How To Get Away With Murder: Episode Two

A solid, if not terribly exciting second episode of a promising new series.  We got a little more character development from our intrepid group of law students, and a good indication of the kind of balance that will exist this season between the flashforwards, the “story of the week,” and more info on the overarching murder mystery of Lila Stangard.  Unfortuntately for my viewing entertainment, there was less time spent in the courtroom than the premiere, which meant less of an opportunity to make ridiculous legal mistakes.

This episode’s “story of the week” dealt with a rich man who allegedly murdered his wife.  We learn about the crime in a rather disturbing reenaction — the defendant climbs onto a blood-splattered bed with Connor and repeatedly “stabs” the young (unfairly attractive) student with a pen in the chest.  It’s a bizarre mix of erotic and macabre — which I suppose fits in well with the show.

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That would be the creeper, and his equally creepy, Stepford daughter

Anyway, enough idle chitchat, and on to the fun part: aka, How To Get Yourself Fired!

1. Call a character witness.  You learn early on in law school that there are really only two reasons to ever call a character witness (and, indeed, most rules of procedure only permit two instances of character witnesses): to testify to someone’s truthfulness, or to testify to someone’s peaceful/aggressive nature.  It appears that Annalise’s character witness is there to testify to neither of these things: she calls the defendant’s daughter, who appears to just testify that “no, he wouldn’t do that.”  That alone, however, is not the big no-no — I’ll give the show the benefit of the doubt and assume that the daughter testifies to more than we see.  The big no-no?  Your character witness had better know every shady thing about the defendant’s past, because the first thing the prosecution is going to do is stand up and promptly ask “did you know that the defendant did ‘A.’  That’s not going to go well for you if the defendant is asked “did you know that your father murdered your mother?” Ouch, Annalise.

working-together-how-to-get-away-with-murder-s1e2

Gratuitous Jack Falahee shot — and the IT guy that he is using to hack into facebook, apparently.

2. Expose your defendant to further prosecutions for brand new crimes. The brilliant Annalise Keating calls the defendant to the stand and asks him if he murdered his first wife.  He admits to the prior murder. Annalise promptly informs the judge that she didn’t give her client bad advice in confessing to the first murder — he was already acquitted of the crime, so Double Jeopardy will prevent him from being prosecuted for it again. The problem?  He was acquitted in a foreign jurisdiction — double jeopardy only applies within one sovereign.  The federal government can’t do a dual prosecution — but there’s nothing preventing a state from prosecuting someone acquitted in federal court, or the other way around.   You better believe the same rule applies to other countries.

Point two : Let’s hope that the defendant didn’t testify in the initial trial — if he did, he’ll have a perjury case on his hands as well.

That’s it for the massive gaffes, at least the ones I noticed — feel free to sound off in the comments, if there were more.  On to what the show got right!

1. Gunners. Every law school has them.  What’s great is that we can already tell what KIND of gunners these lovely little students are.  There’s Michaela — the hand up to answer every question gunner.  There’s Connor — you just know he’s the guy sitting there with a smirk, who won’t raise his until at least two people have already gotten the answer WRONG, kind of gunner.  And Asher is such a douche that I imagine he’s the “I’m going to ask a hypothetical when there is only a minute left of class” gunner.

HTGAWM-s1e2This photo is a fake.  I refuse to believe that any law school in America, even an Ivy, has this many raised hand at any point.

Actually, that’s about it for me this week.  It was an enjoyable episode, but not as great and interesting as the pilot.  Here’s hoping that it picks up in the third week.

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About splashfromabove

I believe firmly that through reflection, we gain in appreciation. My blog is all about taking a step back from what I read, view, or discover, and looking at it slightly askance.
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