HTGAWM Recap: The Ohio Players

“Let’s go home. Ohio sucks.”

Oh, if only Annalise or Eve or Rose or even little Christophe had expressed that sentiment in How to Get Away With Murder‘s “10 Years Ago” flashbacks – maybe, just maybe, Wes and his fellow Keating Five cohorts wouldn’t all be worrying about lengthy prison sentences or seven-figure blackmail demands to go along with their crippling student-loan debt. (OK, OK, maybe Laurel thinks Sallie Mae is just a waitress at a diner on the wrong side of the tracks, but given that her dad makes Prof. Keating look as innocuous as Jessica Fletcher riding a bicycle through a coastal Maine village, let’s cut her some slack, too, right?)

But since life doesn’t in any way resemble the title of Cher’s 1989 classic, “Turn Back Time” — none of our central players are going to find ways to take back all those words (and stab wounds) (and gunshots) (and tire tracks) that hurt their friends and frenemies and rivals. So let’s break down what happened during the twisted, twisty and very likely misleading “It’s a Trap,” shall we?

GOING BACK TO OHIO | Laurel — reeling from Frank’s confession about murdering Lila — drops in on Wes and finds him reeling from the enigmatic case file on the decade-old Charles Mahoney case that Annalise left outside his door. They go through boxes of court transcripts and police files and medical examiner reports — and though it looks like everyone agrees it was a suicide, Wes believes his mom was murdered for failing to testify on Mahoney’s behalf, with the crime scene staged as self-inflicted. As we learn at the end of the hour, though, Laurel is holding on to a pilfered page from Cleveland P.D.’s investigation — and it names a prime suspect in Rose’s death: Her son Christophe (aka Wes)! Laurel comes raging back to Philly, interrupts a very important meeting and all but drags Annalise back to her office for a one-on-one. “Did Wes kill his mother?!” she demands to know. And while we know that nothing on HTGAWM is as straightforward as it seems, it’s a damn fine cliffhanger that ranks maybe a notch or two below “Why is your penis on a dead girl’s phone?” Oh, did I mention as Laurel cries about Frank being as bad a person as her father — and wonders if she’s as morally bankrupt as these men — Wes gets all, “You’re a good person”… and they smooch! Yes, we all saw it coming, but now that their lips have locked, I’m not sure if it was titillating or nauseating. I think I might like the duo as brother-sister types, y’know?

THEY’VE HAD THEIR PHIL | Connor comes to Annalise’s for guidance about what to do about the Shooting Night video sent to him at the end of last week’s show, and while she makes him squirm, his eventual use of the word “please” and information that he went back to her to try to prevent her from bleeding out makes her agree to pitch in. She gathers everyone involved in framing Philip and Catherine (aside from the MIA Wes and Laurel) and tells them to “let mama take care of it the way she always does.” And while the source of the video rattles them all with a “send $1 million or I go to the cops” email, in the end Annalise calls the blackmailer’s bluff (at Nate’s suggestion), not meeting his deadline. And the blackmailer (Philip? We still can’t be sure) responds with a video showing Annalise and Nate embracing in her kitchen the night prior. We’ve got a stalker on our hands, folks!

BACK IN THE DAY | We see that 10 years ago, the ambitious Annalise cajoled Rose into providing an alibi for Charles — but it turns out, the alibi was a false one, and Rose pulled out of her court appearance at the last possible minute. So maybe Charles did bludgeon to death his fiancée (who’d been working with the feds to expose Charles and his father’s Madoff-like schemes)? And maybe he put the knife in Rose’s throat for changing her mind? Either way, we get to meet Adam Arkin as Charles’ billionaire dad, and his withering, racially charged put-down of a pregnant Annalise — “don’t give your people a bad name” — makes me think that at some point, we’ll cheer when he meets a hideous fate. (Hey, a guy can hope!)

IN OTHER NEWS | Bonnie breaks it off with Asher (then cries in private). Michaela and Caleb hook up (though his visit to sister Catherine includes a disturbing interlude where she tries to make him think she’s the one who killed their parents). Annalise cooks dinner for Nate — then dumps it down the In-Sink-Erator when he questions her motives. She thinks maybe he’s playing along, but seeking revenge, but he’s pretty convincing when he holds her in his arms and tells her she’s already been forgiven. (Hmmm… could it be Eve that’s videotaping ’em?) Oh, and Connor is thinking about applying to Stanford — and hoping Oliver will move to Cali. with him! B-b-but doesn’t he care who ends up with the Scales of Justice trophy? (Yeah, yeah, that’s soooo Season 1… and it lost its luster once Sam’s grey matter wound up all over it… but I miss the little gal, y’know?)

OK, your turn. What did you think of this week’s HTGAWM? Is it possible Wes actually killed his mom? And do you like a Wes-Laurel romantic pairing or nah? Sound off below!