Mitch Haaseth/ABC
Maureen Lee Lenker
November 17, 2017 AT 12:40 AM EST

How to Get Away With Murder

type
TV Show
Current Status
In Season
tvpgr
TV-14
seasons
2
run date
09/25/14
performer
Viola Davis, Alfred Enoch
broadcaster
ABC
genre
Crime, Drama, Mystery

We gave it an A-

The partners are giving speeches and it’s almost time for Tegan’s, so Michaela drops a line about gender bias and women making speeches while holding purses. It works. She gets the key card she needs, which she passes to Asher, and they sync their phones on a timer to the length of Tegan’s speech. Laurel is panicking and can’t get the card to work, but Oliver gets them in the server room and breaks through the firewall. Because this isn’t stressful enough, the files are spread across multiple servers, which means they have to plug a hard drive into each server to make sure they get all the files. Michaela is watching Tegan’s speech when she’s busted by Simon, who can spot her nervous stress smile from a mile away.

Back upstairs, Asher decides Oliver should plant the keycard on Simon by kissing him and slipping it in his pocket to complete the whistleblower frame job. Oliver hunts for him at the party when he is interrupted by the phone call from the opening scene of this episode — it’s Connor revealing he called Annalise and told her everything. Meanwhile, Annalise is now calling Laurel and leaving a voicemail offering her help.

Asher, Laurel, and Michaela are in a side room discussing Oliver planting the key card on Simon when Simon walks in and overhears them. Laurel tries to pay him off to keep quiet, but he finds a gun in her bag and points it at them in desperation. Michaela approaches him, trying to talk him down, when he backs up and trips on a chair, the gun goes off, and suddenly he’s lying on the floor with a pool of blood around his head. Asher runs to pick up the gun, but Michaela screams at him to put it down. Oliver runs in with his news about Annalise and shrieks, “Oh my God” when he sees Simon dead on the floor. He wants to call 911, but first Michaela calmly orchestrates what happens next: She wipes blood off of Laurel’s face and tells her to leave because her presence will tip off Mr. Castillo and Antares. Then she puts the stolen key card in Simon’s pocket, wipes the gun clean, and puts it back where it fell. Then, they call 911.

Michaela then gives the greatest performance of her life to date; she walks into the party covered in blood, screaming for help and yelling about how Simon shot himself in the head (which technically is true, just not in the sense she means). Tegan runs to her to comfort her, but not before Michaela whispers to Connor what happened and urges him to go to Laurel’s apartment.

But Laurel didn’t go home — no, she heard Annalise’s voicemail and headed for the Easton hotel. The only trouble is that as she gets in the elevator, we see drops of blood on the ground. As the elevator climbs the floors, she notices a steady flow of blood between her legs and flashes back to Frank hitting her in the stomach by accident the night before. As with Annalise before, the elevator is stuck, and this time it won’t budge. Laurel swipes her bloodstained hands across the buttons and the walls before crumpling to the floor in pain (and, as it turns out, premature labor). She tries to call 911 but has no signal, so she bangs on the walls and screams for help.

Eventually, Annalise hears her cries and tries to pry open the elevator door while also calling 911. When the door opens, Laurel has fainted and is lying in a huge pool of blood. As Annalise shakes her to wake her up, she moves aside her leg and sees the disturbingly quiet baby Laurel has just given birth to.

Annalise tries to get to the baby but is having trouble reaching it through the bars of the elevator gate. At the same time, the doctors from previous flashforwards operate on Simon, trying to save his life. Annalise tries to perform CPR on the baby, while the doctors do the same for Simon. She chants, “Live, live, live,” over and over. Look, Annalise has done a lot of unforgivable things over the years, but this is perhaps her most vulnerable and her most noble moment. It’s heart-wrenching to watch her try to breathe life back into this baby, knowing she is haunted by the fact that she couldn’t do the same for her own child (and that once again it’s her actions as a lawyer and her students that have brought an innocent child to this point).

Back at Caplan & Gold, Michaela is on the phone with Connor as she watches Asher get arrested and be taken away in handcuffs (and tears). But Connor has bigger concerns — he’s at the apartment, and Laurel isn’t there. Worse, though he doesn’t know it, Dominic, a.k.a. Wes’ murderer, is. Connor gives an overly detailed “I told you so” speech to Michaela, filled with enough info to make this a truly dangerous situation given that Dominic overhears every word.

Simon’s heart monitor flatlines, Annalise continues to chant, “Live,” we cut to black, and there’s the sound of a newborn baby’s cry.

There are still so many unanswered questions: How does Laurel get to the hospital? What is Isaac’s role here? And Bonnie’s? Why does Asher get arrested? Executive Producer Pete Nowalk filled in EW on some of the details here.

Overall, this episode offered another step forward in Annalise’s character rehabilitation. She has worked so hard these last eight episodes to get her life on a path that will correct her sins, and the Keating Four are doing a lot to disrupt that. But she sees herself in Laurel, even more so now that Laurel has almost lost a child, and it was triumphant to see her fight so hard for something that has such a personal, raw meaning to her.

What do you think? Was it a satisfying cliffhanger? Can Annalise ever truly be saved from herself? Comment below or find me on Twitter @themaureenlee.

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