How To Get Away With Murder It’s For The Greater Good Review
How to Get Away with Murder: Season 4, Episode 3: It’s for the Greater Good delves deeper into Annalise’s (Viola Davis) drive to save those who can’t help themselves.
As I noted in my review of last week’s episode I’m Not Her, one question has dogged the show’s portrayal of Annalise since the very beginning: is she a savior or a cynic? The cynic in her rallies against the abuses of the criminal justice system in court before acknowledging that the client she is defending may actually be guilty in private. The idealist justifies her protection of the Keating Five by claiming she is merely protecting herself even as she goes well beyond what is necessary to save her skin. In short, there are no easy answers, but Thursday night’s episode broaches the issue.
In one of her most ambitious schemes to date, Annalise reveals her plans to launch a class action lawsuit against the entire justice system on the grounds that it has failed the poor. As well-meaning as this may be, one can’t help but feel it’s more motivated by her messianic tendencies than her concern for others. It’s not just the audience who suspects this, with Isaac (Jimmy Smits) calling her out on it and Annalise herself even saying it may be the case. While Annalise has always been a compelling character, but this admission elevates her to a new level, demonstrating not just nuance but self-awareness as well. This is a quality that she shares with Red from The Blacklist, another anti-hero who stands out as both one of the most cynical and the most well-written on TV right now.
Although Annalise has washed her hands of the Keating Five, it appears that Laurel (Karla Souza) is on her to way filling her role as the brilliant mastermind tying the group together. It’s a shock to see Laurel, once the softest and most innocent member of the Keating Five, slowly turn into a shrewd manipulator but it makes sense in light of what she (and the audience, by extension) has learned about her father’s possible involvement in Wes’s death. Plus, it’s just gratifying to see her, as I have observed before, play a more central role in the story. It will be interesting to see how the other characters, particularly Frank (Charlie Weber), respond to her as she comes into her shifty own.
All in all, It’s for the Greater Good serves as a reminder of how great How to Get Away with Murder can be when it emphasizes character over chaos.
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