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'How To Get Away With Murder' Season 1, Episode 4: Let's Get To Scooping

Kelly O'Mara |
October 18, 2014 | 7:52 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

In the history of how we got to our murderous and poorly lit foursome in the woods, we’ve covered Mikaela’s story and Wes’. Last week, in case you missed it, it was Connor’s turn. 

This time, when the four law students and Rebecca are standing in Professor Keating’s office over her husband’s dead body, the odd student out—Asher Millstone—bangs on the door, yelling that he knows they’re in there (isn’t a small part of you relieved that he didn’t also end up dead?). Connor starts losing it. He will proceed to lose it throughout the remainder of the episode.

READ MORE: 'How To Get Away With Murder' Season 1, Episode 3: Smile Or Go To Jail

Flashback seven weeks as we slowly move forward to a less happy time. Connor knocks on his not-boyfriend’s door, and they have one of those classic TV "are we a couple or do we just have crazy sex?" conversations. In his plea-for-therapy way, Connor is a little bit happy with this guy, who he totally just slept with initially for his computer hacking skills. Poor Connor. No one on this show stays happy for long.

In the courtroom, Keating tries to get access to Rebecca’s video confession. She loses (oh, how rare it is for her to lose) and Rebecca’s bail is set at $1 million. As Rebecca's escorted out of the courtroom, Wes begs her to tell him the code to the secret phone she so wisely left in his apartment. But, she just stares blankly at him.

She keeps staring blankly as Keating and Bonnie try to interview her. Professor Keating makes an impassioned plea about not letting them push her into a dark place in her mind—good advice in general—and Rebecca finally says something: “I didn’t do it.” She says she was made to say that. She drops one more big bomb: Wes said that Griffin, the other football star suspect, would try to pin it on her. Keating is more than a little surprised that Wes is giving advice to her client.

In her office, she tells Wes he has to tell her everything. He says there’s nothing else to tell.

What about the secret phone, Wes? What about the secret phone?

While she bans him from participating in the case anymore, Mikaela freaks out about an exam they all have at school. Oh, right, they go to school. Because this is an educational experience. Bonnie and Frank play a game, picking the “shooting star” among the law students. He picks The Prom Queen—Mikaela.

The group then tackles this week’s case. Here’s what you need to know: Marren Trudeau is a high-powered broker being accused of insider trading. Supposedly, she bought a pharmaceutical stock right before it’s price skyrocketed, making a ton of money. She was able to do this with inside information. How does the FBI know? Because she made a video of her and the CEO of the pharmaceutical company have sex on her desk. Of course. 

But, she tells Keating that her trading log-in, which was used to buy the stock, must have been hacked. And, she insists it must have been from outside sources. No one in her company would do this! Are you skeptical? Keating’s skeptical. Keating promises to take care of it before it goes to trial, so it doesn’t ruin the business. That means the law students are sent off to do educational interviewing of all the employees at the company. Because Keating is sure it was an inside set-up. Why? “Because everybody hates their boss.”

While Mikaela keeps freaking out about this off-screen exam, Bonnie tries to get the tape of the confession from the district attorney. She’s sure it’ll show coercion, but she can’t get ahold of the video.

Some fast flashing around happens while the students interview all the employees. The summary is: all the employees swear Marren is great and no one in the company would have done this. 

Marren is pissed at Keating. She swears none of her employees would set her up; they’re her family. Keating is just so cynical, she says. She doesn’t trust anyone! The question of the episode: should she, though? Deep thoughts.

Not to totally imply anything by cutting from Keating not trusting anyone to a shot of her husband headed out the door, but that’s pretty much what happens. Keating tries to get some loving on, but the husband has to go to a work dinner. I don’t think anyone believes he’s really going to a work dinner.

READ MORE: 'How To Get Away With Murder' Season 1, Episode 2: It's All Her Fault

Outside in the husband’s car, Detective Nate is going through his GPS to investigate the suspicious happenings. In case you forgot, we get a flashback of Detective Nate going to Yale to check on the husband’s alibi for the night of Lila Stangaurd’s murder. The husband did not show up for his lecture and took his car out all night. So, where did he go?

Interesting moment when the husband comes out to find Detective Nate standing by his car. Detective Nate says he just saw the light on as he was out for a job; he’s not trying to steal the car, he says.

From another car nearby, Bonnie creepily watches the whole thing.

Back in the present, the fabulous four are driving to get lighter fluid as Connor freaks out. He lists the ways they’re going to get caught: Asher knew they were there, the policeman saw them, the DNA, the fibers from the carpet, street cameras, and, of course, no plan for what happens next.

Seven weeks earlier, Connor follows up on a “lead” in Marren's case. That lead involves sleeping with Marren's hot assistant.

