How to Get Away With Murder Recap: 'Tonya, You Negligent Slut!'

Slut-shaming: It’s not just for Internet message boards anymore, it’s also for juries looking to yell “Guilty!” and burn a buxom beauty at the stake.

So says Annalise Keating at the start of this week’s How to Get Away With Murder — which not only drops some knowledge about a sexual position known as “the octopus” (do we go with the definition found on Urban Dictionary or the very different one courtesy of but also raises questions about the season’s central (and possibly incestuous) defense clients, Caleb and Catherine Hapstall and leaves us with a “Whoa! Em! Gee!” reveal that Annalise’s former lover Nate and partner in flirtation Wes might be in cahoots.

Along the way, Asher tries to walk away from his role as mole for Annalise’s arch nemesis, Michaela admits to never having achieved orgasm and oh man, there’s really enough plot in “It’s Called the Octopus” to fill three or four recaps. Nevertheless, let’s try to hit the key elements:

CASE OF THE WEEK | Annalise takes on the case of a sex-party proprietor (The Fosters’ Sherri Saum) accused of killing a married-with-children client with whom she was in love. The woman’s dishonesty — Annalise finally learns Tonya caused her lover’s heart attack not to kill him, but to expose their affair to his wife — enrages our protagonist, who not only calls Tonya a “negligent slut” but also accuses her of “giving those of us who really like sex a bad name.” Nevertheless, we all know Annalise hates to lose, so she raises ugly suspicions about the victim’s wife, scores a “not guilty” verdict, then tells the horrified Tonya that she doesn’t need her outrage, she’d rather have a gift. “How do you sleep at night?” asks the client. To which Annalise replies with the most delicious contempt, “Alone — on very comfortable sheets” before adding that she likes “expensive bottles of vodka.” Talk about the very definition of “the defense rests”!

THE ADOPTED ACCUSED | A tabloid shot of Caleb and Catherine Hapstall suggests they might be lovers — a claim they vehemently deny. But by the end of the hour we learn it’s their housekeeper who leaked the nasty pic — and she’s certain the adopted siblings are guilty not only of incest, but also of torturing and murdering their billionaire parents. The week’s flash-forward — Annalise on the parlor floor, with a gunshot wound to the chest — suggests the same, as Viola Davis’ antihero flashes on an image of the siblings and wonders, “Why did they do it?”

ANNALISE IN DANGER? | We all know Annalise is going to be on the wrong end of a gun by season’s end, but who’ll be the one to do her in? We get parallel scenes where she seems thisclose to having sex with Wes (after he kills a suffering rat in a basement trap in her home) and Nate (whose job she’s restored with the Philly PD). But nobody ends up taking the bait — at which point we learn Wes has paid a visit to Nate, and the men have agreed to work together, though their endgame is still a complete mystery.

ASHER, LAUREL, MICHAELA, and CONNOR | In other news, Connor and Oliver are finally able to resume their sex life (following Connor’s course of PrEP), while Laurel takes up Frank on his offer to get to know him better (even plying Bonnie with drinks to get intel). Michaela, meanwhile, finds herself succumbing to the charms of Levi (the secret foster brother of ill-fated Rebecca). But when Wes recognizes Levi from Rebecca’s photo, he confronts the guy — and they agree to work together to find out what happened to the young woman they love (while allowing Levi to continue his seduction of Michaela). Also, Levi claims Rebecca is EGGS911, but does that scenario hold any kind of water? Finally, Asher steals Annalise’s memo recorder and puts it in the hands of prosecutor St. Clair, but when he insists his mole work is done, she brings up a specter from Asher’s past — “Trotter Lake” — and he suddenly has all the confidence of a trout on the end of a hook.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST | On the night six months from now where Annalise gets shot — and ADA St. Clair winds up with her skull smashed in the Hapstall’s driveway, the Keating Four (Michaela, Connor, Laurel and Wes Asher) finally flee the scene — only to wind up hitching a ride with… dun-dun-dunnnnh… Nate!

OK, your turn. What did you think of this week’s HTGAWM? Sound off in the comments — and do weigh in on those previews for next week’s hour where Nate’s terminally ill wife asks Annalise to kill her!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. laurelnev says:

    Viola’s acting is the only thing that saves this show, as they’re making Anallese more and more unlikable with each passing episode. I wonder if anyone else could pull it off. Granted, almost every character on the show is just as unlikable, except for maybe Connor. And I guess the Keating 5 were right to exclude Asher and make sure he found none of the secrets. Really…these guys are a bunch of despicable people, yet this remains one of my “must watch” shows. But like Cookie Lyon, I know I’d detest Ana (and company) if I ever met her in real life, (not even love to hate, just outright abhor;) but she’s one of the most drawing, addictive characters on screen today.

    • Angela says:

      Annalise is doing one hell of a balancing act between vulnerable and outright unlikeable. I too am enjoying her character either way, but yeah, I don’t think I’d be calling her to be my defense attorney. I felt really bad for that man’s wife. Perhaps some of her pushy, overzealous behavior is what leads to her being shot?

