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Annalise Keating and the gang returned last night for the fifth season of How to Get Away with Murder. Last season gave us Annalise and Olivia Pope (Scandal) teaming up to get a victory at the Supreme Court, Laurel losing and regaining custody of her newborn son from her father, and the team’s freedom was at stake after Simon accidentally shot himself in the head after discovering the Keating Four stealing from Caplan & Gold during an office party. Although he survived, Michaela tipped off I.C.E. and had him deported, while Laurel’s dad got arrested. It was also discovered that Laurel’s mother was the one to orchestrate Wes’ murder, Michaela cheated on Asher with Marcus (Scandal), and Connor and Oliver are getting married.

The season five premiere, “Your Funeral” began with Annalise enjoying herself at Connor and Oliver’s wedding reception before Frank appeared looking grim. Annalise demanded answers and slapped him when he didn’t say anything. Outside of the wedding, someone was bleeding out in the snow. As per How to Get Away with Murder and its setups, things jumped back three months to the beginning of the semester.

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Gabriel Maddox, the mysterious young man we saw last season, found himself in a crowded room with the Keating Four wanting to be in Annalise’s class.  She challenged students to show her that they cared to weed out those who wouldn’t pass the class. Gabriel and the K4 made it through round one. After class, Annalise reminds the four that the word for the year is boundaries and that she can’t play favorites. It didn’t skip Frank’s notice that Gabriel tried to talk to her afterward.

With confidence, Annalise went to Caplan & Gold to see what salary they were offering her. Tegan didn’t want to work with her after the mess of last season, but Annalise didn’t let that stop her from negotiating a higher salary, name-dropping all of the other firms vying to have her and offering more money. She turned them down and told the other firms she’d think about it.

As the K4 gathered at Frank’s to work on their arguments for class, Michaela wanted Laurel’s help in texting Marcus, while they all teased Laurel for not recognizing that Frank is so passionate about helping with Christopher because he loves her. When Oliver arrived home, he in an unmarked package. It was Laurel’s baptism gown that only her mother could have sent, assuring the others that she didn’t kill her as everyone theorized. Elsewhere, Bonnie turned down Annalise’s offer to join her at her new job. She wanted to stay at the DA’s office to watch their back in cause Denver showed someone his files on them before his death.

Karla Souza, Matt McGorry, Aja Naomi King, and Jack Falahee in How to Get Away with Murder (2014)

Later, Annalise and Nate seemed to be on good terms, ordering Chinese food. The next day, he took a coffee cup from Bonnie’s office to compare to a DNA sample and Annalise ended class early after getting a call from Natalia, the owner of the firm she was leaning towards picking. It turned out that the governor called a number of firms, putting pressure on them not to hire Annalise.  Connor finally gave his argument without much reaction from Annalise. Gabriel brought in emotion and tried to make his pro-prison argument personal to Annalise. Later, Oliver had Laurel, Connor, and Michaela meet at an old frat house and essentially forced them to agree to move in.

After playing hardball, Annalise managed to get Caplan & Gold to fund her clinic and Tegan didn’t seem to happy. In return, Annalise promised a year’s tuition to the student with the highest average. When she had to narrow down her class again, Gabriel got the last seat, leaving Asher out. Afterward, he confronted Annalise. She told him that he needed to figure himself out because his immigration argument was inspired by Michaela, not his own passion.

That night, Laurel told Frank that she and Christopher were moving out and he proposed. She turned him down, not wanting to use him. The next day, Nate got confirmation that Bonnie was a maternal match for the DNA sample, while Frank approached Gabriel to play basketball. At Frank’s challenge, Gabriel’s response ties back to the episode’s title, “Your funeral.”

In the final two scenes of the premiere, everyone attended Christopher’s christening and his cries transitioned into the night of Connor and Oliver’s wedding. Whoever was dying could see Christopher crying on the ground not too far away before Bonnie approached and put her hands over their nose and mouth.

Final thoughts on last night’s How to Get Away with Murder premiere

Viola is back the fierce queen! I loved watching her negotiate. On another note, Gabriel is an interesting addition to the cast. His motives aren’t clear and I’m curious about him. After everything that happened last season, I’m surprised Annalise is still so keen to have Bonnie working with her. It looks like it will be important to the plot since it looks like Gabriel is her son, but I would have liked to see a little bit more distance and a healing period.

I get that Tegan is nervous about working with Annalise but I like Amirah Vann in the role and hope the writers don’t her a storyline that leads her to be the one who dies. I’m also hoping that it’s not Michaela. Final comment: I’m not a fan of the writers having Nate sleep with people for favors, so hopefully his latest fling, Theresa, played by Tamberla Perry has more longevity.

Here’s to another dramatic season of twists and turns. Strap in, everyone! I’m giving last night’s premiere a 10 out of 10. A strong start with so many threads to pull on.

 

How to Get Away with Murder airs Thursdays at 10 PM EST.

 

Kira McCall covers entertainment for MFST. She’s a freelance writer and alum of Towson University where she studied advertising, public relations, and creative writing. Follow her on Twitter at cocovanilla45 (GirlsofManyFandoms) and kiramira_.

 

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