We know somebody’s going bang-bang into Annalise Keating’s chest on next week’s How to Get Away With Murder. But there are bangs of the non-bullet variety — four of ’em, if you catch my drift — in the calm before the violence.
So now we know what Michaela’s O-face looks like, how Connor and Oliver (he lives!) respond to the possibility of getting caught studying each other’s bodies of law and which part of Laurel tastes like Frank’s sauce* (*I was going to say “not as dirty as it sounds,” but on second thought, it might be dirtier). Bonus: We’ve also learn the one thing that throws Annalise off balance — and it’s apparently a torso made of adamantium, testosterone and low-grade depression.
One of the few people not turning Christina Aguilera’s obscenely underrated “Get Mine, Get Yours” into his personal theme song is sullen Wes. He might as well be wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the message, “My coworkers are getting their freaks on — and all I got was a stupid painting.” Not since the titular protagonist got a rock in It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown has a TV character received such an unwelcome gift!
That is, until said portraiture provides He Who Hasn’t Had the Theoretical Trophy All Season with the biggest clue of all. Let’s discuss further as we recap the action from “I’m Philip”:
NO USE CRYING OVER SPILLED MILK | When Connor discovers Oliver has left their apartment unlocked, forgotten his personal effects and left a carton of 1% on the kitchen floor, he understandingly freaks out — assuming Philip has gotten wise to the firm’s entrapment plan and abducted his main squeeze. Just when Annalise finally agrees it’s time to call the cops, though, Ollie strolls in — with the biological child that Dead Auntie Hapstall gave up for adoption way back when. He claims he’s weird but not dangerous and that his birth parents live in Iowa — but he’s not so happy about the cyberstalking and invasion of privacy brought on by the Keating firm. He threatens to go to the police or sue — neither of which seem all that terrible considering Oliver is alive and well and can grace our screens with his sweet smile and sexy-nerd ways for another 10 seasons. And when Philip finally does make it down to the station to give a statement, Nate tampers with his file to make the kid look like a schizophrenic who falsely reports stalkings on the regular. Damn, that’s cold! Falsely accuse not, lest ye be falsely accused, sir!
DEAL OR NO DEAL | With no “client of the week,” Annalise and her minions focus on Caleb and Catherine’s murder trial — and let’s just say the Hapstall siblings’ trust in Annalise is shaken when they learn she’s been withholding from them news of Philip’s existence. This turns out to be an inconvenient time for infighting and suspicion, as ADA Sinclair offers a plea deal — 15 years apiece for Caleb and Catherine, if they admit they’re guilty of murdering their parents. First, Caleb agrees to do the full 30 if his sister walks. But when even Michaela’s womanly charms fail to convince him, it’s Asher who discovers the Keating office is being bugged — and so Annalise & Co. throw Sinclair off the scent and make her look like a fool when she storms the Hapstall mansion looking for guns in all the wrong places. (Line of the night: “Sinclair’s been tappin’ our asses — and not in a good way.” Oh, Doucheface, never change!)
Sinclair’s not done yet, though. Catherine goes to her office and negotiates 10 years for herself, zero for Caleb. The judge is about to bang her gavel and end the whole enchilada when in walks Frank — with DNA evidence (collected by Oliver and sped through the city’s forensic lab with a $50,000 bribe from his Suitcase of Cash) showing Philip’s was the foreign DNA found at the crime scene. Damn those Hapstall kids had better not question Annalise’s judgment ever again — or shoot her, for that matter.
“YOU KNOW, THERE ARE MEDS FOR THAT” | Sinclair is melting down in her office, and Annalise is loving it — especially when her rival’s retorts are so tragically tepid. “I’m gonna go to your boss and tell him that you’ve been having ex parte dealings not once but twice with my clients — and he’s gonna send your hick ass back to whatever haystack you crawled out of,” roars Keating. And all Sinclair can do is brightly respond, “I’m from Connecticut!” Grrrrrllll — THERE IS HAY IN CONNECTICUT! Ultimately, though, Annalise reveals to Sinclair that not only was Philip’s DNA found at the scene, but he’s the product of incest between Catherine and Caleb’s dead aunt and their murdered adopted father. “Good luck in getting the jury to believe that the inbred weirdo didn’t do it,” taunts Annalise… but methinks poor Sinclair won’t live to see that case go to trial.
CONDOLENCES IF YOU ATE CARBS DURING TONIGHT’S EPISODE (OR ANY TIME THIS WEEK) | While Annalise is initially not having any part of Nate’s indecision between wanting to screw her or kill her — “I’m not gonna spread my legs for you as some sort of payment,” she says, practically rolling her eyes — later in the episode they give in, after Nate says he truly wants to know her. (What I wanna know is how many hours a week is dude in the gym to achieve THAT TORSO.) Annalise and Nate’s luxurious intercourse is interspliced with Frank and Laurel enjoying “meatballs and sauce,” Connor and Oliver turning Annalise’s classroom into their own private boudoir, and Michaela and Caleb showing just how much their like each other. (Let’s take a moment and raise our glasses to Michaela’s first orgasm! May she live long enough to have a second one — no guarantee on this show, alas.) Oh, and like I mentioned before, Wes gets a painting from Catherine — and he realizes he’s seen it before, in footage from Philip’s apartment. He rushes to Annalise with the intel, just as Caleb takes Michaela to the living room and shows her the murder weapon he found in an old heating vent. “What if she did killed them?” he asks Michaela about his sister, who is taking the evening to meet in a car with Philip. “Don’t worry — I’m gonna take care of this,” he says — and knowing that in three days, the Hapstall mansion will include at least one dead body and one near-dead body, one has to wonder just how dangerous HTGAWM’s newest newebie might be.
WHERE’S BONNIE? | Bonnie is MIA for most of the hour — washing away her bad vibes, sadness and anger in her shower. But in flash-forwards, we see her take complete control of the Keating Four on Shooting Night — apparently Lurky McChurchmouse learned a thing or two from her mentor. “Was this your idea? Don’t lie to me!” she snaps at Connor. “There is no decision here! It was already made and you agreed. So either get on board, or you’re the next dead body out there.” Hot damn! With Rebecca’s death notched on her bedbpost, Bonbon’s not afraid to throw around the death threats — and the full-fledged crazy looks good on her.
IN OTHER NEWS | Annalise sends a selfie to her mother (which I hope signals the Season 2 return of Cicely Tyson); Annalise appoints Laurel as the new Bonnie (for now); and (ugh) Wes still feels guilty about not going to the police over Sam’s death. I think it’s time Annalise stopped coddling him and gave him a crisp slap of reality. Wes basically saved Rebecca from being choked to death — and his guilt level should reflect that from here on out. In other words, no more brooding! Go take a lover, kiddo, or at least expand your wardrobe beyond drab workshirts!
What did you think of this week’s HTGAWM? Who do you think shot Annalise? Did Catherine have a hand in her parents’ deaths — or are we being misled? Sound off below!