Spoilers obviously abound for Season 2, Episode 15 ("Anna Mae."), of "How to Get Away with Murder."
After the closing seconds of that absurd season finale, it's a toss up as to who is the more tragic figure on this show: Wes or Annalise.
Let's compare, shall we?
Annalise watched Wes' mom stab herself in the neck, her baby was murdered because of the case in which she was involved with Wes' father, her husband was murdered by Wes, and she was shot by Wes.
Wes' mother was raped by an evil hedge fund guy, producing him. His mother committed suicide while talking to Annalise. Then eventually he bludgeoned Annalise's husband to death, his girlfriend was murdered under Annalise's watch, he shot Annalise intending to kill her, he thought he might have killed his mother for a short period of time based on police reports Annalise covered up, and then he introduced himself to his father only to have him killed in front of him seconds later -- probably by Frank, who was trying to make it up to Annalise.
That's a rough list. See a common denominator between the two?
It's like these characters are in a misery match -- who can mess up the other's life worse. Seriously, worst decision Annalise ever made, on top of agreeing to that murder trial, was getting Wes into law school. But actually, could two people's lives be more tragically intertwined?
Back to the crazy, twisted, oh so "HTGAWM" season finale -- we're still picking our jaws up the floor from the final brutal intro and then ... outro.
But to the beginning of the episode -- Annalise goes on a hometown walkabout where they call her by her given name Anna Mae, which is to say she goes back home to have her mama talk some sense into her and unplug literally and figuratively from her murderous, messed up life in Philly.
While her sister is scolding her for wandering in and out of their lives, her mama, Cicely Tyson at her best, is throwing the best zingers all season. She's decided after all to throw ol' Annalise a welcome back party.
Even Annalise is subjected to her mother ordering her to change and get in the shower. Glad it's not just us.
So much for escaping the grind, as Annalise has to go back to the family party from hell. Literally folks are wearing her husband's clothes and looking at her like she has a husband who has been murdered. Because if you think about it, she doesn't have to act like that back in Philly -- everyone is too scared of her to look at her with pity eyes.
And then it takes a turn -- as we meet Annalise's father.
Side note: Cicely Tyson should deliver lines about lust like: "And see if you don't eat a cupcake once it's placed before you" every.damn.day.
Needless to say, but Annalise of course has a complicated relationship with her father, who it turns out ran out on her family. Doesn't that explain quite a lot about Annalise's tendency to shut down and run away, doesn't it?
In the flashbacks, we learn that suitcase full of cash that Frank had is from 10 years earlier, when Wes' evil father, Wallace Mahoney, paid a henchwoman to sleep with Frank and get him to bug Annalise's room.
That bug leads to getting Annalise's baby killed, as the man will stop at nothing to save his son. Or at least, the son he's acknowledging. (Poor Wes.)
Moral of the story: Frank's been making up for killing Annalise's baby for 10 years. And actually has a legitimate reason for owing Sam. Because essentially he single-handedly destroyed all hope Annalise had for happiness.
We thought for sure he'd be the final body in the body count -- but that award went to Wes' dad instead, who was shot brutally in front of Wes. Didn't see that one coming.
Back in the present, the kids figure out the reason why Annalise is gone and that Caleb is the informant. Did anyone for a second think Bonnie was the informant? We apologize for doubting you Bonnie, we apologize.
Back at home, Annalise's sister and mother crowing over Nate might have been the best scene all season. As they put it: "Lord have mercy." We're with you two -- that's what we think every time we see his bajillion pack.
In an effort to get him to stick around for dinner, Mama says: "We ain't going to hurt you, we're just going to feed you." Nate, how many times has this family been your ruin? When will you learn?!?!
The man, who barely bats an eye when Annalise labels him a widower, rolls with the punches about his past. He must really love her, in his twisted way. He even says she needs to meet his family! Awwww.
