Another week, another murder case for Annalise Keating. If only things were that simple! Maybe I’m just missing my weekly Grey’s Anatomy fix, but I think I’ve reached the point where Annalise doesn’t just annoy me, she disgusts me.
We begin with yet another flash-forward: things aren’t looking good for Annalise. She’s crashing on the gurney, as a crazed Frank has to be escorted out in order to let the doctors do their work. Aw Frank, I didn’t know you cared that much! Of course he puts on a good show, which ends abruptly as soon as he steps away from the security cameras. When he returns to the garage, he’s not a concerned friend; he’s someone with a dead (? …unconscious?) body in his back seat: Catherine Hapstall.
Back to the present: Frank is having a hot and heavy romp in the sack with Laurel. As soon as he hits the shower, she starts snooping through his stuff, to find some – any – connection to the suitcase full of cash they all discovered in the storage facility.
At school, Wes is freaking out about whatever conspiracy they’re in the middle of uncovering, with Laurel not as enthusiastic but definitely uneasy about Frank. Connor and Michaela, however, want nothing to do with Wes’ spy games.
Asher is torn, between trying to protect Bonnie and keeping his end of the deal to testify (which also conveniently saves his ass). With a nudge from Annalise – well, okay, that was more of a shove – he changes his mind. Naturally, Annalise hides the real reason from Bonnie. For all we know, the little girl in the video is some random old client of hers. She fed him a bullshit story and got the truth about his past crime in return; not bad for a day’s work. To top it off, she also got to be the good guy for once, giving Bonnie the undeserved credit for changing his mind and saving the day.
Annalise’s visit to the DA was a familiar display of arrogance on her part. Although Sinclair has been temporarily defeated, she still has the Hapstall murder case to look forward to. As much as Annalise wants to dive right into her defense strategy and look for another suspect to pin this on, she has to put it on hold: she gets a call from her professor friend Jill about another murder. Jill just killed her husband in self defense.
At the house, Bonnie’s keeping up the charade, reassuring Asher that Annalise always takes care of everything. In her zeal to do just that, Annalise ended up giving her friend Jill instructions on how to
stage ‘exaggerate’ a crime scene; now the cops might find out. They already know Jill is transgender and think she killed her husband Stephen because he found out. In her privileged conversation with her lawer, Jill swears to Annalise that he’d known ever since they were dating, and she’s terrified of ending up in a men’s prison.
This case bores me.
The interns are looking into possible suspects on the Hapstall case, and Michaela and Caleb bond some more over their joint refusal to implicate Caleb and Catherine’s birth parents in the case. As they discuss the siblings’ possible guilt, they figure out Catherine has been recording their conversations – oops!
Annalise is pissed. She also thinks they’re useless, which annoys the crap out of me. She hardly ever does any work on her own, these guys are actually students, law students who barely have time to study, she takes on impossible cases and expects them to hand her exculpatory evidence on a silver platter. I can’t remember the last time we saw her do actual lawyer work that didn’t involve either intimidating someone or just talking out of her ass. Boo.
Meanwhile, Wes gets the cold shoulder from Nate, who wants nothing to do with this case or anything involving Annalise. No surprise there: his wife just died. Annalise pays him a visit, with a nice pan of peach cobbler. Okay, so now we’re supposed to believe that she actually made it herself? Please.
The interns are sick and tired of going nowhere with the case, being talked down to and having to listen to Wes’s constant whining about the Rebecca case. Okay, so the being talked down to part is just me projecting. Everything wrong with our lives is because of you, they tell him, which is pretty accurate, considering he’s the one who brought Rebecca into their lives to begin with. Laurel has had it: she suggests that they go to Frank and ask him point blank about the money. He denies any knowledge about Rebecca’s fate and explains away the suitcase full of cash: it was meant to be hush money for Rebecca, for keeping quiet about the guys tying her up. Good one, Frank. He actually comes out on top on this one – we’re all being honest, for once, how cool is this? I’m paraphrasing, but the smugness was unmistakable.
