In this week’s installment of the most dysfunctional legal team since OJ pre-Cochran: Wes gets locked in a psych ward, Annalise loses more people she cares about, Frank shares some secrets, and Conner admits to possessing feelings. Let’s dive in.
To start off, our poor boy Wes heads to the doctor to try and get some sleeping pills for his sad insomnia-ridden self. It would appear that covering up multiple murders, framing innocent people and then shooting your boss all have negative effects on your sleep cycle. Who knew?
Everyone who’s ever gotten their hands on some medically unnecessary prescription drugs knows that you present your symptoms and let the doctor come to the conclusion that you’re just there for pills, but pretends to believe you anyways. Wes has a different tactic, which is to waltz in and point blank demand sleeping pills, and then threaten suicide when he’s denied them. It’s a bold strategy Cotton, let’s see how it works out for him.
Wes: Ma’am, you have no idea how stressed I am. Law school is so hard. You could never understand how hard my post grad education is.
Doctor: I went to med school motherfucker.
Spoiler: it doesn’t work out well. The medical community frowns upon suicide threats, facetious or not, and Wes lands himself in a psych lockup with his beautiful doctor for the rest of the episode. As Laurel points out to Annalise, this could prove problematic as Wes is a ticking time bomb and when he finally explodes thousands of life-ruining secrets are bound to spill out.
Laurel: We should really try and save Wes before he cracks and we all end up in prison
Annalise: New phone who dis
Back at the law office, the rest of the students are attempting to be supportive for Annalise’s first case back since being shot. It’s kind of like when your parents made you show up to your siblings' little league game, even though they sat on the bench the entire time, but in this case somehow Frank is the responsible and begrudging Dad. Man, what a difference one season makes.
The case this episode is confusing and heartbreaking, because Annalise doesn’t accept any other kind. Her client murdered this woman’s son because he slept with his girlfriend. In a bizarre turn of events, the mother wants to try and mediate with her son’s killer rather than condemn him to 15 years in jail. She blames the system and society for what happened, rather than this tortured kid from the wrong side of the tracks who was just fighting with her son when the gun in his pocket went off. Sure.
Everyone but the grieving mother is pretty convinced this is an open-and-shut case. Annalise and the prosecutor are actually arguing together against the mediation. The law students are feeling extra uncomfortable and hypocritical, because one on hand this kid is clearly guilty, but on the other who hasn’t murdered and innocent person or two, huh?
Asher: Let he who hasn’t run over a district attorney throw the first stone, am I right?
In the midst of the case, Caleb comes running to Annalise for help. He wants to find Phillip, who he believes is solely responsible for the complete derailment of his entire life. If only he knew it was the woman sitting across the desk from him sanctimoniously condemning his sister for (not) shooting her.
At Coniver’s apartment (because they needed a couple name), Asher is still a completely unwelcome guest who does cute things like sleep on their couch and fart on Oliver. In case Asher’s current situation wasn’t sad enough, he gets to overhear the actual human embodiment of sunshine (Oliver) talk shit on him while Conner claims the pity friendship defense. Your dad kills himself, your mom blames you for it, your girlfriend dumps you, you murder a district attorney, and then you find out that your new favorite gay couple secretly resents you? Ouch.
Back at the courthouse, the heartfelt mediation between grieving mother and murderer goes so well that the defendant decides it’s time to turn over a new leaf and earn this woman’s trust the right way: total honesty. In this case, that means completely overturning his previous story and admitting to purposely killing her son, watching him bleed out, and then using the dead kid’s phone to text his mom and let her know that everything is okay. Understandably, there are mixed reactions to this confession. Annalise is horrified, the prosecutor wants to push for the death penalty, and the mother wants him to get off without jail time. You know, the way any mom would react in this situation.
Reeling from this development, the entire team heads back to the office to prep/brood. At this point the pent-up frustrations are verging on explosive, even for this group. Laurel lets it slip that Wes has been locked in a psych ward for almost a full day now and that Annalise has done nothing to stop it.
In a move of solidarity that literally no one expected, all of the law students go full Lord of the Flies on Annalise, calling her soulless and then rushing out to save Wes. Instead of dealing with this blow or recognizing that her life is crumbling around her, Annalise continues to work on her doomed case.
“We’ve all done terrible things” –sigil of House Keating.
While he manages to evade the death penalty, Annalise’s client ends up taking a life sentence, despite the fact that the mother was going to drop the charges because he wanted to truly atone for what he’d done. That’s right, the guy who murdered someone in cold blood for fucking his girlfriend is the most honorable client Annalise has ever defended.
Meanwhile, in lockup, Wes has managed to stumble upon a moderately competent doctor who has picked up on the fact that his soulless expression and apathy towards everything might stem from something other than a stressful school schedule. Even she, a stranger in a completely different field of employment, knows that a single day spent working alongside Annalise Keating is enough to rob you of your will to live and a year’s worth of sleep.
Eventually Wes breaks down and starts pouring his heart out to the hot doctor over his mother’s suicide, which might be genuine or might just be an attempt to distract from his clear guilt over six months of murder cover-ups. The doctor makes the very valid point that watching a maternal figure in his life get shot might have triggered some repressed trauma from his mother’s death. “Uh, but he’s the one who shot her,” you’re probably saying to yourself. Yeah, well, that probably didn’t help either.
Wes (and me, having to stay up on a work night to watch this show): I just need sleep
The fantastic four arrives at the psych ward to try and free Wes with all of the legal acumen that going to a quarter of your first term law classes allow, but their heroics prove unnecessary because he’s been released. It’s probably because the doctor recognizes that any more connection with him will probably result in her own murder, but still a nice gesture. The car ride home involves an uncomfortable confrontation between Asher and Conner, which results in all of them (minus Michaela) stiltedly admitting that they are each other’s best (and only) friends.
Throughout this entire episode we’ve been treated to flashbacks to 10 years in the past during which Annalise is pregnant, Sam is still alive, Bonnie looks like Paris after she got rejected from Harvard, and Frank might be an extra on The Office. We get some insight into the genesis of these important relationships that will shape the next ten years, but most importantly, we find out that Wes’ mom is somehow connected to a high profile case that Annalise is working on in which some rich ass white guy is being accused of murder. I think we can all safely assume that Annalise drawing Wes’ mom into the case will somehow result in her death.
Laurel shows up at Frank’s after team bonding is done to find a not very happy, semi-jealous boyfriend. Why didn’t she tell him about Wes? Why does she keep secrets? Why doesn’t she compliment his ziti more often? Clearly Frank has some self-esteem issues to work out.
Jokes on him, because Laurel completely flips the argument as to why he keeps all these secrets from her. Last season he told her that he’s done his fair share of shady stuff for Annalise but never expanded on it, and so she’s been dwelling ever since. She drops the “I’m the one who shot Annalise” bomb and then demands that Frank start sharing as well.
Laurel: Tell me your secrets or I’m leaving.
Frank: I killed Lila.
Laurel: …right so I’m still leaving.
Wes arrives home to his crack den apartment after a harrowing day of medical detainment to find that someone (Annalise) has left him a gift. It’s the case file from the flashback that she had showed to his mom before she broke into a full-fledged panic. Somehow this rich guy, Annalise, and Wes’ mom are all connected, and rather than sit Wes down and explain it to him, Annalise left him some fucking breadcrumbs to lose his already precious sleep over. And you wonder why he fucking shot you.