Make it a double for How to Get Away With Murder‘s Annalise Keating.
The protagonist of the third and most twisted hour of ABC’s #TGIT programming bloc was chug-a-lugging a bottle of The Clear and Present Danger* this week like a five-year-old getting the rare cup of soda at a bowling-alley birthday party. (*C’mon, that’s a hot nickname for a glass of Absolut/Grey Goose/Ketel One/Your Personal Russian Poison).
But by the end of the hour, we understood why Annalise wants to be comfortably numb at the end of a grueling workday. In heatbreaking flashback, we learned that Annalise’s baby died after her car was sideswiped at the exact moment she made a pivotal phone call to tell the truth about the suicide of Wes’ mother Rose, and how that horrifying act tied in to her clients Wallace, Charles and Sylvia Mahoney. (Was that accident a coincidence? Ummm… about as much as Emily Sinclair’s “splat” was a totally innocent slip-trip-fall, methinks!)
While you continue to dab your eyes with Puffs — I find their box designs a little kickier than Kleenex these days — let me recap the action from “There’s My Baby”:
CONFESSIONS, PART 1 | After last week’s Philip-attacking-Annalise cliffhanger — from which Annalise escaped relatively unscathed — the hour builds toward Annalise finally sharing with Wes the events of 10 years ago, when his name was Christophe and he came home to find his mother bleeding out on their apartment floor. Annalise shares the tale of Rose’s suicide — “I let ambition get the best of me, and you lost your mother as a result,” she says — but he knows there’s more to the story, and presses his mentor for the whole truth. Finally, she caves: Wes’ father, she explains, is Wallace Mahoney, and it turns out he’s alive and thriving in New York City. Now who’s up for a season-finale road trip?
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BABY | In the most devastating of HTGAWM‘s “10 years earlier” flashbacks, we finally learn the truth about what happened to Annalise’s baby. Reeling from seeing Rose commit suicide in front of her, Annalise confronts Wallace Mahoney about why the cleaning woman for his office was terrified enough of his wrath to stab herself in the throat. And then she has an epiphany: “You raped her,” she says, accusingly, and Wallace doesn’t deny it. “I saw it in her eyes. You violated her.” But before she can report her theory to the cops, the aforementioned car crash sends her to the E.R., and despite a last-minute C-section, the doctors can’t save her child. As Annalise confesses to Wes that his mom’s death is all her fault, we see her remembering her own tragic backstory, and it’s clear she blames herself for that, too. In flashback, Sam does everything right — absolving Annalise of her guilt and even agreeing to let a nurse take a photo of he and Annalise with their deceased infant. It’s an unflinchingly realistic portrait of the worst kind of grief — and a showcase for the power of Viola Davis and Tom Verica’s talents.
LOVE LUST | THE DA interviews the Keating Five — with Bonnie as their attorney — about their Shooting Night whereabouts and Philip’s videotape, but the best he gets is Connor’s dismissive, “Good luck screwing me, because you’re not really my type.” Caleb, meanwhile, has gone missing — is he dead, in cahoots with Philip or maybe the most dangerous Hapstall of all? After Annalise kicks them out of her house, the Keating Five hit the club and down their shots, leading Oliver to confess he’s quit his job. That’s barely a blip on the screen though, once an intoxicated, edge-of-a-breakdown Michaela hooks up with Asher in the ladies’ room. Are we shipping Aschaela and double dates with Connor-Oliver, or is this best as a one-off? Michaela did need to let off some steam, so I’m not judging…
EVERYTHING BUT THE SPINNING CHEERLEADER | Bonnie’s eye daggers tell Frank she knows (somehow) that he killed Lila Stangard. “Keep your mouth shut and we’ve got no problems,” he tells her, and it feels like a threat. We also learn in flashback — straight from Annalise’s mouth — that Sam rescued Frank from “a white-trash future.” Bonnie puts two and two together and realizes Frank killed the pregnant coed on Sam’s behalf, not Annalise’s. “She can’t know,” he says to Bonnie, pleadingly. And so it’s not a surprise that at that exact moment, who makes an unwelcome house call to Annalise but a drunk-as-hell Laurel — who knows about Frank’s felonious act, but still thinks he did it at Annalise’s bidding. When Laurel drops the bombshell, you can see 27 different emotions run across Annalise’s face — and in the next shot, she’s packed her bags, walked out the door, and knocked on the door of her mother’s house. Ummm… Cicely Tyson in the Season 2 finale? Yes, please!
OK, your turn. What did you think of this week’s HTGAWM? Will you ever recover from that hospital scene? And what kind of punishment will Annalise dole out to Frank for his misdeeds? Sound off below!