On the Jill/Stephen case, a female student steps forward with an eyewitness account of Stephen’s violence towards Jill. Annalise cleverly figures out it was all a lie, and that Jill was the one who put her up to it. Apparently she was so good at hiding the abuse it’s going to be hard to find any real evidence to support it. Annalise is pissed (again). Not because Jill lied, but because she didn’t think of it first. Ah, she should have been an ethics professor. She tries to paint it as a hate crime. Okay then. The cops and the DA aren’t dummies; they have logs of Jill’s call to Annalise before the 911 call; they assume she coached her to make it look like self-defense.
To make things worse, there’s a hiccup in the Millstone case. Once again, Annalise does what she does best: hits the vodka and makes her minions (Frank and Bonnie) dig up dirt on whoever she’s up against. This time, it’s Asher’s father, who happens to be a judge, and whose name she had promised to keep out of this. Bonnie is reluctant, but Annalise is matter of fact: Asher will just have to grow up; they all do. She has no problem destroying other people’s lives as long as it serves her interests. She gets the DA to drop the charges against Jill and to keep Sinclair on a leash, in exchange of evidence against daddy Millstone. Problem solved! Annalise bonds with Jill over their mutual content for their widowhood. Isn’t she adorable?
At least she gives the guys credit for coming up with the birth parent idea, which led to their discovery of a mysterious cousin (son of – now dead – Aunt Helen), who had plenty of motive in seeing their parents dead and the two siblings framed for the murder. Michaela tries to clear the air after the unfortunate recording incident and ends up flirting with Caleb, rather predictably.
The same night, Annalise returns to Nate’s with yet another casserole dish. Really? His reaction is pretty understandable: I don’t want your cobbler, lady. Annalise robbed him of precious time with his dying wife when she framed him for Sam’s murder. So he says what ultimately stings the most: he doesn’t hate her; he just doesn’t care about her. He gave the pills to his wife and was right next to her until her dying breath. No one is going to love Annalise that way. Ouch. Worse of all? Wes is standing in the corridor.
On a lighter note, Frank puts on his cute face and takes Laurel home to meet his family, which is so stereotypically Italian it hurts. See, I’m almost living in a sitcom, I can’t be that bad, he seems to be saying. Nice diversion!
Annalise, on the other hand, is using a much more manipulative diversion tactic: she follows Wes home, he confronts her about Rebecca, and when she denies any knowledge of her whereabouts and he doesn’t believe her, she blames it on his mother. His mom killed herself and Wes’s behaviour can conveniently be blamed on his trust issues, but thank God for Annalise-dearest, because she can be like the mommy he never had. God, she’s a hateful bitch. She turns off the waterworks as soon as she leaves and confirms that Frank has taken care of business (i.e. Rebecca’s body).
Daddy Sinclair and Asher are having their own little showdown. Dad is going down, with that stack of evidence Sinclair was conveniently handed, and Asher has been duped. But is Asher really the good guy in all this? The case he desperately wanted buried was an actual gang-rape. Sinclair offers to share the info with Bonnie and just can’t help herself even when Bonnie refuses. That’s gotta make for a very awkward conversation between the two lovebirds.
Connor and Olly are sharing secrets too: Oliver has hacked into the mysterious cousin’s computer: they now know who he is, what he looks like and where he lives. What they don’t know, is that he’s watching everything through Olly’s webcam. Uh-oh. I thought Oliver was a hacking genius, how can he not notice he’s being hacked himself? Anything to move the plot forward, I guess.
In the closing flash-forward of the episode, we pick up where we left off at the top: Frank is carrying Catherine’s body into the woods and places her on the ground. The following morning, a rescue dog leads a police woman to the site. As soon as she calls in for help, Catherine comes to.
And I guess we still have quite a while to go before we can figure out what happened there. For the time being, I’m content just sitting here hating Annalise Keating.