Nov 5, 2016
How to Get Away with Murder: How I spent my summer vacation
- The season-long defense of the Hapstell siblings was filled with a lot of red herrings that were more confusing than satisfying. Was Caleb the murderer? Was Catherine? Was Philip? Who cares? Does it matter now that Caleb turned up dead in a motel bathtub, Catherine is still imprisoned, and Phillip has offered to work with the police to support the the story Annalise created? Hopefully not, because that storyline was boring.
- The connection between Annalise and Wes was finally revealed! So Annalise attempted to convince Wes’s mother into confirming an alibi for her shady client, the Mahoney family, but Wes’s mother decided to kill herself rather than be forced to testify on behalf of her rapist and possible father of her child. I believe you will find this plot point next to the definition of the word “convoluted” in the dictionary.
- Annalise fired Frank after finding out he was paid off by the Mahoneys to cause the car accident that made her deliver a stillborn child, but we all know that he and Bonnie always manage to find a way back into her good graces somehow, so I’m sure he’ll be back.
- Connor wanted to transfer to Stanford and start a new life, except Oliver secretly deleted his acceptance letter; Michael and Asher hooked up; Wes and Laurel kissed, but Laurel decided to make up with Frank, except he’s M.I.A. Probably doing something shady to win back Annalise’s cold, black heart, no doubt.
Let’s learn how to get away with murder, folks!
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Our flashforward for this season is relatively mild: a sheet-covered body is escorted off the Casa Keating premises. Someone died, someone did it, and we’re not going to find out who until the finale. Pretty standard season premiere stuff.
But first, we have to go back to the past — er, present? — to where we left off in the season finale cliffhanger, when Wes had his birth father’s brain matter splattered all over his face. That’s a terrible way to start off a father-son reunion, in case anyone is wondering.
So who wanted to make sure that Wes could never play catch or send a cheesy Father’s Day card? All signs point to Frank right now: he personally took Wes to Mr. Mahoney, claiming that Annalise decided to let Wes meet his father once and for all, and he fled the scene after Mr. Mahoney died. Annalise tells Wes that Frank wanted to get rid of the possibility of Annalise turning Frank into the police for working for the Mahoneys and all of their shady dealings.
I’m not exactly sure how Frank is going to avoid prison by directly killing the guy, but this show isn’t called How to Get Away with Murder for nothing.
Wes is understandably confused about all of this, so Annalise leads him in a bizarre, cathartic screaming session in the woods.
That’s a sentence I never thought I’d have to type.
Meanwhile, Frank shaves off his beard and hair to start a new life. RIP Frank’s Beard. Services will be held at the truck stop bathroom where the beard clippings now lay. In lieu of flowers, please bring a broom and dustpan.
Four months later, it’s time for a new school year! Apparently America’s Next Top Lawyers have not kept in very good touch with each other, but that doesn’t stop them from meeting together in the lecture hall to find their seats. There’s nothing like a couple of murder cover-ups to bond a group of people for life. A new character named Drake, who’s definitely not as sensitive as the Canadian rapper by the same name, snidely tells the ANTLs that they don’t deserve to be in Annalise’s pro bono legal clinic (which was created, by the way, as a way for the university administration to keep Annalise out of the classroom as much as possible without completely firing her) since their rankings are so low.
Gasp! Who would have thunk that all of those months of coming up with ways to avoid blackmail, random road trips to Ohio, and mental breakdowns would have resulted in lower G.P.A.s and demotions in the workplace?
Nevertheless, Annalise announces to her students that this will still be an amazing class since they’re going to try real-life cases. “You finally get to be me,” she tells them. The students are uncomfortable with this notion, since someone is hanging up posters of Annalise with the word “KILLER” underneath them around campus.
The ANTLs are more nervous than anyone. If someone knows that Annalise is a killer, then logically that same someone would know that they are killers, too. However, Annalise isn’t worried. “We’re good people now. Say it to yourself until you believe,” she tells them.
The episode fills in what everyone did over the summer and how they’re doing after the whole “framing the Hapstell siblings for their parents and Emily Sinclair’s murders” thing. Here’s a hint: not that well.
Laurel moped because Frank skipped town before she could take him back, and Wes ignored her to spend time with his new girlfriend Meggie. Connor asked Annalise not to let Oliver work for her, and she agreed. Asher tried to ask Annalise for a loan to pay for school since his family cut him off, while reminding her that he chose to expose his father’s corruption to help Annalise, but she just laughed at him and told him to get a job. Asher was upset, but what did he expect? You go to Annalise when you need to cover up a crime, not to borrow a couple of bucks.
Michaela knows this, and that’s why she called Annalise for help when she got pulled over for a DUI over the summer. Annalise convinced the cops not to arrest Michaela and privately gave Michaela a pep talk and a tip on drinking responsibly. “Next time you want to drink yourself silly, call me,” Annalise tells her. “I have a full liquor cabinet and I won’t let you drive home drunk.”
Our case of the week focuses on saving an Iraqi immigrant from deportation after being caught with marijuana in his possession. Annalise challenges her class to come up with viable defenses for the case, and Wes and Insensitive Drake have the best ones. However, Michaela usurps Insensitive Drake’s spot by uncovering evidence that the public defender didn’t accurately explain the consequences for pleading guilty. Coupled with the fact that the Iraqi immigrant was taking the fall for his daughter’s drugs, this could be enough to stop him from getting deported.
Except it’s not.
If there’s one area where Annalise’s shady lawyer magic doesn’t work, it’s the immigration courts. The judge rules to deport the man, disappointing the ANTLs and the viewers at home, because this was the only nice, decent client that Annalise has represented.
Annalise decides to hire Oliver as her resident hacker after all and informs Connor of this. Oh, and about the whole “deleting his Stanford admission letter” thing. Surprisingly, Connor’s not upset by this and reveals to Oliver that he knows what he did and forgives him. Instead of being relieved that he has a boyfriend who will put up with his shitty, manipulative ways, Oliver realizes that it’s actually not good to have a boyfriend who will put up with his shitty, manipulative ways. He breaks up with Connor.
Laurel goes over to Wes’s apartment to confront him for ignoring her all summer. Sure, her ex-boyfriend killed his birth dad and they had an awkward kiss, but they can still be friends, right? Nope, according to Wes. “When I look at you, all I see is Frank,” he tells Laurel. He sees a 5’11” Italian guy with a beard instead of a blue-eyed Latina? Wes may need glasses.
Meggie, Wes’s new girlfriend, interrupts their conversation, and after being introduced to Laurel, Meggie gushes that Wes talks about her all the time. So Wes can’t be around Laurel in person but goes on and on about her to his new girlfriend? Oh, this isn’t a setup for a love triangle at all. I give it five episodes before Wes cheats on his girlfriend with Laurel. Any takers?
Meanwhile, Annalise keeps checking a flip phone hidden in her jewelry box. No, she’s not addicted to Snake or any of the delightful games 2005-era Nokias had. She has a private investigator tracking down Frank. The P.I. called to report that he found Frank, but Frank attacks him and murders him as Annalise listens on the line.
In the flashforward, Annalise breaks from the crowd and demands to see the body. She lets out an anguished yell and sobs hysterically in the streets as they take the body away.
Is it really someone she cares about? Or is this Annalise just putting on theatrics for witnesses? Only more flashforwards will tell.
What we learned about getting away with murder:
- According to Frank Delfino, all you have to do is get someone to talk to your target, do a drive-by, flee the scene, shave your beard, and then start a new life and kill anyone who threatens that.
What we learned about avoiding deportation:
- Nothing. You can’t do a damn thing apparently. #ImmigrationReformNow