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TV Review: HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER: Season 4, Episode 4: Was She Ever Good At Her Job? [ABC]

Amirah Vann How To Get Away With Murder

How To Get Away With Murder Was She Ever Good At Her Job? Review

How to Get Away with Murder: Season 4, Episode 4: Was She Ever Good At Her Job? ostensibly focuses on Annalise (Viola Davis), but proves to be most interesting when its attention is elsewhere.

This doesn’t mean that Annalise has no interesting scenes, however. Towards the end, she resumes work on building her case against the American justice system, going through court records and legal documents with a highlighter and dictating as she does. What really sells the scene though is the way it’s edited, tautly cutting between shots of her at various angles speaking into her recording device and close-ups of her highlighting names.

There are two effects to this: the first is that it shows she means business, with the slick editing accurately translating the momentum she must be feeling to the screen. The second, however, is that it suggests she is on a path she has trod all too many times: trying to take care of others and forgetting about herself. With both of these conflicting impressions, it’s hard to tell where exactly Annalise’s crusade will go from here, but it will undoubtedly be interesting.

The most compelling part of the program though is the interaction between Oliver (Conrad Ricamora), Connor (Jack Falahee), and the latter’s father Jeff (D.W. Moffett). We learn that Connor’s resentment towards Jeff is due in no small part to the fact that he waited until Connor came out as gay when he was still in his preteens to come out himself just a week later. It might be hard for some to understand Connor’s frustration at this, but if you consider that he had to struggle with his identity for years before learning his dad had the same experience and did nothing to make him think it was okay, it makes a good deal of sense.

Impressively, this subtext is communicated not through dialogue but through body language and facial expressions, Oliver’s to be exact. Sitting as Jeff tells him the whole sordid story, Oliver looks mortified as he joyfully recounts his coming out and the humiliation Connor is implied to have subsequently endured. A lesser program would have spelled this right out for the audience, but How to Get Away with Murder holds its viewers to a higher standard and expects them to grasp this without the help of explanatory dialogue from Oliver. It’s easy to feature LGBT themes in TV today, but it’s not easy to do them well, and How to Get Away with Murder does it with aplomb.

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About the author

Reggie Peralta

An aspiring writer, longtime film junkie, and former UCLARadio.com 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 HonorSociety.org 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.

  • Pitchsurfer

    Ugh… Connor’s storyline was the worst. The dads extra TMI sharing with Oliver and them walking in on Connor reduced a potentially good backstory to a parody of what it should’ve been. Insulting, boring and typical trash. The only interesting storyline is Annalise’s. Separating her this season has been breath of fresh air.

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