The bullet hole in her abdomen is the least of Annalise Keating’s problems in How to Get Away With Murder‘s first installment of 2016.
heroine protagonist has had two weeks to recover since Shooting Night (TM pending), and while, yeah, there’s blood seeping through her dressings and into her trench coat — a big inconvenience when you’re trying to spin a whopper of a courtroom yarn under oath — it’s not like Ace makes a bandage sturdy enough to deal with the psychological and legal issues in front of her.
Sure, she’s got pajamas that cost more than three months of rent at Wes’ run-down apartment, but Annalise no longer has Nate’s torso of steel at her disposal, she’s got an imaginary infant (code name: “It”) who keeps appearing in her living room, and she’s the only member of #TeamKeating who’s missing out on Frank’s homemade ziti. (Food Baby > Hallucinatory Baby, yes?)
On the bright side, at least she didn’t have to bash Wes over the head with her metal bull’s head sculpture — THAT IS, IF WE’RE CERTAIN WES WAS ACTUALLY IN HER BEDROOM… NOT JUST IN HER IMAGINATION! (Oh, yeah, I went there — and I did it in all caps, too!)
While you try to put your brain back together from everything we just witnessed, allow me to recap the highlights of “What Happened to You, Annalise?”
COURTING DISASTER | You thought Annalise made a mess of the crime scene at the Hapstall mansion where Emily Sinclair’s body was found (both crunched and splatted) and La Keating got herself shot? Oh, that’s nothing compared to what she does in the courtroom — showing up in pain, slightly disheveled, bleeding and… feeling some real guilt when Wes gives her the “Girl, stop!” face as she tries to frame Catherine for her shooting. And thus, on the stand, Annalise feigns confusion, messes up her testimony and spills privileged information from the time Catherine was her client — and has her entire testimony dismissed. Then, she convinces Caleb to convince Catherine to admit to shooting Annalise — but under the influence of drugs and Philip’s mastermind. (Can we pause here to acknowledge we don’t know that Philip has ever committed a crime worse than having one of Catherine’s creepy paintings in his apartment?) Whatever the case, it looks like Catherine will serve five years in a minimum-security prison (hopefully one that offers art lessons) for a crime she didn’t commit. Now, who killed hers and Caleb’s parents? That’s a mystery that, according to my clock, showrunner Pete Nowalk & Co. have five more episodes to answer.
THE KIDS AREN’T ALL RIGHT | Meanwhile, the Keating Five aren’t all dealing with the fallout from Shooting Night/Sinclair Splat with the same aplomb. Asher is hanging out at Connor and Oliver’s — and drinking a lot. Wes can barely get out of bed — and would probably be doing a lot worse if Laurel wasn’t puppysitting. Michaela, meanwhile, is miffed that her pals aren’t more concerned with her emotional wellbeing — especially since her Big O provider Caleb is (not incorrectly) hissing at her that she and her legal comrades “all belong in hell.”
L IS THE NEW B? | Post-shooting, Annalise is suddenly relying heavily on Laurel — although, seeing how she lies and says she just told Wes that Rebecca was dead to provoke him to pull the trigger, maybe she doesn’t fully trust her new left-hand woman. Meanwhile, we see Annalise pulling away from Bonnie. I think it’s partially because she doesn’t want her weeping supplicant to see her in her weakest state, but also, when Bonnie accuses Annalise of truly wanting to die at the Hapstalls, Annalise astutely points out that Bonnie didn’t stay by her side or do anything to stop her near death. (That said, Bonnie did hurl a rigor-mortised Emily off a third-story balcony just to make sure the Keating law firm didn’t get any more bad press, so that’s gotta count for something, no?)
WHOA, BABY! | While she’s on pain killers — no booze, though, thanks to Bonnie’s diligent cleaning of the liquor cabinet — Annalise hallucinates a woman with a French or West-Indian accent coming to her door and leaving her with a chubby, crazy-cute baby. And since her house is a place you go to for vodka, takeout and alibis — not diapers, bottles and soothies — Annalise freaks out big time. We learn from Bonnie that this isn’t the first time Annalise has had this vision, and later, when Wes shows up demanding answers, we see a flashback in Annalise’s mind that explains… well… something? Ten years prior —and not long before Wes’ mom was either murdered or killed herself — a pregnant Annalise deliberately strolled up to her in a park, struck up a conversation and observed a young Wes (then known as Christophe) joyfully playing kickball. (OK, did anyone else wonder for just a sec if Annalise wasn’t actually with child, but wearing a prosthetic baby bump in order to disarm Wes’ mom? Damn, that is how paranoid HTGAWM makes me!) How that kid winds up months later in an interrogation room answering questions about discovering his mom’s body, well, we’ll just have to wait and see. Poor Wes, he’s as in the dark as we are, seeing how Annalise not only refuses to reveal the nature of her relationship with his mom or how she knows his name is Christophe. He tells Annalise he understand why his mom killed himself — and that, like her, he just needs to “make it all stop.” It’s a sad, sad, scene, but then maybe Wes should stop the cycle of homicide/attempted homicide on people with the last name Keating? (Just saying!) Maybe it’s guilt, maybe it’s the Percocet, but Annalise ends the hour rocking that imaginary baby in her arms, and it’s simultaneously heartbreaking, creepy, upsetting and mysterious.
IN OTHER NEWS | While Wes told Laurel he was disposing of the Shooting Night gun, he’s still got it in his drawer. Nate isn’t sure he wants to be with Annalise if she doesn’t want to be alive (but he clearly still cares for her a lot based on the tears in his eyes). Why do I think Caleb is the one who killed his parents?