'HTGAWM' Law Review: 'Smile, or Go to Jail' (S01E03)

By Brett Snider, Esq. on October 10, 2014 | Last updated on December 13, 2021

Have you been watching ABC's "How To Get Away With Murder"? The latest episode of Shonda Rhimes' new hit drama introduced us to the (fake) law school's (fake) law journal, the Middleton Law Review. So we decided to co-opt the name for our inaugural review of the show that Viola Davis tries so hard to make work.

The first season's third offering, "Smile, or Go to Jail," can't seem to decide whether it's a procedural or a long-form mystery, and we have some outside advice for each member of Annalise's team about their roles in this drama.

But first, a spoiler-laden plot synopsis:

#HTGAWM in 140 Characters: 90s Patty Hearst client leads double life. Cult leader testifies but takes plea deal. Client escapes. Rebecca's abusive bf is new client too

And now our advice for these very busy (and ethically challenged) characters:

'Wait-List' Wes

Wes very quickly became the most strident member of Annalise's gang of first-year Middleton students -- full of ethical qualms about the cold, hard, money-driven practice of criminal defense. Yet, he's not above forging an "attorney ID" and pretending to be a public defender to talk to that girl who doesn't like him and was hiding evidence in his apartment. Wes, go intern for the public defender's office, please.

'Total Bro' Asher

Asher is Ivy League bro-town cranked to 11. Shining moment in this episode: Bro-ing out at the law review party.

'Don't Call Me Laura' Laurel

Unlike the last episode where Laurel sprung to the legal rescue by recommending the client admit to a prior murder, Laurel isn't used much in Episode 3. If she were on her game, she might have pointed out that both their client and her lost criminal love should have been in custody during the trial -- which would have prevented their escape at the end.

Connor (the Gay One)

We hate to pigeonhole Connor like this, but ABC is really dead-set on making Connor the slutty, manicured, and manipulative gay person on Annalise's team. If "HTGAWM" had been shot in the 80s, Connor's character may have been a sexually promiscuous buxom blonde. Plus, he slept with Michaela's fiance back in boarding school, and won't let her forget about it. A+ for cattiness. F for future lawyering.

'You Better Not Be Gay' Michaela

Michaela is going to wear a bespoke Vera Wang dress to her wedding, so she'd better not be marrying no homo. Hey Michaela? Tone down the pre-bridezilla bigotry. Not only is gay marriage legal in your state, but you should really be more worried about putting witnesses on the stand who say they'll commit perjury to help your client.

Annalise's Bottle of Vodka

You're so close to her, but we think she's just using you.

Tune in next week for our Law Review of "HTGAWM's" fourth episode, "Let's Get to Scooping."

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