Spoilers obviously abound below for Season 2, Episode 4 of "How to Get Away with Murder," "Two Birds, One Millstone."
So just to clarify, Thursday night's episode included the following subplots: a murder, assisted-suicide, a trans defendant, Frank's family, body dumping in the woods, more Mrs. Robinson action and a gang rape. Any one of those would be enough for a normal show to have in an episode, but it isn't a "HTGAWM" episode unless we all have plotline whiplash.
To kick it off, we called it last week -- everyone officially wants to kill Annalise and was near the site of her attempted murder. We were wondering here at The Huffington Post where ol' Frank was in the flash-forwards, and boy did he show up looking guilty this go round. He put on a lovely show at the hospital about making sure the doctors save Annalise and then dropped the act as soon as he was past the cameras and back to his car, where a passed-out Catherine Hapstall awaited him.
In the present day, Asher decides he won't turn in Bonnie after learning of her past, and is tricked into the whole "Annalise will make it all go away" thing. This obviously does not go as planned.
Back among the kids, Laurel is still having quite the good time with Frank, but trusts Wes enough to poke around his apartment to see if he was on to something. No dice, so shower fun it is. Wes has officially adopted the attitude that standing around staring at people will get him somewhere, and for most of the episode it serves to adequately creep people out. Connor and Oliver are back to being super cute, although Oliver feels the need to compensate for Connor's bad law-breaking vibe with some no-good-doing of his own.
The case of the week centers around a professor who kills her husband in self-defense after he comes at her drunkenly with a bottle. This being "HTGAWM," this woman is trans, she exaggerated the crime scene to make her husband look guilty, and she feels no remorse. And Annalise is all over helping her get away with it.
The trans storyline, while intriguing from a justice point of view, seemed too much of a throw away this episode among all the other subplots. We never saw a trial, a courtroom, or anything of the sort -- discrimination was just alluded to. When you have shows like "Orange Is the New Black" dealing with trans jail life, you expect a bit more out of Shonda Rhimes than what she served up with this client. The only real plot point we took away was Annalise telling her that she was glad her husband was dead, too.
Speaking of dead spouses, turns out Nate took the pills from Annalise and did what his wife asked. Yes, we're talking assisted suicide. But unlike the other spouse-killers on the episode, Nate is wracked with guilt over his absence in his wife's dying months and probably for cheating on his wife WHEN SHE HAD CANCER. It's almost forgivable by how good he looks in a wife-beater, but still Nate, still. Could that guilt and anger at Annalise be enough to pull the trigger on her in two weeks?
Back on the Hapstall case front, the kids are assigned to figure out who another suspect could be, and while they take their sweet time in getting there and get recorded by their clients in the process (come on, y'all are better at technology than that) eventually they find out the murdered, racist aunt had a secret son. Because what would an episode of "HTGAWM" be without a illegitimate child.
And because Oliver can't help himself, he tracks down said prime suspect for murder, who turns out to not only live in Philly, but also be hacking into Oliver's computer. This does not bode well for one of the only happy couples on the show (potential motive for Connor to kill Annalise? He blames her for Oliver's impending doom?).
As for the final moments of the episode, Frank decides to up the relationship game by introducing Laurel to his parents and family. Huge steps for someone that seems to have massive commitment issues. We're going to say Frank's dad is in a wheelchair for something he did, calling it now.
Annalise heads on over to Wes' place to see what the deal is with her favorite creepy lurker student and work her Mrs. Robinson voodoo on him. It doesn't quite work since he won't let her touch him, so she drops some bombs about his mommy issues. All the while, she's also lying through her teeth about Rebecca, creating a murder motive for puppy eyes to kill again. Her parting line of "I'm never leaving you ... no more secrets" is also just not anywhere close to a phrase said in a normal professor-student relationship, but we passed that line a long time ago.
As for Asher, he trusted Annalise and Bonnie that all would be well, but Annalise sacrifices Judge Millstone to save her client and Asher in a flashback that reminded us how much better Viola Davis' wigs are this go round. And with Millstone's downfall comes Asher's potential reasoning for killing Annalise -- he loses his father and his future inheritance in one swoop.
Furthermore, Sinclair hands Bonnie a file saying that the case Asher is trying to cover up involves a gang rape. One would think that would be a relationship-killer until you remember the two of them are car buddies in the flash-forward in two short weeks. But more importantly, Asher -- gang rape? We thought your deep dark secret might have been a DUI, maybe a hit-and-run, but gang rape? There has to be more to the story, as Asher participating in that is inconceivable.
We end the episode with Frank dumping Catherine Hapstall in the middle of the woods covered in blood. And she's alive. Because we needed another suspect who needs to learn ... how to get away with murder (sorry, we couldn't help ourselves).
Odds and Ends
- Excellent "Silence of the Lambs" reference, Michaela.
- Bonnie is not so thrilled that Annalise lied to her about her saving the day all on her own -- potential motive to kill?
- Annalise's coat game was on point this episode.
- The sound folks copped out this week with an ending song that literally screamed "murder" multiple times. Come on, guys.
- Annalise can cook since she brought Nate a peach cobbler?
- The Michaela-Caleb hookup is coming, and we're excited about it. Also looking forward to hearing more about her adoption backstory.
- We have only nine episodes left, and only two more until we find out #WhoShotAnnalise. The prospects of going through a whole half-season without Annalise are unbearable, so she better survive this murder attempt.
"How to Get Away with Murder" airs on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.
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