The episode could have ended here. It should have ended here. We shouldn’t have had to sit through another full hour of debauchery and flagrant disrespect for any and all legal processes. But that’s not how this show works.
Everyone is in high alert after the Denver discovery, in large part because Connor has gone missing. While Laurel is convinced that he just went ahead and took the deal to save himself, no one else is quite as sure. Michaela and Oliver go to the police, Asher and Bonnie go to Atwood, and Annalise goes to the source itself: Sylvia Mahoney.
Where is Connor exactly? In what looks like a subterranean bunker where Denver is taunting him with shitty breakfast sandwiches in the hopes that he’ll turn on Annalise. Does that perfect little twink look like he eats fast food eggs? Nice try.
The Annalise v. Sylvia showdown in a bougie Manhattan restaurant is everything. If I was sitting there eating a $30 salad and heard the woman at the table next to me tell her friend to shut up and listen, I would be full Rihanna. There would be no pretending that I wasn’t leaning out of my chair to listen.
Sylvia: Of course I defend Charles, he’s my son. It’s my job.
Annalise: No, you job was to raise a good man.
Me, completely ignoring my Nicoise:
The best little nugget from that scathing conversation? Turns out Wes wasn’t Wallace’s son; he was actually Charles’. That means Sylvia was Wes’ grandmother, and idk if this makes things any less weird but it’s still weird.
Me sitting around trying to do the math on Charles and Wes’ ages like:
Annalise goes with her gut and decides that the Mahoneys are no longer involved in this case, because Sylvia probably wouldn’t murder her grandson. I’m not so sure. Rich white people do crazy things.
My new favorite bit on this show is “Asher keeps forgetting that Laurel is pregnant and repeatedly waves smelly food in front of her face.” He is truly one of the last rays of sunlight we have.
Speaking of, Asher sees that the world is burning down around them and decides there is no better time than the present to tell Michaela that he loves her. She responds by sprinting to the bathroom, where Laurel is puking. The most relatable reaction thus far.
Michaela: I had a bad childhood. I never learned how to love or be loved. It’s not my fault.
Me: Three strikes this episode you are OUT, drunk girl.
Not content to look suspicious enough as is, Annalise heads back to her burnt down house/active crime scene. You know, for the nostalgia. She finds a box in the floorboards that contains the photo of her, Sam, and her dead baby. Again, I get the sentiment, but fuck the nurse who suggested that photo be taken.
The conversation with Sylvia drug up a lot of old trauma for Annalise, which is rough considering she is still trying to figure out how to deal with Wes’ death. Don’t worry, this will come to fruition in a closing monologue that should honestly be awarded an Oscar. I know it’s a TV show. I know they don’t give out Oscars for single monologues. I don’t care.
Meanwhile, Connor is still being berated by shitty food and even shittier defenders of the goddamn Constitution.
Denver: Sign the deal by midnight or we frame you for Wes’ murder.
Connor: You are corrupt and also STUPID.
Denver: …. tight, previous statement still stands.
Connor finally cracks and tells Denver that Oliver has a copy of Annalise’s phone. They bust into his apartment with a warrant, making everyone slightly suspicious of what the fuck Connor is doing. Oliver swears that he told Connor there was nothing on the phone, and therefore Connor is just buying them time. But apparently there was something that not even Oliver’s expert hacking could find.
Annalise reveals that, moments before the fire, Wes had left her a voicemail in which he fully admitted guilt for both Sam and Rebecca’s deaths. Annalise deleted it because she didn’t want to implicate him when the police took her phone, but now that he’s dead Wes is the perfect scapegoat.
Laurel rides in, once again, as Wes’ White Knight and tells Annalise that she obviously didn’t know Wes because this isn’t what he would have wanted. Uh. Laurel. You knew him the exact amount of time as everyone else did. Also, you are clearly the one who didn’t know him, because circumventing the law with arbitrary loopholes was literally one of Wes’ favorite pastimes.
