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Scandal & How To Get Away With Murder Crossover Review

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Olivia Pope. Annalise Keating. Both existing in the same place, at the same time. Breathing the same air, going at each other’s throats as powerful women tend to do while accepting that they are more similar than they are different and need to support each other.

Thursday brought the epic crossover of Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder dubbed “How to Get Away With Scandal.”

First up was the Scandal episode, which picked up a few months after Liv was ousted, sorry, resigned, from the White House. After losing roughly everyone that cared about her, Liv resorted to teaching a class full of impressionable young students about “how to handle a scandal.” Seriously, that should be a new Shonda Rhimes show once Scandal takes its last bow. And also, who the hell allowed her to teach the youth?

None of the students had the answer Liv was looking for except for Annalise, sitting right up in the back row.

After class, she approached the former Chief of Staff and lured her in with these words: “Our country is in crisis. Together, we can fix it.”

It seemed Annalise knew Liv was all about “handling things,” but not aware of how many crises Liv caused herself as of late.

Liv was hesitant to join the case considering Annalise’s lengthy-rap sheet she dug up on Google (is she really judging someone?) but a brief chat with Marcus — the only person still willing to work with her because “black people have to stick together” — persuaded her. Marcus, a bigtime Annalise fan, reminded Liv that Annalise may have been accused, but who hasn’t?

That’s true, however, Liv wasn’t just accused. She’s responsible for several murders, including one that involved her pregnant best friend. Thankfully, Quinn didn’t die but the realization that Liv was capable of something so horrid simply to keep power is enough to destroy her character in the eyes of the viewers.

And while we thought the road to redemption would be long and winding, it seems as though Shonda wants us to just forgive and forget. Olivia wanting to do the right thing now doesn’t negate all the terrible things she’s done recently.

Despite being on non-speaking terms with Fitz, he was still willing to lend a hand mainly because Liv cornered him into it and because the case was the very basis for which his foundation stood — helping people punished by the disadvantages they were born into.

Given that they know some pretty important people, Liv and Fitz jointly secured Annalise a meeting with President Grant at the White House.

I have to admit, it was surreal seeing Michaela geeking out over meeting Fitz and seeing Annalise’s eyes widen as she stepped into the Oval Office since we know exaclty what happens inside these coveted rooms. These are the people you are star-struck by? The monsters, the murderers, the do-whatever-it-takes-to-stay-in-power folks? If only they knew the truth.

How To Get away with Scandal

(ABC/Mitch Haaseth

While Mellie admitted the case had promise, the timing simply wasn’t right. Liv cleared the room to insist Mellie not to “punish her,” but she wasn’t going to back down. “You need a win while there’s still a chance for you to scrape back some influence in this town,” she told her.

I love Mellie and I’m glad she’s the first female President because she had promise but most of her time in the White House has been her trying to stick it to Liv and one up her. The back-and-forth has gotten to be a little too much.

So, Liv declared war on the President, though, it wouldn’t be the first time.

A majority of the episode saw both teams — Liv and Annalise’s vs. the White House and QPA — doing their best to sway the Supreme Court judges to rule in their favor.

Mellie does everything in her power to stop Liv, even asking Jake to leak the real reason why Liv was fired via her scorned-associates at QPA. Quinn is more than happy to oblige, although everyone seems a bit worried about her obsession with taking Liv down becoming more important than helping their clients. Do these people focus on anything but personal vendettas?

Even State’s Attorney David Rosen is siding with Liv. The case is bigger than the trivial fight between Mellie and Liv; people’s lives are actually at stake.

With word out, a showdown between Annalise and Liv occurs at the hair salon, of all places. Annalise is pissed off that Liv tried to make her out to be the bad guy when in reality, she was the one sinking the case.

Hurtful words were exchanged with Liv throwing shade at Annalise for a lack of funds and taking the Megabus to D.C. That’s petty Liv.

Michaela and Marcus, who have an undeniable attraction to each other, suggest Liv and Annalise hit up a TV interview together, which seems like a disaster waiting to happen considering how proud both of these women are.

