Due to the spread of COVID-19, a lot of things have been temporarily put on hold. I mean, the f*cking Olympics were postponed, so that’s when you know it’s real. Pretty much every industry has been affected by the pandemic, and TV is no exception. Production has been shut down across the board, with wide-ranging effects. Many current shows haven’t finished filming their seasons, pilots for the fall are now in peril, and who knows if we’re ever getting Clare’s season of The Bachelorette.
But while there are still more questions than answers when it comes to COVID-19’s effects on the TV landscape, not everything is terrible. There are plenty of shows premiering in the next month or so that were finished before society stopped happening, praise be. If you’ve finished Tiger King and are running out of ideas of what to binge next, here are the most important TV premieres that will help us get through quaran-times.
‘The Real Housewives Of New York City’ – 4/2
One of Bravo’s most iconic franchises is here to save us from our isolation spirals, and not a moment too soon. With Bethenny Frankel departing after season 11, it’ll be interesting to see what the vibe is this year, but these ladies are always a good time. This season will feature a new Housewife, an engagement, and no doubt, many sloppy drunk fights. Can’t wait!
‘How To Get Away With Murder’ – 4/2
After six seasons, Shonda Rhimes’ hit drama is coming to an end, and I’m sure it’ll go out with a bang. After a six-month break, the show’s final season picks back up in April for a six-episode “Farewell Event”. That sounds dramatic, but this show is always over the top. Viola Davis is one of the best actresses of her generation, and long-time fans will be eager to see how things end up. If you haven’t watched before, the first five seasons are available on Netflix, so get to work.
‘Chrissy’s Court’ – 4/6
The brand new Quibi streaming service is launching on April 6th, and there’s going to be plenty of content, but I already know what I’lll be watching first. In this comedy/reality show, Chrissy Teigen stars as the judge, and she’s hearing real small claims court cases. Her adorable mom also stars as the bailiff, because why not. I feel like this is going to be a mess, and I’m totally here for it. It’s still unclear when Tyler Cameron’s Barkitecture show is coming to Quibi, but hopefully it’s soon.
‘The Circle: France’ – 4/9
What’s better than watching people talk to themselves for 12 episodes? Watching it in a language you don’t understand! Netflix is dropping the French version of their hit show The Circle on April 9th, and I’m sure it’ll be just as entertaining as the American version. I just picture Joey Sasso speaking French, and I’ll be laughing for the next 30 minutes. Wow, I need human interaction. The Circle: Brazil is also available on Netflix now, so I don’t want to hear any complaints about waiting for season 2.
‘Insecure’ – 4/12
If you’re looking for something that’s not mind-numbing reality TV, Insecure returns for season 4 on HBO in just a couple weeks. Watching Issa and her crew of messy friends figure their sh*t out is an absolute treat, and if you’ve never watched, I highly recommend catching up now. The seasons are short! Also, the second episode of season 4 is titled “Lowkey Distant,” which is a big mood right now.
‘Killing Eve’ – 4/12
The good folks at BBC America and AMC know we’re dying of boredom right now, and they’re doing us a huge solid. The new season of Killing Eve will now premiere two weeks early, on April 12th. Considering that this show has been a massive critical success for its first two seasons, you should definitely mark your calendar for season 3. Sandra Oh has been a favorite since her Grey’s Anatomy days, and she and Jodie Comer are both incredible in this show. Thank goodness we don’t have to wait a full month for it anymore!
‘The Bachelor: Listen To Your Heart’ – 4/13
Okay, I promised I wasn’t going to watch this show, but desperate times might call for desperate TV viewing habits. Even if the trailer makes you cringe (same), Listen To Your Heart might be the only way to get your Bachelor fix for the foreseeable future. Aside from the initial postponement, ABC hasn’t made any announcements about The Bachelorette or Paradise yet, but it’s hard to imagine they won’t be delayed at the very least. With Listen To Your Heart, they basically took Jed Wyatt’s storyline and turned it into a whole show, because that sounds like a good idea. Whatever, it’s not like I have other plans.
