How to Get Away With Murder: Season 1 (2014 - 2015)


Season 1
How to Get Away With Murder

Critics Consensus

How to Get Away with Murder isn't conceptually original, but it delivers thrills with melodramatic twists and a captivating lead.



Critic Ratings: 56


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1568

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Air date: Sep 25, 2014

A ruthless defense attorney and no-nonsense law professor at a Philadelphia university selects a group of her best students to work at her firm in the premiere of this drama, but they soon find themselves entangled in a real-life murder conspiracy.

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Air date: Oct 2, 2014

Annalise defends a millionaire accused in the grisly murder of his wife, while at home, she begins to wonder if her husband had anything to do with a student's disappearance. Also: A flash-forward reveals Wes may be keeping secrets of his own on the night of the murder.

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Air date: Oct 9, 2014

A suburban soccer mom locked up for a misdemeanor gets of out jail, but is immediately arrested again by the FBI for her alleged involvement in a murder, and proving her innocence depends on the testimony of another suspect. Meanwhile, Middleton's president asks Annalise to help the school's quarterback, who's been linked to Lila's disappearance; and in a flash-forward, someone else may have been present at the time of the murder besides the students.

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Air date: Oct 16, 2014

A brokerage firm's founder and CEO is arrested for insider trading, but the students' investigation of the case reveals a major surprise. Meanwhile, Wes finds a cell phone hidden by Rebecca that contains disturbing information about the Lila Stangard murder case.

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Air date: Oct 23, 2014

Annalise defends a minor who shot and killed his father-a police officer. Meanwhile, Wes and Rebecca start to wonder what Annalise's motives are; and Sam's relationship with Lila continues to irritate his wife. Also: A flash-forward reveals what's going on between Laurel and Frank and why he was calling her the night Sam died.

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Air date: Oct 30, 2014

A man sentenced to death by Asher's father years ago is Annalise's new client. Meanwhile, Wes is still peeved at Annalise for not revealing everything about Lila's case; and in a flash-forward, Asher's whereabouts on the night of the murder are revealed.

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Air date: Nov 6, 2014

A judge issues a gag order, disrupting Annalise and the team's work on Rebecca's case, so the defendant takes matters into her own hands. Meanwhile, Michaela is floored by a prenuptial agreement; Laurel and Frank's relationship heads in a new direction; and a flash-forward reveals more about the bond between Wes and Rebecca.

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Air date: Nov 13, 2014

A mother goes on trial for killing her family's nanny while taking a strong medicine. Meanwhile, Rebecca and Bonnie's loyalty to Annalise is shaken following the discovery of a stunning detail in Lila's case; and a flashback reveals more about Lila and Sam's relationship.

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Air date: Nov 20, 2014

The night of the bonfire reveals what led to Sam's death.

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Air date: Jan 29, 2015

The day after Sam's murder finds Annalise's students joining the search for her missing husband, but a surprise visitor in town could complicate their efforts to keep their story under wraps.

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How to Get Away With Murder: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

In the first season of this crime drama produced by Shonda Rhimes' Shondaland, cold-blooded criminal-defense lawyer and no-nonsense law professor Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) selects a group of her brightest pupils at a prestigious Philadelphia university—Laurel Castillo (Karla Souza), Wes Gibbins (Alfred Enoch), Asher Millstone (Matt McGorry), Michaela Pratt (Aja Naomi King) and Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee)—to work at her firm. Eager to learn no matter the cost, they take turns succeeding and failing under the tutelage of associate attorney Bonnie Winterbottom (Liza Weil) and jack-of-all-trades Frank Delfino (Charlie Weber). Little do they know, however, is that the show's titular lesson will hit very close to home when a sorority girl's missing body is found in the house's water tank, and a series of flashbacks and flash-forwards unravels their entanglement in a real-life murder conspiracy. Other cast members include Billy Brown, Tom Verica, Katie Findlay and Marcia Gay Harden.

News & Interviews for How to Get Away With Murder: Season 1

Critic Reviews for How to Get Away With Murder Season 1

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (27)

Unlike the other Rhimes Thursday shows on ABC, Grey's Anatomy and Scandal, Murder doesn't serve up enough juicy soapy fun.

Sep 25, 2014 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

The pilot is ingenious but at moments maybe a little too smart for its own good.

