HTGAWM Recap: We All Have Our Double-Crosses to Bear

Pity the How to Get Away With Murder fan who missed this week’s episode and hopes that her co-workers will catch her up around the water cooler on Friday morning. Ain’t nobody got time to produce a power-point presentation, a multi-page flow chart and a dramatic reenactment of tearful pleas from world-class fibber Bonnie Winterbottom.

In fact, “Meet Bonnie” achieves such Ann Coulter-at-a-Hillary-Clinton-Fundraiser levels of crazy, I’m guessing an in-depth play-by-play would take longer than the combined acts of Connor perfecting his spectacular coiff, Laurel and Frank washing away their basement-sex stank, and Doomed Prosecutor Lady convincing herself she might prevail in a courtroom showdown against Annalise Keating. (Oh grrrrl, you may have won the battle this week, but we know which one of you isn’t getting hit with those fearless EMTs’ shock paddles in the three-weeks-from-now flash-forward, so…)

The good thing is, showrunner Pete Nowalk & Co. know enough to wink at their own “anything and everything goes” conventions. Possibly the greatest one-word retort on TV in 2015 arrives after Annalise tells her closest confidantes that she caught her boyfriend-turned-murder-scapegoat Nate and her mentee/student/possible-son/possibe-future-lover Wes together the previous night. “Screwin’?” asks Frank, and neither he nor Annalise nor Bonnie so much as raises an eyebrow. I mean, this is a show where Connor’s boyfriend casually hacks the Philadelphia P.D. database on the regular — for free! — and never winds up in FBI custody, so all bets are officially off. (Uh-oh: Quantico crossover episode by February Sweeps, methinks?)

I’d like to sum up the hour with nothing more than a request from Aretha Franklin — “Who’s zoomin’ who? Take another look and tell me, baby!” — and then tell you “The answer is almost always Frank.”

Instead, though, I’ll do my best to pithily recap the action:

MATT MCGORRY, CHARLIE WEBERDOUCHEFACE IN CRISIS | We begin with a “three weeks from now” cutaway to “Shooting Night” — and we see Bonnie is also at the Hapstall mansion — running past ADA Sinclair’s smushed body. “It’s almost over. Promise,” she says, hopping into her car alongside… Asher! Yep, the one guy who exited Season 1 without fear of murder or murder-accomplice charges — Trotter Creek notwithstanding — is suddenly not that innocent.

Back in the present timeline — remember last week Bonnie caught Asher cutting a deal with Sinclair — Lurky McChurchMouse makes up a tale of an attempted raped by Sam to explain why she killed him — and it’s a story corroborated by Annalise (who invokes Asher’s white male-ness as a reason why he just doesn’t understand). Bonnie and Annalise are so convincing, I wonder if they believe their own lies, and it clearly has some effect on Asher — who tells Sinclair he knows who killed Sam Keating (to buy time) but eventually flees the courthouse when he realizes there’s a larger picture in which his dad cut his own deal to avoid prosecution for judicial malfeasance.

Asher winds up in dual bar scenes — don’t blame him for drinking heavily this week, K? — once with Sinclair who implores, “don’t overcomplicate it” and makes the valid point that KILLING PEOPLE OR HELPING THEM GET AWAY WITH IT IS NOT NORMAL. Bonnie, for her part, breaks out the L word and more tears, but Asher (who has his own possible but unexplored past criminal baggage) is all,  “I love you, which is why I can’t let you do this.” Annalise finally comes to the rescue — playing an old police-evidence videotape for Asher that shows a grade-school age Bonnie being sexually abused by her own father. It’s horrific — and it leaves Asher weeping.

But just like that, we’re back to the flash-forward. Bonnie and Asher, still in the car, pulling over so Bonnie can pee. (Yes, apparently, bodily functions continue even when you’ve spent the night in a blood-spattered mansion.) Bonnie hits the head — and uses the time to wash blood off her arms, toss her bloodied blouse and (speculation alert) dispose of evidence linking her to Annalise’s shooting/Sinclair’s death by balcony. But when she gets back to the car, Asher is as gone as Amy Dunne in that Gillian Flynn novel. Turns out, he’s gone to the local precinct and is declaring — AS ANY SANE PERSON MIGHT DO — “I need to make a statement.”

