The episode starts two weeks after the murder showdown/crime scene fabrication spree at the Hapstall mansion, which is apparently just enough time to confuse literally everyone about everything. Why has Frank become the Papa Bear of the Keating 5, complete with family dinners and too-tight tank tops? Why is everyone being so nice to Wes? Why is Annalise hallucinating a baby in her home? None of those questions will be answered throughout this recap.
Annalise may have thought a clingy Bonnie in need of constant affirmations was annoying, but she sure as hell prefers her to Nurse Ratchet Bonnie, who has the audacity to hide all the vodka while Annalise is under the influence of mind-altering pain killers. But it turns out she doesn’t need her vicodin cocktail to get turnt, because the second Bonnie leaves Annalise starts hallucinating a baby that was abandoned at her doorstep. Bonnie is immediately summoned, because I know if I was suddenly expected to care for an infant with a gaping wound in my stomach, my first call would also be to Paris Gellar.
Bonnie arrives and wisely decides that a hallucinating Annalise Keating in purple silk pajamas is probably not the soundest person to testify in their completely fabricated suit against Catherine. At this point she does what any good protégé would do and drugs Annalise’s ice cream with the seemingly endless supply of psycho-barbitals that Frank has access to.
After a not so subtle urging by Laurel, Wes shows up to Frank’s for what appears to be a nightly gathering where they all eat tacos and pretend that they aren’t going to prison for murder, perjury, crime scene tampering, and framing their fucking client. Everyone is psyched to see Wes, the first sign that thing are monumentally fucked up.
It turns out there’s more motivation behind this pow-wow other than to stare at Frank’s chest hair and commiserate about their inevitable lifetimes in jail. Now that Annalise has been knocked out by her barbiturate sundae, it’s time to forge her letter of testimony for court. Does that sound sketch and not legal to you? That’s probably because it is, but Frank threw a couple Latin words out and then everyone was game for the plan coming from the only non-trained lawyer in the room. They all put their heads together to type out this fake statement, which was really just an opportunity to remind all of us completely lost viewers what the fuck supposedly happened last season at the Hapstalls’.
The gist: Annalise and her crew of students/accomplices show up to the Hapstall mansion to talk with their clients. Totally not to stage a crime scene. Just chat. For real.
Upon arrival, they find out that Catherine was in cahoots with her cousin, the kid who’s face kind of looked like a distorted Snapchat filter. Annalise calls Sinclair (who, just a reminder, is definitely already dead) and then sends the students home because it’s time for the adults to talk. Catherine walks in on Annalise and Sinclair talking, shoots Annalise, and then proceeds to throw Sinclair off her third story balcony with her tiny body. Sounds legit. Frank finishes typing up their adlib of a statement and is openly proud of his typing skills as if he’s not surrounded by child geniuses in the year 2016.
Laurel is next on the list of people to be summoned to Annalise’s home, at which point we find out she took the fall for Wes to the rest of the group. She knew he probably couldn’t handle another semester of taunting for a murder he not-so-accidentally committed, and I also lowkey think she likes him. Will there be a Wes/Frank showdown in our future? God I hope so
Annalise’s real reason for calling on Laurel is to, what else, talk about her one true love/potential long lost child, Wes. She lies and tells Laurel that she only said all that stuff about Rebecca being dead to goad Wes into shooting her. MAN did that plan work out for her. Also, why the fuck are we still talking about Rebecca? She was like four dead people ago. Move on, people.
Idk if everyone is just taking turns hosting ethnic food nights to distract from their impending arrest and no doubt burdened morals, but that has to be the only reason that Conner and Oliver would willingly allow Asher into their apartment. In a turn of events that no one saw coming, the Keating 5 has developed empathy and feel really bad for Asher who is currently reeling from the death of his dad and the sudden inclusion into 6 months’ worth of subversive murder secrets.
Connor: his dad just died, be nice
Oliver: he doesn’t seem that upset
Connor: yeah, well, he’s a repressed white kid
Also, remember how we all thought that Asher showed up to the police station at the end of last season to snitch? Turns out he was actually just reporting the murder of his father. In the throes of mourning and denial, Asher refuses to believe that Judge Millstone committed suicide. Is this compensation for the guilt he feels over murdering a woman in cold blood? 100% yes, but we’ll let him pretend for now.
Asher: He committed suicide at work after his professional reputation was completely destroyed, how do you not see the inconsistencies in this theory??
Cop: Sir. You are a law student. Please.
Annalise catches wind of Bonnie’s plan to keep her off the stand, and is outraged until Bonnie points out that she was literally hallucinating babies not hours before. Between this and a pep talk from Nate, Annalise decides to submit her written statement and hope for the best.