Back at the office, Mikaela tries to steal Laurel’s “outlines” for the exam, which she got from her new special friend at Legal Aid—law students can’t just them call “notes.” Mikaela freaks out and Frank wins the “shooting star” bet. Laurel’s special friend shows up with news that they can raise some money for Rebecca’s bail, but not enough. Frank gets jealous (and annoyed—since they’re working on their own plan for Rebecca) and throws out Laurel’s “boyfriend,” even though they just met like a week ago. What is this, high school?

After sleeping with the assistant, Connor leaves a bug in the room with him just as he gets a phone call. Conveniently, the phone call is the assistant saying explicitly that they set up Maron and that he slept with Connor to keep the lawyers looking down the wrong track. Convenient.

Flashing forward to Cononr in the dark woods, he’s gone a little ax-happy—slashing away at the dead body and laughing.

Seven weeks earlier, he gets his not-boyfriend’s help to track the call that the assistant made. (I’m not even 100% sure how you would do that, even illegally, just from a recording made in the room, not on the phone. But, whatever.) When the not-boyfriend asks about how he got the info, Connor, unsurprisingly, doesn’t say ‘by having sex with the guy.’ 

Bonnie is still trying to get Rebecca’s video confession, this time at the police station. She uses the big guns when she asks the police chief why his detective (Detective Nate) is investigating another lead (the husband), says she saw him doing an illegal car search, and throws in some stuff about him having slept with the suspect’s wife (Professor Keating). You wouldn’t want that to get out to the press, she says. I think she may finally be getting her video.

Keating plays Connor’s tape for Marren. Marren is angry, since she swore this company was her family, and she directs that anger at her assistant. He did it because he just felt like an accessory, serving her, but she tells him she’ll prosecute him, ruin his life, make sure his family that threw him out is ashamed of him. She’s a tad harsh. The assistant can’t handle it. He just wanted his own life. He jumps out a window and dies.

Understandably, Connor doesn’t take this super well. “That’s what a ‘shooting star’ looks like,” says Frank.

READ MORE: 'How To Get Away With Murder' Premier Recap

Marren also doesn’t take it well and Keating sets out trying to figure out who the assistant was calling and who else was in on it. It is determined that it was probably two of her employees, who the law students interviewed earlier. Now, we get a law lesson from Professor Keating: depositions are tricky.

She teaches us this by cutting back and forth from explaining how it’s an art to get someone to say what you want them to say, to her trying to get the two employees to say what she wants them to say. “You don’t ask for the truth. You pull it out of them.” She lies to them and they both confess. Naturally. I would confess anything to Viola Davis. Marren yells at them as they’re arrested and walked out of the office, but Connor still looks unhappy about the role he played in the assistant smashing into the ground.

At the office, they finally see the video confession. Keating asks how she got it, but Bonnie doesn’t tell. I sense that Keating, for all her love of breaking the rules, might not be thrilled with the rules Bonnie broke this time. The video shows Rebecca talking about seeing Griffin on top of Lila and Lila shouting. Then, someone off camera asking her leading questions and she looks at them for the right answer before saying yes or no. Some of this was left out of the written confession. The judge agrees with Keating that it shows coercion and orders Rebecca’s bail dropped to $100,000. Keating’s office will be covering the bond. Rebecca gets to go home!

Back in the present, Connor is losing his mind, having a full-on breakdown. He shows up at the not-boyfriend’s apartment at 4 a.m. crying and hyperventilating, saying over and over, “I screwed up.” Yes, but about what?

Seven weeks earlier, he’s at that same apartment talking about how the assistant just couldn’t handle it. The not-boyfriend, though, is finally listening to the recording of the assistant saying, rather explicitly, that he had sex with Connor. Connor says he shouldn’t take it seriously, that it was nothing, that he actually really likes the not-boyfriend, but the not-boyfriend throws Connor out.

Rebecca comes home to her apartment and Wes is waiting. He tells her he’s not supposed to be talking to her. Why is he then? Because he wants her to tell him what’s on the phone.

Then Keating is looking at the phone and asking Wes why he didn’t tell her about this before. Because he needed Rebecca to trust him. Keating thinks about it and agrees. You’re the only person she trusts, she says, and that’s a big responsibility. Are you up for it? He is. Of course he is. He wants to know if she’s going to use the photos on the phone, but she won’t tell him.

Dramatic music plays as we get a close-up shot of Keating removing her wig, her false eyelashes, and her make-up. She wipes and wipes it all off and looks at what she really looks like in the mirror. It's a metaphor. Also, she actually just needs to get ready for bed. Her husband comes in, talking about the case, and she drops the best shade ever on him: “Why is your penis on a dead girl’s phone?”

Apparently, the phone had Keating's husband's penis pics on it! It was Lila's phone, so she must have been having an affair! Maybe he did kill her! And, Keating recognizes her husband's penis from pictures! All good to know.

Reach Staff Reporter Kelly O'Mara here



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