How To Get Away With Murder has always relied on shock value but this time, they took it a mile too far and the show disappointed a lot of viewers. (This is not going to be a review; this is going to be a ‘why Peter Nowalk should be fired’ speech.)
Just to catch you up, on How to Get Away with Murder Season 3 Episode 9, Rebecca’s body was discovered by the police and they are all in trouble. But it gets worse. Then, Wes was revealed to be the corpse under the sheet, and my heart shattered.
I have lost a lot of my favorite characters over the years. But this time, it felt different. It felt heavy, wrong. It left a bitter taste in my mouth and ruined my day. 48 hours later and the same feelings are still there.
Except I am also furious now. Not only because they had developed Wes’ story so much this season that I thought he was 100% safe. (Because why would they waste absolutely perfect character development?)
Not only because I loved him so much he was the reason I fell in love with the show, but because he was so important that I didn’t think the writers would even consider killing him off for one second. How could they think that the show could survive without him?
But because he is black, because it’s another representation of a minority that was written off just for shock value. They showed his half-burned body without a second thought, purely dehumanizing the character. Oh, and it was revealed that he was killed before the fire, too.
Seeing his body like that was simply heart-wrenching. Would we have been shown the same horrible images if the victim had been white? It is doubtful.
It also resonates weirdly with the current political context. As soon as the first power in the world elects a racist as its president, a black character dies. They couldn’t have foreseen that, but it is a scary coincidence.
Wes’ death is also a victory of the macho, white, alpha male on the perfect, nice, black boy next door. How original! Because who would be dumb enough to prefer a black cutie to a white, abusive, bad boy? Silly me!
What really pisses me off is that they were already wrapping up Frank’s story. But no, go ahead, kill the spine of your show!
I cannot say that I would have been as upset as I am if Nate had died, but the race issue is a huge part of it.
So, anyways… Alfred Enoch revealed that he would be in flashbacks for the rest of the season, and he was laughing so much part of me still hopes that Wes is actually still alive, hiding away from the Mahoney mess, the Rebecca mess, and that the corpse is someone else’s disguised as Wes. Does that even make sense? Am I delusional? Probably.
If Wes does not magically turn up at the end of the season, I will probably stop watching. Not here for killing off great characters out of shock value. Fingers crossed this show is not a complete pile of shit, after all.
How To Get Away With Murder returns Thursday, January 12 on ABC!