Boob(s On Your) Tube: “How To Get Away With Murder”‘s Lady Gays Are Here To Stay

It’s a holiday week here in the United States of America, so there’s not much happening on the teevee. Luckily, I’ve saved up my feelings about How to Get Away With Murder; we’ve got plenty to discuss there! I’m also almost finished with a standalone piece about Princess Bubblegum and Marceline’s trajectories on this season of Adventure Time. Maybe I’ll have it done for you by tomorrow! They’re making my heart boom-boom more than ever! Until then…


Jane the Virgin

Mondays on The CW at 9:00 p.m.

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Expect more, pay less, am I right?

It’s almost mid season finale time on Jane the Virgin, which means even more zigs and zags and reverse-zigs and triple-double-backflip-zags than normal are surely on the way — but first, a Target commercial! I’m not gonna complain too much; product placement is a way of life now and it’s not like I sit through commercials and should therefore be exempt from watching commercials inside my shows. Holy moly, though, this week the entire Villanueva family and Rafael and Michael go into a literal Target store and walk around in slow motion and hang out in the Christmas decorations section to talk about their love business. It’s a lot. Jamal Lyon’s over there at the snack bar encouraging you to have a Pepsi.

It’s a pretty slow week by JtV‘s normal standard: Jane and Rafael finally go on that date, after Jane screens a hundred thousand babysitters; Jane chooses an MFA adviser and surprisingly it’s her professor who’s an asshole but who also inevitably is going to be her love interest; Xo writes a song for Rogelio’s new TV show but ends up selling it to Rogelio’s nemesis; Michael goes to Nadine’s funeral and reveals that he’s actually been working undercover since we saw him get fired; Petra and her mom completely Weekend At Bernie’s Milos’ henchman that Magda hooked to death, a thing that causes her to self-sabotage her new friendship with Jane; and, mercifully, Jane’s new grad school BFF publishes his expose on the Solano family, so that storyline won’t drag on.

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Maybe she was holding her breath and an elderly witch from Ravenswood pulled her from her grave.

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The main takeaway from the expose is that Luisa’s mother is probably still alive and also is the crime lord Mutter. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s two of Luisa’s mother figures who turned out to be criminal masterminds, one of whom was also her lover. A Sin Rostro vs. Mutter showdown at the end of the season might honestly drive Luisa to her ashram, never to return to Miami. I hope not! In the meantime, I expect to see a lot more of her in the back half of the season.


How to Get Away With Murder

Thursdays on ABC at 10:00 p.m.

I might not be Luna, but I still know how to love good.

Okay, kittens, put on your murder mittens, it’s time to talk about what the actual fuck is happening on HTGAWM. I feel like a lot of you read this column to keep up with queer characters on shows you don’t actually watch, and if that’s the case here, I am inadequate to the task of explaining it to you. HTGAWM isn’t really linear storytelling; it’s a lot of flashforwards and flashbacks to every main character constantly doing murder and getting murdered, and this season we’re building toward answering the mystery of Who Shot Annalise? See, because a lot of the flashforwards involve her writhing around on the ground and bleeding from her gut. We do find that out, we do, in the midseason finale, but hang on before I tell you.

You remember Eve, right? She and Annalise were gal pals and then Annalise married her terrible husband and then she had him murdered (and got away with it) and then Eve came back to town making love eyes and doing lawyer talk and defending Annalise’s kinda-boyfriend, Nate, and then having mad excellent TV sex with Annalise and then inviting her to move to New York and live with her and scissor and do lawyering together. Annalise declined, and so Eve bounced. Well! But Annalise bebops on up to NYC a few episodes later to ask Eve to come back to D.C. to defend Nate, and Annalise says yes (because Annalise has more charm than any Slytherin you’ve ever seen or heard of in your entire life and everyone says yes to her whims). Eve gets Nate out of trouble, la la who cares, but the main thing is that Eve meets Wes, okay, and no one really knows what Annalise’s deal is with Wes, but it’s weird as butt. Like is she his mom? Does she want to bone him? Seriously, what’s the deal?

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If I found the Room of Requirement, you’d be the only thing in it.

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You’re just trying to open my Chamber of Secrets.