Sep 25, 2014 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

Davis is such a phenomenal actress that it's tempting and easy to say that she's better than the material she's given here, but hopefully she can elevate the show around to her level.

Sep 24, 2014 | Full Review…

Murder jumps around a lot, to the point where it's perhaps too much.

Sep 24, 2014 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

Davis is a marvel. She is guilty of being fabulous, and fabulous goes a long way these days.

Sep 23, 2014 | Full Review…

The pilot is nerve-wrackingly frantic, but if anyone can make this flaming Paper Chase exciting, it's Lady Rhimes-a-lot.

Sep 22, 2014 | Full Review…

Is How to Get Away With Murder a scam? Sure. Addictive. Definitely and with a Viola Davis dedicated to the cause. [Full Review in Spanish]

Jul 16, 2018 | Full Review…

If you care about law -- or even complex characters -- this isn't the show for you. Filled with more twists than a bowl of fusilli... a blithely shameless romp whose plotting wants to get away with murder, too.

Jul 13, 2017 | Full Review…

With its quick-paced nature and multiple twists and reveals, we're left wondering if this new series will become our next Scandal-like obsession.

Mar 7, 2017 | Full Review…

The filmmakers (some Grey's alum) have given us another winning factor: characters to either identify with or like. Ms. Davis, certainly delivers a quality performance.

Sep 25, 2014 | Full Review…

Even if you never grooved on Scandal, I'd still recommend giving Murder a try; it's easily one of the fall season's more entertaining pilots, and Viola Davis simply kills it.

Sep 24, 2014 | Full Review…

It's worth tuning in to see Davis display her versatility in the kind of multi-dimensional, non-stereotypical lead role she hasn't had an opportunity to play in movies.

Sep 19, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for How to Get Away With Murder: Season 1

