‘How to Get Away With Murder:’ A Bare Face. Bare Emotions. No Words Required

(Disney ABC Television Group/Flickr/CC license)
(Disney ABC Television Group/Flickr/CC license)
Viola Davis as Annalise Keating on “How to Get Away With Murder.” (Disney ABC Television Group/Flickr/CC license)

Robin Givhan, THE WASHINGTON POST   (The Washington Post)—This week, ABC had been breathlessly warning fans of “How to Get Away with Murder” that the last nine words uttered by actress Viola Davis were going to leave them agog. And while the accusatory question Davis lobbed at her TV husband landed like an ice pick to the heart, it was what Davis’s character, the inscrutable defense attorney Annalise Keating, did rather than what she said that delivered the more powerful and resonant blow. She took off her makeup, removed her wig and laid herself more profoundly bare than if she had stripped naked. “How to Get Away with Murder,” the latest drama produced by Shonda Rhimes, debuted in September. Episode four, which aired Thursday night, continued a story line that had Keating suspicious that her husband Sam was having an affair with a college cheerleader who turned up dead. Sam has a history of philandering so before Keating could sleep at night she turned to a source within the police department — an unreliable source, as it turns out — who assured her that Sam has not been cheating and is thus, probably not a murderer. But in ShondaLand, life is complicated and filled with endless coincidences. And so, Keating is soon defending the lead suspect in the cheerleader’s murder — a bartending, drug-dealing, doe-eyed beauty.  Keating gets hold of the dead girl’s cellphone. And lo, there is her husband’s picture, which sparks the aforementioned last nine words: “Why your penis on a dead girl’s phone?” Davis — as Keating — asks the question flatly, with no emotion in her voice. All the emotion had already been stripped away in a moving, provocative, powerful iteration of a woman’s nightly ritual.   READ MORE ###


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