‘Mrs. America’ – 4/15
You want prestige drama? Here you go. In this new FX on Hulu miniseries about the fight to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, Cate Blanchett stars as anti-feminist, anti-abortion, anti-Equal Rights Amendment activist Phyllis Schlafly. But that’s not all. The show also stars Rose Byrne (as Gloria Steinem), Sarah Paulson, Uzo Aduba, and Elizabeth Banks. Serious bad bitch energy all around. I’ve been excited for this for months, and it has Emmys written all over it.
‘The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills’ – 4/15
Despite all the chaos in the world, Real Housewives fans are eating good for the next month. I mean, in a literal sense I’m eating ramen for every meal, but as Vicki Gunvalson would say, my Bravo love tank is full. The ladies of Beverly Hills are back for their 10th season, and while their last couple seasons have been lackluster, I’m cautiously optimistic that this year will be different. At least we know we have the Denise and Brandi saga to look forward to. Joining the cast this season is Garcelle Beauvais, who makes history as the first black cast member on the show. Smh, took long enough.
So even though April might be canceled, not all the shows are. And if you’re the type of person who has to binge, check out our comprehensive list of what to watch on Netflix here.
Images: Merie W. Wallace/HBO; Bravo, Netflix, Hulu, ABC, HBO, Quibi, BBC America / YouTube
Summer is winding down, which is mostly a bad thing. No more summer Fridays, no more trips to the beach, and no more using the heat as an excuse to stay in for the entire weekend. But one good thing about the changing of the seasons is that a lot of the best TV comes back in the fall. No shade to Bachelor In Paradise, but I desperately need something else to watch.
Of course, there are tons of shows that are coming back in the next few months, but here are ten that you definitely need to have on your radar. If I forgot your favorite show, don’t come for me, just drop it in the comments. I can’t watch everything.
‘The Real Housewives of Dallas’ — 9/4
Much like The Real Housewives of Potomac, who are finishing up their mind-blowingly good fourth season, you shouldn’t sleep on the women of Dallas. Their fourth season kicks off next week, with a new housewife thrown in the mix. Last season culminated with a trip to Copenhagen that almost turned violent, and this year shouldn’t be any less crazy. Before Real Housewives of Atlanta and Vanderpump Rules come back later this fall, RHOD will keep you entertained.
‘American Horror Story: 1984’ — 9/18
The quality of American Horror Story has varied over the last two years, but it’s still exciting to see what new world Ryan Murphy has created. This season is expected to have an ’80s slasher film vibe, which should be a lot of fun if you’re into that sort of thing. This is the first season of the show not to feature Evan Peters, but I’m sure they’ll make it work without him. Or not, but I guess we’ll find out.
‘This Is Us’ — 9/24
I’ll be honest, This Is Us isn’t really my thing, but apparently I’m the only one who feels this way. Whatever, I get it, you guys like to cry. NBC renewed their hit drama in the spring for an almost-unprecedented three seasons at once, so we should be getting some good long-term story arcs. I’m just happy Mandy Moore is getting those sweet coins.
‘Mixed-ish’ — 9/24
We’re getting a new spinoff in the world of Black-ish, which also premieres on the same day. This one is a prequel that focuses on a younger version of Tracee Ellis Ross’ character Rainbow, and what happens when her parents move the family from a hippie commune to the suburbs. It sounds like a fun premise, and everything these creators touch turn to gold, so this is one not to miss.
‘How To Get Away With Murder’ — 9/26
Annalise and the gang are coming back for a sixth and final season, so I’m sure Shonda Rhimes will make it extra juicy. I’m not sure how it can really get more juicy than it already is, but Shonda has never let us down. If nothing else, Viola Davis’ performance makes this show worth it.
‘The Walking Dead’ — 10/6
Honestly, I forget that they’re still making new episodes of The Walking Dead, but they’re kicking off their TENTH season this October. Danai Gurira, who became a big movie star after Black Panther, is returning for her last season, so I’m just gonna go out on a limb and say she probably gets eaten by zombies. It just makes sense.
‘El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie’ — 10/11
Okay, so this is technically a movie and not a show, but I couldn’t not include it here. In this continuation of the Breaking Bad universe, we see what happens to Jesse after the show ended. I have no idea how this ended up being a movie on Netflix, but no one is complaining.
‘Shameless’ — 11/3
Shameless is also back for a tenth season this fall, but things will look a little different for the Gallagher family. Emmy Rossum, who played Fiona, left the show after season 9 over salary disputes, so honestly, who is gonna watch all these kids? It’s probably worth tuning in for the new season, if only so you don’t get roasted in the group chat.
