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How To Get Away With Murder - Do You Think I’m a Bad Man? - Review: "A Decent Improvement"

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The third episode of How To Get Away With Murder's final season was, on the whole, a decent improvement upon a forgettable episode last week. Notably it was more complex, but more importantly it brought the series back to its roots in a couple of ways. "Do You Think I’m a Bad Man?” was written by Daniel Robinson and directed by Catriona McKenzie.

The episode's opening was unexpected, but quite well done. In the classroom, Michaela had taken charge at the blessing of Annalise in a case which involved a woman being prosecuted for a raft of charges related to a robbery and car chase gone wrong which resulted in her husband being shot by police.

Michaela took charge of the class and handed out 20 Pratt dollars per answer on how a charge could be dropped, with Annalise looking on. It was a refreshing way to open the hour, and Michaela was very confident going into court, but the niggling $100k restitution figure got her hung up, with the prosecution making things much more complicated.

The case occupied Michaela, Annalise, and also Asher and Gabriel for the duration of the episode. There was a decent amount of tension between Asher and Gabriel in particular, with Asher consistently siding with Michaela when Gabriel made moves behind her back. Gabriel's court stint was well done, and his mother, Vivian, was watching on from the gallery. What pleased me most was not that, but rather the way Annalise stepped back and let Michaela learn things the hard way. In her first court stint, the prosecution were rapidly dropping their restitution figure, but Michaela pushed too hard and hit a wall, causing the prosecution to upgrade the charge. Annalise saw this coming but didn't object, and let Michaela screw up.

Come watch me slay.
Later, when trying to help Michaela figure out how to get out of the hole she dug herself, Annalise hinted at her husband's death as an inspiration for what to do next. Going after the police with a wrongful death suit was the way to go, and it fortunately worked. So Michaela gets the win with Gabriel and Asher assisting, though all three would have learned a few lessons from the experience.

The minor storyline for Connor, Tegan and Bonnie flowed over from last week's illegal immigrant case. Connor has become far too caught up in it all after his passionate work last week, so he for some stupid reason took the kid, Hector, with him to reunite with his mother. ICE agents promptly caught up with them, putting mom and son in custody. Bonnie got involved, but very nearly got herself in more trouble after not only telling blatant lies, but also trying to pose as her former ADA self. Thankfully it was revealed to everyone that Bonnie got herself fired from the DA's office, so at least that's no longer a secret.

We learned something new about Tegan as a result, however, as she had to call her wife, Cora Duncan, the undersecretary for intelligence and analysis at Homeland Security. Apparently they're in the midst of a divorce, though Tegan seems to be holding out on that. The showrunners wouldn't just reveal Tegan has a wife unless she's going to come into play in a bigger way than she did in this episode, so that's something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.

What is being kept on the down-low in the meantime is Frank's digging into Laurel's whereabouts. He went to Oliver for assistance in tracking down the driver of a taxi that took Laurel to a secluded warehouse. In the hour's closing minutes Frank explored the warehouse, finding an empty crib, but also Xavier Castillo. I'm not a fan at all of the wider Castillo crowd so this was the low point in this episode from my perspective. I'm still holding out little hope that Xavier's involvement is minimal in the overall story, but that doesn't seem likely.

Nate's involvement in this episode was very brief, but potentially quite important. Early on he met with the FBI and tried to point them towards Tegan as a potential player in his father's death thanks to her close ties with the Castillos. He based that on information from Bonnie, who asked Tegan for a job at C&G, but Bonnie couldn't work out how Tegan already knew she had been fired from the DA's office, which suggests Tegan is being kept in the loop on various things by law enforcement - or possibly her wife.

But Nate's most important moment came right before the flash forward, which I'll get to imminently, but the FBI again met with him about his father's death, saying they had evidence the deceased DA Ronald Miller wasn't involved in the death of Nate Lahey Sr as previously thought. In exchange for finding out what that evidence was, Nate was ominously asked for help closing another case - that of Annalise Keating. What that means is anyone's guess, but it's clear that the FBI are looking to turn those who are closest to Annalise in order to take her down.

The flash forward was along the same lines as last week's which featured Michaela being questioned by the FBI. This week, it was Connor's turn, but Connor had a panic attack after being shown a photo. I was pretty disappointed that the flash forwards have revealed so little, but unfortunately that's what's become the norm as the season has aged.

A few odds and ends to cover off. Firstly, Vivian and Annalise had a handful of conversations, though they weren't as heated or insightful as last week. Also, Annalise was back hitting a pillow with the fire iron again. I enjoyed Oliver making Frank squirm when he casually asked him why he picked Laurel for the Keating 5, and also hinted at Frank and Bonnie being an item. And finally, Vivian seemingly bowed out for the time being, but not before giving the box she kept in her apartment to Gabriel. It contained many tapes of therapy sessions from Sam Keating, allowing him to deliver a bombshell to Michaela which was that her presumably deceased father may not be dead after all. That last one was particularly unexpected, but it doesn't change my lack of interest or emotional investment in that part of the story, as I explained in last week's review. A low key highlight was Asher introducing himself to Vivian, in a not so subtle nod to his awkward moment with Connor's mom at the wedding last season.
Asher Millstone, moms love me.
All up, this episode of How To Get Away With Murder was better than last week's by a decent margin. The classroom changeup was refreshing, and Annalise's amended approach to teaching was also good to see. The continuation of last week's case wasn't that necessary, but it kept Connor occupied and allowed Tegan to flex her muscles while revealing more of her background.

Thanks for reading. As always I'd love to hear what you thought of this episode so do share your thoughts and theories in the comments below. See you right back here next week.

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