If How to Get Away With Murder ever attempted to execute a holiday episode, I like to believe this would be it — it’s full of presents as far as the eye can see. You like court cases? Have four of them. Startling confessions? There’re a couple of those, too. If you leave the cookies out for Santa, Oliver’s got the milk covered. And to top it all off, there’s Bonnie Claus, who prefers, instead of using the chimney, to drop her presents right on your front doorstep.
You’re right — it’s much too early for a holiday episode of anything, but as HTGAWM steams toward its winter finale, no detail is being spared to get there. Oliver is missing, Wes might be Annalise’s son, and Bonnie has upgraded her permit to kill to a full-blown license.
Night of the Fancy Mansion
Back at the scene, Michaela tries to stop Connor from leaving the Hapstall house while Laurel and Wes overhear their conversation. Wes appears to be holding the gun, and as Connor flees initially, Wes tells Laurel that they have to stop him.
They run out on the balcony, and Wes yells for Connor and Michaela to stop, but ADA Sinclair’s body toppling to the ground interrupts them. On the second story are Wes and Laurel, but up above them is our girl Bonnie, looking down on her handy work. If you turn up the volume, you can hear her softly singing, “It’s raining ADA Sinclair. Hallelujah, it’s raining ADA Sinclair.” Okay, I made that part up — can’t get anything past you guys.
Trotter Lake and Bonnie’s “Thing”
Bonnie almost immediately calls out Asher for what he did at Trotter Lake — she announces it in front of Michaela, who is immediately interested. (Granted all she finds is Asher’s “Bye Felicia” music video). When he chases her down, she says, “You could have stopped them.” It’s nice to know that Asher’s not the rapist, but we still have big issues.
Four guys took Tiffany upstairs, and Asher stayed downstairs, called his dad because he was concerned, and then his dad had it covered up. Now Tiffany is out there, living with the truth every day while Asher’s life has primarily consisted of finding the perfect beige suit. If that’s not privilege, I don’t know what is.
Asher follows Bonnie around like a puppy trying to form an explanation — that he was stupid and he’s sorry and he’d offer her money, but nothing is enough for Bonnie. He gets to be oblivious and the fun guy while Tiffany hurts. Bonnie can’t look at him the same anymore, and Asher says, “I understand because it’s your thing…” Bonnie’s heartbroken and says, “She told you, didn’t she?”
Annalise comes home from her Eve date, all smiles and rainbows, and there sits Bonnie disgusted with Annalise for telling Asher about her past. Drunk Bonnie tells Annalise that she’s ruined the one good thing she had in her life and that she doesn’t know how to love anyone. And Bonnie finishes with, “I wish you would die. I wish it were you they killed in this house. And not Sam.”
Wes Has Two Mommies
Four days before the Night of the Fancy Mansion, we’re in Wes’ apartment. He hops out of the shower in a towel, and all of a sudden, there’s three guns in the room. Oh, sorry. I mean… Wes’ exposed biceps and a real gun. A gun that looks just like the one from the flashforward. He puts it away and gets to the office.
He is originally assigned to the case of the week, but then he gets reshuffled to keep tabs on the Nia Lahey murder case, where Nate is casually being framed for a second murder tied to Annalise. He watches the case unfold and reports back to Annalise when he suspects that Eve has thrown the case. In the end, Eve and Wes share a quick moment outside of the courtroom when Eve realizes that the person Annalise has been protecting all along has been Wes. Annalise tries to rebuff her questions, but finally gives up and says, “He’s not some student. It’s him.” HIM. It sounds like someone might be admitting to a smidgen of motherhood, which leads us to this…
THEORY: I’m not going to try and touch on the motive behind it, but what if Annalise’s shooting is staged, leaving Wes’ adoptive mother dead and Wes’ biological mother bleeding out. After Annalise’s little speech to Wes last week pushing blame over on him, Wes would not only have two mommies but also potentially be responsible for both of their deaths? Poor track record.
NEXT: Nobody cries over spilled milk
Nia’s Death and Eve’s Return
You know what they say. Frame me for murder once, shame on you. Frame me for murder twice, shame on me.
Nate gets served papers for Nia’s death as he’s packing up her stuff. Sinclair is bringing him up on murder charges based off the pills Nia requested from Annalise. After she finds out, Annalise goes to visit Eve, who is defending Nate. She tells Annalise to stay away from Nate while she handles it. Not being one to ever be totally hands off, Annalise confronts ADA Sinclair in the courthouse and says, “You’re messing with the wrong bitch,” and when Sinclair asks if it’s a threat, Annalise says, “I guess we’ll see.”
