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How To Get Away With Murder - Whose Blood Is That? - Review: "Lacking Edge"

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How To Get Away With Murder's second episode of its fifth season was very much business as usual in terms of a format and structure we've seen in previous years. It flipped and flopped around at times but one could argue it was worth it in the end. "Whose Blood Is That?" was written by Sarah L. Thompson and directed by Mike Smith.

Annalise's ongoing class action lawsuit provided the platform for the other storylines to work around in this episode. As we've seen in previous seasons, a singular student - this time it was Michaela - won the war of words in the classroom to sit alongside Annalise in court. Long story short, one of Annalise's class action clients was unexpectedly found to be innocent of her murder charge. It took a team effort to bring it all together, with Oliver's assistance proving vital, Michaela with the ideas, and Annalise with the ruthless destruction of a closet white supremacist in the courtroom.

If I'm honest I don't often care much about the case of the week because that's not where the story development occurs. To be fair, however, it provided the opportunity for the man in charge of Caplan & Gold to find his positioning among the characters. Emmett butted heads a couple of times with Annalise, and firmly asserted his seniority over her in a move which I really liked seeing. He turned up to Annalise's class, too. Annalise doesn't like authority figures at the best of times, but Emmett won't be anywhere near as easy for Annalise to shift aside or manipulate. Good stuff here.

Also developing at breakneck speed is Gabriel. He confirmed he has a decent moral compass during the lead-up to the class action case, but more interestingly, Frank effectively befriended him by challenging him at basketball. When cloning his phone was unsuccessful, Frank befriended Gabriel's roommate in a more intimate way, then paid her to kick Gabriel out. The timing couldn't be better because Frank moved out of his and Laurel's old place and offered it to Gabriel. The catch is it comes with complimentary hidden cameras which Frank is keeping a very close eye on.

Asher's presence in this episode was limited slightly, but that time was used to great effect. Firstly, following in Bonnie's footsteps, he approached interim DA Miller to ask for a job. Bonnie was present at the time and had a helping hand bouncing him out the door. Asher persisted, however, and after reading the speech Miller was preparing for his application to become the permanent DA, he suggested a few changes which saw him finally land a job. Later, while looking for Frank, he found Gabriel just as he was moving into Frank's old place, making him the first student to maybe get an inkling something fishy may be going on.

Stop being an entitled millennial and go find your own job.
It was interesting to see how Bonnie's attitude to Miller swung in this episode compared to last week's premiere. Last week we saw Bonnie confess that getting close to Miller was a ploy to find out what information Denver had in the files he had on her and the others, but there wasn't any mention of that at all last night. The two kissed and slept together in his office, and at their dinner date later in the episode Bonnie poured her heart out to Annalise concerning why she liked Miller. I don't really know what to think of all this, other than to say Miller will put a foot wrong at some point and Bonnie may temporarily refocus on her initial goal. Whatever happens will be interesting to watch unfold.

Kept relatively quiet were Oliver, Connor and Laurel. Laurel's major battle in this episode was finding daycare for Christopher, which she managed to pull off after having tried Oliver, who handed him off to Frank. I was momentarily concerned that Laurel's parents would become a central part of this season's storyline, but thankfully Laurel used her parents and a veiled threat to leverage a disgusted Tegan into allowing Christopher into the Caplan & Gold daycare.
Mothers who have a whole lot less than you figure out childcare, so figure it out. be a mom.
Of all the characters, Nate is a specialist at flying under the radar, and he did just that in this episode. Though Frank is keeping an eye on Gabriel in person and via surveillance, Nate is doing the real digging. His girlfriend came through with more information, and by following up with the missing childrens organization he found out that Gabriel was abandoned at a hospital as a baby and then kidnapped two days later by what looked distinctly like Bonnie according to a shot from a security camera. Better still, he needed Miller's signature to access the files on the case, which he cleverly obtained by giving the form to Miller along with several others at once.

This all seems a bit too easy for Nate so there's bound to be a significant roadblock or twist coming his way. Though they don't know it yet, it's a race between Frank and Nate for who can get to the truth first.

In last week's premiere review I commended the innovation in the trademark flash forward format, which was shot from first person perspective. Sadly, last night this didn't occur, and instead we saw Bonnie hurrying away from where her victim lay, carrying Christopher with her. In a bathroom, Michaela bursts in suddenly asking if Bonnie had talked to Nate, and why she hadn't been answering her phone. Bonnie replied that she hadn't talked to Nate, and that Christopher had had an accident which explained why she didn't answer her phone. Then Laurel burst in, was immediately fixated by Christopher, and took him away with her, not noticing the long streak of blood on Bonnie's leg, unlike Michaela who immediately asked Bonnie who it belonged to.

While the flash forward wasn't first person as hoped, it took place after last week's one and did confirm two characters were safe instead of the usual one, with a third in the form of Nate up in the air. We may well see the pool of possible victims reduced more quickly than usual this season, however it's worth noting there's more characters to begin with so doubling up would make sense.

Worth mentioning is momentarily before Michaela burst in, Bonnie was cleaning the baby's face and just about to unwrap him. I think Bonnie may have hidden something in the baby's blanket and was just about to retrieve it, or she hadn't quite finished cleaning the evidence of the baby's encounter with the snow. Laurel has now removed that opportunity. It's likely I'm wrong but it did seem strange. With no other supplies with her, a diaper change isn't what Bonnie had in mind.

All up, I expected this episode to pack more of a punch than it did, even though there were a lot of good things happening. It was missing that edge and x-factor that makes a good episode of How To Get Away With Murder truly great. It's early days, however, and there's no doubt plenty more to come in the coming weeks,.

That's it from me for this week. Thanks as always for reading, and make sure you let me know what you thought of the episode in the comments below. See you right back here next week.

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