Annalise’s (character) rehab continues in this week’s episode, starting with an opening sequence that finds her dictating notes to a tape recorder as she begins to build her class action lawsuit, which she is calling “Keating v. the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” Rather conveniently, the Keating Four are also learning about class action suits in their law school class; they’re quizzed on famous cases while they’re distracted by their outside internships (or lack thereof). Truly, the biggest reveal of the season thus far is that any of the four still attend class at all. At this point, I assumed they were taking online classes or something.
Annalise’s suit will name Governor Birkhead as its top name to attract maximum attention, and she needs to find 40 plaintiffs willing to file, which means going through Virginia Cross’ past clients and seeking out others who might have been neglected by the system. The other thing she needs? Cold hard cash. Class action lawsuits are extremely expensive, and Annalise is broke, so she returns to a past adversary/friend, Middleton University colleague and fellow AA member President Soraya Hargrove.
Hargrove is still in the midst of a nasty divorce and fighting to win custody of her kids. Annalise wants Hargrove to hire her. Instead of firing her lawyer, Hargrove can take her on as a consultant and only has to pay Annalise if she helps her negotiate a better deal than the one already on the table.
Back to the bombshell that is Connor’s dads: While Oliver social-media stalks the Walsh patriarchs, Connor fills him in on the details. His dad came out when he was young, and it caused his mom to have a nervous breakdown. This is why the two don’t really talk. He suspects his dad is only in town to get the tuition money, but Oliver is already messaging Mr. Walsh online behind Connor’s back.
Bonnie, who cannot quit her Annalise addiction, asks ADA Denver to allow her to review all of Virginia Cross’ cases to make sure they don’t have any reason for the office to be indicted in a misconduct suit. Denver, who — surprise! — is now running for Attorney General, offers her the generous resources of a team of one and says she can review the cases herself. She never explicitly states that this is at all related to Annalise’s interest in Cross’ cases, but c’mon, it has to be, right?
Laurel is once again on Michaela’s case to investigate her father’s company from inside Caplan & Gold — though she is also slightly distracted by Asher’s ass since her OBGYN took her off depression meds and she now “wants to hump everything.” Michaela isn’t so sure there’s a way to make this investigation work; the system tracks all of the files she opens.
Back at the office, Michaela is already reaping the benefits of being Teagan Price’s intern. She gets to watch her latest arbitration from inside the conference room. But it turns out she’s bait because Price wants to woo to the firm her client’s place of employment — Middleton University. That’s right: President Hargrove and her divorce case are Price’s new case. No matter how hard she’s tried, Michaela cannot escape the influence of Annalise Keating. She turns the corner and there Annalise is, acting as Hargrove’s counsel. Price is angry that Hargrove has taken on outside co-counsel without vetting, but Hargrove dangles the Middleton account over her head to coerce her.
Hargrove and her ex-husband, Roland (ugh, what a rich white guy name), sit down to hammer out the details of their case and it is U.G.L.Y. Despite having signed a pre-nup, Roland wants a large chunk of Hargrove’s $10 million net worth and full custody of the kids. Roland’s lawyers present an affidavit listing every instance Hargrove was intoxicated over the course of their marriage. They back it up with a USB drive containing video of Hargrove suffering the effects of her alcoholism in the family bathroom while her husband argues with her and holds back her hair. Hargrove fears that if this video reaches court it could become public domain and get back to the university, potentially endangering her job. They’ve left her with no choice but to settle, but Annalise implores her to fight back the same way she fought to conquer her alcoholism.
Oliver is out to eat with Connor’s dads, and his biological father, Jeff, tells him the story of Connor’s coming out. Rather than something majorly dramatic (as we might expect from this show), a 12-year-old Connor simply sat down at the dinner table and told his parents he was gay. He told his parents that if they didn’t accept him, he would run away to live with “his people” in the West Village. Connor’s courage inspired his father, and exactly one week later, he sat down at the dinner table and came out at the age of 43. After not being there for Connor and his ex-wife then, Jeff implores Oliver to help him connect with Connor now. Later, Oliver brings Ted and Jeff home to chat with Oliver, but Connor is waiting for him — naked — and he runs from the room, screaming, “I hate you” at all of them. (Recap continues on page 2)