How To Get Away with Murder Winter Finale: What Did Critics Think?

Reviews Are In For 'Kill Me, Kill Me, Kill Me'

by | November 21, 2014 | Comments

ATTENTION: SOME OF THE QUOTES BELOW CONTAIN SPOILERS

The face of television is ever-changing, and one major difference from years gone by is the addition of the winter finale, an event that can be even more climactic than the season finale, with a promise of answers (or more questions) to cliffhangers that drop before taking just enough time off to drive viewers crazy.

One of the fall’s hottest new shows, How to Get Away With Murder, just aired its first eagerly-awaited winter finale. Critic response is a little mixed, but the overall deduction is that HTGAWM ended its half-season on a high, and a certain amount of implausibility and those pesky flash-forwards won’t cause anyone to flee from Murder.

Here’s what critics have to say about “Kill Me, Kill Me, Kill Me.” Caution: spoilers ahead.

ON THE BIG REVEAL:

Sona Charaipotra, Vulture:
This bit is a mess of chaos and tears and panic attacks, all stuff we’ve [seen] in bits and pieces, so it’s hard to focus. Purposeful? Sure. Annoying? Hell yeah.

Samantha Kaye, TV Equals:
Now, covering up Sam’s death still seems unnecessary to me… I just find it hard to comprehend that these law students couldn’t make a case for their defense. That being said, people tend to hide things when horrible accidents happen, and more importantly, having Annalise complicit in the cover-up raises the stakes.

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, AV Club:
The script includes some clunky explanation of how [the students are] all guilty of felony murder because they were breaking and entering into Sam’s home and he was technically defending himself. But I don’t know how much I buy that.

Alan Sepinwall, Hitfix:
Maybe now that the flash-forwards are done with and we get to watch Annalise get down in the muck with this cover-up, things will be more interesting. Most of what we’ve gotten so far really dragged, though.

Cory Barker, TV.com:
Some of you might be disappointed that the big reveal was actually quite conventional, and I can’t totally blame you. That’s what happens with shows that rely on big mysteries to keep us hooked… But I’d much rather have something more conventional, especially given that the show is only on Episode 9. If things had gotten stupid — or perhaps more stupid — so early, it might’ve been RED ALERT.

Mark Slezak, TV Line:
It’s interesting how pretty much every member of the Keating Four (plus Rebecca) manages to get a hand (or two) dirty on Murder Night.

ON ANNALISE AND SAM’S HIGH OCTANE ARGUMENT:

Sona Charaipotra, Vulture:
This is one of the most blistering implosions of a marriage I’ve scene on TV so far — and perhaps it’s because of the takeaway. Let’s take a minute here to consider: The lowest thing she can call him is a killer. The lowest thing he can call her? A slut. Yep. Score one for ShondaLand.

Samantha Kaye, TV Equals:
Annalise and Sam berating each other. Yikes. That was Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf intense.

Cory Barker, TV.com:
[In] an extremely intense conversation between Annalise and Sam… he spewed some truly hateful stuff in her face — including calling her “just a piece of ass,” “dirty,” and a “slut.”

Michael Slezak, TV Line:
Arrrrrrre you rrrrrrrready for Keating Vs. Keating, clash of the heavyweight marital fighters! Boom! There’s Annalise telling Sam that she cheated, too.

Whitney Evans, TV Fanatic:
The scene was intense, gross and every other horrible thing you could think of. In that moment, it was hard to imagine those two ever being in love.

ON WES AND ANNALISE CONSPIRING WITH EACH OTHER:

Sona Charaipotra, Vulture:
Clearly, Annalise is orchestrating the perfect murder here, as we’ve been suspecting all season, but there are still plenty of mysteries to unravel.

Samantha Kaye, TV Equals:
The whole game has always been between the two of them. The master and the apprentice. Wait, that’s Star Wars.

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, AV Club:
Maybe Wes is doing this all for Annalise and not necessarily Rebecca. Sure, he initially murders Sam to save Rebecca, but the risky cover-up is all to protect Annalise, or the result of Annalise manipulating him. That would at least make a little more sense.

Cory Barker, TV.com:
Annalise finding Sam’s body — and then presumably instructing Wes to wrangle everyone else to clean up the mess before making the call to Sam’s phone to cover her tracks — was a very nice, relatively logical twist to send the show off into 2015.

Whitney Evans, TV Fanatic:
[Annalise] made direct eye contact with Wes and I screamed out loud. I just knew she was in on it!!!!

ON THE ENDING:

Samantha Kaye, TV Equals:
Those last 2 minutes. If it had not been for the last 2 minutes, I would have been greatly disappointed with the fall finale of How To Get Away With Murder. But Annalise Keating is a step ahead of everyone else and made it all worthwhile.

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, AV Club:
Annalise is the one pulling all the strings here, and the episode’s actually well executed twist is this reveal.

Cory Barker, TV.com:
A lot of repetitive filler. That’s okay though, because How to Get Away With Murder had one more trick up its sleeve, one that smartly recontextualized the entire sequence of events again and should send the show into murkier territory come January.

Whitney Evans, TV Fanatic:
Ah, I need to know what happens next and I don’t want to wait!

OTHER TAKEAWAYS:

Sona Charaipotra, Vulture:
We get a sneak peek here into the panic attack [Connor] has after the night of the bonfire — and the lie he tells Oliver in its wake — and I can’t wait to see it come out in round two!

Samantha Kaye, TV Equals:
What skeletons are hiding in Wes’ closet? Even though Annalise probably guided him on what to do, he seemed too composed over the whole situation (granted, so was Laurel). I want more details on his mother’s suicide.

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, AV Club:
Laurel tells Michaela that they all just need to turn their brains off in order to make this cover-up work. Unfortunately, that might be the only way to enjoy How To Get Away With Murder at this point.

Cory Barker, TV.com:
Asher and Bonnie’s sex scene was… awkward. How to Get Away With Murder could do better by both of them.

Alan Sepinwall, Hitfix:
When Davis is on screen… How to Get Away with Murder roars to life as the understandable big hit of the fall season. When Annalise is absent… the show is a slog.

Mark Slezak, TV Line:
Side question: Considering Annalise has had access to premium vanilla and chocolate desserts (yes, I am going full euphemism here) — the kind that burn calories, no less! — how come she’s been so damn somber all season?

Whitney Evans, TV Fanatic:
In the the immortal words of Gwen Stefani, this s— is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

What did YOU think of the winter finale? Sound off in the comments section below!

How to Get Away With Murder is currently Certified Fresh. Click here
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