Jump right in: ‘How to Get Away with Murder’

| Staff Writer

“How to Get Away with Murder,” Shonda Rimes’ freshman drama, returns tonight for the second half of its season. Here’s an easy guide to understanding the complex plot so that you can save your binge-catching-up for the weekend and watch without confusion!

Characters

The Boss: Annelise Keating, law professor of eponymous course and leader of the pack
Her helpers: Bonnie and Frank
Students: Wes, Laurel, Kayla, Asher and Connor
Clients: Rebecca, charged with murdering Lila Stangard
Deceased: Lila Stangard (prior to pilot), Sam Keating (mid-season finale)

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Plot

When a whodunit turns into a now-who-did-it-this-time thriller, all bets are thrown out the window. Just when Lila Stangard’s murder seems to have been solved, her former lover and presumed killer Sam Keating is killed by his wife’s favorite students, law professor Annelise Keating. The law students’ secrets become intertwined during a nightmarish night that begins with the fatal blow of a golden trophy to the back of Sam’s neck and ends with the group depositing his wrapped and maimed body in a dumpster. And in a surprise twist, viewers learned that the supposedly grieving Annelise doesn’t actually believe that her husband fled out of fear of conviction—in fact, she’s not sorry that he’s dead at all.

Romantic entanglements

During the mid-season finale, Annelise rekindled her relationship with her ex-lover, a former detective who had been trying to convict Sam. However, her motives-whether she was there looking for love or an alibi-remain unclear. Recently fired pseudo-teacher Bonnie slept with Asher, the only member of Annelise’s troupe of students who was lucky enough to not become embroiled in the murder cover up and remains in the dark about everything that happened that night. Wes and Rebecca’s happiness will surely be affected due to Wes having delivered the fatal blow in order to save Rebecca from being strangled by Sam. Laurel and Frank are boring and Connor told his ex-boyfriend that he’s a drug addict in order to cover up his strange behavior.

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Shock factor

For a while, it seemed like every episode of “How to Get Away with Murder” brought another surprising scene to the table, the most striking of which being a cut-between of a sex scene between Wes and Rebecca and the exhumation of Lila’s corpse in Episode 7. If you’re understandably disturbed by the sight of a stitched body being slowly cut open, be on your guard for more grisly scenes in the second half of the season.

Look forward to

There are so many questions now! Did Sam actually kill Lila, and if so, how will this be proven now that he’s dead? Will the students escape suspicion, especially when the trophy that killed Sam is hiding in plain sight in Annelise’s home? My prediction is that the show will soon take a “Pretty Little Liars” –esque turn and the students will find themselves controlled by someone on the outside who knows everything.

Watch Thursday at 10/9 C.