‘How To Get Away With Murder’ Finale Recap Part 2

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.

‘How To Get Away With Murder’ Finale Recap Part One: Wes Deserved Better

There were two general themes to the season three finale of How to Get Away with Murder. The first was “No one holds back. No one has any chill. Everyone screams their most resentful thoughts at each other.” So, you know, any holiday with the family.

The second theme was “What the actual fuck,” because I said it no less than five times throughout all two hours of last night’s double episode. Let me just formally request here that ABC never put the viewing public through that kind of duress again, because my body cannot physically produce enough adrenaline for 120 minutes of Annalise Keating.

The episode opens on one of Annalise’s AA meetings where people are divulging the terrible things that have happened in their lives that turned them into alcoholics. Meanwhile, Connor is running in public. I’m not sure which experience is worse.

Connor’s clearly emotional run is interspersed with the excerpts from AA and the moment culminates in Connor almost throwing himself in front of a bus and Annalise telling everyone in group that bitching about their problems will get them nowhere because life just sucks. As if AA wasn’t already tense enough.

Stranger: Have you tried meditation?
Annalise: So help me God.

Connor has told Oliver whatever happened the night of the fire and against all odds, Oliver believes him. In that case, I believe him, too, because Oliver’s word is law.

Bonnie has summoned Connor, Michaela and Asher to yet another hearing in an attempt to get Annalise’s charges dropped. After watching Bonnie in the courtroom all season, we all knew how this was going to go. Annalise was full pageant mom coaching her through the motions, but even that wasn’t enough. To add insult to injury, Charles Mahoney has been released from prison, and his mother Sylvia straight up vows to avenge her husband’s murder on live TV. Very Game of Thrones, but I’m into it.

Denver summons Nate to his office for the sole purpose of making sure he’s not colluding with Annalise, because all of Philadelphia and the surrounding areas knows that she has him wrapped around her finger.

Nate: Annalise? Haven’t heard that name in years.
Nate five minutes later: Annalise meet me in my car in a crowded parking garage.

The law students and Oliver convene at Bonnies to start going through case Atwood’s case files when a couple of gruesome photos of Wes make Connor emotional enough to leave the room. Seeing as how Connor doesn’t exhibit emotion, Michaela is instantly suspicious. Channeling her inner drunk girl, she pulls him into the bathroom for real talk.

Apparently the talk was VERY real because it shakes even Michaela’s ice cold exterior. She has so little chill that, for the second time in ten minutes, Michaela brings out her inner drunk girl and blurts Connor’s secret to the entire room.

Michaela: You can tell me anything, it’s okay.
Michaela: HEY GUYS GUESS WHAT CONNOR DID.

The secret? Connor might have killed Wes. Connor might have killed Wes.

The fact that Connor thinks this means that he obviously didn’t kill Wes. We’re not going to find out who did until three seconds before the credits roll. But, the fact that Connor thinks he might have killed Wes and still let Annalise rot in jail for it means he’s about to get roundhouse wrecked by everyone in the room.

Flashback: After a shockingly long sex montage, Connor checks his voicemail with Thomas’ phone and hears Annalise’s message. He heads to her house, pre-explosion, and finds Wes in the basement, with no pulse. He couldn’t call 911 with no phone, so he proceeded to perform CPR until he cracked Wes’ rib cage. Unsure of what to do and suddenly realizing that the entire room smells like gas, Connor sprints out literally seconds before the house explodes.

Man, does the room not react well to this news. After a lot of “he did it!” and “no he didn’t!”  and “why can’t we all just be friends??” Laurel decides to escalate the tension and just straight up tells Connor to kill himself. Yikes.

Laurel: The only good thing you’ll ever do in your life is kill yourself.
Everyone:

Instead of, I don’t know, apologizing for accusing Annalise of a murder that he has thought he committed this whole time, Connor goes straight on the offensive and asks Annalise if she killed Wes. Annalise immediately requests that the two of them be left alone, which totally doesn’t sound suspicious at all.

What follows is a conversation that we’ve all lived in our heads but hopefully never truly experienced. These two people, with many months’ worth of pent up aggression and resentment, just sat and screamed psychoanalyses at each other until Connor decides to prove that he has even less chill than Laurel.

