Welcome to the How to Get Away With Murder midseason premiere, which really feels like the midseason finale because it ties up all the loose ends from the first half of the season and sets up new drama to take us through the back half. Plus, the show aired one less episode than normal in the fall, which enhances the sense that this is a long-delayed finale. It’s time to finally catch up to all those scenes teased in flashforwards over the course of the season thus far.
Back at Annalise’s apartment, the paramedics have arrived to take Laurel’s very much alive premature baby and an unconscious Laurel to the hospital. Annalise follows, while the police treat the bloody elevator as a crime scene because it’s related to Annalise. Fair.
Connor is at Wes’ old apartment on the phone with Michaela trying to put together the pieces, but he’s interrupted by a phone call from Annalise — she fills him in on the drama with Laurel and the baby, while he reveals that Simon was shot. Connor then goes to Nate and begs him for help getting Asher out of jail (who is still desperately demanding his right to a phone call).
Frank finds Annalise at the hospital and demands to see the baby because he’s the father. The doctors tell them that both Laurel and the baby are stable and in recovery, but before they can become one big happy dysfunctional family, the Department of Human Services show up asking a series of suspicious questions about Laurel’s mental well-being and her potential drug use. Annalise quickly realizes this is all Laurel’s father’s doing and sees him being admitted to the hospital. She tries to urge the social workers not to believe him, but he takes emergency custody of the baby, and Laurel’s paternity test proves that Frank is not the baby’s father. At this point, Annalise is desperate and threatens the hospital with a malpractice suit for putting Laurel on an illegal psych hold and not allowing Frank in to visit.
Never underestimate the power of Annalise because shortly Frank is in Laurel’s hospital room begging her to wake up. Annalise has Laurel’s files, which contain toxicology reports indicating she had cocaine in her system that induced labor and she has a history of bipolar disorder. Enter Isaac – whom Annalise calls to come to the hospital to help get Laurel out of the psych ward. When he gets to the hospital, Annalise tells him the files show a history of mental illness all made up by Laurel’s father. She needs Isaac to do a psych evaluation to help Laurel; he says he has no authority at the hospital, but Annalise threatens to report him and his ex-wife to the medical board if he doesn’t do it.
Back at Caplan & Gold, Oliver and Michaela are breaking down realizing that Asher must’ve told the police the truth, as opposed to their story: that they caught Simon stealing the files and he killed himself in desperation. In contrast, Asher tells the true story of Simon’s accidental death to Nate, who has come to him in prison. He reveals he picked up the gun on purpose because he didn’t want to end up caught in another stream of lies. After getting Connor’s voicemail about what’s happening at the hospital with Laurel, Michaela leaves Oliver at C&G – but not before Tegan intercepts her to question her as to how Simon got her keycard when it was Michaela who was holding her purse. Uh. Oh.
At the hospital, Laurel is finally waking up – under the watchful eyes of Frank and Isaac. But the hospital staff knocks Laurel out with more drugs right away as she starts screaming, “Where’s the baby?” Meanwhile, Annalise is arguing with hospital staff, demanding Laurel be given a new drug test while she watches. Social services reveals it’s too late; the baby is already being transferred to another hospital. Annalise chases after the baby and Mr. Castillo, begging him to not take the baby away because Laurel will never recover and never forgive him. He leaves with the child, while Annalise tells the hospital staff he’s going to hurt the baby and they’ll all have blood on their hands.
Michaela finds Connor at the hospital, where he reveals Laurel is in the psych ward and then runs off to rescue Oliver — but not before blaming the baby’s potential death on Michaela and her involvement in Laurel’s schemes. She stands in front of the babies in the nursery in a state of shock when Isaac happens upon her, thinking she’s Annalise (again I ask: How???). Michaela reveals to him that Laurel stopped taking her anti-depressants per her OB’s advice but then leaves to find the other Keating Four.
Back at Caplan & Gold Bonnie is on the scene and questions Oliver about the hard drive, but he still thinks Laurel has it and is waiting at the apartment for them all. Connor shows up demanding Oliver’s release as his lawyer, but Bonnie has already secured his release as a member of the DA’s office. Dominic is there also, demanding information from Tegan, but she says no files were removed and the IT guy went home for the night. He gets Oliver’s name and information from her. (Recap continues on page 2)
Laurel is still locked to her bed with arm braces, which Annalise demands be removed immediately. Annalise promises to get the baby back, but Laurel says she doesn’t deserve to be a mother because she didn’t listen to Dominic. It turns out he called her the night before this all went down and told her not to go through with any of it because her father was on to her. No one knows where the hard drive is – it was last seen in her bag, which Bonnie brings to the hospital after checking it out of police evidence, but it’s not in there now. Annalise accuses Bonnie of taking it, while Frank urges them to make up. But they realize that Mr. Castillo took the baby because he thinks they have the hard drive and wants to use the child as a safety measure.
Annalise and Isaac argue over Laurel, as he questions her being off her medication and Annalise insists it’s all the machinations of Mr. Castillo. He worries this entire evening is a huge trigger for Annalise (duh), but she brushes him off by blaming his constant nagging for his daughter’s suicide. Ouch — lash out much, Annalise?
The police found the planted laptop in Simon’s apartment with all the searches for Antares, but they think it’s still too tidy. They want to charge Asher, but Bonnie threatens them not to do it until they have more proof. Asher is released, and he goes to the hospital to find Michaela, Connor, and Oliver. He is relieved that no matter what, he can’t be charged for murder, because Simon is ALIVE. Which is great for Asher’s homicide charges, but not so great for making sure their story sticks. They spin out, with Connor even suggesting they send Frank in with a pillow to finish the job, which deeply disturbs Oliver.
Back at Caplan & Gold, Dominic is making an ominous phone call to track Oliver’s whereabouts, but before he can get in the car, Frank knocks him out cold and ties him up for questioning. Frank wants to know where the hard drive is, while Dominic taunts Frank about his love for Laurel and reveals he was in love with her too. Frank continues to beat him up, while Dominic insists that none of them know who Laurel really is.
Annalise and Laurel are back on good terms again, as she brings Laurel a picture of her baby on her phone and holds her hand while they cry and formulate a plan. Frank shows up, and Laurel wants to call Dominic for help. Frank says that’s not a good idea, but she does it anyway — and when Dominic’s phone rings, it is in Frank’s pocket. He’s dead, and Frank killed him.
We close on the Keating Four, with Oliver informing the group that security is protecting Simon and begging them not to hurt Simon further. Annalise approaches them, telling them they never learn. Um, excuse me, Annalise, I think they learn very well – they learn from you how to constantly lie and cover up their misdeeds.
Frank comes to Annalise in the hospital lobby with Dominic’s phone. On it is a bombshell – a voicemail from Wes saying, “It’s Kristoff. I’m in trouble. We all could be. Call me as soon as you get this.” We flash back to the night of Wes’ death and see that he called this number, listed as his “In Case of Emergency Number” in his phone. So what’s the deal? Why does Dominic know Wes as Kristoff? How does that relate to his death? Is anyone else concerned Wes and Laurel were somehow related and Mr. Castillo wanted him dead and the baby gone because of the specter of incest? Or is that just me watching too much television? Sound off in the comments below or hit me up @themaureenlee on Twitter with your theories.