How To Get Away With Murder Lahey V. Commonwealth Of Pennsylvania Review
How to Get Away with Murder: Season 4, Episode 13: Lahey v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This How to Get Away with Murder Lahey v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania review finds that Thursday night’s crossover episode focuses on substance over novelty with excellent results.
With a show as prone to self-aggrandizement as How to Get Away, it would have been very easy for the final product to not live up to the hype. Yet thanks to a smartly-written script and convincing performances, the episode works on multiple levels. Indeed, it easily surpasses most of the crossovers we regularly see on The CW’s Arrowverse programs, although it admittedly does have the advantage of not having to feature one such crossover each season.
Despite the fact that the show hasn’t exactly harped on the fact that it shares the same universe with Scandal, the introduction of the characters from that show is handled with remarkable ease and believability. Annalise (Viola Davis) knows Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and vice versa, and the interaction between the two is anything if not plausible. Plausible,and compelling as well, with Pope serving as a considered counterpoint to Annalise’s headstrong lead. As I’ve noted in previous reviews, Annalise has met her match in the form of other characters before, but Olivia is easily the most successful one of all.
Also strengthening the program is the composition of several of its scenes, the best example of which is the one when Annalise stands alone in the courtroom and calls her mother (Cicely Tyson) after going back and forth with Olivia about what’s at stake should she lose her case. The stakes – the future of criminal justice reform across the country – are enough to grab viewers’ attention, but the swelling music and bright, almost heavenly lighting elevate the scene to whole other level.
If there is any weakness in the program, it’s the depiction of Chief Justice and token foil Strickland (Denis Arndt). Described as a “hardline conservative”, Strickland appears to have no motive for opposing Annalise’s suit aside from being, along with Ingrid Egan (Sharon Lawrence) the designated bad guy of the piece. Even Annalise’s quoting him taking the opposite stance in an earlier Supreme Court case fails to tell us anything about him other than he probably is a shameless opportunist. In short, one wishes that as much thought was put into his portrayal as the other elements of the episode.
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