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How To Get Away With Murder - Was She Ever Good at Her Job? - Review: "Intrigue"

We're a month into the new television season, and last night's episode of How To Get Away With Murder kept the steady momentum the series has been building in the fortnight prior. "Was She Ever Good at Her Job?" built on the intrigue surrounding the flash forward events, and reintroduced Annalise and Michaela in an entertaining setting. Michael Russo wrote his first episode of the series, with Mike Smith directing his second.

Let's look at the bigger picture stuff first. Last week, Annalise interacted with Laurel for the first time since she disbanded her team, and in this episode Annalise met with Michaela when she was working with Soraya Hargrove to regain custody of her children. It seems the showrunners might be following a formula similar to last season by reintroducing Annalise to one of her former interns in each episode.

What they got absolutely right here was putting Michaela and Annalise on the same team because that took their bickering out of the equation completely. Michaela was interning for Tegan, while Annalise had wormed herself onto Hargrove's team by effectively begging for the job, with no money changing hands unless she achieved a result.

Don't kiss my ass, I hate that.

The dialog between this legal trio and Hargrove was solidly written and performed throughout. Each character stuck to their guns but had to concede a little in order to get along. In the end, they won the case, but they could all take equal credit for the win. No one was definitively responsible for that.

Asher had a largely dud hour once more, as did Laurel for the most part. Now that Todd Denver confirmed his run for Attorney General, she had more reason to step up her game, but little progress was made with Michaela, though she did learn that her father is contributing to Denver's campaign. That was hardly surprising, but it does provide a solid connection between Denver and her father.

Another major part of this episode which was hyped in the promo was Connor's two dads arriving. This whole subplot did little for me in the end. All they did was serve to cause friction between Connor and Oliver - though Oliver was oblivious to it all and loved meeting his potential in-laws, as always happens when this cliché is used. The only mildly interesting thing to come from this was learning that from a young age Connor had always been independent, and that his father thought he had changed significantly. It's hard to take this seriously because it's essentially hearsay and all part of the cliché it was playing to, but it would have added fuel to his bubbling belief that it was time for a change.

In Bonnie's world, we saw the beginnings of a showdown between her and her former boss. She is aware that Annalise may be preparing something in the wake of her case win a fortnight ago that could do serious damage to the DA's office. Nate played an interesting role here as well, remaining impartial and steering clear of Bonnie and Annalise initially, but perhaps leaning Bonnie's way as things progressed, particularly in the face of the irony that was Annalise looking to improve public defense to prevent wrongful convictions when she herself had Nate jailed in Season 2 to protect herself while she pinned the case on someone else. I warmed quite significantly to this subplot after this episode, and the flash forward events hinted that the DA's office will see involvement much more deeply than before.

Smart people around here keep their heads down.

Frank continues to take an outsiders role, but it can't be long until he's drawn in more deeply into events. He brought the suitcase full of cash that he kept safe since the second season in case Annalise needed it to stay afloat and to fund her class action suit, but she turned that down quite firmly. He then met with Laurel and they had sex in his car which came as a surprise. More on that in just a bit.

The flash forward events were built on quite significantly this week. We learn that therapist Isaac Roa, while comforting Michaela at the hospital, declined a call from one Julie Barden, a patient of his, though this was actually Bonnie's alias, likely used because he would have recognized her name from Annalise's sessions. Bonnie, meanwhile, is walking into another crime scene, this time at Caplan & Gold, A large amount of blood is seen on the floor and glass walls of Tegan's office, with a shellshocked Oliver also present, and who Bonnie referred to as a witness.

So Oliver is not the source of the blood, it appears. However we now have a second crime scene in the form of Caplan & Gold as well as Annalise's hotel room. We know Bonnie has been to both, and that Oliver is at Caplan & Gold, but we know of no one else that is at either scene. Laurel, Frank, Isaac and Michaela are at the hospital, and Laurel is still down a baby. Annalise wouldn't pick up her phone when Isaac called her, and Isaac turned down a call from Julie (Bonnie). No one else's whereabouts is known, though Michaela referred to a male possibly being dead, and her bruises could suggest she was at Caplan & Gold and involved at an altercation there.

This is where Frank fits in, to a degree. In next week's episode promo he asks Laurel whether her baby could be his and not Wes's. He is the first one she sees when she wakes up in the season premiere flash forward, and their interactions in this episode in present time suggest they're back together unofficially. If Frank is the baby's father, does that give him a motive to dispose of it, likewise if Wes is the father? It's looking increasingly likely that he is involved in that aspect of events.

The final important detail I want to touch on is Roa's admission to his dictaphone late in the hour where he said that Annalise shutting down when she didn't want to talk about Wes was better for him. I would be willing to bet that Roa has come across Wes previously, though it could just be the name he recognizes, and he may not have ever met him in person. Roa admitted that Wes was a "trigger", which is another powerful indicator to the affirmative.

In all, despite the subplot involving Connor's fathers dragging the episode down a notch or two, everything else featured was enjoyable. Michaela working alongside Annalise was a stroke of genius, the stuff inside the DA's office was full of curious moments, and the further developments seen in the flash forwards and via Roa added to the intrigue for sure. This was another strong episode of How To Get Away With Murder, which got a lot more right than it got wrong.

Thanks as always for reading! As usual, please do share your thoughts on theories on the developments we saw in this episode in the comments below, and I'll see you right back here next week!

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