That was uplifting before we got hit with the emotional gut punch of Annalise finally telling her mother she did have a baby and he died. Burying the baby's name with her mama was the most "come to Jesus" moment we've seen on the show. Annalise finally came to turns with the awfulness that was that death, and the resulting slow and final death of her husband Sam, who the baby was named after. All kinds of tears abound on that one.
Got to hand it to Cicely Tyson -- she's the only one who could cry alongside Viola Davis and split our attention. Every episode with her is one we're lucky to be along for the ride on.
The next morning, looking her father in the face, Annalise saw herself. She ran away from home and came back to find herself too. It's scary to realize you're becoming your parents, especially when it's this pair.
But it's looking at her leaving father that gets Annalise to go back to face her own problems. Even though her mother says if she waits too long to come back, she'll be dead. Good ol' Mama with a great guilt-trip.
As for the other couples of the episode, Laurel and Wes have to get together. They just have to. The chemistry ... ugh, make it happen Season 3, Shonda, make it happen.
As for Asher and Michaela -- the tension and attraction is palpable.
Caleb has been the sociopath killer all along. Forget about Philip. Turns out Annalise learned last episode that Caleb was the crazy one all along and didn't tell the rest of them about it. Whoops. But that's convenient for her getting out of all kinds of obstruction charges.
As for the informant bombshell, of course the too attractive Caleb got beat by the fitness tracker. Heads up, killers, stop narcissistically counting your calories via FitBit while MURDERING someone, as it puts you at the scene of the crime.
And turns out the siblings were in a non-sex-based incestuous relationship, which means Catherine retracted her alibi since she was covering for her brother who she was in love with. What the heck team, this case is the most messed up. But really, just poor Michaela -- please run to Asher. You two will actually be happy. You're having a rough time picking anyone that isn't gay or a serial killer.
Wow that wrapped up nicely though for the team. Remember, Annalise got shot dealing with this craziness. And now it's all wrapped up, with Philip coming in with the evidence and Caleb offing himself in the final scenes. That's body No. 1.
As for body No. 2, we were worried it might be Oliver after he lied to Connor about his acceptance into Stanford. How do they overcome that. How in the world. How could that be OK? What happened to the strongest couple on the show?
Which leaves Frank to be killed by Annalise, because as Annalise puts it to Bonnie, he and Sam's pact to never tell her about the murder of her baby in an ill-fated attempt to save his marriage, just made her believe it was her fault all along.
So she tells Bonnie Frank needs to go. BUT WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Is that code for "kill him, Bonnie" or just that he's banished?
The Laurel searching for Frank scenes were brutal, as we expected her to find his body the whole time.
But oh no -- we flash to New York, where Wes has just introduced himself to his father when he's graphically shot in the head in front of him. We're going to go with Frank killed him out of guilt for now ...
But this all means of course Wes ends the season covered in blood. Yet again.
Bet ol' Alfred Enoch, who plays poor Wes, is wishing he was back in his Harry Potter innocence days.
As a final goodbye, a brief postmortem on this season. While we don't think it topped the brilliance and stakes of the first season -- it's hard to beat "Why is your penis on a dead girl's phone?" -- the showrunners did up the ante from husband and affair and murder to dead girlfriend, dead mother, dead baby and murder. So. Never a dull moment. And two words: Viola Davis. Enough said.
Until next season, folks. We'll try to live our weeks without the constant incest, murder and all kinds of lies this show offers us weekly until then.
Odds and Ends
Of course Annalise was a Whitney fan.
End of last season, we met Annalise's mother. Now we met her dad. What's next, her grandparents?
Does Viola Davis look better than ever this episode? Her outfits were beyond fantastic.
We want the robes Annalise and her mom have.
We hope all the undertones about Annalise's mama losing her mind don't come true. Because Cicely Tyson is the best.
Hungover Laurel is the best version of Laurel.
We want more happy Asher, preferably with Michaela, next season.
Actually we'd like one person on this show to end up happy.
And Nate to take his shirt off every episode -- thanks Shonda, that is all.