How To Get Away With Murder S1E1 - "Pilot" Recap

Law student Wes Gibbins enters his first day of class at Middleton Law School. There are posters up for a missing student, Lila Stangard. His professor in Criminal Law, Annalise Keating, is also a defence attorney. She is tough as nails and informs everyone that her colloquial title for her class is, "How To Get Away With Murder." She quizzes them on a case study, which Wes hasn't read about. When Wes is questioned, he has to admit that he didn't get Keating's e-mail because he was admitted later than everyone else off the wait list.

The case in question, of the Aspirin Killer, is an ongoing case on which Keating is working. A woman is accused of attempting to murder her husband with aspirin, to which he is allergic. Everyone in class must bring forward a strategy for Keating to use for her client. Wes must go last, and no student is allowed to use a strategy already used. The top 4 students will be selected to come work at Keating's firm and the best will receive a trophy, which can be used as an immunity idol to be exempt from an exam. While studying, Wes meets his neighbour, Rebecca, who is playing her music loudly.

At class, Wes must sit back and watch as each of his brainstormed ideas is used by one of the other students in class. Wes proposes a self-defence/Stockholm Syndrome theory but Keating accepts the idea and tells him to stay seated. The seated students have moved on to the next round.

The next day at court, student Michaela Pratt brings forth a theory she has found after doing extensive research that one of the witnesses is colour-blind. This is a small victory for the defence, thus improving Keating's odds of winning the case on behalf of her client. Wes goes to visit Keating to try to bring a lead and discovers Keating sexually involved with a man. Student Connor Walsh hits on an IT worker, Oliver, who worked at the same place as Keating's client and gets him to illegally access some e-mails which further help Keating in court, after which Connor has sex with Oliver.

Wes gets home and finds Rebecca in a shouting match with another student, Griffin O'Reilly. At a fancy dinner, Wes discovers that Keating is married, but not to the man that he caught her having sex with. Laurel spies the almost-murdered man's wife and mistress having a moment in the restroom and poses to Frank Delfino, one of Annalise's workers, that they teamed up together but he appears to have already known. Laurel and Frank butt heads and after Laurel leaves, Bonnie Winterbottom (another of Annalise's associates) tells Frank to stop screwing the students.

Annalise tells Wes in private that she and her husband Sam have been trying to have a baby and it put on a strain on their marriage. She thanks him for keeping her secret and Wes, feeling uncomfortable, politely leaves. When he returns home, he finds Rebecca has left him a bottle of booze to apologise for all the noise. He proposes they share a drink but she says she can't tonight.

In court, Keating's client is made to look guilty in court due to surveillance footage surfacing of her purchasing aspirin. This forces Keating to call in Detective Nate Lahey, whom Wes recognises as the man Annalise is having an affair with. Through the line of questioning, we learn that Nate's wife was recently diagnosed with cancer. It's found that there is a strange time gap between when the detective Nate is in charge of obtained the video and logged it in. Nate is forced to admit that his department has had issues with people doctoring videos. Keating's client gets off, though it would seem that she did do it.

In class, Keating announces that Connor Walsh, Asher Millstone, Michaela Pratt, Laurel Castillo, and an additional student, Wes Gibbins, have all been selected to come work at Keating's firm. Wes later tells Keating that he doesn't want the position if it's just to keep him quiet and Keating berates him for assuming the worst, insisting that he was picked for his strengths and that he should go after his future.

Lila Stangard's body is discovered in the water tank of her sorority house and the news is watched by many, including her boyfriend Griffin O'Reilly, who comes to tell the news to Rebecca. As Annalise's husband Sam watches the story, he tells Annalise that Lila was his student. She tells him, "I bet you the boyfriend did it." He replies, "I guess we'll see."

Flashforward (3 months):
Wes, Connor, Laurel, and Michaela argue about how to dispose of a body. They also have to deal with the murder weapon, a trophy which Wes has grabbed. They could bury the body but the ground is frozen. They do however, have all night to dig. They're split on how to proceed so Wes proposes he flip a coin. Heads, they get the body, tails, they leave it where it is.

The murder weapon is the immunity idol belonging to Keating. The students all go back to Keating's office and roll up a body in the carpet. While about to carry the rug outside, they encounter a campus police officer. Michaela offers to call Keating to confirm their cover story, that she had asked them to bring her rug to a bonfire, but the cop accepts their story before they have to.

Wes goes into a convenience store to get some lighter fluid. They head to the woods to dispose of the body, and are nearly caught when Laurel's phone goes off. It's Frank calling, and the photo of him on the phone is of him shirtless.

As the students prepare to set the body on fire, it is revealed that they are disposing of Annalise's husband Sam.

How To Get Away With Murder airs on Thursdays on ABC at 10PM.


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