Sometimes, How to Get Away with Murder feels like a comedy.
Not because the characters occasionally (and inappropriately) make wisecracks as they cover-up murders or attempt to manipulate their enemies. No, sometimes, the show is just so ridiculous that it feels like it’s almost making fun of itself. It’s almost as if the writers decided to just make the show a spoof of itself.
That’s how “Everything We Did Was for Nothing” felt – not much happened this week, as the writers just hit the brakes and had the characters reflect on what has unfolded over the past four years. The results were decidedly mixed.
To quickly set the stage: Laurel is confined to a mental institution following her baby’s kidnapping, Oliver is racked with guilt over his involvement in Simon’s near murder, and Annalise is trying desperately to keep the world around her intact as seemingly everything goes wrong. These rather dull subplots became entertaining in a very unusual way, mainly because the writers really went overboard while reminding viewers of just how much murder has actually taken place on the show.
One such moment finds Asher consoling a guilt-ridden Oliver by telling him that he can still be a good person, even if he did play a part in someone’s murder. During this moment, Asher loudly reminds Oliver (and the audience) of the time he murdered the DA investigating him. This scene, played without a drop of irony or self-awareness, is so bizarre and tone deaf that it can’t help but be funny.
The best scene, however, finds Bonnie visiting Annalise to discuss the very dramatic events going on around them. It’s during this scene that Viola Davis delivers a monologue that sums up the drama that has unfolded throughout the series so far, all with a straight face and slightly deadpan tone. Intentional or not, this scene is a hilarious reminder of how ridiculous How to Get Away with Murder is, and the slightly bored look in Annalise’s eyes only makes the scene funnier.
But this scene is also indicative of How to Get Away with Murder’s biggest problem: it needs to just move on and kickstart the story. Because just before Viola Davis launches into the aforementioned monologue, Bonnie and Annalise once again discuss their bizarre, will they/won’t they romance that has been hinted at throughout the entire series. It took four seasons for Bonnie to finally just admit that she loves Annalise in a way that’s deeper than a mentor/mentee relationship. Why make the audience wait even longer to see her act on it? This same principle can be applied to the season’s main plot thread: don’t just talk about avenging Wes’ death, do something. It’s making interesting storylines dull.
In terms of sheer entertainment, “Everything We Did Was for Nothing” delivered, just not for the reasons the writers’ think it did. This was a hilariously silly episode of a show that is growing increasingly more preposterous with each passing hour. Now it’s time for How to Get Away with Murder to just deliver the punch-line before they kill the joke.