Welcome to How to Get Away with Murder, where everything is made up and the feelings don’t matter. Last night’s season finale left us with a lot of questions, the most prevalent being “Why do I voluntarily put myself through this emotional rollercoaster every week?”
The morning after the entire team’s trip to Sodom and Gomorrah, everyone shows up to work to realize one very important thing: Annalise is gone. Considering the fact that there is a deranged serial killer on the loose bent on her destruction, I can see why they all started jumping to outrageous conclusions. Even Wes, whose entire life was derailed by Annalise for the 100th time the night before, looks moderately concerned.
That is, until my spirit animal Laurel stumbles through the door in last night’s clothes clutching a bottle of Pedialyte. Never have I identified with a character more.
Connor: Annalise is gone, any idea what happened?
Laurel: * blackout flashback *
Laurel: Oh god.
To everyone but Connor’s delight, Oliver hacks into Annalise’s credit card statements to find out that she booked a flight home to Tennessee. Everyone instantly abandons being concerned and returns to their natural state of resenting Annalise.
Laurel pulls Frank aside to tell him about her drunken honesty hour the night before. After two seasons' worth of immoral acts that should have incited a lifetime of regret, this is the first time that Frank has actually looked bothered. And boy, is there a good reason why.
Now seems as good a time as ever to cover the flashback, which centers on Frank and the very grave mistake he made that lead to a life of fancy suits and ultimate depravity.
Back in Ohio in 2006, fresh from the first of many Annalise snubs he would receive over the years, Frank was feeling vindictive. So vindictive, in fact, that he accepted a suitcase full of money in exchange for placing a bug in Annalise’s room. No big, right?
Wrong. So very wrong. It turns out that the woman who paid Frank worked for Wallace Mahoney, and the bug that he planted informed them that Annalise was about to go AWOL and out the Mahoney’s for a whole lot of things, some of which included witness tampering and rape.
So Mahoney did what the rich white villain in any show does: tries to kill her by staging a car accident. That’s right friends, FRANK IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ANNALISE’S MISCARRIAGE. NO ONE IS SAFE ANYMORE. Never as dumb as we all pinned him to be in the beginning, Frank is pretty quick to figure out what he’s done.
Overcome by guilt, Frank confesses to Sam at the hospital. Understandably, Sam is upset, which explains why he was able to call in a favor ten years later and have Frank take care of his pregnant student girlfriend situation. He also makes Frank swear to never tell Annalise, because how is she going to find out otherwise, right? JOKES.
Back in the present, Nate has arrived to an already hectic scene to let everyone know that there is about to be a warrant out for Annalise’s arrest. This sets off even more panic than before, not out of concern for Annalise so much as this would mean the slow but steady unraveling of two seasons' worth of lies, murder cover-ups, crime scene fabrication, perjury, and honestly I’ve lost count of what else.
Wes fills Laurel in on his family drama, and she manages to do a really good job of not looking horrified. This comes in handy, because her next job is to continue to be the rational side of this duo.
Wes: Yeah so my estranged father low-key threatened to murder me once but I’m going to fly to New York and confront him anyways.
Laurel: So first of all, no.
Frank walks in on this tender moment and instantly assumes Laurel and Wes are an item. In order to assure him otherwise, Laurel tells Frank about Wes’ dad, because that for sure wasn’t incredibly personal information. Given Frank’s history with the Mahoney’s this is a big fucking deal.
Upstairs, Michaela and Asher are engaging in round two of their repulsive and yet probably long-lasting affair. Michaela cuts it off before things go too far, probably because Connor’s gay best friend senses were already tingling.
Actually, Connor is otherwise occupied as, despite his explicit wishes, Oliver has once again involved himself in the nefarious activities of Keating & Co. He hacks into the police server to get a copy of Annalise’s arrest warrant, only to find that most of it is inaccessible. Michaela spouts out one of those law facts she learned from attending the first three days' worth of classes, which amounts to the fact that Annalise’s warrant was probably redacted because there’s a mole informing on her. Cue widespread paranoia for everyone in the room.
Annalise manages to escape her nightmarish life in Philadelphia only to suffer through the very particular hell that you can only experience as an adult going home to see your family. Instead of allowing Annalise some peace and quiet after a laundry list of traumatic events, Ophelia (her mom) decides to throw a homecoming party. Annalise Keating is all of us when forced to interact with distant relatives: openly annoyed and on the hunt for alcohol.
Among the many unwelcome guests is Annalise’s dad, who she is not even remotely happy to see. In a shocking turn of events, Annalise has a strained and uncomfortable relationship with the father who abandoned her family. Daddy issues?? In this show?? No one saw that coming!!
