It’s the fall finale of How to Get Away With Murder, which means the reckoning is upon us — by episode’s end we finally know who all the blood belongs to (both in Annalise’s elevator and at Caplan & Gold) and why Annalise is sobbing in the shower. It’s a gory, shocking, wild ride. While this show can sometimes struggle in its in-between moments as it builds up to its mysteries, it always knocks out its strongest episodes when delivering midseason and season finale cliffhangers. Several other loose threads remain, but we’ll have to wait until the show returns in January for more answers.
When we open, we start at the night of the party at Caplan & Gold — Oliver is on the phone with an unknown caller when he bursts into a secluded room upstairs to tell Michaela, Asher, and Laurel that Annalise knows everything. Only the news has little impact since he walks in to find their faces covered in blood.
Flashing back to 24 hours earlier, we pick up where we left off last week, with Connor storming to Laurel’s apartment to confront the rest of the Keating Four about their plan to take down Antares. He threatens to tell Annalise everything and is perturbed by many factors: putting Laurel’s baby at risk, framing Simon…Connor provokes Frank, blaming all of this on him, which leads Frank to lash out and attempt to choke Connor. The rest of the gang has to pull Frank off of him, leading to a worrisome moment where Frank hits Laurel in the stomach and she briefly grabs her pregnant belly in pain. Laurel implores Connor to keep quiet, but he answers a phone call from Annalise. He doesn’t say anything after all, and Annalise tells him not to text or call over the weekend unless there’s a disaster. Welp, you just virtually guaranteed disaster, Annalise.
Meanwhile, Annalise is on her way to her hotel and briefly gets stuck in the elevator (a crucial detail later). Waiting outside her door is Bonnie, who’s looking to apologize for the situation with Isaac and claiming that she was the one who told the Attorney General to put Isaac on the stand, which won Annalise her case. “I love you,” Bonnie confesses. She explains how Isaac made her see that the things she and Annalise do to each other are born out of love. Annalise doesn’t want to hear it and tells her she’s afraid of her (and to be honest, besides Laurel’s dad, Bonnie is probably the most frightening person in this world right now, especially given how vulnerable and alone she’s feeling).
This conversation is intercut with Isaac confronting his wife about her going to Annalise about him and possibly jeopardizing Annalise’s well-being. Then he describes his doctor-patient relationship with Annalise as “an intimate relationship with a powerful, attractive woman.” Line officially crossed. Annalise’s concerns that this situation might be too much like her relationship with Sam are probably well founded.
Before we get to the party from hell, let’s get up to speed on where everyone else is — Bonnie, distraught after making her confession to Annalise, shows up at Nate’s door for an AA (Annalise Anonymous) meeting, which mostly involves her getting drunk and accusing Nate of telling Annalise about the Isaac situation. He promises he didn’t and ignores her question of how to get over Annalise to go order pizza. So, basically, he responds to an outpouring of emotion as any alpha male would — by ignoring it and seeking food.
It’s the night of the Caplan & Gold party and both Annalise and Laurel are at home on their beds, going over and over everyone’s words that feed the guilt in their minds. This season has made a point of comparing Michaela to Annalise at every step, but here (and as we progress through the episode), it’s clear that she and Laurel are truly the most alike, wrestling with how their personal messes have damaged the lives of those around them. They both decide to leave their apartments — Laurel to attend the party and make sure the job is done right; Annalise to visit Isaac.
At Isaac’s office, Annalise comes to tell him that she wants to keep seeing him for therapy, but he pushes her away because of the situation with his wife and Bonnie. She insists that he’s the only one who can help her, but their conversation is interrupted by a phone call from Connor at the party — he reveals that Laurel’s father killed Wes and the entire Keating Four is at C&G attempting to bankrupt Antares.
At Caplan & Gold, Michaela and Asher are trying to find ways to get Tegan to give them her purse (and thus her keycard with access to the Antares files/servers). Connor and Oliver are in the midst of an argument when Simon interrupts to insult Connor about being jobless; little does he know Frank is back at his apartment uploading Antares files and evidence onto his laptop to frame him as the C&G whistleblower. Later, Simon comes to Oliver to apologize and reveal that he’s mean to Connor because he’s jealous, particularly because he likes Oliver. This is a huge revelation to Oliver, who apparently has been oblivious to Simon’s blatant flirtation throughout the season — for Oliver, Simon being closeted, on top of being a DACA recipient, is why they can’t go through with their plan. But Laurel shows up to make them go through with it. (Recap continues on page 2)