Annalise and Eve meet up in a car and get flirty, as schoolgirls do. Eve admits that she’s a little happy that Nate killed his wife because that means that she gets to see Annalise again. It’s really sweet, in a “fancy running into you at work where we defend murderers” way. They imagine running away and opening up a firm in Paris. What a time to be alive.
The trial starts for Nia’s death. ADA Sinclair, hell-bent on sending someone to jail, is using an adorable oncology nurse to build a case around Nate. She’s the same one that finished the scarf Nia was making, and based on her outburst about having the right to die, I’m surprised that Eve doesn’t try to pin the murder on her. Instead, she doesn’t even cross-examine the nurse — and the judge decides the outcome in fifteen minutes. Nia’s blood will be tested..
Annalise and Eve meet up again, and while Eve is super concerned about mozzarella sticks and potato skins (SAME, GIRL), Annalise wants to know if she threw the case. Eve says she didn’t and that she purposefully didn’t cross-examine the nurse so that she’d stay on their side. Eve has a plan in place, and with that insurance, Annalise is totes game for some mozz sticks.
Outside the hospital, Eve and Nate regroup and review their plan before Nate goes in to talk to Scarf Nurse. The nurse apologizes for her courtroom execution, and Nate tells her that is why he’s at the hospital. Cut to the lab results being read in court, and low and behold, there were no drugs found in Nia’s system. Scarf Nurse cuts Nia’s story line out of the picture as swiftly as it was brought in.
Oliver, Philip, and the Hapstall Case
Since Oliver tracked down Philip, the Keating Five is super jazzed about focusing in on him as the prime suspect. So much so that Oliver is brought on as a team member. Connor is 100 percent not chill with it, but that can’t be stopped — he confronts Oliver, but he’s like, “Bae, stop being a buzzkill.” That’s not the kill he should be worried about.
Annalise and Oliver’s first meeting is wonderful. She acknowledges that he’s saved her ass, and he just blushes. I’m supporting them as a platonic power couple. In the hunt for Philip, he baits him on a dating site. But it takes two techies to virtually tango, and as we learned last week, Philip has presumably already seen Oliver via hacked webcam (which is why mine is now covered with duct tape — no one is safe, y’all).
On the dating site, he uses Connor’s picture. When Connor doesn’t agree to the date, Oliver says he’ll do it and will say that he used Connor’s picture because he has low self-esteem. #PrettyHurts. Connor’s morality and protective nature is coming out just as Oliver is ready to go full crazy. The date happens, but it ends up being Connor who is waiting for Philip at the coffee shop that night. Aside: Does coffee not affect these people at all?
Outside, Frank, Michaela, and Laurel wait in the car. Being the smart one, Laurel bails to tattle to Annalise and runs directly into Philip. Annalise calls back and tells Frank to get Connor out of the date. Meanwhile, Oliver fumbles into his apartment, singing Asher’s “Bye Felicia” frat boy music video and juggling groceries when Philip follows him in, causing him to spill milk (no one cried over it yet, but he did scare the hell out of Oliver), and asks “How’s your night going?”
The Case of the Week
Annalise and the crew has been hired to defend Dale, a man who has been accused of driving his ex’s husband, Marco, to suicide. Dale seems pretty cavalier about the whole thing, but cavalier doesn’t win murder cases. They almost nail the case down by pinning the suicide on Marco’s alcoholism, but the 911 call reveals that Marco clearly had a man drive him to jump off a building.
Laurel uses Oliver’s expertise to find out where the ex, Sharon, lives and finds out that she doesn’t live at the building Oliver directed her toward. But it is the building that ADA Nelson lives at — the same ADA that is representing Susan. The one having sexy, sexy time with Susan. And the same ADA that caused Marco to kill himself. For backup, Laurel coaxes the building’s doorman to the courtroom and traps him there as a material witness. ADA Nelson pleads the Fifth, and even though he’s responsible for murder, he’s still the most likable ADA in this episode.
Upset because it appears Annalise is being hard on her about Frank, Laurel confronts Annalise who starts spitting truth at her and tells her that she knows that she’s smart and capable, which is why she doesn’t talk to her. She follows up with, “Go back to the office, and stop being needy.” Laurel is such a Millennial.
Pretty simple episode this week with not many details, right? Wrong. Where did Oliver go? Could Annalise really be Wes’ mom? Was Annalise making a really passé joke about trophy Millennials by offering Laurel the trophy? So many unanswered questions and so few episodes left until we find out who shot Annalise. In the meantime, watch out for falling bodies because Bonnie is making it RAIN.