ENTERTAINMENT
10/31/2014 04:58 pm ET

'How To Get Away With Murder' Lays Bare Why Cheating Doesn't Always Mean The End

ALERT: The following piece and video contain spoilers for Thursday's episode of "How to Get Away with Murder."

From its inception, "How To Get Away With Murder" set itself up against the morally black-and-white legal tales of standard network procedurals: "The question I'm asked most often as a defense attorney is whether I can tell if my clients are innocent or guilty," Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) tells her new students. "And my answer is always the same: I don't care." On Thursday night, the show applied that same resistance to easy moralizing to the realm of interpersonal relationships.

Toward the end of the hour, Annalise's husband, Sam, discovers that his wife planted evidence to help bring Rebecca home, ensuring Wes wouldn't release information about Sam's affair with Lila Stangard to the police.

"Why are you doing all this for me?" he asks Annalise. "I need you," she says, breaking into tears. "Don't you get that? After everything you've done to me -- lying to me, screwing that girl, I need you."

So often, television shows use infidelity as an easy conflict to break couples apart, without going into the actual nuanced emotions that can surround a betrayal. The shows seem to suggest: the cheater is bad, the cheated upon should leave, and if he or she doesn't, it's okay to judge them. Instead, "How To Get Away With Murder" presents Annalise's response without judgement, as a truthful reaction to a situation that -- like many similar scenarios real life -- is more complex, confusing, and morally gray than it can appear to those on the outside.

Check out the full scene in the clip below.


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