Prof. Annalise Keating & Lady Justice

Prof. Annalise Keating & Lady Justice

Law Prof. Annalise Keating teaches a 100 level course at Middleton University in or around Philadelphia. Her course is structured as a practical course on “how to get away with murder”. The start of the episode shows 4 people trying to decide what to do with a body and flashes to 3 months earlier when all 4 of them are in their first day of class with Prof. Keating. Towards the beginning, we also see posters of a missing girl named, Lila Stangard.
In the classroom, students are given assigned seats and are expect to participate in the class. Wes Gibbins is the student followed most in the episode. He was on a waiting list to be accepted into the school and was 2 days before class started so did not receive the email of the first day’s assignment about a case study. When asked questions he was not able to answer. However, Laurel Castillo, another student answered for him which angered Prof. Keating. She basically told Laurel not to take a teaching moment away from another student just to show people how smart she is. Keating reveals that the case is one she just took a couple weeks ago and is ongoing. She allows the students to listen to Gina, the defendant, tell her story in her law firm office. Their assignment, the next day, is to give a 1 min defense of the case and no student can have the same defense. As punishment, Wes was to go last. She also was going to pick the 4 best students to work at her law firm and the top student will receive a statue of Lady Justice. The statue would give the owner immunity on one of the course exams.
The Case: The Aspirin Assassin
Gina Sadowski was charged with attempted murder of Arthur Kaufman. She was his second assistant and mistress. Kaufman’s wife, Agnes, found out about the affair so Gina was transferred to another department to avoid any lawsuits. Allegedly, Gina switched his blood pressure medicine with aspirin, which he is allergic to, and now he is confined to a wheelchair. It looked like he had some face paralysis as well but I don’t think they said.
From Left to Right:  Connor, Asher, Michaela (center), Wes, Laurel

From Left to Right: Connor, Asher, Michaela (center), Wes, Laurel

Working the Case:
Wes chose self-defense since all the other reasons were taken stating Gina’s demanding boss gave her Stockholm syndrome. With that creative take, he was allowed to stay in the competition. Scenes involved the eventual top students (Wes, Laurel, Connor Walsh, Asher Millstone, and Michaela Pratt) and what they were willing to do to get information on this case. Michaela called the insurance company of Kaufman’s first assistant, Linda Tanner, and found out that she is colorblind. Tanner identified a yellow pill on Gina’s desk but Keating asked if it could have been blue like Gina’s anxiety pills? Oops. Connor convinced (and slept with) an IT employee to give him emails between Kaufman and his business partner, Lionel Bryant. Not sure if Connor is actually gay or he just slept with the guy to get the emails. While in the bathroom, Laurel saw Agnes put her hand on Gina’s shoulder and implied they may have been working together. Laurel told Frank Delfino, one of Keating’s associates. He said ok and called her a stereotypical New England girl wanting to be a lawyer to help people, deciding to go corporate instead, and then give it all up to take care of babies. She walked out of course. Then, the other associate came in, Bonnie Winterbottom, and told him to stop screwing the students. He hasn’t slept with her yet. Wes went to ask Prof. Keating a question at her office and caught her in a compromising position with a man.
Soon after, he meets her husband, Prof. Sam Keating (Psychology), at the dean’s dinner. She followed Wes into the bathroom crying about how she has been having problems in her marriage and he was asking her about having children. It felt fake to me. She must have been doing that to keep him quiet. I can’t imagine she would cry to a stranger about her personal problems. The last surprise in the case was footage of Gina purchasing aspirin the day before the incident. To squash that, Annalise Keating calls Detective Nate Lahey to the stand. Detective Lahey happens to be her boyfriend and the one she was with when Wes came to her office. She questioned him about that night, asking where he was, and why he was not at work supervising the person who obtained the tape. There was a 6 hour difference between when the tape was obtained and when it was logged in as evidence. He said he was with a friend (which was her). She even asked if he was home with his wife who was just diagnosed with cancer. Annalise got him to admit that he has knowledge that in the past video evidence had been doctored to fit with a prosecutor’s case. With that, Gina was found not guilty. There was a look between Gina and Agnes during the press conference and not a look of anger or disappointment. Connor was the one that ended up with the statue.
Lila Stangard’s Disappearance:
This is a college student missing from campus and last seen at a sorority party. There is a girl named Rebecca Sutter that is the neighbor of Wes that plays loud music. I’m thinking she is actually Lila. Rebecca has black instead of blonde hair with piercings on her face. Griffin O’Reilly, star quarterback, has been visiting her in her apartment. He is also on the news being listed as Lila’s boyfriend. In one of the last scenes, a girl’s body was found in the water tank of a sorority house. Rebecca and Griffin see the news story together. Sam, Annalise’s husband also sees it on the news when she comes in. He said it is one of his students. Annalise thinks it will probably be the boyfriend that did it and he said we’ll see. The look they gave each other (below) makes me think he was sleeping with the student or he at least knows something.
Annalise and husband, Sam

Annalise and husband, Sam

The Murder:
Throughout the episode, we are getting short scenes of Wes, Laurel, Connor, and Michaela deciding what to do with a dead body. First, they have the Lady Justice statue which may be the murder weapon. They finally decide to clean it and return it. Because they were split on what to do with the body (leave or destroy it), Wes suggests that they flip a coin. In moving the body, they roll it up in a rug but are stopped by the police when Connor’s car is parked illegal. Michaela makes up a story that Prof. Keating wanted them to get rid of this rug while she was out of town and it would be bad to call her so late at night since she had her mother’s funeral today. The cop leaves. At one point, Laurel’s phone rings and it is Frank, Annalise’s associate, and Michaela asked her why. Once in the woods, they prepare to burn the body. The audience then sees that the body is that of Sam Keating. For a long time, I thought it was Annalise. I wondered why Asher was not with them since there are 5 of them working for her. I can’t wait to see how this show will continue. I already love it.