TV Show Review

TV Review: HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER: Season 4, Episode 8: Live. Live. Live. [ABC]

Viola Davis How To Get Away With Murder

How To Get Away With Murder Live. Live. Live. Review

How to Get Away with Murder: Season 4, Episode 8: Live. Live. Live. is a striking episode that raises as many questions as it answers.

As far as winter finales are concerned, this is probably one of the highest compliments you can pay. Not only does it indicate that the show in question addressed major plot points, but it also indicates that it moved the plot as a whole forward in a significant way. And indeed Thursday night’s episode has, with it bearing not a little of the excitement so characteristic of earlier seasons of the show.

As I’ve noted before, an unfortunate corollary of the aforementioned excitement was a tendency for the show to attempt to do too much at once and become muddled in its attempts to juggle them all. Yet this deficiency was nowhere in evidence at all in “Live.”, with the various plots and subplots being so simple to follow that it almost feels ridiculous. But the fact that they are all fairly easy to follow doesn’t mean they are all equally interesting.

As much as I like Bonnie (Liza Weil), her story arc about getting revenge on Annalise (Viola Davis) feels like a distraction from the other, more engaging stories and never feels as gripping as it should be. One that fares a bit better is Isaac’s (Jimmy Smits) confusion over his commitment to Annalise, although it is also overshadowed by a series of much bigger developments.

The real story is the Keating Five’s decision to go through with their plan to expose Laurel’s (Karla Souza) father at a Caplan & Gold function only for it to go horribly wrong and result in the accidental shooting of Simon (Behzad Dabu). Oliver (Conrad Ricamora), who has already been exceptional this season, gets one of the best moments in the episode, if not the series, when he sees Simon’s bloody body and screams “Oh my god.” Ricamora hits the right combination of shock and sadness but neither comes across as wooden or lapses into parody.

Another golden moment occurs when Laurel goes into labor early and Annalise is forced to save the baby while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. In a way, Annalise’s desperate efforts to resuscitate the newborn child are the end result of the softer, more vulnerable persona we’ve seen this season, with her saving the infant’s life not because it’s part of some grand scheme of hers but because doing so is a good in and of itself. Here’s to seeing more of this Annalise when How to Get Away with Murder returns next year.

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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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