Yet don’t underestimate Liv. After all, she spins things for a living.

When the host brings up Liv’s firing from the White House, she tastefully addresses the gossip before diverting the attention to the real issue at hand: the ability to reform the justice system with Annalise’s case.

Still, the interview isn’t enough to sway Spivey, the swing vote. That is until Quinn comes to her senses — her QPA was supposed to be about justice, which is why she handed Liv over all the dirt that the White House dug up on Spivey to force him to vote against them.

Liv used the intel to sway Spivey and land Annalise a case in front of the Supreme Court.

Two black women can change the world. But will they?

How To Get Away with Scandal

(ABC/Mitch Haaseth)

Which brings us to the second-half of the episode, the How To Get Away With Murder portion.

I’ll start off by saying I don’t watch HTGAWM so even though the cross-over was done in a way that didn’t rely too heavily on the series plot, there were still moments where I was utterly lost.

“Lahey v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania” — the title of the episode — focuses on Annalise’s class action lawsuit being brought in front of the Supreme Court, something she’d dreamt about since she was a little girl

As Annalise prepared for the case, she had to navigate some personal curveballs thrown her way, namely her mother’s arrival in D.C to support her and Liv finding out that Nate Lahey Sr., the face of her case, is actually her ex-boyfriend’s incarcerated father. When things get personal, they get messy!

Annalise is able to stay calm and composed through all of it until she gets a call from Jacqueline mere minutes before she’s to take the stand, informing her that Isaac overdosed and it was all her fault.

The call sent Annalise into a panic attack. She claimed she didn’t have it in her to appeal the courts and she’d fail and set criminal justice reform back decades.

This prompted Liv to take off her heels, kneel down next to Annalise and ask her what she needs to get back into the game.

“Vodka,” Annalise replied, which Michaela is hesitant to provide because Annalise is an alcoholic.

But Liv does not care. “Go,” she ordered as Michaela ran to Marcus, who she slept with the night before during a stake-out of the judge’s house.

While the main focus of the episode was the case, Michaela and Marcus’ relationship was compelling, especially since she’s dating Asher, who ends up being a huge Marcus-advocate. Awkward.

The cross-over may have been a standalone event, but I’m willing to bet money that after Scandal’s end, Marcus will make his way over to HTGAW. Again, I don’t know the gist of Michaela and Asher’s romance since I don’t watch the show, but I did really enjoy the scenes with her and Marcus.

Michaela brought the vodka and Liv offered it to Annalise with a warning — whatever bravery she’ll find in the bottle is already inside of her.

Annalise didn’t fall off the wagon and instead, waltzed into the courtroom with seconds to spare.

But there’s yet another problem as one of the judges was paid to throw off the case. In Annalise’s opening statements, he grilled her about how Nate could be a victim when he was responsible for the murder and tried to throw a wrench in her argument — is it about the criminal justice system or about race?

Annalise recalled Liv’s words to use her time wisely and allowed the counterarguments to be heard thus buying her some time to think strategy. She sent Michaela, who grabbed Marcus, to look up a ruling for her. The scene was intense as the fate of Annalise’s case resided in Michaela and Marcus’ ability to research quickly. At this point, Asher also picked up on the chemistry between these two, which Michaela’s friends realized in the first minute when she begged them not to tell Asher she cheated.

Michaela came through for Annalise, who then argued that it is a race problem and used the judge’s words against him. BAM!

During a post-press conference, Annalise praised Liv and Connor for helping with the case, excluding Michaela who served as her right-hand woman the whole time.

No decision was made before the episode is up, but Fitz informed the ladies that the courts could rule in their favor.

“We did good,” Liv told Annalise before they parted ways, forever changed by each others’ bravery, strength and badassery.

What did you think of the epic and long-awaited TGIT crossover?

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How To Get Away With Murder

How To Get Away With Murder- Pilot (01×01)

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How To Get Away with Murder premiered to astonishing ratings, and even broke DVR-ratings. Everyone loves a good murder mystery,  but I’m not sure if the show has what it takes to hold me… mainly, likeable characters.