‘The Crown’ — 11/17
Season 3 of The Crown brings us into a completely new era, and with it we get a new cast. Claire Foy was great, but Netflix replaced her with Olivia Colman, who just happened to win an Oscar earlier this year. Casual. Also, we get Helena Bonham Carter as the tragic Princess Margaret, which should be amazing. The royal family probably won’t love this season, but I have a feeling it’s going to be great.
‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ — 12/6
December feels like a long time from now, but I’m sure the next few months will fly by. Season 3 of Mrs. Maisel will probably win all the awards a year from now, so you better watch it now so you’re not behind later. Will Midge get married? Will she become super famous? We’ll find out soon, thank god.
Images: Amazon; Giphy (10)
This week, The Cut published a profile on Lena Dunham. The piece is being hailed as a refreshing look at female pain, and an illuminating profile on someone from whom we all assumed we’d heard more than enough. While the piece was indeed less insufferable than I feared it would be, one piece of information included was enough to ruin my day. Lena Dunham has a deal with HBO to create a series on fake German heiress (and real Russian scammer) Anna Delvey. You may have missed that tidbit in the extremely long profile, but yes, a Lena Dunham show about Anna Delvey is supposedly in the works.
In case you don’t remember Delvey’s story, here’s a quick refresher. Delvey broke into the NYC socialite scene after a Parisian fashion internship. With vague claims about wire transfers and generational wealth, she scammed her way into almost $300,000 in unpaid bills for her luxurious lifestyle. She even made up a fake financial adviser, whom she then killed off when people grew suspicious. Last we heard from her, she was somehow Instagramming from Riker’s Island. In other words, a baller through and through.
Me to Anna Delvey:
Lena Dunham, last we heard from her, was making a show called Camping, of which no one I know has been able to stomach more than one episode. And yes, we all watched all of Girls, but very few of us felt ultimately good about it. As far as careers go, Lena Dunham’s has aged about as well as the box of Chinese takeout I ordered on Saturday night that’s still sitting in my fridge. Seeing as Anna Delvey’s story of scamming has been a bright spot of joy in an otherwise bleak news cycle, I’m not thrilled about the prospects of a Lena Dunham show about Anna Delvey. Like, ruin Williamsburg all you want, but when you come for my scammers? That’s where I draw the line.
The good news is that Lena isn’t the only person who’s been given the opportunity to translate Delvey’s scamming stories to the screen—we’ve known for a while now that Shonda Rhimes was also tapped to create a series for Netflix about her. Now, when I heard Shonda Rhimes was making her own Delvey show, I was thrilled. Rhimes’ handle on sexy, fast-paced drama is exactly what Delvey’s story needs. We need secret love affairs, high-fashion montages, and constant overlapping power plays. What we do not need is mournful shots of Delvey on the toilet while a Belle & Sebastian song plays.
The silver lining here? Whatever it looks like, the Lena Dunham show about Anna Delvey can’t possibly be as bad and/or offensive as her adaptation of a Syrian refugee’s story will be. Cheers to that.
If you love scams, cults, conspiracies, and true crime, listen to Not Another True Crime Podcast! New episodes out now.
Images: Getty Images; Giphy (1)
As I sit in my flannel, jeans, and black ankle boots, I can happily confirm that the fall season is upon us. True, it’s still mid-70s and I’m only dressed this way because there was a tick advisory for my workplace today (working in TV is all glamour, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise). But I’m sure we can all agree that it feels like fall. In other words, it’s time to curl up in front of your TV and forget the words “crop top” for another nine months. While you probably spent all summer bingeing Office reruns (same), fall is the time for new, highly anticipated TV. In order of when they come out, here are the new and returning TV shows that will dominate your life for the next few months. Please set your DVR accordingly.
‘You’ – September 9, Lifetime
I should qualify at the start of this list that not every show will be what’s traditionally considered “good.” For example, most of the dialogue in this particular show makes me want to throw myself through a window. But like, in the BEST way. This show is about Penn Badgley playing a stalker freak who becomes obsessed with a slightly vapid blond and immediately starts doing psycho sh*t like
writing about her on an anonymous website breaking into her apartment and messing with her life. So basically, a dark yet accurate glimpse into Dan’s future. (Extremely self-aware of Penn Badgley to take this role.) This is my new favorite guilty pleasure show, and if you’re a fan of Lifetime at all, I can’t recommend it enough.
