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'How To Get Away With Murder' Review: Season 1, Episode 3

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By William Peacock, Esq. on October 10, 2014 1:04 PM

Previously, on "How To Get Away With Murder": Lots of murders, the least accurate depiction of law school ever, and sexy sexing for nearly everyone. See Episode 1 and Episode 2 recaps for more. Oh, and though it may be obvious: SPOILERS FOLLOW.

Episode 3 begins with more fun with the dead body (Prof. Annalise Keating's husband, Prof. Sam Keating), but mainly focuses on another case -- the hooker house mom who was once a domestic terrorist. If that (sans hooker) sounds like Patty Hearst, you and 300 fake 1Ls think alike, because they discuss the Hearst case and defense. This is your "defendant of the week" plotline, one that has no surprises whatsoever.

The real meat of the episode is WLW's (Wait-List Wes') possibly quixotic quest to help Goth Girl neighbor (Rebecca). The university is trying to get Keating's law firm to represent its star quarterback, who is quite obviously full of it and seems to have had something to do with the ongoing murder mystery (the dead girl from the first two episodes -- we know, there's a lot of murder in "HTGAWM"). WLW breaks the rules and does everything he can to rescue the reluctant Rebecca, but will he succeed?

Law School: Because Who Needs Classes, Right?

Again, as we've pointed out before, and will probably point out a few more times before this series is over: These 1Ls seem to have no other classes whatsoever. Either that, or they are on a crap-load of stimulants.

Anyway, the only major "law school" event is the Law Review party, meant to convince 1Ls to join. Some brotastic bro is standing on a table in the bar, giving a frat-like speech about, "YOU WANNA BE ME!" (paraphrasing) and repeatedly uttering the exclamation, "HELL YEAH!" Kids, if you're thinking of going to law school, please note that real-life law review folks are not like this. But he is right about one thing: They do have better employment prospects.

Law Practice: WLW Just Committed 87 Ethics Violations

Where to start? From the moment WLW was denied access to Rebecca, who is still in jail at this point, I knew what he was going to do. And yep, he did it: created a fake bar card (forgery? A felony!) to get into the jail (unauthorized practice of law!). Of course, the reluctant, helpless victim immediately told the cops that he was a law student and was full of it.

In real life, WLW's legal career would be over. Cops, who aren't too friendly to defense attorneys who undo all of their hard work, wouldn't just call up his professor and let him go. Oh, and when he warned Rebecca that the QB was pointing the finger at her? That's an ethics violation too: breaking privilege by disclosing something a potential client said in a consultation.

But Prof. Keating, instead of punishing him or firing him from the firm -- here's the twist -- she takes the case (gasp!) and WLW gets the trophy (the exam immunity trophy that later likely becomes the murder weapon used to kill Mr. Keating). And then, after the firm decides to take her case, Rebecca confesses -- because false confessions do happen, and this is TV so everything has to be as difficult as possible.

Bonus: 'They're Going to Assign You Some Lame Public Defender!'

Oh WLW. Silly WLW. And silly "HTGAWM." You're really going to insult public defenders? How about, "They're going to assign you some noble, underpaid, and overworked public defender who is going to try her hardest but is hamstrung by limited resources!"

Hollywood: Everyone Is One-Dimensional

Sure, it's only the third episode, but so far, everyone is a walking archetype. Noble WLW. Angry professor with a heart of gold. Her treacherous husband, who is living a lie. Connor, the manipulator, who spends the whole episode reminding Michaela that he diddled her fiancé when they were both students at an all-male private school.

Speaking of Michaela: They really want you to hate her. Not only does she freak out when she finds out about her fiancé's homosexual tryst, but when her fiancé convinces her to get over it, and after she repeatedly grills him on whether he is gay, she goes on a rant about her bespoke (not off the rack) Vera Wang wedding dress before threatening to destroy his personal and professional life if he embarrasses her. Oh, the joys of marriage!

One more thing: Keep an eye out for the "monster of the week." Many shows do this ("Smallville" and "The X-Files" were famous for it). This week's monster was the house wife who used to be a bomber. Last week, it was the not-so-serial wife murderer.

What'd you think of "How To Get Away With Murder" Episode 3? Tweet us @FindLawLP.

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