Annalise: Wes would want this.
Laurel: Wes would actually want all of you to burn, but sure.
Annalise: YOU. DATED. FOR. TWO. WEEKS.
Annalise goes to Denver and not-so-delicately lets him know that she knows exactly what he did, and unless he wants the Wrath of Annalise Keating to befall him, he’s going to do exactly what she says. This involves pedaling the story that Wes was a sociopath who killed himself once he found out that the police were onto the Sam and Rebecca trails. I hope that if I ever get murdered, my friends and loved ones completely destroy my reputation in order to save their own asses.
Actual depiction of Annalise outlining her terms:
Clearly everyone has been bluffing about how little clout Annalise still holds, because Denver folds almost immediately. Annalise gets her immunity. Connor is freed. All’s well that ends well.
Lol jk. That never happens.
While Annalise is literally saving the day, Laurel has decided to go on a rogue mission to New York with Asher and Michaela. Her plan is to use Michaela to seduce Charles Mahoney and then somehow get him to admit to murdering Wes, who is also his son. Nothing can go wrong here.
Back in Philadelphia, Frank has also been released. I guess this makes sense considering the charges were dropped, but seeing him crawl up to Annalise and vow loyalty at her feet for the hundredth time this season was honestly not something I needed to watch.
As per usual, the episode wraps up on a dizzying montage of loose ends coming together. Some wonderful. Most not.
First and foremost, Oliver proposes to Connor. I would actually kill for a wedding episode in this show, so please God let everyone stay alive long enough for it to happen.
After flirting with Charles and getting invited back to his place, Michaela realizes she loves Asher. She tells him in the bathroom of a hotel bar with an angry Laurel on the sidelines in the midst of a disastrous plan and, honestly, it’s the perfect reflection of their relationship.
Laurel refuses to let their moment ruin her one chance at closure and runs out after Charles on her own. with a gun. This is where shit truly hit the fan.
As Laurel is moving in on Charles, she’s intercepted by DJ, the unnamed hitman. Except he’s not unnamed, because she knows him. She knows him because he’s a family friend. He’s a family friend because he works with her dad. And unbeknownst to Laurel, he works with her dad as his hitman of choice. That’s right.
LAUREL’S DAD KILLED WES.
As if that news wasn’t devastating enough, the following scene shows us Wes’ death, moment by moment, until the very end. He fought. He struggled. It looked painful. All of America sobbed. But most importantly? We learned that he didn’t need to die. There was no legal reasoning or shady cover up behind it. Wes is dead solely because Laurel’s dad is an asshole.
If you thought Laurel was unbearable now, wait until she finds out that she is low-key the reason Wes was murdered.
Me watching Wes die after a full season of knowing he was definitely dead:
Not emotionally destroyed enough yet? Good, because the ending scene requires your utmost attention before it breaks you.
We’ve come full circle as the episode ends where it began: AA. Instead of berating everyone for baring their souls, Annalise decides to take a turn at being sincere. And when this woman commits, she fucking commits.
Annalise delves into the long sordid tale of how she spent the last twenty years trying to save Wes, only to end up destroying him. Viola Davis delivers the performance of a lifetime. I know that’s what people say anytime she breathes, but I mean it. Annalise finally comes to terms with Wes’ death and why it’s rocked her so substantially: because he’s her son. In blood? No. But in every other sense of the word Annalise considered Wes her son, and now she’s lost both of them. The credits roll as her shaky sobs fill the room, and it’s fine I totally don’t have to go on with my life as if my heart wasn’t just wrenched from my body. Really. I’m chill.
Me trying to collect my thoughts and process grief for fictional characters in time to get up for work Friday morning:
I don’t even know where this leaves us for season four. A deep dive into Laurel’s fucked up family? Definitely. A gay wedding? Only my heart’s deepest desire. Freedom for Nate? Probably never.
Until then my friends, maybe try and find a less traumatizing show to watch.