The first of many red flags he displays in this show:
‘Maniac’ – September 21, Netflix
Okay so polar opposite of the last show, but also about mental health. Can’t imagine why that’s trendy right now when we have such a stable genius in the White House! Anyway. This whole season dropped on 9/21, and it stars Jonah Hill and Emma Stone. Even in this ~Golden Age~ of television, that’s a pretty high-end cast. I won’t tell you much about the plot beyond the fact that they both have a sh*t-ton of baggage and sign up for a pharmaceutical trial. The plot is less important than the vibe, which so far is like every episode of Black Mirror smushed into one world. This show is good for an all-day binge when you’re up for actually thinking about what you’re watching. Invite over your artiest friend so they force you to pay attention through the first 3 episodes, it’s kind of slow to start up.
‘Dancing With The Stars’ – September 24, ABC
Have I ever watched this show before? No, and I probably won’t again. But who could resist seeing Grocery Store Joe flit across the stage! I give you permission to stop watching as soon as he’s cut.
‘This Is Us’ – September 25, NBC
You all know what this one is for. This is the show you come to when you need a really good cry, or when you want to ignore all your problems and pretend Mandy Moore is your mom for a while. Also, to get your weekly Sterling K. Brown fix, which is right up there in terms of importance with drinking water and getting enough sleep. It’s just a fact of life. This season, we’re going back to Jack and Rebecca’s first date—and Randall’s daughter, Tess, all grown up. Few things are as pure as my love for this show.
Anyone else need to watch this on repeat to cleanse from this week’s news cycle?
‘Modern Family’ – September 26, ABC
Did we all kind of get over Modern Family five years ago when it won every award? Yeah, maybe. But this is likely the final season, and they’ve been teasing a “significant death,” so I’m planning on riding out the show until the end. It’s the least you can do for something that gave you a few good years, like when you loyally wear your favorite black leggings until they’re completely sheer in the crotch. Watch out of loyalty, watch because Phil is still funny AF, or watch because you’re hungover and it comes on next on Hulu. Up to you.
‘The Good Place’ – September 27, NBC
Very few shows like The Good Place have come around in the past few years, and I’m deeply grateful when they do. It’s from the creator of Parks & Rec, and has the same soothing effect of all your fave 25-minute comedies. Kristen Bell has spent the first two seasons figuring out that she’s in (SPOILERS) Hell, aka the Bad Place. Season 3 opens up with her and her 3 companions having been redeposited on Earth to give things another try. Will they f*ck it up in a largely similar way to the first time? Probably, their memories were erased so IDK why they wouldn’t. But it’ll be fun to watch them try to fight their baser instincts for a while.
‘How To Get Away With Murder’ – September 27, ABC
This is another show that’s sadly nowhere near as good as it used to be. But at its best it was so iconic that I still can’t look away. No matter how ridiculous the rest of it gets, Annalise is still the epitome of boss b*tch goals, and Laurel still has an annoyingly good lingerie collection for someone with such a terrible personality.
‘Riverdale’ – October 10, CW
Of course the show I’m most excited for doesn’t come back until October 10th. OF COURSE. Season 3 of Riverdale is about to be f*cking lit. We’re dealing with the aftermath of Archie’s arrest, an all-out war with Hiram, more screen time for Cheryl and Toni, and some weird cult stuff with Betty’s sister. The promo shows Archie shirtless, more milkshakes at Pop’s, and what appears to be a ritual sacrifice of two babies. Exactly what you’d expect and get more than you dared hope, in classic Riverdale fashion. And obviously we’ll be recapping it.
Me all season:
The best part of these fall shows? Since they’re all newly released, you’re basically engaging in a cultural activity with every binge. Some people go to museums; you binge artful new storytelling techniques. Or at least that’s what you’ll tell yourself as you order Seamless the sixth time that week. Happy watching!
Images: The CW; Giphy (4)
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.
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.
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.
