With a twist or a gasp (or at least a vicious put-down) every 12-15 minutes, How to Get Away With Murder is the kind of show that inspires some pretty outlandish theories. So I hope you’ll indulge my newest and craziest hypothesis:
The third leg in ABC’s #TGIT lineup is a non-musical adaptation of the Broadway classic Chicago.
I know, I know, Shondaland’s most treacherous treat is actually set in Philadelphia. And perhaps the plots aren’t entirely parallel. But five or six years from now, when Annalise and Bonnie don their tap shoes for a fantastical routine set to “Roxie’s Suite,” all the puzzle pieces will come together.
Be real, people. The “he had it comin'” refrain of “Cell Block Tango” is pretty much the mission statement for EP Pete Nowalk and his merry band of writers. Annalise somehow manages to be Billy Flynn, Velma Kelly and Matron Mama Morton — only with 10 times more sexual intensity. And — stay with me here — when my theory finally gets validated sometime in 2021, we’ll all go “A-HA!” and understand Thursday night’s installment is an extended riff on the delectable jam “When Velma Takes the Stand.”
All together now… See that Keating girl/ Make that jury whirl/ When she turns it on/ She’s gonna get ’em goin’ ’til she’s got ’em gone
OK, this recap is officially off the rails. Is anyone still reading? (Oh, hi Mom, thanks!) Let me abruptly shift gears and get to weighing in on the actual action from “She’s Dying”:
WHOSE PRELIMINARY HEARING IS THIS, ANYWAY? | As That Bitch Prosecutor (born name Something or Other St. Clair) tries to prove there’s enough evidence to take Nate to trial for the murder of Sam Keating, she gets sidetracked with trying to prove Annalise’s guilt. “Let the slut shaming begin,” sighs Connor, when the questions begin about La Keating’s sexual relationship with Nate — leading our protagonist to deliver a sensationally salty retort: “Your strategy has been to attack me with accusations and insinuations — making it clear this is not a preliminary hearing, but a witch hunt. And I did not put my hand on this court’s bible to be burned at the stake — especially by a petty, foolish, amateur prosecutor who doesn’t deserve mine or anyone else in this court’s respect!” St. Clair says that Annalise’s outburst/temper proves she’s “more than capable of murder,” but c’mon, it’s not like she leapt out of the witness box and put her hands around the JV attorney’s throat. (Well, not yet, anyway.)
Nate, however, throws a hitch in the plan concocted by Annalise and Eve by refusing to lie on the stand and say he and Sam had a fight on Murder Night (which would explain his print on Sam’s ring). So Eve does what she’s paid to do — and presents an alternate theory placing blame for Sam’s death on Annalise. It’s brutal, it’s personal, and it’s partially true. And while it leaves Annalise devastated, it also convinces the judge that St. Clair needs to go back to the drawing board and build a better case. Nobody’s popping champagne, exactly, but Annalise has always been more of a vodka gal, anyway, no?
“NOW GO HOME, AND DON’T KILL ANYONE” | Slow clap for Annalise’s Zinger of the Week, delivered to Caleb and Catherine Hapstall, the (maybe incestuous?) adopted children accused of murdering their rich parents whose case Annalise took last week. Remember the judgmental massage-loving aunt who was a witness for the prosecution, then ended up with her throat slit? Catherine lies and provides an all-night alibi for Caleb, the police find Caleb’s DNA in the aunt’s car, and things are looking verrrrry dubious — until Oliver hacks into the police DNA lab and learns the evidence was planted. (It’s all a little convoluted – I’m just gonna take their word for it. If it’s good enough for the judge and all…)
50 SHADES OF JEAN GREY | When Eve (Famke Janssen) comes to apologize to Annalise for her courtroom brutality, Annalise is all, “Oh, we’re fine — I’m just pouring a bag of chips and definitely not making eye contact with you, you *^%#&@* Judas!” But Eve has her own super powers of interrogation, and so finally Annalise admits it was the way Eve made her line of questioning personal and hurtful that bothered her — a claim Eve doesn’t deny. See, she’s still in love with Annalise after all these years, and she hates it. “It was good with you — and real. Too real,” Annalise replies tearfully. “So I got scared and I left. But you’re the most beautiful thing that ever happened to me.” And just like that, they’re kissing, caressing, undressing and — as Wendy Williams might say — getting their swirl on. The end result leaves Eve utterly Keatingnotized — and in the morning, she’s all, “You should move to NYC and let me get you a job at Columbia and it doesn’t mean we’re married and…” They kiss once more — on the porch – in the cold light of morning — and Nate sees it all from his surveillance perch in his car. Could he be the one who’s responsible for Annalise’s flash-forward condition? (Nahhhh. Too early and too obvious, I say.)
WINNERS NEVER QUIT | Annalise continues to verbally punish Lurky McChurchmouse for murdering Rebecca — and then making her clean up the remains. “You play little girl lost, and I play mommy!” Keating rages — and finally we get some insight into the women’s dynamic. Bonnie asks if she should quit, and Annalise points out that once again, Bonnie is putting all the power in her hands. “You say you want me to be like you, but you don’t — not really,” shoots back Bonnie. “You want me like this so I don’t forget what I owe you. Well, I don’t forget, Annalise. Ever.” And that leads to an “I killed Rebecca FOR YOU!” confession that drives Annalise to the vodka and the brink of despair. It’s her contention that Bonnie — and pretty much everyone else in her sphere — needs saving from her. “Lock me up. That way you can all finally be safe.” Maybe these two need a carefree girls’ weekend in Atlantic City? Unlike Annalise on the stand, I would have no objections to that!
IN OTHER NEWS… | Connor tells the Keating 5 about Oliver’s HIV status — to throw Asher off the scent of their Sam-related guilt, and Asher spills the intel back to Oliver in well-meaning but utterly clueless fashion. Frank gets Laurel all hot under the skirt — only to tell her he’s closed for business til she stops treating him like a gigolo. And a cute guy makes a date with Michaela in the courthouse — SHOULDN’T THESE KIDS ALL BE MORE SUSPICIOUS OF STRANGERS IN SEASON 2 — and it’s all well and good ’til Wes finds the guy’s face in a group photo of Rebecca’s discarded belongings.
ANNALISE IN THE PARLOR WITH A BULLET WOUND | We learn that Wes isn’t just fleeing the Hapstall mansion in the flash-forward, but running to Laurel and Michaela. Only problem is, they don’t know where Connor is. Turns out, he’s checking for Annalise’s pulse, refusing to leave her to die, but also aggressive-aggressively telling her it’s always her fault. In a sign that the students are a closer-knit unit now, the other three run back into the house and convince Connor to flee with them — and leave their boss lady to whatever the fates have in store — before the cops arrive. But as they make their way down the steps, we see ANOTHER DEAD BODY! (Side note: If Ryan Murphy needs a setting for the next American Horror Story, this mansion is apparently more deadly than the inn in The Shining.) Whoot, there she is — That Bitch Prosecutor (who we just learned is now taking over the Hapstall case) laying dead in front of the house, her skull cracked, presumably from a fall from the balcony.
Would this be the appropriate time to paraphrase Chicago? She had it comin’/ She had it comin’/ She only had herself to blame… You’re right, it’s too soon. So let me pass the mic to you!
What did you think of HTGAWM Season 2 Episode 2? Who gunned down Annalise? Who killed St. Clair? And what to make of the brother-sister accused? (Totes guilty, right?) Share your theories in the comments!