TV Review: How to Get Away with Murder (2×05) “Meet Bonnie”

MATT MCGORRY, VIOLA DAVIS

Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of “How to Get Away with Murder.” To catch up on previous coverage, click here.

One of the greater flaws that How to Get Away with Murder has carried with them for the past season is that we still know so very little about our characters, which can sometimes make their motives and actions hard to understand. We know that Laurel comes from an expansive family, of whom she can’t stand, that Wes’s mother committed suicide, and that Michaela up until an episode ago had never reached an orgasm. We can tell that Connor is starting to crack from the pressure, quicker than the rest, but there’s no real reasoning for why he would be the one to. Bonnie and Frank follow Annalise around and do their bidding (Frank killed Lyla on Sam’s command and we still don’t know why he’d be compelled to follow that order so easily.) Even Annalise is still largely a mystery, despite spending more time with her than any other character. This makes this week so much more gratifying when we finally learn more about Bonnie, what makes her tick, her loyalty to Annalise, even if that truth is horrifying in its reveal.

“Meet Bonnie” is a crazy episode of television, not too surprising considering the show it’s on, but there are so many twists and turns throughout the hour that it’s not unfathomable to think that someone might be confused by the episode’s end.  The real intrigue of the episode stems from when Connor, Wes, Laurel and Michaela learn that Asher, dumb frat boy Asher, knows something, and has made a plea deal to testify against Annalise in the case over Sam’s murder. What they don’t know (at the start) is that Bonnie told Asher that it was her, that Sam made unwanted and forceful advances and that she feared for her safety and took action. Her plan is that their relationship will sway Asher’s want to testify against them, something that turns into a damning plan.

I loved watching the four Keating students begin to unravel from their own paranoia, especially since they all seem to think they have an edge on Annalise, just before she, Frank and Bonnie reveal they’ve been five steps ahead the entire time.  Frank’s ability to screw over Eggs and Wes at the end, setting Eggs up for the drug bust in the meantime is brilliant and is how the character should be used, even if the characters approach of the storage room where they believed Rebecca’s body was was well executed. Instead they find a suitcase full of money, and the wavering trust they all had in Wes continues to falter as he once again leads them to a dead end. I’m glad that they’re finally beginning to catch on just how much Wes has screwed them all over and how Annalise’s preferential treatment of him could put them in dangerous positions in the future, even if she keeps saying that she’s protecting all of them.

Connor’s proposition for an orgy between all four of them might have been my favorite moment however, along with my biggest letdown when it didn’t actually happen.

What an episode that would have been!

We also get a little bit of Oliver and Connor this week after the former sat the episode out in “Skanks Get Shanked” and they continue to be the ONLY romantic relationship I give a damn about, and the chemistry between Jack Falahee and Conrad Ricamora has grown into something so sweet, that we both feel for Connor’s tired “I love you” to Oliver, as well as feel a spike of panic when in court the judge asks where the information came from, which could jeopardize Oliver’s freedom.

Speaking of romance, I can’t say with a straight face that I’ve ever been terribly interested in the Bonnie and Asher subplot and, to be frank, it has always seemed like a useless storyline, with neither character being as interesting as the others on the show. However, the two are the main driving force of the episode this week as Annalise tries to clean up Bonnie’s mess by speaking to Asher’s morality. We still don’t know what he did that he could be blackmailed for, but hopefully it’s something tame enough that we won’t find him hypocritical of his judgment by the time of the reveal. Annalise gets a great lecture in by telling Asher that he couldn’t possibly know the fear that Bonnie felt, being a white, straight and privileged male, and How to Get Away with Murder continues to subvert expectations in television and primetime drama by busting out messages like this. She ends the episode with the most shocking reveal however, when he tells Bonnie that he’s going to admit to everything she told him, when she shows him that Bonnie was sexually abused when she was a child by her own father.

It’s a an absolutely sickening reveal, and one that tells us so much more about the character and how she behaves, especially her reliance on Annalise and the belief that she owes her. Despite my disconnect with the Bonnie and Asher storyline, both Liza Weil and Matt McGorry do some fantastic work this week. Weil is particularly moving as she calls Annalise from her call, completely broken down from being unable to convince Asher, sounding small and fragile as if she’s afraid of being reprimanded. McGorry’s scene with his father after learning that he was protecting himself over his son is equally as strong, and makes it all the more frustrating that McGorry is so often saddled with the broad humor on the show when he could likely be handling some bigger and hopefully more interesting storylines.

The flash-forwards continue to be a little confusing but at the very least now we know that Asher is somehow involved, and that Bonnie needs to clean blood off of her shirt in a bathroom stall. So…is my guess of Bonnie being the culprit going to be right?

8/10

She is a 23 year old in Boston MA. She is hugely passionate about film, television and writing. Along with theyoungfolks, she also is a contributor over at TheMarySue.com . You can contact her on Twitter (@AllysonAJ) or via email: allyson@theyoungfolks.com.