      • laurelnev says:

        Yet we LOOOOVE this show! ;) Good thing it’s TV and a guilty escape, rather than real life. Yes, I do feel for Ana, but I also know it will come back around. But unless they’re ending the show this year, we know Ana cannot die…because Viola IS this show!

    • Cheyenne says:

      That’s what makes her such a great actress, that she is able to make Annalise come across as such a despicable bitch and utterly pathetic at the same time.

    • David4 says:

      That seems to be the theme of the night now, unlikeable characters who you used to love. Same thing is happening on Scandal.

    • brandi says:

      I thought the same thing last night. What a bunch of despicable hateful people. But I too can’t stop watching. I originally thought Laurel was the only one likable, but I’ve changed my mind. She’s just as morally bankrupt as the rest of them. I think Wes was once upon a time a good person but he has fallen from grace and even his puppy dog antics don’t impress me anymore.
      I sure do want to know what is going on with Asher.

  2. JMP says:

    I swore at the end of the ep that the Keating 4 that got into the car with Nate were Laurel, Michaela, Connor and Wes…not Asher?

  3. Alichat says:

    Can someone remind me why Asher is spying for the prosecutor? What is he being blackmailed over?

  4. Joey says:

    Just a little correction. The ADA’s last name is Sinclair, not St. Clair.

  5. Minsmom says:

    The flash forward is 7 weeks not six months. Also what does the ADA have on Asher, Trotter Lake and the mystery girl? Also, why didn’t he go to his father sooner?

    • spindae2 says:

      Yeah the FF events should happen during midseason, not 6 months in the future.

    • the girl says:

      Why do I vaguely remember something about an accident which got a girl killed that Asher feels responsible for? Isn’t that what the Trotter Lake thing is about? Didn’t they reference it in season one?

  6. Angela says:

    Michaela needs to just stay the hell away from Levi. I too am a little suspicious about his ties to Rebecca, and I think he’s going to try and expose everyone’s secrets somehow. On a lighter note, though, Connor and Michaela at that club was pretty entertaining :p. Also, if I were Connor and Oliver, I’d be enjoying these good times while I could. The moment someone’s happy in a drama show, you know something really bad is about to go down.


    I’m feeling very nervous for Laurel now that she’s hanging out with Bonnie-ever since we saw what Bonnie did to Rebecca, I feel an urge to tell everyone to back away from her. But on the other hand, I loved the scene of them sharing drinks and bonding over Frank, and I can’t help but be a little intrigued at the idea of them forming some warped friendship.


    So freaking curious about the night Annalise is shot. Wes and Nate in cahoots, and then Nate taking the four students away from the house, and Annalise muttering about the creepy siblings…agh. I’m really excited to see how that continues to unfold. And Asher’s still kind of dorky, but I like these moments where he’s standing up for himself, or trying to, at least. Hopefully he can find a way around all this stuff he’s being blackmailed for.


    Very interesting episode. I learned…quite a lot about these people tonight :p.

  7. robandco says:

    I hope Michaela gets her big O. Poor girl deserves it.
    Talk about a sophomore slump. The case of the week was very good but the ending was weird. But it overall suited the episode very well. I maintained what I have said a couple of weeks ago, the show is still as good as what it was but the case of the season is terribly weak and no one is interested in it. They gave us what 3 minutes of flashforwards and development. That’s not enough for me to care about those siblings.

  8. leah says:

    I’m still confused on how is rebecca eggs 911?

    • brandi says:

      Levi, explained it was Rebecca’s nick name not his. Something about cooking eggs or breaking eggs, I wasn’t completely paying attention. So I think what she was doing was saying ‘Hey it’s Rebecca, I need help’. Eggs 911 was just a faster way of getting a quick text out.

  9. Beckers0505 says:

    So who is really like able on this show and who is honest? I have a hard time telling from week to week!!!!!

    • nikavila says:

      Indeed on this show nothing it what it seems and everyone and noone is able to commit murder., you cant trust anyone on this show anyone, noone is safe of anything.

  10. alondie says:

    HTGAWM…. show is GREAT..
    Scandal is Scandalous…

  11. fatsolio says:

    This show is getting pathetic all because this Shonda Rhimes woman seems to have a sex obsession and maybe should be making porn films instead of TV shows. Every episode is just adding more and more sex. I’m no prude but I don’t watch TV shows to see fake sex scenes and while I have nothing against homosexuality, I also don’t need someone specifically throwing it into my face like she admits to doing.

    The worst part is the actual main plotline is interesting yet I think I’m done if most of every episode is going to have lame sex scenes or lame dialogue about sex.

    What a damn waste and this woman is a hack as are all the others in the entertainment industry who just fill their shows with lame sex scenes.

  12. Marilyn says:

    While i enjoy this show it leaves me confused and frustrated. The twists and turns are hard to follow.
    I did not hear the Octopus reference.

    The Emmy Award actress’
    portrayal of Annalise (during many scenes when she does not look attractive) makes this series worth watching.