Nate: So uh, I’m pretty sure you tried to kill yourself via your students
Annalise: If that is a veiled criticism about me I won’t hear it and I won’t respond to it
Frank, Bonnie and the Keating 5 showed up to the courthouse about as prepared as you showed up to your spring term senior midterms. Their actual game plan was “hopefully this lawyer is super chill,” as if all of their fates didn’t rest on the outcome. Spoiler alert: the judge wasn’t super chill.
Michaela runs into Caleb outside the courtroom, who is very aware that all of the evidence doesn’t add up to Catherine shooting Annalise. Beauty, brains, and an obscene amount of money? Some people do really have it all. Too bad Michaela fucked that one up by being complicit to his sister’s framing. On a side note, she is frighteningly good at sounding self-righteous when being accused of doing something that she 100% did.
Caleb: you all belong in hell
Michaela: I mean, you’re not wrong
The judge is rational enough to not accept a piece of paper in lieu of Annalise’s testimony, much to the shock and outrage of a bunch of people in the room who have definitely been to law school and probably should have known better. This is what you get for taking Frank’s legal advice.
After a call from Laurel (snitch), Annalise shows up looking 0% sane enough to testify. It should probably be a sanctioned law that people who arrive to court in house robes are in no shape to swear on a bible and accuse other people of shooting them. Let’s just say that “it didn’t go well” is putting it lightly, and that if Michaela wants to succeed in this field she should really work on her court room poker face
After completely fumbling and ruining their entire defense strategy, Annalise realizes far too late that testifying was a terrible fucking idea. She proceeds to divulge information that Catherine confided to her while she was her attorney, which is a pretty big no-no in the legal community. But we must all remember that this is Annalise Keating, and even under the influence of copious amounts of vicodin she is more conniving than all of us combined.
Breaking her attorney-client privilege means that the rest of her testimony is null and void, a point that the other attorney jumps on even though Annalise’s fuck up easily could have won her the case. This woman clearly didn’t major in murder law with an emphasis on manipulating legal loopholes to work in your favor. Will poor Catherine Hapstall ever have a lawyer that is both competent and doesn’t accuse her murder? Probably not.
We’re treated to a brief tender moment between Frank and Laurel, because the latter is having a mental breakdown about the state of her life. Valid.
Frank: Don’t worry, we’re in this together. We’ve all got your back.
Shonda Rhimes Translation: Literally everyone is going to turn on you.
After court is done Annalise lures Caleb into her car and Jedi mind tricks him into believing that the best thing for Catherine is to cop to shooting Annalise. You think this kid would learn to avoid ending up in enclosed places alone with her by now, but apparently not. I know, I know, we’re all like “no way, he’ll never fall for that” right? WRONG.
This entire scene is spliced with a separate conversation between Caleb and Catherine, during which he convinces her that Annalise’s plan is totally sound and that they should trust her again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice and then frame my sister for a crime she didn’t commit, so much fucking shame on me.
Back in court Catherine stands up and *spontaneously* pleads guilty to shooting Annalise, but only because she had been drugged. Cue Frank looking hella uncomfortable.
Catherine: I was drugged by someone and I know who that was now…
Frank: fuck fuck fuck fuck
Catherine: …Phillip Jessup
I think it’s worth noting that all Catherine wanted was a solid defense attorney when she fell into Annalise’s lap, and since then she’s been drugged and framed for a crime she didn’t commit. Welcome to Keating & Associates. This is pretty tame as far as initiation usually goes.
Wes, who has yet to learn a single lesson on this show, heads to Annalise’s to dig for evidence about this “Christophe” mystery. All he finds are her pills, which he doesn’t take, and then promptly falls asleep in her bed. Even when he’s brooding and intent on revenge, he’s still a puppy. Annalise comes home and is wary to find Wes in her home by himself, seeing as how their last solo encounter didn’t go great.
Wes: you think I want to hurt you?
Annalise: bruh you SHOT ME IN THE STOMACH
Wes put two and two together and realized that Annalise knowing his childhood name probably means that she is the sole reason that he ended up in law school and at her shady ass firm. He demands to know her connection to his mother, at which point we get a flashback to them meeting in a school yard while Annalise is aggressively pregnant. There is nary a dead body in sight, which is unusual for any kind of time jump in this show.
After coming out of her reflective reverie Annalise tells Wes that he ruined her, a sentence I enjoy whispering to empty the Chipotle bags and vodka bottles strewn about my kitchen. To be fair, since Annalise entered Wes’ life he’s been involved in two distinct murder plots and has transformed into a brooding shell of his former optimistic, wide-eyed self, so who really ruined who here?
The episode ends with Wes storming out and Annalise hallucinating again. Now we know that the woman she imagined dropping the baby on her doorstep was Wes’ mom, Rose, so we can assume that the fake baby she’s dancing around her living room with is Wes. An unhinged Annalise bodes well for no one, which means at least one of the Keating 5 is ending up in jail by the end of this season. Here’s hoping it’s Laurel, as she is the only one who would actually survive.