Ophelia pulls the mother of all mom cards by dropping life-altering information on Annalise in the middle of a party in the hopes that she won’t cause a scene. It turns out that she’s been seeing her ex-husband again, and Annalise reacts like a scorned 16-year-old child of divorce in an ABC Family drama. I’m sorry, Freeform.
In case Annalise wasn’t regretting her impromptu trip enough, Nate arrives at their doorstep and Ophelia instantly turns into the grandmother from Mulan. He just came to warn Annalise about her arrest warrant, but is nevertheless trapped into an entire evening of family-style interrogation.
Mama: Nate, are you gonna stay for dinner?
Annalise: He has to head home, Mama.
Mama: SHUT IT CHILD.
You know what will probably look suspicious to the Philadelphia PD? The fact that a repeatedly disgraced officer who is romantically attached to Annalise Keating disappears to Tennessee, where she recently fled, mere hours after her arrest warrant was processed. Honestly though, what are they going to do? Fire Nate again?
Now, Annalise gets to endure yet another painful family gathering, this time feat. the fuck buddy that she might be dating but has definitely framed for murder. Nate gets to experience some familial drama firsthand, as if Annalise wasn’t difficult enough to deal with in the first place.
Annalise’s mom makes a real low blow about Annalise’s lack of children, which is a sore spot for her as well as the rest of viewing America who wept in their living rooms last week. Always one to have the last word, Annalise waits until the end of the night to drop a super casual “I did have a baby but he died,” because she might actually be trying to kill her 100-year-old mother.
Instead of consoling Annalise or telling her how sorry she is for her loss, Ophelia wakes her up in the middle of the night and makes her write a note to the baby so that she can bury it in the front yard. And the rest of us pay money for actual therapy. Fools. This proves cathartic for everyone involved, I guess. Idk, I’m Irish. There’s one occasion in which we voluntarily discuss feelings, and it’s while drunk.
The next day, after shutting down her father’s attempts at reconciliation, Annalise lives out everyone’s real life nightmare of turning on her dead phone and being greeted by 25 voicemails. There are apologies from Laurel and Frank, pleas from Bonnie and Connor, and news about her arrest warrant from ADA Denver. PSA: never check your voicemail.
Michaela finally gets Annalise on the phone to let her know that they’ve found the mole, and it’s Caleb. Honestly, do any of us even really blame him at this point? Annalise races back to Philadelphia and heads straight to the DA’s office where a very smug Denver is awaiting her, ready to show his winning hand. He’s clearly never watched this show.
Denver: You manipulated Caleb Hapstall from day one and we’re finally going to put you in jail.
In only the way Annalise Keating can, she proceeds to blow the mind of me, ADA Denver, the entire Philadelphia Police Department, and the NSA, who are probably listening and terrified of the day that have to go toe-to-toe with this Viking of a woman.
Here’s what she had to say:
Denver is still pretty set on moving forward with Annalise’s arrest until she pulls out her trump card: Phillip Jessup, who has willingly showed up at the police station to testify to all of this. Boom, Philadelphia law enforcement. You’ve just been Keating’d.
After that, all’s well that ends well. Except for Caleb, who kills himself once the news breaks. And for Michaela, who just can’t catch a fucking break in the dating department. And also for everyone else, because this is How to Get Away with Murder for God’s sake.
Michaela: Why can’t I just find a nice, straight, non-sociopath to date?
Oliver, deadset on his career path at the Keating Law Firm, calls Stanford pretending to be Connor and denies his acceptance. How did Connor get into Stanford Law after a semi-quarter of barely attended law classes? Good question.
Annalise arrives home to find, who else, Bonnie diligently waiting for her. Bonnie breaks down the entire Frank-Lila-Sam thing, which means revealing the real reason behind Annalise’s miscarriage.
Bonnie: Frank is so unbelievably sorry.
Annalise: Trust no man.
Laurel heads over to Frank's to presumably apologize for outing him for murder, only to find that he’s disappeared. You know it’s serious, because his silk three-piece suits are gone, too.
Wes, who hasn’t suffered enough yet, heads to New York to confront his dad who we already know, without a shadow of a doubt, is a soulless asshole. There is a split second of a moment, after Wes reveals who he is, that you think Wallace might turn out to be alright. He looks contemplative and possibly regretful. Sure, history tells us that he’s going to probably ruin Wes’ life and come after Annalise for revealing his secret, but for one moment we aren’t quite sure. And guess what? We’ll never be sure, because mere seconds later he’s shot in the head by a passing car. Wes, standing on a New York City sidewalk covered in his biological father’s blood and brain matter, should really just stop fucking trying to get answers to anything.
I leave you all until next season, by which point I hope the world creates a stronger type of wine, because the regular shit just isn’t enough to numb the pain that watching this show causes me.