After last week’s bizarre twist, in which Connor was revealed to have two dads, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to learn that this week’s episode of How to Get Away with Murder, titled “Was She Ever Good At Her Job?” focused primarily on parent/child relationships. What is surprising, however, is that one of these bonds made for the best drama of the night – even if it feels somewhat light for this series’ standards. And, based on the flash-forwards teased at the end of each episode, these lighthearted moments are going to become much less frequent in no time.
With some quick dialogue at the top of the hour, How to Get Away with Murder (sort of) explains away Connor’s aforementioned mother, instead establishing his complicated relationship with his father, who came out to the family after Connor’s 12th birthday. Their relationship is a tense one, though no one onscreen or in the audience can seem to figure out why. In fact, the revelation that Connor’s dad is actually pretty nice only makes Connor’s backstory more confusing.
As the only member of the Keating 4 to not have had his “origin” explained, the developments in this week’s episode raise the question: why, exactly, is Connor so disturbed? The appearance of Connor’s father wasn’t exactly a disappointment, but it does feel like a somewhat lackluster plot twist – is there more to the backstory? Hopefully, otherwise Connor will stand out as a poorly developed character.
The better parent/child dynamic this week came from Michaela, quickly emerging as the season’s MVP, and Annalise, as the two were forced to work together on a case. Annalise has a bizarre bond with just about everyone she’s met, but her dynamic with Michaela has always been interesting. Michaela is simultaneously disgusted by Annalise, but also wants to be her, to lift a line from the series’ pilot. Now that Annalise is out of Michaela’s life for good, the two have a bitter relationship that both actresses milk for dramatic material. The case of the week itself might be a bit dull, but they make it worth watching.
But, compared to the previous three years, How to Get Awa with Murder’s fourth season can certainly be categorized as a slow burn. We’re four weeks in and feel no closer to figuring out how Laurel will avenge Wes’ death, and Annalise’s comeback is still somewhat dull. But the teasers in the weekly flash forwards are cryptic and fascinating, with so many different balls in the air and countless theories to debate. This week’s final scene added a whole new, bizarre layer to the mystery, a smart move that prevents viewers from guessing the ending too early (something which has happened just about every year). There’s also a terrific twist about Bonnie, the series’ most underappreciated character, which will intrigue audiences until the midseason finale at least.
While not a homerun, “Was She Ever Good At Her Job?” was at least consistently entertaining and intriguing. It’s hard to care about whether or not Connor’s dad was telling the truth, but these flash forwards and third act revelations have enough to reel viewers back in. And the Michaela/Annalise drama proves they haven’t forgotten these characters just yet.