HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER, S1E3 RECAP: ‘He’s going to pin it on you’


By Lexie Schapitl

The president of the university asks Annalise to represent Griffin O’Reilly in the case of Lila Stanguard’s murder. O’Reilly, after all, is the star quarterback of the football team while Rebecca is “not their concern.” Annalise walks out without giving him an answer, and at this point I realized I think we have yet to see her smile on screen.

The cast of “How to Get Away with Murder,” photo courtesy

The team’s latest client is Paula Murphy: a soccer mom who was arrested for engaging in sexual activity with a stranger in a public park. Keating pulls some strings, the charges are dropped, the incident is cleared from her record so no one will ever know, not even her husband.

As the team walks out of the jail, it looks like Paula Murphy is going to get off scott-free. But that’s boring. So three huge black SUVs circle them and the FBI demands for the arrest of Elena Aguilar.

Elena Aguilar (AKA Paula Murphy) was part of a radical group responsible a 1994 bombing of the World Financial Institute that killed one person, a janitor.  Her fingerprints were found on the pipe bomb when the crime scene was investigated, and she has been wanted ever since.

As far as Keating’s cases go, there is a noticeable pattern. First, the team takes on a seemingly unwinnable case (check).

Then, the team is completely blindsided by an impossible blow. The prosecution calls Gabriel Shaw, the ringleader of the group, to the stand, where he says Paula was the mastermind behind the bombing, not him as he claimed in prison. Turns out the promise of early release by the state’s attorney can be much more convincing than rekindling an old flame.

Next, Annalise tells the students that this is their opportunity to prove themselves and their worth. However, the students don’t get the chance this week. Paula runs away with the newly-released Shaw, leaving her new life and her family behind, and the case is put on permanent hold.

Typically, though, I would say the final step of the process is that the team miraculously comes from behind to win.

Meanwhile, we learn Michaela’s fiancé, Aiden Walker (who has a SERIOUS taste in jewelry, I might add), has a secret of his own. He attended all boys’ boarding school with Connor, and the two had a fling as teenagers. Connor drops cryptic hints the entire episode and is a total ASS about it in the process, and when Michaela finally learns the truth she is justifiably angry.

After Paula has skipped town her cult leader turned lover boy, Annalise tells Michaela to “choose your husband carefully: you’ll only have yourself to blame if it ends badly.”

Michaela ultimately forgives Aiden after he assures her that he is not gay, and that “it was a stupid thing that happened when (he) was a kid, a horny kid.”

Annalise, on the other hand, is still waiting to find out if she chose her husband carefully enough. She has Nate snooping around New Haven, trying to determine whether or not Sam’s alibi for the night Lila was murdered is solid. Sam canceled his lecture at Yale last minute, and his car was missing from its lot the night in question. But when Annalise meets with Nate for the verdict, he tells her the weekend went as planned, and Sam was in his hotel all night.

O’Reilly claims that he was at a frat party the night Lila was killed. Some girls at the party wanted cocaine, so Griffin called Rebecca, everyone got turnt, and the next thing you know Rebecca and Griffin are doing the deed. Then Lila walks in. Lila and Griffin had taken a vow to wait until they were married to have sex, so she is PISSED. She yells at and scratches Griffin, explaining why his DNA was found under her fingernails. Griffin claims that Rebecca, a friend of Lila’s, set him up, texting Lila from Griffin’s phone to make sure they were caught.

Wes creates a fake public defender ID and sneaks into the jail to speak with Rebecca, who turns him away and calls in the guard, exposing him.

When Annalise comes to pick Wes up, Wes tells Annalise that Rebecca needs her. It’s not fair that she is going to take the fall because she’s poor, and has no one fighting for her while Griffin has the world on a string and is going to go free.  At the end of the episode, Annalise announces that she will be representing Rebecca Sutter. She also applauds Wes’s “audacity to speak up for the pawns in this world,” as she awards him the bronze MVP trophy.

However, when the Keating Krew arrives at the jail to meet with their new client, the DA informs them that she has just confessed.

In flash-forwards this week, we learn that our foursome established an alibi by attending the football bonfire. As Connor tells Michaela, they either “smile, or go to jail.” Later, we see that Michaela loses her engagement ring at some point throughout the night. Will this connect our student killers to the crime? Also, will Annalise ever call on any of the other 100 students in her class? We’ll have to wait and see.

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