  • Aug 01, 2020
    With a soap opera take on the murder mystery, incorporation of modern law, and Viola Davis in the lead role controlling relatable characters, HTGAWM is another hit for both ABC and Shonda Rhymes.
  • Jul 29, 2020
    Kinda confused with the ending of the season though!
  • Jul 19, 2020
    I think this show had one of the best endings I've ever seen. I loved it. Viola is my favorite actress.
  • Jun 16, 2020
    How to get away with murder has a compelling and bold narrative, with a creative way of delivering short flashforwards and after revealing the thing, the focus goes on something that happened in the past, told by flashbacks, which is in my opinion the most difficult way to present a believable story, but when you succeed, the results are impeccable.
  • Jun 12, 2020
    Pure fiction. But makes an interesting one time watch
  • Jun 06, 2020
    Wow, this show is littered with so many legal inaccuracies I couldn't stop screaming at the screen. Considering how much time was taken for medical accuracy in Grey's this is totally inexcusable. In the pilot I couldn't go 5 minutes without throwing my hands up in the air. A murder suspect, talking to a LOT of legal students? Not only would any 2 bit lawyer advise anyone on trial to turtle and not talk to ANYONE, to actually request they speak to a group of young adults? It's straight malpractice. If anyone learned she had a "contest" with her students over a trial...malpractice. Defense is entitled to surprises, and the prosecution is not. Making students in 2nd week of class skip other classes or be punished in her class? The other professors would be out of their ever loving minds and would tear down the offending professor. Also, she's so mean, she would have no friends. All lawyers make careers out of doing and asking for favors. The lead is so insufferable that no one would ever look in her direction, crippling her ability to practice law. P.S. Aren't we over the hard nosed take no nonsense superstar lead? It's so boring. But hey it is 6 seasons and climbing, so screw me right? Then again "Scorpio" the most gawd awful once again littered with not only technical but physical inaccuracies that would get the writers of the Fast&Furious crying "unrealistic" went for many seasons. That "How to...Murder" is still going shows how far we have fallen as a society.
  • May 29, 2020
    Excellent. The writing is brilliant and the build to the reveal is genius. A stunning series
  • May 22, 2020
    Season 1 would definitely have to be my favorite of them all. From the atmosphere, to the character introduction, to the plot, it seemed to have a magic that was missing in the later seasons. One that captivated you and lured you right in, because of the sheer mystery and unique storytelling for a "lawyer" show. I instantly found favor among the season's main concept: a murder mystery taking place on a college campus, starring a missing frat girl, a cast of law students with differing personalities, the no-nonsense Annalise Keating, and the fact that just anybody could be a suspect. It, in my eyes, separated itself from upcoming seasons, which felt different tonally, and not in a way I would have preferred (the show after season 1 began to feel drier, more predictable, and overly involved in politics and legal matters than balancing the two with down-to-earth and lively storytelling; despite the great emotion-evocation and shock value that remained). The characters themselves were portrayed in more fascinating ways that grabbed your interest, and the diverse personality traits that separated everyone from each other was quite clear. At the time, Wes served as our guide into the world of HTGAWM. We witnessed him going into Middleton law school, joining the main cast of law students, and unraveling secrets that were hidden from numerous characters. Of course, he was far more innocent than anyone else among him, and clearly had much to learn which set the stage for his character evolution. I didn't enjoy him sharing a direct connection to Annalise as revealed in following seasons, as it robbed him of the chance to become his own character and his short-lived life surely didn't help with that issue, nor did his stagnant and one-dimensional personality prior to the moments before his death. Rebecca Sutter was my favorite, and a welcome addition to the first season. Not just because I'm personally a sucker for goth-esque girls, but because of how multi-layered she was. Growing up in a city bigger than her, with rough beginnings and no sense of love in her life. She was bound to become a cold individual, and in that way allows the audience to understand her distrustful, vindictive, quick-witted, and aloof personality and why she does the things she does. Wes only enhanced her purpose in the show. He gave her a reason to be involved in a core part of the storyline (the murder of Sam Keating), and their relationship itself was an intriguing contrast of an innocent boy paired with an indecent girl. And that spawned some great storytelling gold to mine, as Wes could have given Rebecca a reason to feel loved and become a better person overall. Unfortunately, Rebecca was killed off at the start of the second season, which is a shame for both the character and the actress. Her death was something I felt was reasonable, but forced for murder's sake. The factors building up to her death was Wes' sudden distrust of her and inability to be around her at the right time, the fact that she could contact a witness to the Keating 5's murder of Sam, and Bonnie simply not believing that Rebecca was innocent. When in truth, none of those things needed to happen, and could have easily not been present in the show without betraying the nature of any characters. Indeed, the eventual deaths of both Wes and Rebecca were quite unnecessary. The writing relied too much on surprising the audience with getting away with murder, while ignoring the potentialities that could've helped its characters grow. Shock value can be good, and is basically required for HTGAWM in particular, but becomes a reckless waste of time when used on those who deserve better. With that said, some other characters I enjoyed in the first season were Connor and Laurel (the others weren't as fleshed out at the time). Connor was initially portrayed as an aspiring lawyer with confidence, who knew what he wanted and how to get it. He was playful, adventurous, and quite amusing in fearful situations. Naturally, it was all a shell to protect his inner turmoil, and that vulnerability made him quite real overall. He was considerably watered down later on, understandably because of his relationship with Oliver, though I can't help but feel that side of Connor should have stayed around a little longer. As for Laurel, what distinguished her from everyone else at the time was her shy and preserved demeanor, backed up by her unsuspected intelligence. She kept to herself more often, but still contributed a good deal to the story such as her competence in helping with cases and her sex life with Frank. Laurel also looked out for the underdog, that being Wes. She was simply headed in a direction that made her more likable, opposed to how she ended up later on: bold, temperamental, and cold-blooded (for lack of saying "b****y."). Her eventual love life with Wes only felt forced and unnatural, as there was no romantic tension between them, no time given to flesh out their relationship, and it seemed really out-of-place to call them the love of their lives, even if the show was clearly intending to make it feel that way. I was left utterly confused at how passionate Laurel was over the death of Wes, as if she knew the guy for years, and how she used his death as an excuse to get on a "I cared more about Wes than any of you" high horse. I very much felt Laurel was a better match with Frank as Wes would have been with Rebecca. In the end, season 1 will always remain my favorite season of How To Get Away With Murder, and it's a shame the others didn't quite live up to my expectations after the first. Nonetheless, the show is still decent in itself and I would recommend giving it a watch, especially if those other seasons are more of a match for you than they are me.
  • May 18, 2020
    Love this show!!! Twists and turns at every corner!!!
  • Jan 09, 2020
    Keeps you interested and tense till the end. Brilliant performance by Viola Davis!

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