Who lives, who dies, who kills Mahoney? So ends another season of How to Get Away with Murder, this time with an episode packed not with Murder Night reveals but with folks fleeing the hellish landscape of Middleton University to find — or run from — their truths. Really, we all must skip town one way or another.
Sometimes you go south, heading back to where you came from to reconnect with your family and avoid the arrest warrant that’s been put out for you at home. Sometimes you go confront your birth father in New York, the only city where you can’t get Hamilton tickets but you can get shot in the face. And sometimes, you go anywhere but wherever it is you were, because you accidentally killed your boss’ unborn child in the mid-2000s and she’s just finding out about it now.
ANNALISE AT HOME
After opting out of the frustrating circus nightmare that is her life in Philadelphia, Annalise has straight-up ditched everything and headed South to visit with her mother, the feisty, fiery, Cicely Tysony Ophelia, who gives her a hard time for her sudden reappearance. Ophelia is more than familiar with Annalise’s many moods (which include Steely, Surly, and Sad) and as a result, she knows that an excuse of “I’m your daughter, and I miss you” is a total lie.
Home doesn’t immediately seem to offer much in the way for Annalise to relax: She’s disgusted by the sudden reappearance of her abusive father, now back in her house and “courting” her mother. She clashes with her sister, who resents her for abandoning the family and their mother. When Nate arrives to talk some sense into Annalise and elicit her return, he’s hilariously subjected to a family dinner and the full interrogation of the Hartness clan. (It’s only here that I realize, is Annalise actually just an emo child who never grew out of her bad attitude?)
Something in the homecoming worked, though, be it the drunken dancing or the constant battling: Annalise, in a moment of quiet honesty, tells Ophelia that she had had a baby. And it died. Ophelia, hurt and confused, links the tragic confession to Annalise’s entire life turning upside down: “You’ve been dragging this baby’s shadow around with you. It’s what got Sam murdered, you shot.” That night, Ophelia takes Annalise into the backyard and has her pen a letter of goodbye to the dead child, whose name, Annalise reveals, was Sam. They bury the letter, and Annalise clings to her mothers’ robe, and together they grieve.
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It’d be easy to say that the catharsis is enough to compel Annalise back to Philadelphia, but she first hears a plea from her rehabilitated father — “Look what all that running did to me,” he says before literally winking to the camera, probably. And then, if it wasn’t completely clear that old people are rubbing off on her, Annalise checks her voicemail.
There’s one from the ADA demanding she show up at the police station by 5 p.m., and there’s another from Michaela informing her that her arrest warrant is no more than a light lob of charges from an informant: Caleb.