HTGAWM Recap: Sam Did NOT Kill Lila

How to Get Away With Murder

Mid-Season Premiere

Sam Keating Did Not Kill Lila Stangard.


Sam murdering Lila is way too obvious for a Shondaland-produced show that thrives on unexpected twists and tweet-worthy moments. Trust and believe – Sam Did Not Kill Lila.

Before explaining why we don’t think Sam killed Lila, take a look at a few of our other predictions that have been accurate.

Wes Killed Sam – Predicted it!

We called it. We predicted Wes killed Sam to defend Rebecca. We also predicted that Annalise helped Wes figure out how to handle Sam’s body when the two of them saw each other  in the dramatic last scene of the mid-season finale.

The Other Students Have No Incentive to Cover For Each Other – Predicted it!

As predicted, the Keating 5 are too self absorbed to sacrifice themselves for Wes and Rebecca without question.

Kudos to the writers for showing Connor and Michaela discussing going to the police to save themselves. This is consistent with their characters and the on-going tension for the next few episodes is likely (or at least it should) involve doubt and suspicion among the students about whether they should save themselves.

As long as we’re talking about the Keating 5; let’s give credit where credit is due. They’ve come a long way since that pilot episode. The writers (and actors in certain instances) are doing a much better job of making the students a little less one-note and slightly more empathetic without abandoning their defining character traits.

For example, boring, good girl Laurel is actually shady. Low-key Laurel tells police investigating Sam’s disappearance that Sam leered at her. No, he didn’t. But her claims that Sam checked her out helped lay the groundwork for police to view Sam as a sexual predator hunting students. She’s an Annalise in training. We’re still bored by the character and the actress’s expressionless demeanor, but it’s possible Laurel will become more interesting as her inner shadiness reveals itself.

Connor has become more than just a sneering, sarcastic sex machine. He and Michaela appear to be forming a genuine friendship that feels organic and consistent with their characters and the story. Connor’s affection for Oliver also feels genuine. Jack Falahee has done a nice subtle job of portraying the nuances HTGAWM’s writers have been adding to the Connor character.

We’re also interested to see whether Michaela’s perfect exterior continues to crack under the pressure of covering up a murder. The writers haven’t given Asher much to do, but he’s still our favorite. Comedic relief matters! #OrangeIsTheNewBlackRepresent.

Finally, our lovely puppy. Alfred Enoch is not playing Wes with as much wide-eyed as we saw in the initial few episodes. But, Wes’s relationship with Rebecca is still unconvincing. Unless we’re to believe his attraction to her is simply that she’s cute, it’s still hard to understand why Wes would risk so much for Rebecca (Katie Findlay), particularly given that Findlay’s line readings are still too fast and monotone. We still don’t care about Rebecca and can’t understand what our puppy sees in her.

Now, the Case of the Week – Throw the Dead Guy Under the Bus

This week’s episode, Hello Raskolnikov, involved Annalise’s efforts to get murder charges against Rebecca and Griffin dropped by shifting the judge’s and prosecution’s focus to Sam Keating.

It worked.

Annalise cleared Rebecca by making dead Sam the fall guy for Lila’s murder. But we’re not buying what Annalise was selling:

  • Sam’s DNA matched the DNA of Lila’s unborn fetus. But, maybe Bonnie pulled some shenanigans with the test results. Frank brought them to Annalise and didn’t seem to be in on any manipulation, BUT remember, the prosecution complained that the DNA results were not reliable because of chain of custody issues. 
  • Sam knew about Lila’s pregnancy, accompanied her to an abortion clinic, and became angry when she wouldn’t go through with it. This footage was subpoenaed from the clinic and there was testimony from a clinic employee, so we suppose it’s legitimate. But, just because the footage is legitimate does not mean Sam actually was the father of Lila’s fetus or that her pregnancy would motivate Sam to murder her.
  • Information from Sam’s cell phone, downloaded to his laptop, places him at Lila’s sorority house the night of Lila’s murder. This information also could have been manipulated. I’m looking at you, Frank and Bonnie. They’re always in the Keating house and they’d do anything for Annalise. Also, early in the episode Annalise knows the evidence what the evidence will show, indicating she manipulated it.

Based on all that, we’re doubling down on our prediction that Sam didn’t kill Lila. In the words of Annalise Keating herself:

You call it crazy, I call it winning.”

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On-Going Elements to Watch For As the Rest of the Season Unfolds

  • Michaela’s missing engagement ring – will it implicate her?
  • Annalise holding onto Sam’s wedding band – will it implicate her?
  • Police know Connor’s SUV was at the Keatings’ house the night of Sam’s murder – will it come back to haunt them?
  • The law student who lived in Wes’s apartment before Wes – writing rule 101 = all the detail about him would not have been mentioned if only to be dropped.
  • Annalise and Wes’s oddly close relationship
  • Annalise and Bonnie’s odd relationship.
  • Which student will end up being Raskolnikov, the protagonist in Crime and Punishment who slowly goes insane as guilt murder eats away at him?  Michaela, Connor, and Wes are all possible candidates. Wes’s apartment already looks like it could belong to Raskolnikov.

Although this episode was not as thrilling as others, it laid a solid foundation for the second half of the season and the falling cheerleader is gone for good. We’re happier than ever with HTGAM.

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What are your predictions for the rest of the season?


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Harvard-trained attorney and long-time TV super fan, Terri James (TV Juriste) has worked at E!, NBCUniversal, BBC and for a TV personality, for television shows including, E! News, The Daily Ten, Live From the Red Carpet, Life in the Fab Lane, The Soup, Americans in Bed, Chicago PD, and Royal Pains, among others.Terri's All-Time Favorite TV Shows: The Wire, Seinfeld, Colbert Report, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sex and the City, 30 Rock, SNL, Homeland (first season), Breaking Bad (final season), My So Called Life, Meet the Press (Tim Russert Years), and Lil Bush.

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  • Jet Masa

    I think Bonnie or Rebecca killed Lila. If they did, they were not alone. They could not have been able to manage to drag her body up to the water tank by them selves.