KARLA SOUZA, AJA NAOMI KING, JACK FALAHEESCRAMBLED EGGS911 | The Keating Four spend the week in a total panic — believing Asher must know they killed and disposed of Sam (and not knowing he thinks Bonnie dunnit). “We’ve got eyes on Douchface — like we’ve got eyes on all of you,” Frank tells ’em — and at some point, the gang is all half-joking about having an orgy, and Michaela is all, “If Frank’s there, then maybe.” (Is she being serious, though, or just trying to enrage Laurel?)

Wes, though, continues his own separate quest into Rebecca’s disappearance, and while it looks her and like Levi (aka Eggs911/the guy trying to give Michaela her first orgasm) have a breakthrough when Graveyard Dude Who’s Friends With Frank directs them to a storage locker, it turns out Annalise’s bearded right hand was playing ’em all along. Not only that, he’s also planted meth in Levi’s trunk — and the police cart him off and kill Michaela’s Great G-Spot Experiment of 2015 in the process.

Also of note: When the kids start calling for Asher and Bonnie’s heads, Annalise spills that her mousy Girl Friday acted the same way she and Frank have done for eons —with the goal of saving the Keating Five’s asses.

After Levi’s arrest, though, Michaela, Laurel, Connor and Wes head to the storage locker Frank desperately wants them to find — and discover a suitcase that doesn’t contain Rebecca’s body, but rather what looks like 20-dollar bills totaling at least in the low seven figures. Where will this surprise lead ’em, and how come nobody wondered aloud if they might want to grab a couple bill stacks — just to pay for any possible future legal fees? (Side note: Raise your hand if you screamed, “DON’T ANY OF YOU KIDS KNOW ENOUGH TO USE GLOVES BEFORE TOUCHING THE SUITCASE!”?

THE HAPSTALL CASE | Turns out the witness aunt who got her throat slit was also a raging racist — referring to Catherine and Caleb as “mulatto” and “Oriental.” Uff da. Despite her raging racism and Annalise’s iffy discovery of hidden evidence, though, the judge allows the dead aunt’s statements to be allowed into testimony.

JACK FALAHEEANNALISE, FLAUREL, CONNOR, ETC | Annalise sells out Nate’s wife — explaining to Nate how his terminally ill wife tried to get Annalise to get her some life-ending pills, but her play falls flat when Nate fails to confess he’s in cahoots with Wes. After half an episode, though, our protagonist cannot abide by this kind of lying, so she meets up with Nate again and shares her knowledge of his connection with Wes. “He thinks you killed Rebecca,” says Nate — who is maybe not trustworthy? To which Annalise — also selling the Bonnie-killed-Sam lie like it was her own creation — tells Nare, “I hate what I did to you. I hate it. I hate myself. And I know you hate me, too.” Still, though, Annalise doesn’t have an answer when Nate demands to know what she’ll do if he winds up going down for Sam’s death. She can’t exactly tell the cop that Bonnie’s gulity — not of killing Sam. but the much less lower immediate threat Sam. Meanwhile, Laurel and Frank do the dirty in Annalise’s basement — “They’ll hear us.” “Only if you make me scream.” — and Connor tells Oliver he loves him. (Oh, man, Oliver is mos def winding up in the clink, isn’t he?)

Your turn. What did you think of this week’s HTGAWM? Is Asher smart to go to the cops? And how do you feel about Bonnie now, knowing her horrific childhood history? Hit the comments with your thoughts!

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. kevin says:

    This episode was insane! This show is filled with great actors.

  2. Adam says:

    Great episode! I prefer the course/plot interspersing they used in the past, but awesome season nonetheless. On another note, drinking game for “methinks” occurrences in these articles! :-)

  3. Cheyenne says:

    The way everybody on this show lies, who knows if that little girl was even Bonnie? That could have been another child Annalise was using to gain Asher’s sympathy.
    Annalise is a total bitch. She uses everybody a and kicks them to the curb after she’s finished with them. I hope she gets hers. Viola Davis is absolutely brilliant in this role.

    • Angela says:

      You know, I actually briefly considered that, too, about the video. But then again, we learned that Annalise went through some hell as a child last season…in that case, I don’t know that something that horrifying would be something she’d play with as a result.

