The Coincidental Critic

Exploring the art of storytelling.

Behind Closed Doors (SPOILERS)


Just like last season, each episode of “How to Get Away with Murder” starts at the future murder scene– the one where Annalise is on the ground, bleeding.  And each episode, we move further passed this scene, discovering a bit more about the characters’ future predicaments.

In the beginning of “It’s Called the Octopus,” a drunk Annalise tried to figure out how to best defend Catherine and Caleb.  As soon as she lied in bed after a long nights work, she heard a noise downstairs.  Immediately, Annalise searched the house.  Eventually, she went down into the basement.  There she clutched her face in fright.  In the next scene, Wes showed up at Annalise’s front door, and she led him down to the basement.  She apologized for calling Wes in the middle of the night and mentioned that she would usually call Frank for a job like this.  Wes said that whatever had frightened Annalise was suffering and he had to take it out of its misery.  That’s when we were finally shown that there was a mouse stuck in a mousetrap.  Why would Annalise call her student in the middle of the night to have him take care of a trapped mouse?  She couldn’t do it herself?  She couldn’t wait until morning when both Wes and Frank would already be at her house anyways?  I understand that Annalise makes odd requests and seems to have a thing for Wes, but this seemed a bit too extreme.

The best dialogue in “It’s Called the Octopus” was when the students tried to persuade Tanya’s sex club members to testify on her behalf.  Each student was assigned to a member.  For this scene, director, John Terlesky, shuffled between the students.  This caused dialogue from one character to be cut off and continued with a separate character.  The dialogue was expertly written and filled with sexual innuendos.  It really tied the scene together and added to the sexual theme of the episode.

After winning her case, Tanya invited Annalise to one of her sex parties.  Annalise picked up the invitation.  Next, we were shown images of Annalise trying on dresses.  Finally, she picked a black one and headed out for the night.  The next time we saw her, she was knocking on a door and surprisingly, Nate opened it.  I thought Annalise was going to go to the sex party, but instead she dressed up to try to apologize with Nate.  The creative team did a great job in tricking us.

Twice, director, Terlesky, used an interesting shot.  It was of a closed door viewed in the middle of the screen, perpendicular to the audience, with characters on either side of the door.  It was a physical barrier between the characters.  They were close, but not on the same side.  The first time we saw this was towards the beginning of the episode, after Wes assisted Annalise in killing the mouse.  He left her house and stood outside.  Both Annalise and Wes stood there for a few seconds, the closed door between them.  We saw a similar scene at the end of the episode.  After Annalise went to Nate’s apartment, he told her that he needed more time.  He closed the door, and then we were shown a shot of Nate and Annalise on either side of the door.  I thought that it was interesting that these two scenes paralleled each other, especially considering Annalise’s unorthodox relationship with both men.

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