Catch Up On Last Week: ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ Recap: There’s No Crying In Funerals
I don’t know if misery makes time fly or something, but somehow we are only one week from the season finale of How to Get Away with Murder. As any pre-finale week, last night’s episode set the stage for a whole lot of conflict and more than one quintessential “OH MY FUCKING GOD” moment courtesy of Shonda Rhimes. Let’s try and unpack it all so we can be fully prepared for whatever devastating news we get next week.
This week’s episode of How to Get Away with Murder is titled “It’s War,” as if every other event leading up to this has been a tea party. Like, was it not war when you all murdered a DA and framed someone else for it? Or when you murdered your teacher’s husband and then tried to cover it up? Or at any other instance in which this group of people flagrantly broke the law and then lied to the face of the US Justice System? This entire show is a war on morality, integrity, and my ever-growing wine tolerance.
The opening scene switches rapidly between a flashback in which Nate and Wes are talking in Annalise’s home pre-explosion, and a present day interaction between Nate and Annalise. It’s hard to tell which one stresses Nate out more.
The gist of the conversation between Nate and Annalise is that his signature ended up on a form to move Wes’ body, but he didn’t put it there. This means that the DA has thrown Nate into the pile of people they’re willing to take down to get to Annalise.
The gist of the conversation between Nate and Wes is a lot simpler: fuck Annalise. Shockingly enough, it’s Nate saying it and Wes rushing to her defense.
Wes: You don’t understand. I’ve done terrible things to her.
Nate: Like what?
Wes: I never called her “mom” despite her many requests that I do so.
What we can glean from these two interactions, other than the fact that being in jail altered Annalise’s judgement on acceptable hairstyles, is that Nate is back on team Annalise and probably didn’t kill Wes. Cool, only leaves about ten other potential suspects.
Next on the list of uncomfortable interactions: Annalise summons what’s left of the Keating Crew to Bonnie’s to touch base on their crumbling lives. I’m not sure what they were all expecting, but it definitely wasn’t the battered, broken woman that showed up. While Laurel was ready to storm the Mahoneys and demand answers, something that season one Annalise wouldn’t have even questioned, present day Annalise just wants to batten down the hatches and make sure no one else gets murdered/arrested/framed. What a monster, right?
Laurel: So we’re just going to act all victim-y?
Annalise: No one is acting like a victim.
Laurel: You are.
Annalise: * KILL BILL SIRENS *
Laurel storms out to take matters into her own hands, which means using her infinite amount of money to hire a private investigator to look into the Mahoneys. After three seasons of watching this show, I can firmly state that this private investigator will come back to bite them in the ass and potentially murder someone, because that’s how these things work around here.
Fresh off that sick burn, Annalise decides to prove she’s not a victim by…. writing an angry letter? If you listen closely, you can hear season one Annalise cackling in the distance.
Actually though, this isn’t just any letter. Annalise sends an official complaint to the State Attorney General, requesting a formal investigation into the DA’s office and specifically ADA Atwood’s one-woman mission to destroy her. A lot of people aren’t psyched about this course of action, most notably Nate and the Attorney General. Nate is pissed that Annalise has, once again, thrown him into the fire just to see what she can stir up. Will this man ever fucking learn?
“Stop trying to help me, it only makes things worse” – Nate’s character arc summed up in one sentence.
On top of the District Attorney’s office, the Philadelphia Police Department, and most of her students, Annalise gets to add the Attorney General to her list of enemies. This woman truly will not stop until she’s burned every bridge (and home) in America.
The AG isn’t psyched that Annalise is trying to stir up trouble within her department, and even less psyched that Annalise threatens to go public if something isn’t done about the fact that a body is missing a literally not one person in the justice department is doing anything about it. I, with no legal experience other than watching this show every week, think this seems like a valid concern.
Meanwhile, Oliver and Connor are debating the merits of going through Annalise’s phone data. Connor is pushing for it because his entire motivation this season has been wanting to watch Annalise burn. While Connor is usually sitting somewhere in the chaotic neutral realm, this behavior seems extreme, even for him. Why is that, I didn’t think to ask until last night? We’re all about to find out.
Oliver, whose susceptibility to peer pressure leads me to believe that he had a tough time in high school, is on board to start hacking away until he finds out that Annalise did in fact call Connor the night of the fire. This is sketch because Connor didn’t show up to the hospital until hours after everyone else. Connor brushes it off as a voicemail he didn’t bother checking until morning, a valid excuse for anyone because voicemail is the actual worst creation since crocs or frosted blue eyeshadow.
