her act out. As a visibly shocked Ophelia stares at Annalise in silence, Annalise notices her mother has relieved herself on the floor, prompting her to embrace Ophelia and cry. While Annalise already knew her mother’s mental health was poor, she clearly had no idea it was bad enough that she can’t retain control of her faculties and bodily functions. Plus, it’s just darn weird seeing somebody as ironclad as Annalise show an emotion other than anger, even if we’ve technically seen it before.

Don’t think the Keating Five are off the hook when it comes to family troubles however, with the show taking them in new, decidedly topical directions. Ollie (Conrad Ricamora) is excited at the prospect of getting married to Connor (Jack Falahee) and starting a family, while the latter is considerably less enthused and reluctant to actually give an answer to Ollie’s proposal, reflecting the pressure that some men in gay relationships may feel to get married now that they can even though they never really intended or even expected to have the opportunity to do so.

Laurel (Karla Souza), on the other hand, seems to be in the process of reconciling with her father Jorge (Esai Morales) at the start of the episode only for it to be revealed that she believes he is responsible for Wes’s (Alfred Enoch) death. It’s difficult to so much as venture a guess as to where the show will go on from here, but I sincerely hope How to Get Away with Murder remains as focused and easy to follow as this episode was.

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About the author

Reggie Peralta

An aspiring writer, longtime film junkie, and former disc jockey (where I graduated with a BA in Political Science), I've made the jump from penning book reviews and current events editorials for to writing movie and TV news and reviews.

When I'm not working towards my certificate in Radio and Television/Video Production at Fullerton College, I enjoy reading (horror, science fiction, and historical/political nonfiction are particular favorites), participating in my school's TV and theatre clubs, attending movie screenings, plays, concerts, and other events, and trying to come up with pithy things to say on social media. Believe it or not, there are occasions where I find time to write for my own leisure.

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