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How To Get Away With Murder - Be the Martyr - Review: "The Quality Continues"

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How To Get Away With Murder's eleventh episode of its fifth season now marks a trio of very good episodes that have aired during this new year. The Miller storyline was moved forward with good effect, and subplots relating to Caplan & Gold, and Bonnie's mental spiral, added more to the hour than I expected. "Be the Martyr" was written by Matthew Cruz and directed by Alrick Riley.

Nate was the most prominent character in this hour, and I really enjoyed his stint on screen. He made a couple of critical breakthroughs which pave the way for justice for his father, while also ensuring he isn't seen as a suspect in the Miller disappearance. Using his old contacts and good old fashioned detective work, he figured out that evidence the jury had been presented at his father's trial was doctored, and given to the jury by Miller, therefore laying the groundwork for a case against the state for the Lahey Sr. murder. With Miller being implicated at that level, it also gives the Governor the motive for involvement in his disappearance. That, we know, is completely untrue, but it might just work. More on this a little later.

While it was essentially filler, Emmett and Annalise became involved in a case which impacted the former because it involved a former client of his, Nora, that he fell in love with, and which led to the troubles he's in with the Caplan & Gold top brass. I didn't pay too much attention to what happened, but in the end it worked out well for Emmett and Nora. While I don't think we will see much of Nora again, what this little stint did do is clear Emmett's name somewhat, and along with improving the working relationship he has with Annalise, it will likely also give Emmett more pulling power, which I sense will be needed in the not too distant future.

Tegan also saw reasonable screen time too, and though it was also filler, it was somewhat enjoyable. We learned not long ago that Tegan has the hots for Annalise, but this episode didn't allow the brief moment the pair had together to develop any more of a cringe factor than was necessary. Thankfully, Tegan was spending the majority of her time ordering the students to pursue her Lahey civil case, and urging them to contact Nate themselves to get his approval to proceed. Eventually, this approval didn't come, with Annalise also shooting Tegan's attempt at resurrection down because it would have waived a trial in which the state could be found guilty for their part in Lahey Sr's death. All of that hassle for nothing, it would seem.

You know the times when I’ve gotten in the most trouble? I don’t put me first.
The students, meanwhile, had their own problems to solve. Laurel was distraught that Christopher may have witnessed the Miller murder and would be scarred for life. Michaela finally brought about some reassurance by revealing to Laurel that she was in the same room that her birth mother was shot in, and despite being 2 years old - much older than Christopher - she remembers nothing and is absolutely fine. Michaela could very well be lying in order to shut Laurel up, but if true, that's a rather unexpected piece of Michaela history.

Asher took things the hardest between him, Connor and Oliver. Initially, he was ordered to check in on Bonnie at work, but Bonnie saw right through that. The FBI were lurking about and questioned Nate and Gabriel about the voicemail he left Miller, and in a surprising twist in the dying seconds of the hour, Gabriel called him from prison. Not much earlier, Gabriel responded to a loud knock on the door, and was in the process of destroying whatever he had on a hard drive hidden in the fireplace. Good thing Frank has a copy of that information should it be needed later. What we don't know is whether the FBI arrested Gabriel, or whether another police or enforcement agency did so. In the phone call he makes to Annalise, Gabriel asked her to be his lawyer. That should be rather interesting.

Bonnie and Frank's journey was rather haunting in this episode. We've seen Bonnie push through some low points in her life both in flashbacks and present day, but it would seem she was at her lowest in this episode. It got to the point where she was ready to commit suicide, and was part way through the act when Frank turned up to rescue her. He hadn't featured at all in the hour up to that point, and the moment he arrived likened him to a knight in shining armor. They've been through a lot as individuals and as colleagues, and something about this moment seemed right. There were several more heart-in-mouth moments later on when Frank couldn't find Bonnie and assumed she'd had another attempt at taking her life, but instead he found her in his bed, not wanting to spend the night alone.

Before I get back to the Lahey storyline, it's worth addressing Tegan's ulterior motive, which came out of nowhere and took my by surprise. She knows one of the lead FBI agents, and from what little we heard on a voicemail Tegan left to her, it appears Tegan is a mole. This is pretty important because while Tegan hasn't witnessed anything specific that can be used to harm Annalise or her students, she is smart, and she's put the pieces together regarding Miller's disappearance, and could provide an independent perspective to the FBI, therefore preventing them from pursuing the Governor as Nate would like. This is definitely a space to watch.
I ain’t the bad guy here. He is.
Back to the Lahey storyline now. I think most would, with little doubt, believe that the Governor is going to be involved in the climax as we close in on the season finale. Nate and Bonnie - and everyone else by association - are depending on the Governor being implicated in Lahey Sr's death in order for them to stand a chance at being passed over as responsible for the disappearance of Miller. The big break in this episode was the DNA evidence Nate found supported this, but everything connecting the Governor is effectively circumstantial. The best way that can be changed is if Miller's body is discovered, and it points toward the Governor somehow. Given we haven't even seen how Nate disposed of the body, there is still time for a major twist here in the three episodes left before the season finale.

The bear has been poked once, and Annalise wants to kill it, but how she intends to do that is still very much unknown.

In all, it's good to see that the back half of this season of HTGAWM continues to outclass the front half. This episode managed to make its filler content quite watchable, and with some movement for Tegan and Emmett in particular, we could be looking at a showdown between them given they now sit either side of Annalise. The students didn't have a significant amount to do, but Gabriel being arrested will change that, as will the knowledge that Annalise will represent him. The content between Frank and Bonnie was also quite well done, and suited their characters in a way that I can't really put into words.

That's all for this week. Thanks as always for reading - make sure you share your own thoughts and theories on this episode in the comments below. See you right back here next week.

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