I’m 50/50 on this. I love anything Shonda Rhimes, but I felt like the premiere was messy and gave me some serious anxiety. Flip flopping back between the original “murder” and how everything started was interesting, but it was intense. These kids seemed like good kids trying to get their foot in the door as lawyers. How did they fall this far? Bickering about how to dispose of the body and get rid of the DNA.

135307_2794_preWell, for one, their teacher, Professor Annalise Keating isn’t a good role model. I was disappointed to find out I didn’t like this strong woman as much as I like Olivia Pope. Mainly, because I don’t think she’s a strong woman at all. The first scene in the classroom is set up so that we see her vast knowledge of the industry, and learn to fear her. There’s no messing around in her class. But as we take a deeper look, we find a woman whose defending guilty clients… something that happens all too often in this world. She’s also sleeping with a man that isn’t her husband, and is caught by her student, who later finds out she has a husband. To make it worse, she corners him a bathroom crying and lets him know that the only reason she’s cheating is because her and her husband are struggling to conceive. Alright, I could understand she’s just distraught about the whole situation, but the way she begins touching Wes kind of threw me off. This woman is weird…. and has some deep issues.

viola_davis_how_to_get_away_with_murderShe’s taken a likening to Wes, who started out the semester as the weakest link– a transfer who got accepted off the waiting list. Not sure if it’s because he knows her deepest, darkest secret, or because she actually sees potential in him. Either way, Wes is one of the students to win her class competition, along with all the other students who later end up murdering, the professors husband Sam Keating. That reveal at the end of the episode was really shocking, even though it makes sense when you look at the episode as a whole.

Another premise throughout the episode was a missing girl that police were looking for. They found her at the end of the episode, murdered, and the camera panned to Sam, watching the news. She was one of his students… and without even having to be told, it’s obvious that Sam was also having an affair with her. But, is he the one that murdered her? It would definitely be a motive for the group of kids, who look up to their teacher. Do her students figure out that Sam is a creep and try to protect their teacher… It seems like their all going to get really close. Does Annalise know about the affair? Was she in on the murder? Why did she introduce her class as “how to get away with murder?” Also interesting, why did the murder happen in Annalise’s office and where was she that night? Why that weapon? Why that night?

indexThroughout the episode, we also got to know who her “core group” of students was. Aside from Wes, we have Connor, the good-looking, go-getter, who slept with someone associated with the case to steal files. (Sidenote: I did not think he was gay. Took me by surprise!) He’s also a little on the edge after the murder, which brings me to his character in Twisted. That role definitely paid off.  We have Michaela, who does not want to be involved with the murder in any way after it’s done. I mean, she does not even want to help wrap the body in the rug. She also helps prove a key point in the case, that the witness who was accusing the mistress, was color-blind. 10 points for Gryffindor! Laurel is the brainy know-it all, whose definitely going to get in some trouble with Annalise’s law partner, and pervert, Frank. As for Asher, the fifth student picked in the teacher’s contest, not much is really known about him or how he plays into the story. He’s not involved in the murder, which is why I thought he was originally the one murdered.

imagesWe also have another mystery on our hands, which I think will be evidence in the Sam case. Wes notices scratch marks on his wall, and bite marks on his bed frame. Yes, signs of kinky sex for sure, but also a struggle? My feeling– this was definitely the old room of the missing student, who was fooling around with Sam. She was also friends with Rebecca, Wes’s neighbor. They’ve struck up a weird friendship, which will also be of use when they realize who Sam really is.

Basically, the Annalise won the case by throwing her lover Nate under the bus. She was able to prove that there was no evidence against the mistress and the fact that she bought aspirin the morning of means nothing because video can be altered. The truth? The mistress and the wife, tried to kill the husband, once they found out about each other. How disturbing. Everyone is capable of doing bad things….  I also loved seeing Liza Weil in the role of law partner. Something about her political connection through Gilmore Girls and Scandal... she just fits the role.

Since it captivated my attention, and led me to so many questions, I say 7/10.

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