How to Get Away With Murder recap: 'Nobody Roots for Goliath'
Can anyone on this show keep a secret anymore?
As How to Get Away With Murder approaches its winter finale, the list of need-to-knows is only expanding as the Keating Kids are forced to divulge their plan to Asher and pray to Vera Wang that he won’t tell anyone important. Asher’s already been feeling resentful that he’s still unemployed while his girlfriend enjoys a cushy internship with a dream boss…so the fact that he’s been excluded from the latest round of nefariousness gives him a case of sour grapes that could cost Laurel her chance at vengeance.
But of course it doesn’t; Asher’s a sucker for the action just as much as the rest of them. And you can tell he’s just raring to try his luck again as soon as the very metaphorical ketchup hits the expensive, pristine wedding dress (clearly more symbolic of her shiny new career status than her phony former engagement). He’s here for the show just like anyone. And so is Isaac, for that matter.
Here’s what we learn this time around:
Laurel’s willing to try
Amid all the brouhaha over whether Asher is going to cave and cooperate with the group or spill the beans and implicate them all, we get a subplot about what’s happening with Laurel and Frank. For those fans who’ve been feeling their heat since the beginning of the series, well, things are looking up.
Frank is brought into the loop of her plan, and Laurel gives it to him as squarely as she possibly can and says, in so many words, This is happening with or without your help, and if you bail here, don’t bother anywhere else. That’s enough for Frank. His morals have always been flimsy anyway. (And besides, if she bankrupts her pop’s company, he’s still got that suitcase full of cash Annalise doesn’t want, and it’s baby money to boot!)
In trade, Laurel is not only willing to give Frank a chance to be more than just her knock-boots buddy; she’s also willing, at long last, to do a DNA test to find out if baby Castillo is his or Wes’. Either way, he seems to want to be around for the long haul, and if we know anything about Frank, it’s that he doesn’t let people go easily. Just ask Annalise. Speaking of which…
Annalise always wins
Anyone who watches this show with the hope that there’ll be even a sliver of professional ethics should know better by now, so it’s probably no surprise that the field of psychology is also compromised.
Exhibit A: Isaac’s ex-wife breaks his confidentiality, violating the privacy of her client — who shouldn’t really be her client anyway, right? — to inform Annalise that she’s a trigger for his addiction because his teenage daughter ended her life a few years ago. She insists Annalise is inadvertently stirring up all this history and pain within him and she must walk away to avoid his own relapse. Annalise seems to oblige (although she may sniff a whiff of jealousy emanating from this woman right now) and gives him notice that she’s seeking treatment elsewhere.
Exhibit B: Even though he should’ve removed himself from her care as soon as he realized Bonnie was double-crossing everyone, Isaac is befuddled that Annalise would dare “leave” him. She’ll relapse! She’ll fail! The world will crumble as we know it! But then, when he’s put on the stand to testify as to her ability to remain sober while chairing a class action lawsuit, as part of the Attorney General’s petition to circumvent certification of the case, well, he caves. She’s 100 percent committed to sobriety, he testifies; he’s never doubted her for one second, and how dare this guy even ask?
This was all Bonnie’s idea, by the way, because the can of worms is just smeared on that courtroom floor. But despite an effort to frame Annalise as having fallen off the wagon by way of a staged photograph (she’s picking up a whiskey bottle off of her car and throwing it away), the Attorney General just has no idea how deep he’s in right now. Not only is Annalise better at the foul-play game than anyone — convincing a district attorney to have his secretary perjure herself is child’s play for A.K., son — but people just seem to wilt into nefariousness at her will.
It’s Annalise’s world, and everyone else is just living (and dying) in it. Among those…
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Amid Annalise’s mini-trial (which, by the way, had a ridiculous amount of attendants, considering it was a certification hearing), Connor has begun feeling really good about himself. And not in the “I’m drunk at 3 p.m. on a Wednesday and this stripper has on a leopard thong” sorta way, either.
Dropping out of law school was, for better or worse, a freeing experience from him, and now he has the financial liberty to work pro bono on Annalise’s service and do some good for the world (for now, at least). Add in the fact that his father has given him his blessing and allowed him to keep that wad of tuition cash, and it’s all coming up roses for Connor.
Which is why he decides to propose to Oliver with the twist tie off of a bread bag. Because it’s…romantic? Somehow?
Connor is the only person left who hasn’t been showered with spilled beans about this Laurel-versus-Her Dad master plan, but Oliver is right there in it. When he’s not doing hired-hand IT activities around the office and helping Michaela sneak in and around the mainframe on the sly, he’s been helping Simon deal with his immigration status issues. Now that he’s the only one who knows how to access their super-fancy new mainframe room — and that they’ll need one of the four partners’ access cards to get into it — he’s spearheading the break-in plan for the big celebration party that’s set for Friday all of a sudden.
Michaela refuses to betray Tegan and take her card because she still believes her shiny shoe generosity and encouragement has earned her loyalty. But Oliver sees a potential scapegoat that could still work; Michaela can steal Tegan’s card and blame it on Simon, since Oliver knows all his log-in information and can definitely set him up. They might all go to the bad place after such a terrible deed, but they kinda hate Simon anyway, so. Shrug.
Oliver’s conscience isn’t unclear over all of that, no — it’s the fact that he hasn’t told Connor about it that’s most upsetting him, and that’s why he turns down the ultra-sweet proposal (swoon line FTW: “Marry me so I can spend the rest of my life trying to make you as happy as you make me”).
We’ll have to wait to see whether Connor’s reaction is (1) Frank’s jaw drop and then “hey we’ve done worse, so let’s go” mojo, or (2) Asher’s full-on temper tantrum that quickly turns into a full-scale commitment to the cause with stamped feet just because. Either way, he’ll probably hop on board just like everyone else because that’s just how things work around here.
Speaking of secret spillage, after the trial reveals that Isaac is absolutely Annalise’s kind of people — in that he’s willing to engage in questionable behaviors and possibly commit felony perjury just so she can get her way — that’s when she’s willing to return to his lair and talk things through.
The Sam parallels, she says, are very real. Sam made her feel like her toxicity to the world was all in her head and that she was causing most of her own inner anguish, and that’s why she fell in love with him. He offered her a sense of safety. But even he fell victim to her effect on the world — and so did their baby, and so did Wes, and, from the looks of what’s ahead, so will someone else.
And now Isaac is doing the same thing by convincing her to ignore the mountain of evidence that she’s behaved like a monster and cost people their lives on multiple occasions.
But as thanks for his testimony, she also offers him the quid pro quo: informing him that his ex-wife is running interference on him right about now. He almost lets it slip that Bonnie came into his office, but he stops just shy of dropping that on the table.
48 hours later
As always, we end with a sliver of new footage from the big “event” that’s being unveiled little by little. We’re still at Michaela’s firm, with Bonnie investigating and Oliver still wrapped up in the blanket. There’s still blood on the floor, but this time, we learn that it’s the suspect who’s “over there” behind all that tape. Asher is in a jail cell sobbing his eyes out (why didn’t he walk away when he could?!), Laurel is still screaming for her baby with Frank, and Isaac is still calling Annalise, who’s sobbing in her shower. Meanwhile, Michaela is covered in blood and asking if “he is dead” — this time, in sequence with a surgical effort that ends in a flatline.
With all that in mind, the list of possible victims should include: Connor, Simon, Tegan (the “he” Michaela asks about could be the baby), and Michaela’s dad. But with this show, it’s just as likely to be the IT dweeb who built the hub.
Viola Davis stars as a law professor where she teaches, wait for it, how to get away with murder.