Slut-shaming: It’s not just for Internet message boards anymore, it’s also for juries looking to yell “Guilty!” and burn a buxom beauty at the stake.
So says Annalise Keating at the start of this week’s How to Get Away With Murder — which not only drops some knowledge about a sexual position known as “the octopus” (do we go with the definition found on Urban Dictionary or the very different one courtesy of Cosmopolitan.com?) but also raises questions about the season’s central (and possibly incestuous) defense clients, Caleb and Catherine Hapstall and leaves us with a “Whoa! Em! Gee!” reveal that Annalise’s former lover Nate and partner in flirtation Wes might be in cahoots.
Along the way, Asher tries to walk away from his role as mole for Annalise’s arch nemesis, Michaela admits to never having achieved orgasm and oh man, there’s really enough plot in “It’s Called the Octopus” to fill three or four recaps. Nevertheless, let’s try to hit the key elements:
CASE OF THE WEEK | Annalise takes on the case of a sex-party proprietor (The Fosters’ Sherri Saum) accused of killing a married-with-children client with whom she was in love. The woman’s dishonesty — Annalise finally learns Tonya caused her lover’s heart attack not to kill him, but to expose their affair to his wife — enrages our protagonist, who not only calls Tonya a “negligent slut” but also accuses her of “giving those of us who really like sex a bad name.” Nevertheless, we all know Annalise hates to lose, so she raises ugly suspicions about the victim’s wife, scores a “not guilty” verdict, then tells the horrified Tonya that she doesn’t need her outrage, she’d rather have a gift. “How do you sleep at night?” asks the client. To which Annalise replies with the most delicious contempt, “Alone — on very comfortable sheets” before adding that she likes “expensive bottles of vodka.” Talk about the very definition of “the defense rests”!
THE ADOPTED ACCUSED | A tabloid shot of Caleb and Catherine Hapstall suggests they might be lovers — a claim they vehemently deny. But by the end of the hour we learn it’s their housekeeper who leaked the nasty pic — and she’s certain the adopted siblings are guilty not only of incest, but also of torturing and murdering their billionaire parents. The week’s flash-forward — Annalise on the parlor floor, with a gunshot wound to the chest — suggests the same, as Viola Davis’ antihero flashes on an image of the siblings and wonders, “Why did they do it?”
ANNALISE IN DANGER? | We all know Annalise is going to be on the wrong end of a gun by season’s end, but who’ll be the one to do her in? We get parallel scenes where she seems thisclose to having sex with Wes (after he kills a suffering rat in a basement trap in her home) and Nate (whose job she’s restored with the Philly PD). But nobody ends up taking the bait — at which point we learn Wes has paid a visit to Nate, and the men have agreed to work together, though their endgame is still a complete mystery.
ASHER, LAUREL, MICHAELA, and CONNOR | In other news, Connor and Oliver are finally able to resume their sex life (following Connor’s course of PrEP), while Laurel takes up Frank on his offer to get to know him better (even plying Bonnie with drinks to get intel). Michaela, meanwhile, finds herself succumbing to the charms of Levi (the secret foster brother of ill-fated Rebecca). But when Wes recognizes Levi from Rebecca’s photo, he confronts the guy — and they agree to work together to find out what happened to the young woman they love (while allowing Levi to continue his seduction of Michaela). Also, Levi claims Rebecca is EGGS911, but does that scenario hold any kind of water? Finally, Asher steals Annalise’s memo recorder and puts it in the hands of prosecutor St. Clair, but when he insists his mole work is done, she brings up a specter from Asher’s past — “Trotter Lake” — and he suddenly has all the confidence of a trout on the end of a hook.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST | On the night six months from now where Annalise gets shot — and ADA St. Clair winds up with her skull smashed in the Hapstall’s driveway, the Keating Four (Michaela, Connor, Laurel and Wes
Asher) finally flee the scene — only to wind up hitching a ride with… dun-dun-dunnnnh… Nate!
OK, your turn. What did you think of this week’s HTGAWM? Sound off in the comments — and do weigh in on those previews for next week’s hour where Nate’s terminally ill wife asks Annalise to kill her!