So when Eve meets Wes, Annalise goes, “It’s him.” And Eve goes, “You’re a good person.”

And then they have sex some more. Eve says she’s not really expecting anything more than some rolicking good times in the sack, but she doesn’t really mean that and Annalise knows; she says she would very much like to give Eve what she wants, and she does mean it, but Eve knows she’s never going to be able to follow through with it.

Okay and this whole time, in the future, Annalise is dying dying dying on the floor. Who shoots her? Well, it’s Wes. She needs someone to do it, to put a bullet in her leg because she’s trying to set up one of her clients, but no one will actually pull the trigger, so finally she goads Wes into doing it by calling him a moron and saying a whole bunch of stuff about his dead ex-girlfriend. He shoots her then, but not in the leg. He shoots her in the gut!

Flashback. Little Wes is at the police station talking about how his mom killed herself, and watching from behind the one-way glass is Annalise. And also Eve.

I do not know, murder kittens. I do not know.

On the upside, Eve is so crucial to the big questions that she’s surely here to stay!

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior writer who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 1059 articles for us.

14 Comments

  1. In other sort of gay tv news, Doctor Who once again alluded to Clara possibly being bisexual in this week’s episode. But, ***SPOILER*** whatever her feelings for Jane Austin really are is now a mute issue because this ended up being Clara’s final episode. Whovians knew Jenna Coleman was leaving so that wasn’t a surprise. I just wish they wouldn’t have teased us with that bit of information knowing they weren’t ever going to be able to explore that indepth anyway.

  2. Okay, so my personal theory about Eve, Annalise, and Wes:

    As law students, Eve and Annalise worked for one of their professors (in much the same way as the Keating Five now work for Annalise). One of their clients is an abusive asshole who has been charged with some form of assault against the mother of his child, and Eve and Annalise help to keep this guy out of prison even though they know he is guilty. As a result of this guy NOT going to prison, the mother of his child kills herself, leaving her child (Wes/Christophe) all alone. Feeling extremely guilty about how they have fucked up this kids life, Annalise anonymously sponsors him, and pays his way through college and law school.

    Thoughts?

  3. Heather, sorry for messing with your Boob(s On Your) Tube, but I needed a happy place for sharing this gem…

    Probably everybody will recognize the footage from this video because it belongs to Paper Ring’s Great Escape, but here we go, a nice little cover from Adele’s Hello

  4. Can I just say, I am so all about the “Murder Girlfriends” on HTGAWM!!!!!

    (I actually don’t know if that is their “ship name”… or if they even have a ship name because both actresses are in their 50s, and do adults even do that sort of thing? Anyway, back on subject..)

    I have become obsessed with them. I love that Annalise is 50 years old, that she’s black, that she’s darker skinned, that she’s queer, and she’s a LEAD CHARACTER ON ABC’S 3RD HIGHEST RATED DRAMA! That in and of itself is mind blowing. That she’s played by Viola Davis in a history making award performance is nearly unfathomable.

    But here is the topping on the cake about Annalise for me, she’s completely unlikeable! She’s an anti-hero. She’s Tony Soprano. She’s Don Draper. She’s the dude from Breaking Bad. She’s House.

    And that isn’t supposed to happen, you know? Women, and particularly black women, and even more so older black women- they are supposed to be likable. They are supposed to be maternal and care giving and wise. They aren’t supposed to be twisted and dark and conniving and selfish. Annalise is no one’s martyr- and I thank the goddesses for that.

    Here’s my thing about Eve- She’s the only person we have seen who makes the darkest parts of Annalise smile. She warms her. You can tell that Eve was Annalise’s safe space once before, and she’s opening her up to that again. There is something, in the middle of all the murder and chaos, that is deeply sweet and almost romantic about them. That even the darkest of Slytherins should have a place to call home. You know?

    Also, their chemistry on screen is off the charts! It’s a 5 alarm fire whenever they look at each other, hold hands, or share a laugh, let alone the sex scenes (which, as Heather pointed out, is some mighty fine TV sex).

    I’m not even in the age bracket of these actresses/characters, but I just love what they are doing so much. It feels grown up. Viola Davis and Framke Jameson are doing some A+ acting here.