Connor: ALL YOUR SONDS ARE DEAD. THEY’RE ALL DEAD. AND YOU CAN’T USE ME TO REPLACE THEM.
Me at home on my couch:


 

In the end, the two reach a kind of impasse where they cry and decide to believe each other. The relationships on this show emotionally drain me and I’m not even a part of them. After all is said and done, and what I’m sure was a super uncomfortable hug has passed, Annalise and Connor return downstairs where Annalise tells everyone to forgive him. The only objection is Laurel, who is still very down for the suicide plan.

Okay, I get that Laurel is grieving, but can we be real for a second. Her and Wes dated for what? Two weeks? Yes, granted, the pregnancy aspect sucks. But she’s out ready to go full Taken on a family of shady millionaires for a guy that she never even got a one-month anniversary with. Can you PLEASE calm down.

Elsewhere, Nate super casually hacks into Atwood’s car and finds out that she was parked in the financial district of New York moments after Charles Mahoney was released from prison, meaning that she very well could be working with the Mahoneys. Does Annalise thank him for this intel? Nah. Today of all days, she decides to suddenly start objecting to illegally obtained evidence. Are you catching on here Nate? You literally cannot win.

After an emotionally taxing afternoon that I’m sure isn’t putting undue stress on her growing fetus, Laurel goes to her OB appointment and realizes that time is ticking down to the abortion finish line. All I ask is that she gets rid of it because I cannot handle a sad struggling mother storyline on top of all the other tragedy. Plus, based on her performance thus far, a pregnant Laurel would be certifiably batshit crazy.

After casing all of their files on Atwood, the team comes to the conclusion that they have nothing to pin on her. Connor volunteers to go on the stand and testify to the broken rib, which would falsify the autopsy and derail the DA’s entire prosecution. It would also put him in the line of fire. This kid is literally throwing himself down the gauntlet in his efforts to redeem himself and it is so out of character that I just want to cry for him.

Nate goes to Atwood to try and get her to admit to working with the Mahoneys but she just doesn’t budge. Either this woman is a good liar or an honest person. Based on my experience with this show, it’s the former.

Back in court, Bonnie calls Laurel to the stand, where she puts on the goddamn performance of the century. Annalise decided that instead of having Connor implicate himself and complicate the case even further, Laurel would be the one to testify to Wes’ broken rib. Our girl gets up there and waxes poetic about how she performed CPR on Wes but was too afraid to tell the police because she didn’t trust them. It could have all worked, if Denver wasn’t prepped to tank her character.

The DA pulls out an affidavit, signed by a teenage Laurel, stating that she had lied to law enforcement about being kidnapped in Mexico City. Having perjured herself once, the judge isn’t likely to believe her now.

It turns out that Laurel really was kidnapped, but signed the affidavit in some weird family power struggle. This may seem like a throw away backstory, but considering the role Laurel’s father plays later in the episode, I’m betting it becomes an important plot point in the future.

Laurel: I was really kidnapped but I had to say I wasn’t to protect my father.
Connor: Sounds fake but okay.

In the end, Annalise and co. lose the hearing, meaning that the trial is still on. Did Bonnie actually go to law school? Asking for a friend. 

Not content to only throw himself under one bus, Connor heads straight to Denver’s office to ask for Wes’ immunity deal so that he can confess to breaking Wes’ rib and hopefully still prove the autopsy was fake. While Denver is out of the room drafting the deal, Oliver (with a frantic Asher, Michaela and Laurel in tow) call him to find out why he’s suddenly disappeared shortly after contemplating suicide.

Connor explains his plan and it’s a testament to how bad it is that even Laurel tells him to come home. Asher decides that it’s now or never, and calls the phone number that Oliver found someone placing from Annalise’s home the night of the fire. While he couldn’t track the caller, he could track the person who received the call and it’s none other than Denver. Connor hears the burner phone buzzing and answers it, confirming that Denver has been in on this shit from the beginning.

Who placed the call? Just an unnamed hitman who happens to be the gardener that Marissa Cooper dated to piss off her mom. I hated you then and I hate you now, DJ.