  4. Angela says:

    Asher is in soooooooo deep. Holy crap. I feel bad for the guy. And considering this apparent dark secret he’s got about Trotter Lake, I see a whole lot of blackmail happening if and when Bonnie and the others find out about it, especially if he’s going to try and blow the lid off of whatever happens in these flash forwards.
    As for the money, I actually didn’t even think about the gloves :p. I was sure that at least a couple of them would take the money, though, at least some of it. I’m just continuing to be fascinated at how this gang’s falling apart and going at each other, and yes, if I were Oliver, I’d be getting real concerned right now. Very, VERY concerned. On a lighter note, the orgy conversation was entertaining, and I think Michaela was mainly just trying to tick Laurel off. But considering her desperation she’s been dealing with, who knows? There’s still Caleb, too, after all…presuming he and his sister even still want to interact with the gang after all this.
    (On that note, the sister’s outburst in the courtroom was whoa. I wonder how much Advil the judges on this show have to take throughout the day?)
    As for Bonnie cleaning herself up at the end, it seemed like her blood spot was in the same area as Annalise’s wound, which seems to imply they get into it, but I could also see her being the one to take down Sinclair, too, as some attempt to protect Annalise or something.

  5. ? says:

    This second season has really been all over the place in terms of quality but man, that was one GREAT episode. No teasing or pulling of punches, just one game changing revelation after another. Wow!

    • dan says:

      Totally agree. Up until this episode, the show has been all over the place. Episode five didn’t have a “case of the week” to muddy it up, and there was actually character development that was interesting. The plotting of the show was intense, the writing was crisp, and the acting was top notch (always Viola, but Matt and Liza were great as well). They are starting to close the circle regarding Sam’s death and Rebecca’s disappearance (but will anybody ever question who killed Lila?), and they didn’t spend too much time on the Hapstall case (just enough to keep it interesting as the season-long mystery). Best episode of the season so far!

  6. Lashay says:

    excellent post I’m a huge sports fan from swedem

  7. Alex says:

    Connor is so boring and whiny this season. Coliver has done him no favors.

  8. Nanci says:

    I enjoy your recaps almost as much as the show itself!!! Thank you for something to look forward to besides the next episode:P

  9. dan says:

    Question: when did Bonnie find out that the Keating 4 (not including Asher) are responsible for killing Sam (I’m not sure she knows it was Wes with the Lady Justice statue)? I thought Bonnie was in the dark about Sam’s death (but Frank knew) so I was surprised when Annaliese told the Keating 4 that Bonnie was protecting them. Did I miss something or is my memory having a hard time remembering all the plot twists they’ve thrown at us?

    • Nee says:

      Bonnie wasn’t protecting them. Annalise just told them that so they could get on board with the situation. Bonnie lied to protect Annalise.

      • herman1959 says:

        OK, but dan’s real question was: When/how did Bonnie find out that the Keating 4 were responsible for Sam’s murder? I’m asking because I can’t remember either.

        • Coach Taylor says:

          I do not believe she knows

          • Kathy-Florida says:

            She knows. She figured it out in one of the episodes last season. She said something to Annalise about protecting them, and they were going to bring her down. I can’t remember the exact episode, but I do remember her figuring it out.

      • dan says:

        herman is correct; I’m trying to find out when Bonnie learned that the Keating 4 killed Sam. I understand that Bonnie is trying to protect Annaliese, but it seemed to me that Annaliese admitting to the Keating 4 in front of Bonnie that this was done to protect them means that Bonnie has to know. Right? Maybe Bonnie knows the Keating 4 are involved with getting rid of Sam’s body but she doesn’t know that Wes killed him. I’m not clear on this plot point.

    • Markeshia says:

      She found out last season. She noticed the floors were redone after the murder and something about the trophy. She guessed and they never told her otherwise.

    • Cheyenne says:

      Another question: why did Annalise select those five students in the first place? Was it to help her get rid of her husband so she could pin the blame on them if things went south?

      • CK2 says:

        It’s stated in the first episode that she picks 4-5 standouts from her course every year to intern in her law firm.

        • herman1959 says:

          The next question is: Why are the same students interning for a second year? Answer: Because they were involved in the murder and cover-up. But, shouldn’t someone from the Law School be asking why?

          • Dee says:

            Prof. Keating most likely has free reign over how she structures her class. I’m not saying there aren’t school policies or procedures she must adhere to, but many professors enjoy a great deal of flexibility as well. So, unless non-chosen student decides to complain, she’s probably going to be left to conduct her course as she sees fit. And, even if a student complains the school really has no control over who she hires to intern at her private practice. Lastly, not that much time has passed in the world of the show.

