ENTERTAINMENT
10/17/2014 07:58 am ET Updated Oct 17, 2014

'How To Get Away With Murder' Recap: Pushing Boundaries

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How is this episode just the fourth one of the season? We had a maniacal hacking up of a corpse, a high-rise suicide, a ground-breaking gay sex scene, and Viola Davis taking off her wig and make-up on air. Oh, and a philandering husband’s sexting. If that doesn’t sound like a season finale’s worth of cliffhangers, I don’t know what does.

In our first flash forward, it becomes clear this will be Connor’s episode. He’s the one laying on the ground looking into dead Sam Keating’s eyes, after all.

Back in the present, Connor heads on over to Oliver’s to start the day off with a little action. Oliver wants to make things more official, as he’s half-worried Connor’s a sex addict. I’d be more worried he has serious emotional issues, but hey, to each his own.

Over at Rebecca’s bail setting hearing, the judge sets bail at a million dollars, because you know, she did confess. Annalise Keating and crew go to work trying to bring down the bail amount by getting the validity of the confession video thrown into question.

But the actual case of the week revolves around defending Marian, an executive who’s the female equivalent of “The Wolf of Wall Street” and accused of insider trading. While this is an exciting departure from the morally bankrupt murderers the last few weeks, don’t be confused -- the client is plenty devoid of compassion. Annalise suspects Marian’s employees could be to blame, as she points out that nobody likes their boss. No where is that more true than on this show.

Back at the Keating household, Annalise tries to start the fire with Sam to no avail. All the while her former lover Nate is breaking into her husband’s car out front. Nate discovers Sam’s GPS, and checks to see his location the night of Lila Stangard’s murder. The GPS shows that Sam arrived in Philly at 7:02 p.m. and was back at Yale by 2:48 a.m. Sam, you’re looking guilty as sin.

In the next two flashforwards, Connor starts singing along to Christmas songs and laughing like a maniac while chopping up Sam Keating’s burned body with an ax. Because the murderous quintet not only bludgeoned and burned ol’ Sam Keating, they also hacked him up. Yeah, I’d start losing it too.

Back in current day, the first years all bumble their employee interviews -- all besides Connor. He decided to bug the phone calls of Marian’s assistant, Paxton, after their sexy copy room romp. As Vanity Fair points out, this show continues to push the boundaries on TV on gay relationships, race, and age. And that sex scene certainly raised the bar.

Back on Rebecca’s case, Bonnie manages to get the botched confession tape by blackmailing the police chief with Nate’s investigation into Sam and his affair. Turns out Bonnie’s been watching…

After Marian hears the news of Paxton’s betrayal, she goes crazy on him, even throwing a shoe at his head. This is too much for poor Paxton, and he decides to throw himself out a window. This show does not stop with the twists.

In the classroom, Annalise Keating gives us a lesson on how to trick people into confessing, so that she can reveal Paxton’s co-conspirators and save Marian. Because Annalise doesn’t lose -- ever, apparently.

Connor gets busted for sleeping with Paxton, and Oliver kicks him out. Connor seems actually upset about it, which is a depth of feeling that we haven’t seen. Yet in the final flashforward, Connor breaks down at Oliver’s door after the murder of Sam Keating. Oliver handles his ex appearing out of no where and smelling like charred remains rather well, if you ask me.

Back at Wes’s apartment, Waitlist pulls out those puppy-dog eyes and gets Rebecca to tell him the code for Lila’s phone. Which she does. Which almost makes less sense than Wes’s creepy obsession with a girl he hardly knows.

Wes runs to Mama Keating with the phone in an attempt to redeem himself. She’d probably be more excited about it if she didn’t immediately realize the naked photos on the phone are of her husband. Sam, Sam, Sam -- did your college coed fail to introduce you to Snapchat?

After seeing the photos, Annalise strips off her wig, her fake eyelashes, that killer makeup, and her wedding ring. Setting the stage for the confrontation that’ll get at the heart of the Keatings’ marriage next week, Viola Davis literally strips off Annalise’s mask, and thus breaks her down to her rawest form. Watching that scene makes me wish Davis had 99.9% of the screentime, especially when she delivers like that. Here’s to hoping Annalise kicks Sam’s cheating (and most likely murderous) self to the curb next week.

Odds and Ends
  • Wes only owns plaid shirts.
  • This episode is a reunion of “Orange is the New Black” actors, with John Bennett Matt McGorry and Natalie Figueroa Alysia Reiner.
  • That gas station they stopped at is conveniently equipped with all things you need to cover up a murder. Really, what gas station has burner phones, lighter fluid, AND an ax handy?
  • Wes was willing to insider trade for Rebecca. Dude, you knew her for like two days. She’s your neighbor. Why are you this fixated?
  • Asher line of the week: “I’m like the most grown-up, grown-up ever.”
  • The kiddos actually mention tests for another class this week, proving they maybe do go to law school.
  • Rebecca’s prison jumpsuit was tailored to her petite frame. Gonna go with that doesn’t happen in real life.
  • Rebecca also “can’t be here” at Sam Keating’s murder scene more than the rest of the murderous quintet. Really, shouldn’t they all not be there?
  • And best quote of the week comes from Oliver: “Says the first year law student who seems to spend more time breaking the law than practicing it.” Spot on Oliver, spot on.

"How to Get Away With Murder" airs on Thursdays at 10 p.m. EDT on ABC.

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