TV Show Review

TV Review: HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER: Season 4, Episode 6: Stay Strong, Mama [ABC]

Viola Davis Jack Falahee How To Get Away With Murder

How To Get Away With Murder Stay Strong, Mama Review

How to Get Away with Murder: Season 4, Episode 6: Stay Strong, Mama accomplishes a real feat by finding the perfect balance between its myriad storylines.

For much of its run, the show has had to contend with a recurring problem: lack of focus due to too much going on. While having any number of plots and subplots going on certainly added to the excitement of the show, it also made it a bit overwhelming for viewers to keep up with everything that happened and make sense of it. Not only this, but the frantic pacing of episodes made it all the harder to stay on top of the program’s story.

Yet this hasn’t really been the case this season. In fact, things have been moving at a much more manageable pace so far, and Thursday night’s episode was no exception. It’s tempting to call it “slow” like previous installments this season and unlike ones from prior seasons, but it never feels like it since the show keeps us constantly engaged. Whether it’s Annalise’s (Viola Davis) crusade to get justice for disadvantaged clients or Michaela’s (Aja Naomi King) efforts to ingratiate herself to her new boss (Amirah Vann) at Caplan and Gold, the episode holds our attention yet never feels like it’s putting too much on us.

Amazingly, the program finds time to not only flesh out secondary characters but to do so well. Part of the episode is framed around Isaac’s (Jimmy Smits) conversation with his colleague and ex-wife Jacqueline (Kathryn Erbe), which in turn takes us back to sessions Isaac had with Annalise and Bonnie (Liza Weil), giving a story-within-the-story aspect to the program. Isaac’s change from an insufferable hardass to another player in the drama that is Annalise’s life is quick but somehow believable, leaving the audience eager to know how he will figure into the reveal at the end of the season.

Asher (Matt McGorry) also shines in a surprisingly hefty subplot that deals with his frustration about being left out of the Keating Five’s decision-making process. This comes to a head when he confronts Michaela about lying to him regarding her visits to Laurel (Karla Souza), angrily declaring “People who love each other don’t lie to each other.” Coming from a buffoon like Asher, one would expect it to come off as cornballish and cliched, but McGorry injects the perfect amount of hurt in what might be the most potent line he has delivered in his time on How to Get Away with Murder.

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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.

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