"Mommy's home." Truer words have never been spoken. Annalise Keating, the mother of all crazy, lies, deception and cheating, has come home to roost in her house of death.
From the opening moments of Annalise Keating painting on her make-up, it becomes clear that getting away with Sam's murder (and possibly Lila's, but we'll get to that later), will be her greatest masterpiece.
But for wanting to get away with murder, these people don't do a very good job of keeping a secret. Annalise tells Frank all the dirty details, Wes tells Laurel Annalise knows, and then Laurel essentially tells the rest of the pack that Annalise is in on the plan. We're not off to a good start on the secrecy thing, at least with each other.
As for the police though, the whole gang keeps up an excellent face. Annalise makes it clear that Sam ran to escape from her fateful phone call exposing his crime of potentially killing Lila. Of all the kids, Asher looks like the one most likely to break under stress about his whereabouts that night, and he wasn't even involved!
Dear ol' sexy-as-all-get-out Nate buys Annalise's alibi hook line and sinker, only pausing for a half second to say, "I'm an idiot if I don't ask." What everyone at home was thinking was, you're still an idiot, because you asked and believed. You should know better than to think you're the only one keeping secrets, Nate.
Connor and Michaela are the first to get cold feet of the murderous crew, but smooth operator Laurel keeps them strictly in line. On the other side of things, Annalise is guilt-tripping Wes to no end, but also making it clear she's in this to save him and her own hide. She does this all while constantly invading his personal space. The Keatings are into weird teacher-student relationships.
For the majority of the episode, the gang gets back together (during finals week, mind you) to do what the gang knows best: get Rebecca off for the murder of Lila Stangard. Because remember, that's why Sam was killed in the first place. Ultimately, they find footage of Lila resisting Sam's insistence that she get an abortion of his baby, thus giving Sam motive and officially making him prime suspect in Lila's murder. Job well done Keating Five, job well done -- Rebecca is officially cleared.
But let's stop to ponder that for a second: Annalise spends this entire episode saving her client at the expense of her missing husband. (As a side note, are there no legal rules that excuse lawyers from family conflicts of interest like this one? You know, when you have to throw your husband under the bus to protect your client?)
As the epic bathroom scene makes it clear, her actions are incomprehensible (and some racial undertones about bestiality were thrown in to add salt in that wound). But Annalise got what she wanted: Rebecca is cleared, and her husband is now the prime suspect in the case. The question now is, how long before the police begin to suspect foul play in Sam's disappearance, especially now that he's a wanted man?
Back with our favorite murdering law students, Laurel of course figured out (not that I called that yesterday or anything) that Annalise was pulling the strings. Of course the only reason Wes was calm was because Annalise had instructed him how to act, and of course Laurel was the only one not to crack. Bravo, Laurel, bravo for saving everyone. Although the highest kudos go to Annalise for effectively manipulating everyone to stay quiet right before Connor and Michaela rat on everyone to the police.
However, the most gallows humor in the episode came with the final exam question: how do four people get away with a murder that starts with a burglary and ends with a dead guy? I think the Keating Five will be pondering that essay question long after first semester grades come out.
In the final scenes of the episode, we see Annalise holding onto her husband's wedding ring. Annalise, you know better than that. While we're glad to see you're human, and torn up about your husband's murder, that's going to come back to haunt you, as will Michaela's missing rock. Here's ten bucks that Sam's sister finds it when she comes to stay.
Speaking of, while it was a bit of an ending cop-out for the episode, the appearance of Marcia Gay Harden, who will star as Sam Keating's sister Anna, threw the show for a loop. She trusts Annalise not one bit, and if there's anyone that can go toe to toe with Viola Davis, it's Marcia Gay Harden.
But ultimately, forget who killed Sam Keating...who killed Lila Stangard? There's no way Sam Keating did it -- that's too obvious for Shondaland. We apparently only have five hours left of this twisty, turny fun this season, and the final episode's title of "It's All My Fault" has me leaning toward the theory that Annalise killed Lila in a rage and was working to frame Sam for it all along. As Frank pointed out, no one is that excited to find out their now-dead husband knocked up a murdered girl. Unless it means she can get away with Lila's murder...
- Michaela's bangs grew quite a lot overnight.
- Bonnie's takedown of Asher was brutal enough to almost make us all feel sorry for the kid. Almost.
- Wes still owns only plaid flannel shirts.
- "Mommy's home" -- best line of the episode.
- No one has told Annalise yet about Nate's involvement in that fateful night -- do we think she knows?
- While they have exams this week, we don't see these kids studying at all. They have time to wedding dress shop, set up trees, get someone off in a murder trial, AND study for 1L law finals? Yeah, no.
- These cops have got to think these kids are beyond incestuous.
- No one on this show is single.
- There are only five episodes left this season, and they're titled "Best Christmas Ever," "She's a Murderer," "Mama's Here Now," "The Night Lila Died," and "It's All My Fault." Get excited.
- How professionally did Annalise clean up all the blood in the apartment?
- If you want to fit into a wedding dress, be involved in a murder. Apparently that will help.
- Is anyone worried about Wes' weird relationship with Annalise considering how the last Keating student-teacher relationship turned out?
- And Viola Davis favorited my tweet about her lipstick game being on point. Just would like to say my recapping life may have hit its high point.
"How to Get Away With Murder" airs on Thursdays at 10 p.m. EDT on ABC.