    OK, my love letter to team #MurderGirlfriends aside, here’s my theory about Wes:

    I think that for some reason, and I don’t know what yet, the girlfriends blackmailed his mom. And that she couldn’t take the blackmail, so she killed herself. And the guilt of that case is what broke Annalise and Eve up, sending Annalise into the arms of her former therapist/ now dead a**hole husband. Eve mentioned in one of her earlier episodes that she hadn’t spoken to Annalise since a federal case they shared 10 years prior- I think it’s safe to assume that Wes’ mom was that case.

    Whew. That was a super, super long post. I’ve been holding these feelings in for weeks, yall! Had to let it out. Thanks for the catch up, Heather!

  5. I really hope Jane’s professor does not wind up being a love interest. That just sounds disastrous and not a good plot direction. (Also as someone currently applying to grad programs in hopes of getting a second master’s I do not want any drama complicating anyone’s grad school goals.)

    Also the Target commercial could have been better integrated into the plot, like when Jane and Rafael had their romantic excursion there last season.

    • I hope so too, Jane is a strong independent woman, another guy in the mix won’t help IMHO. Even if that guy is one of the guys of Magic Mike LOL And I hope her friendship with Petra will be fixed! I feel like Petra needs a break haha

  6. A few thoughts on Jane the Virgin:

    1. This episode was a disappointing entry in an otherwise stellar second season. The Target infomercial would’ve been fine if they’d gone for it…like putting the Villanueva women in a grudge match for Black Friday deals..instead, all we got is Jane staring wistfully at Michael. Don’t the writers know that you can’t just go around invoking Coach Taylor and then not bring it? Ugh, what a disappointment.

    2. Obviously, they’re setting the stage for Jane and her adviser to develop feelings for each other…and while I’m happy that we’ll finally get a break from Michael and Rafael, why hasn’t it occurred to the writers that Jane could just be by herself for a while? So much of the show is rooted in a deep and unapologetic feminism, that it’s frustrating to watch Jane jump from one relationship to the next, as if she needs that.

    Also? It’s weird to think about Jane and Cookie Lyon hooking up with the same guy.

    3. I’m really disappointed that they’ve stymied the friendship between Petra and Jane…I really want to see them develop some sort of kinship.

    —-

    I love Eve and Annalise together. I can’t recall a pairing that I’ve loved nearly as much as them (for all the reasons C.P. mentioned)…

    And, it’s weird to even admit that…because to know their characters is to accept that they’re not endgame. It’s not that Annalise isn’t in a place to choose someone, as Eve suggested as they munched over potato skins and mozzarella sticks, it’s that she doesn’t think that she deserves to choose Eve. Annalise thinks she’s a bad person, unworthy of the joy that Eve brings into her life. She wants Eve, badly, but Annalise can’t risk ruining her, so she limits them both

    And, god, poor Eve. She takes whatever pittance Annalise offers–even defending the man who claims her spot between Annalise’s comfy sheets–because she loves Annalise that much. Eve knows that she can’t have Annalise but she takes what she can get. Every rendezvous leaves her a bit more broken from the last..and, cruelly, more drawn to what she can never have and further away from whatever suitors await her in New York.

    Maybe, on another show, they’d be endgame. Maybe, on another show, Annalise would grow emotionally and realize that Eve sees her, warts and all, and has never not wanted her. Maybe, on another show, Annalise realizes that Eve’s her McDreamy…that Eve’s the one Annalise should be standing in the sun with….but How to Get Away With Murder is not that show. This isn’t a show where characters experience personal growth…and unless that fundamental premise changes, I can’t imagine Annalise and Eve together, long-term.

    And yet, I still love them. I might not get forever, but right now is pretty rich.

    As for the relationship between Annalise, Eve and Wes, I think Pete Norwalk’s laid some breadcrumbs:

    When Eve first comes to defend Nate, Sinclair objects, saying that Eve has a preexisting relationship with Annalise. Eve responds that she and Annalise were acquaintances at Harvard Law and that they both consulted on a federal case about ten years ago. From the finale flashback, it’s clear that that case involved Wes’ mother. Given that we know the charges were federal and that Wes and his mom emigrated to the United States from Haiti, my guess is that the crime was kidnapping and/or drugs.

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