Annalise shows up in the middle of Oliver’s hacking session, a wild coincidence I’m sure, to win back his trust and then ask him a favor. In true Oliver fashion, he folds in about three seconds and then leaks an article for Annalise about the DA office losing Wes’ body. The most shocking part to me about this is that the DA is, like, surprised by this? This was literally the easiest thing Annalise could have done to derail them, and everyone is up in arms about it. Consider yourself lucky that she didn’t, idk, toss you off a third floor balcony.
The AG doesn’t see it this way. She not only denies Annalise’s request for an investigation, but also threatens to try her for the death penalty if Annalise doesn’t stop spreading conspiracy theories about the DA’s office. Not sure that’s how law works, but why not.
Laurels’ PI has come back with some interesting findings: The Mahoneys ran a DNA test on Wes five days before his death, meaning they knew he was Wallace’s son. She runs straight to Annalise and company with this news, thinking it will galvanize the troops to go after the entire Mahoney clan. Not so much.
Annalise breaks and lets them all know that the last time she went head to head with Wallace Mahoney, she ended up in the hospital with a miscarriage. Everyone at least has the decency to look horrified (and in Asher’s case, actually be horrified) except Laurel. No “omg I’m sorry” or “wow that sucks” or even “yikes” from our girl Laurel, the girl who was the season one poster child for empathy.
Annalise: Wallace Mahoney literally murdered my unborn child.
Laurel: Wes deserved so much better than you.
Connor: Like even I wasn’t gonna be a dick but ok???
New rule for this show: drink every time Laurel guts Annalise. You’ll be chugging straight vodka à la Keating by the finale.
Everyone leaves after that because, really, what more can you say. At home, Asher tells Mikayla that he thinks Connor was the anonymous source, seeing as how his mission this entire season has been to take her down. Every week that passes leads me closer and closer to the frightening thought that Asher is the best person on this show.
Bonnie follows Laurel home to offer up her services RE: a sneaky abortion. That goes over just about as well as you’d think.
Laurel: You’re just as bad as she is.
Bonnie: I’m gonna need you to say that again, but slower.
After baring her soul and getting essentially spit on for it, Annalise decides to clear her head by getting coffee with a friend, the dean. This was a fun idea until Annalise realized that the dean has been spying on her for Atwood the entire time. Like, can one more person come kick this woman while she’s down please? Don’t think she’s suffered enough yet.
Annalise: We should just kill Atwood already.
Bonnie: Uh, suggestions like that is the reason we’re in this mess in the first place?
Always the try-hard, Bonnie suggests framing Nate and putting this whole debacle behind them. I get where she’s coming from, seeing as how this has been Annalise’s MO since day one, but apparently time in jail has changed her.
Annalise: Is that who you want to be? Someone who burns own everyone and everything around them?
Bonnie: Well I want to be you…so yeah.
After swearing allegiance to Annalise for the 200th time in his life and some underhanded meetings with Bonnie, Frank calls everyone back to court to try and subpoena all of Atwood’s correspondence from the day that Wes’ body went missing. The judge is slightly interested when Frank lets it drop that Nate is both Atwood’s ex and the guy who signed for the body, but remains unmoved until the poet Delfino rattles off some inspiration speech about sixth amendment. This man isn’t even a lawyer. Is this the end of Legally Blonde? What the actual fuck, Philadelphia.
Whatever the reason, Atwood has to turn over any and all correspondence from that day. Like, I’ve never committed a crime, but if you were to subpoena my correspondence from any random day of the week, I’d probably be under investigation for a few murder charges and limitless counts of intent to commit harm. There is no way this works out for her.
ADA Denver immediately suspends Atwood for being an idiot, at which points she admits to being the one to move Wes’ body. Not just that, but this bitch fucking CREMATED him. How is this still an ongoing case? The prosecutor literally destroyed the body?? Somebody please call Alicia Florrick ASAP.
Annalise draws the short straw and is the one to have to tell Laurel that Wes’ body has been destroyed. What starts as an incredibly aggressive and tense conversation ends with apologies, promises for vengeance, and hugs. It’s not all bad here in How to Get Away with Murder land.
