Before I start this week’s recap I’d like to apologize for the numerous threats I made towards Shonda Rimes RE: Oliver’s Safety. Turns out I may have been overreacting. I should have known our girl Shonda wouldn’t do us like that and rescind the multiple Liam Neeson-esque diatribes I directed at you. Moving on.
This week’s episode of How to Get Away with Murder was refreshing in that there was really only one story line going on, with minor divergences for each character to go get some. But really, what the fuck was up with that ending? Why did we have to watch a full cast sex montage while poor Wes stayed at home and stared at a creepy painting? But I digress, we’ll get there in due time.
The introductory flashback shows something that we haven’t seen in a while: Bonnie being a boss ass bitch. She smacks some sense into a clearly distressed Conner, telling him to get on board otherwise he’ll be the next dead body out there. Shit Bon Bon, looks like Paris Gellar is still in there somewhere.
Three days earlier, Conner manages to moderately pull through on the Rambo style reaction that I demanded from him last week upon discovering Oliver was missing. He storms straight to Annalise’s where, for once, the entire team decided to come together and discuss their options before individually going off and committing highly illegal acts. For clarity, I mean the whole team minus Asher, who has never really been on the team, and Bonnie, who is taking a much needed sabbatical on the floor of her shower.
Right as Nate is about to do his actual job and call in this missing person situation, a suggestion that scandalized the rest of the crew, Oliver waltzes in the front door with none other than Philip in tow. Philip, in case you forgot, is the potentially murderous cousin of the Hapstall’s who got cat fished last episode and was almost the subject of my vitriolic smear campaign if it had anything to do with harming Oliver. Turns out, my (and the entire Internet’s) reaction was wholly unnecessary, because Philip just wanted to talk.
Annalise, clad in a red silky robe because fuck propriety, and the team all sit down for an incredibly tense discussion with Philip of how to proceed from this point, at which point many illegal things have happened. Philip knows he’s been wronged and has zero qualms telling Annalise so. He also claims that he didn’t murder anyone and that his birth parents are from Iowa. This alone is reason enough to suspect him for being a crazed murderer.
Not one to beat around the bush, Annalise straight up asks Philip what he wants in exchange for keeping his creepy little mouth shut, and he responds with a simple “I don’t know yet,” before walking out. How far have the mighty fallen if this pasty (spoiler alert) product of incest can mic drop on a room of beautiful lawyers, plus whatever the fuck Frank is.
In a swift collectiveness that these people only seem to manage when they’re at risk of jail time, everyone stands up and sets off for their individual damage control assignments. Frank runs to the DNA lab to test the straw that Oliver stole from Philip. Conner takes a meat tenderizer to Oliver’s laptop, the most dramatic approach to data destroying I’ve ever seen. Nate, the least conspicuous of the group, follows Philip to his job that looks incredibly boring and involves a green apron. Wes probably went home and brainstormed ways to ruin everyone’s lives again. Most shocking: Laurel was crowned the new Bonnie.
Is it a bit tactless for Annalise to literally call Laurel her new Bonnie while the real Bonnie lies on the floor of her shower, broken by the betrayal of her best friend and traumatized by the drudged up memories from her childhood? Yeah, it definitely is. But Annalise has never given a fuck about Bonnie’s feelings and she certainly isn’t going to start now.
Things are tense in the Keating Law Office so naturally ADA Sinclair has to show up and literally just fucking ruin everything. She drops 300 DNA samples at the lab and buries Annalise’s team in discovery paperwork, almost as if she knew they were onto something and trying to stall them. Oh wait, she did know, because she planted a bug in the office. Is this what being a lawyer is like? Shady dealings, elaborate cover ups and illegal hacking on a daily basis? If so, I might have actually considered law school.
Sinclair has one more treat for Annalise & Co.: a plea deal for Catherine and Caleb. The twins, who have been left completely in the dark and fucked over by their lawyers on multiple occasions now, consider taking the plea just so they can end this fiasco of a trial. Never one to turn down the opportunity for sexual and emotional manipulation, Annalise sends Wes and Michael to talk down Catherine and Caleb, respectively. In the meantime, she uses the discovered bug to lead Sinclair to a fake murder weapon in the basement in the basement of the Hapstall mansion. By the time that Sinclair discovers she’s been duped (and she would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those MEDDLING LAW STUDENTS) the clock on the plea deal has run out. No one fucking messes with Annalise Keating.
Oh wait, except maybe her own clients, who run around behind her back negotiating their own plea deals. Taking Wes’
sage fucking stupid advice, Catherine accepted the plea deal and haggled it down to 10 years for her and zero for Caleb. One defendant taking the fall for both herself and her accomplice for fewer years than originally offered doesn’t seem even remotely legal to me, but Sinclair clearly went to law school in the Caymans so she’ll take what she can get.
After an entire episode of being upstaged by Asher and belittled by Annalise, Frank recovers the shards of his broken ego and comes to the rescue. He bribed the DNA lab technician with $50,000 of his hidden suitcase money to push their sample ahead of the 300 Sinclair dropped off, which revealed that Philip was in fact at the crime scene AND the incestuous baby of the dead Mr. Hapstall and his racist (and also dead) sister.
The twins are acquitted, and due to some highly illegal slandering and record tampering on Nate’s part, Philip’s report to the police is negated. This is a cause for celebration! No one is going to jail! How should we all celebrate? I know, let’s all have synchronized sex to some ABC approved slow jams. Oliver and Conner head to the classroom so Oliver can get schooled. Nate manages to overlook the 600 times Annalise ruined his life and gets some sweet makeup sex out of it. Michaela heads directly to the Hapstall’s and hops up on Caleb, because now he is officially not a murderer and a billionaire. Frank makes Laurel homemade Italian food and then goes down on her, literal goals.
Where’s Wes while all of this is happening? Oh, just longingly gazing at the painting Catherine had delivered to him as a thank you for…I don’t know, almost getting her to voluntarily go to jail?
Catherine: I made you a painting. I call it Celebration. It's sexual and violent.
There are many things about this painting that concern me.
1. It is clearly of Wes and his family as a child. Why does Catherine know what any of these people look like?
2. How long has she been working on this painting? I don’t think you can just whip up creepy wax-like portraits in a quick afternoon.
3. How does she know Wes’ address????
Wes is probably also pondering all of these things when he realizes something that not even Rain Man would have noticed. There is a corner of a Catherine Hapstall Original ™ peeking out of the very background of one of the evidence photos of Philip playing video games in his home. This clearly means that these two cousins/siblings, who claim to have never met, are in cahoots. Back at the mansion, Caleb waits until after having sex with Michaela to show her the murder weapon he stumbled upon in Catherine’s painting room. You know, classic pillow talk.
While both of these epiphanies are occurring, we see Philip roll up in a car that Catherine jumps into. He tells her not to worry, he’ll handle it. Does incest run in this family? Would this be a case of incest squared? Would their children be both cousins and siblings and possibly also have 3 arms? Here’s hoping we never find out.
Tune in next week for my incoherent and most likely irate ramblings on the midseason finale, where we will find out who shot Annalise and what the fuck goes down in that mansion, other than rampant sibling sex.