          • robandco says:

            The school year is not over. Season 2 is part of the second semester. Sam was killed around Christmas if I remember correctly. And the episodes after his murder in season 1 only covered a short amount of time and we picked up right after the end of season 1 in the beginning of season 2.
            Season 3 will likely be during the summer or introduce a new group of Keating 4 for a new fall semester, while keeping the original (if they survive, you never know with this show). The dynamic will be slightly different I believe.

    • kate says:

      Bonnie found out in episode 12 of the 1st season – she told Annalise: “You didn’t do this. They did.”

  10. Maryann says:

    Thank you for a great recap! I really enjoy getting a detailed runthrough of the episode to catch the things I missed and get some new observations and opinions.

  11. Frankie says:

    With all these plot twists now each time Im more confused about the story each episode hehe!!. Cause one story is related to the other and the other and the other , hehe!!

    Just to get things straight here and see if im correct. Frank killed Lyla by Sam’s orders, Sam tried to kill Rebecca, Wes killed Sam with the liberty statue and Annalisse is protecting him and the rest of the Keating 4 who were also involved in some way. Bonnie does not know that Wes killed Sam, she believes it was Annalise, so she is taking the guilt to protect Annalisse.

    Then Rebecca was found in the basement and it looks like Bonnie did it. Annalise knows Bonnie did it. Frank took Rebecca’s body and dump her who knows where, because noone knows where Rebecas body is now. Asher believes that Bonnie killed Sam, because Bonnie told him so, since Bonnie is protecting Annalisse because she believes Annalisse killed Sam.

    Annalisse plot things so Nate could be seen as Sam killer that is why Nate was on trial and of course that is not true.

    How am I doing so far?

    • dan says:

      I think you’ve covered it all. I’m still confused about what Bonnie knows. I got the impression that Annaliese has now admitted in front of Bonnie that this is all being done to protect the Keating 4. Therefore Bonnie knows something other than Annaliese killed Sam, otherwise why protect the kids. As I said above, maybe Bonnie only knows the kids got rid of Sam’s body and she doesn’t know that Wes killed him. I do know that this was the strongest episode of the season so far.

      • Tim says:

        Bonnie figured it out after the police did a sweep of Annalise’s house. She even told Annalise that they would bring her down. She doesn’t know who exactly hit Sam over the head with the statue though.

  12. Bob Backus says:

    Haven’t watched this episode yet, but it better be as good as you say (usually isn’t) because this season has been horrible. How stupid can these supposedly “intelligent” people be. A real lawyer must groan his was through this mess every week. So, here’s hoping it’s getting better.

    • Dee says:

      I am a real attorney and I love the show. It’s just entertainment. Also, every show on tv , including so called reality shows, take lots of creative licensing at times. If this were a documentary or news feature on the legal profession or being a lawyer, then there’d be some concern. But really, she’s a criminal attorney and I’ve seen and known about stuff that’d make your mind explode. Also, remember the real life attorney, Fred Tokars, that paid gang members to mow down his wife? She was shot to death in her car while in her drive with her kids.

  13. Kathy-Florida says:

    Where is Frank the night Annalise gets shot? He’s the only one we haven’t seen. I forgot everyone doesn’t know that Frank killed Lila, because so much other stuff is going on it’s just a given to me now.

    • Frankie says:

      Indeed Frank killed Lila. Maybe in future episodes Frank could be seen also at the mansion, everything and anything is possible on this show.

  14. Erin says:

    What was that in Michaela’s sweater when she was asking for her phone? That Diane Von Furstenberg ballerina sweater looked fierce but she had something in there like a phone or a box of somekind???

    • Eggs says:

      I thought so too. I was kinda thrown and wondered if it was a mistake or if it was done on purpose for some reason.

    • SaraNotSarah says:

      I was just rematching and saw this. It’s not there until the quick shot cutting back to Michaela after she says her line. So I think it is likely Aja’s phone that she tucked away in her sweater before filming that part. I wonder if they missed it entirely or decided it was too much trouble to reshoot later lol

  15. Connie says:

    Have you noticed how Frank is the only member of all Analisse entourage who has not been mentioned in any of these crimes, like he could be responsible? I mean keating 5 for Sam’s death, Nate for Sam’s death, Annalise was put on the stand, Asher now is involved in the thing., Bonnie for killing Rebecca, but Frank cover his tracks so well that in any moment he is mention like he could be linked to any of the crimes and he is as much responsable or even worse than the rest of the people there/.

