IR TV Review: HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER – EPISODE 10 (“We’re Not Getting Away With It”) [ABC-S6]

The paranoia of mystery depends how bathed the characters are in guilt versus survival. With the episode “We’re Not Getting Away With It”, “How To Get Away With Murder” uses the aspect of who is smarter. Granted the aspect of people working behind the scenes has always been a part of the game that is being played. The interesting purveyor here is letting the doubt sow while very smartly highlighting Viola Davis as Annalise only briefly. The aspect of her physical change is undeniably (perhaps she was starring in a movie at the same time) but that idealism shift is supposed to reflect the turning of the screw. Everyone in this series has their intentions but most seem on the level save for someone who skirted the edge of hard core ethics and a student that doesn’t seem in his right mind. The best aspects within the redemption inherent in a series is the notion of sacrifice. However that progression needs to mean something. Everyone, as the dominoes fall and people start to try to see sides, comes down to the element of selfishness with glimmers of both hope and betrayal. The important detail in this episode is how many lines in key moments are not answers, not denials but not admittance either. In the course of rebuilding a crime that they are at the center of, the team interestingly enough is disjointed which is the whole point. It is just a matter of what Annalise ultimately actually wants to do.

B

By Tim Wassberg

IR TV Review: STUMPTOWN – EPISODE 18 (“All Hands On Dex”) [ABC]

The last time the “Stumptown” vision undertook this reviewer was the pilot after which I did an interview with the two leads played by Colbie Smulders & Jake Johnson. Through the trajectory of the season, the pace seems like it has been fairly consistent but the season finale “All Hands On Dex” seems to filter in the idea of a little bit more melodrama than would have been expected. The music, which made the first episode of the series so textured, is still there with correct context. The humor itself though seems a little more sparse as if it is just moving the  needle to keep up. Dex, played by Smulders, is trying to uncover a murderer which has been dogging her from earlier in the season. But the character truly seems to have its wings when she is not overly pushing with episodic plot elements.

Granted this is the season finale so it needs to wrap certain elements up. However “Stumptown”, even the one I read in the graphic novel, had more of a “Rockford Files” element to it. The structure of the series always reflects back to family which in certain more bare moments, Dex seems to forget. This is part of the beauty of the character but it has to be balanced in check. Certain scenes bring it back into focus including one set in a church with the perfect music accompaniment. But the more textured one is in the opening scene which reflects more in the subconscious of Dex than anything else. The tenure of the series is based more in reveals but looking at the beginning and the end, it is simply good if the character simply is. Her own life and not her extended drama is enough to make the show effective.

B-

By Tim Wassberg