‘HTGAWM’ S3 Premiere: Burnin’ Down the House!

How does HTGAWM rebuild after a chaotic Season 2? Joey Moser has the answer.

It’s not unknown that I was a fan of the first season of ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder. It was the drama I most looked forward to every week, and every twist and turn led it to become a hot media sensation. The second season didn’t necessarily misstep as much as it fell down the stairs. There were so many plots going on at one time that it was hard for even the most murderous and attentive law student to keep up. So what does that mean for Season 3? The end of HTGAWM‘s second season delivered some shocks, so the majority of the newest hour lets the waters calm… You know, before pushing the audience over a cliff to see who dies at the end of the year.

Despite finding out that Frank is responsible for the death of Annalise’s baby and Wes seeing his biological father get shot right in front of him at the end of the sophomore season, the first episode of the third season is relatively calm…in the beginning.

The premiere should just be titled “How I Spend My Summer Vacation Away From All the Murder” because it shows the Keating 5 actually trying to enjoy their summer vacation. Annalise even gets to pop in and out of everyone’s flashbacks because they literally can’t escape her. I wonder if any of the other law professors feel slighted that no students hang out with them. Laurel is spending her time in Mexico with her mom to try and forget that Frank left without a trace. Wes has a new girlfriend, but he hasn’t introduced her to the group (who could blame that poor long-necked bastard). Annalise helps Michaela out of a drunk driving ticket and it’s not clear whether she was drunk because of all the bloody mayhem or because she feels icky for sleeping with Asher. Can we have a show of hands for officially calling them Masher, by the way?

(Photo: ABC)

Since everyone is too busy covering up murders and not studying, Annalise’s brood fell into the bottom 10th percentile leading the school to rearrange her teaching schedule. She won’t be purring the title of the show to a new group of fresh-faced students any time soon. Annalise has always been a very respected professor, and it doesn’t help that someone is hanging up fliers with her face on them emblazoned with the word KILLER (“At least they picked a good photo,” she tells everyone).

Is the start of the third season enough to bring stragglers back into the HTGAWM fray? While this episode focuses on the group putting the pieces back together, it does feature some Shondaland goodies. Frank shaves his beard and head off to prove that he is ridiculously good looking without a hair on his head, and Asher and Michaela continue their torrid trysts. It also doesn’t hurt that Billy Brown (who plays Viola Davis’ beau, Nate) does most of his scenes shirtless. There are, of course, the final few moments that make you go crazy. Spoilers abound.

HTGAWM is known for twisting the knife, and this was no exception. We flash forward to Annalise watching a body bag being rolled out of her house, and then she turns to see her house engulfed in flames as she screams into the night. The promos promise us that someone will die, and every episode will declare a different person safe each week. Perhaps this type of central mystery will calm the show’s ADD. Annalise’s reaction to whoever was in the body bag hints that it could be Nate or Wes, but my money is on Oliver. They spend a lot of time in this premiere talking about how he’s getting closer to the core of the group, and Annalise essentially doesn’t want to ruin him. Will getting closer lead to this good guy’s demise? You can never be too sure with HTGAWM.

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