    Noone is linking and talking that Frank really murdered Lila on Sam’s orders.

    I wonder if we ever going to find out about Frank past. Why Annalise trusts him so much, what does she has on him or viceversa? What was the connection or the real connection between Sam and Frank?

    • Jax&Juice's Girl says:

      @ Connie That last part of ur comment is the part i’m still curious to know! What IS the connection btw Frank and Sam? I hope this season they will show or explain what it is. Overall HOLY SH*T this was a crazy ep. I feel bad for Asher and Bonnie…….did that B* shoot Annalise?……..I know it’s still early but I wanna see the finale like right now to find out!!

  16. Dominos & Dice says:

    Viola Davis is killing it as Annaliese Keating. The writing is spot on, the acting is top notch and the cast has great chemistry. IMHO, I think Asher is the only one out of all of them that actually has a conscious. Annaliese, Bonnie & Frank are always scheming, manipulating and playing devil’s advocate. The Keating 4 lost their moral compass after covering up Sam’s murder. So, yeah, that just leaves Asher. Poor Asher :(

  17. robandco says:

    Amazing episode. We are seeing new sides of everyone’s personality.
    I like that they are including Asher in this year’s main plot. He was very underused last year. I feel like a mess after seeing the episode. Just like the characters. The writing is very good.
    I love how Frank is always a step ahead of everyone. He’s so shady. I can’t wait until someone (hopefully sneaky Laurel) plays him at his little game.

  18. Tim says:

    Man, I love your recaps…They are funny and insightful. Keep em coming.

  19. Doris Magee says:

    this is my first time to the site.
    I know it may sound crazy—but what if the kids did not kill Sam aferall. They left his body- assuming he was dead- Maybe he wasn’t!. What if he woke up- he would not call 911 to report that the kids tried to kill him. Annelise came home and were fighting and she killed him- She put the body right where it was and was going to call 911 when Wes walked in- Weird but possible.

    • robandco says:

      That would be very nice and unexpected if they hadn’t clearly showed that they burned his body in the forest then cut his body into pieces and put them in several trash bags. Plus the Police ran DNA tests on the remains found in the trash site and they matched Sam’s. So he’s deader than dead.

      • Doris Magee says:

        Yes, they burned the body- However, how do you know for sure they killed him. He APPEARED to be dead. But, was he? He may have been killed after they left.
        If I recall (maybe wrong) they left the house- and Wes returned. So there was a window of time when Sam could have woke up and him and AnneE. has a confrontation and she killed him. She had the perfect opportunity to pin on someone else. She re-staged the body- based on the huge blood stain on her rug- Yes, the kids burned the body- they would not have noticed any additional trauma. After the body was burned there would be no way to tell what really happened.
        This way she has complete contriol over the kids, They assumed he was dead when they left- and they burned his body. Now-she ownes them, becasue, they think they killed him and she can get them to do anything she wants.

        • robandco says:

          Yes it is possible. But I thought they showed when Annalise came back to the house and discovered the body. But it may have been in her head because she’s crazy. I like that theory, and it concur with the title of the show because she would literally get away with murder.

          • Doris Magee says:

            She was there sitting at her desk when Wes came back. He returned alone before the other 3 joined him. She did not seen the least bit concerned that Sam was dead. If she walked into the house and found him dead- she would have initially called 911 she would not just be siiting there. I think she was getting her story straight- before she called 911 when Wes came in.Up to that point she did not know or care who killed Sam in. He was abusive to her and she ceased the opportunity to not only kill him , but get away with it.
            I like play on words with the title- good point!
            We will just have to wait and see.

          • robandco says:

            Well people react differently when faced to death. We know she’s sort of used to seeing dead bodies (this week’s episode showed us that). And she knew (or thought she knew) Sam killed Lila. That he cheated on her. And got that girl pregnant. Before killing her. She indeed had motive to kill him but that’s also why she could have felt relieved and stay composed when she found him.
            I really thought we saw her enter the house and find Sam at some point during season 1. I need to check that.

  20. where are the flowcharts??

  21. rasa says:

    It’s a bit ironic with the video. A older man having sexual encounters with a younger person. And here we have bonnie who is sleeping with Asher, a guy definitely younger than her…