The pilot of this show was exceedingly strong, but the question is can the second episode maintain the same quality? The balance of the storytelling was a bit different in that the case of the week was very strong, but the flash forwards sort of fizzled in the pan.
Let’s start with the weakness of the episode – the flash forwards. There was a great deal of repeated material with some not-so-interesting added information. We learn that Wes lies about the coin toss to guarantee they go back for the body and burn it. Also, instead of helping Keating kill her husband, apparently Wes is helping his new girlfriend/neighbor Rebecca cover up a murder. Keating would have been more interesting, and right now Rebecca is a very one dimensional character that is hard to care about. Hopefully, next week’s flash forward actually moves past the night of the murder or to a new event at least.
The case of the week on the other hand was intriguing. Max St. Vincent (Steven Weber) turns in a chilling performance of a man accused of stabbing his wife sixteen times. His demonstration at the crime scene of how his wife was murdered brought the creepy factor past ten, even though he was denied a woman as his model. Connor thought he was protecting his female colleagues, but the scene was still disturbing as Max puts a sensual spin on stabbing someone to death. It seems obvious the man is guilty even though his daughter testifies to his glowing character traits. Keating says she does not care whether her client is guilty or not as long as they don’t lie to her. Max may have forgotten to mention that his first wife died in a similar manner, though not as sloppy. Figuring out who killed the second wife was actually surprising since I was sure it was Max all along. Nope, it was his smiling daughter who figured out her father killed her mother, so she killed her step-mother to frame him. Diabolical and it totally made her father proud.
The through-story of who killed college student, Lila Stangard, picks up some steam when Keating checks her husband’s phone and finds somewhat compromising emails from Lila. The emails do not conclusively prove that Sam Keating was in a relationship with Lila, but it looks suspicious. So much so that Annalise is terrified that he did it and goes to her cop ex-boyfriend to confirm Sam’s location during the time of the murder. Keating says “anyone is capable of murder,” but her tears in the end show that she really hopes that she is wrong. But then again, surely she can get him off, right?