Laurel: Wes wasn’t your son. I get it. You don’t have to be sad with me.
Annalise: I wish he was my son because then I’d know how to feel…which is probably not attracted to him but I guess we’ll never know huh.
Elsewhere, Bonnie, Mikayla and Asher take on Connor over the growing tension of him being the anonymous source. He denies it, but the whole episode takes a turn when Oliver shows up with some even more damning evidence: Connor did check his voicemail that night. According to Thomas, Connor left hours before he arrived at the hospital. He answered the summons to Annalise’s home. Even worse, the episode closes with a short but powerful shot of Connor performing CPR on a dead but unburnt Wes.
WHAT THE FUCK.
While I refuse to believe that Connor killed Wes, is it possible that he finally snapped? If not, wouldn’t he have turned in the culprit by now? What happened that night and why would he keep it to himself unless he’s guilty? Most importantly, what is going to happen to that poor boy’s asshole in prison?
Hopefully all these questions will be answered next week in the two-hour finale. That’s right, two hours’ worth of suffering to look forward to. Take comfort in the fact that we’ll be in it together. Until then, start ramping up your alcohol tolerance. It’s going to be a long night.
Catch Up On Last Week’s Recap: Literally Everything Is About Annalise
Welcome back to another week of How to Get Away with Murder, the show that has turned my Thursday nights into a competition of “how much wine can I drink before a character has a mental breakdown.” Spoiler alert: not a whole lot.
We start off with a glimpse into Wes’ last day alive. He hops out of Frank’s car, into a cab, and immediately calls his “In Case of Emergency” number. This alone would be suspicious because I don’t think anyone cares enough about Wes to be his emergency contact. But things get weirder when he answers “It’s Kristoff.”
Back in the present, the entire cast prepares for two very different mornings. Annalise, Frank and Bonnie prepare for an arraignment while the law students head to Wes’s memorial. Both events are a total disaster.
Laurel ruins my drinking game by having a full-blown meltdown in the middle of her eulogy. She accuses everyone in the room of being a fake friend and then storms out barefoot and crying. It was like a war flashback to my 23rd birthday party.
Laurel: Why are you crying.
Laurel: Stop crying.
Laurel: THERE’S NO CRYING IN FUNERALS
Bonne tries to pull an Annalise in court aka screaming out of turn about irrelevant matters. Shockingly enough, it doesn’t work out for her. Annalise is denied bail, her charges aren’t severed from Frank’s, and then just to add insult to injury, her mom and dad show up. You know, things weren’t stressful enough as is.
Nate suffers every ex’s worst nightmare at court when Annalise’s parents corner him and ask him how he’s going to fix all this.
Ophelia: Why won’t you help her?
Nate: Ma’am you will literally not live long enough to hear the entire answer to that question.
Back in jail, Annalise finally stands up for herself against her cell mate, who is shockingly self-righteous considering that she is also in jail. Side note: if I was in jail for something non-violent like drugs, I don’t think I’d spend all my time harassing the woman in there for cold hard murder. Idk, just a thought.
After the memorial, Simon comes up to the Keating crew to offer his condolences. Oh, and to accuse Annalise of murder.
Simon: Hey guys, so terribly sorry for your loss.
Simon: Alright, pleasantries out of the way.
Simon: How are you coping with the fact that your mentor murdered your friend.
Simon: Also do you all have raging mommy issues or what.
Meanwhile, Laurel has gone on a leisurely, barefoot stroll to the morgue—as one does—where she’s hoping the clerk will abandon all legal and ethical standards and let her view Wes’ body. When that doesn’t work out, she casually tells the woman she’ll be going to hell some day and walks out, which is how I’m going to handle any minor inconvenience in my life from this moment forward.
Oliver gets a summons from the police department and everyone waits approximately .2 seconds before spiraling into a total panic. You would think this is the first time anything remotely like this had happened to them. To be fair, I believe I threatened actual bodily harm to Shonda Rhimes when we all thought Oliver got murdered in season two, so who am I to judge.
You know what this show doesn’t have enough of? Stress and heartbreak. Shonda must have known we all felt that way, because why else, on top of literally everything that’s happening, would she decide that now is the time to let Annalise know that her mom is suffering from dementia?
That’s right, during an already tense parental visit, Ophelia starts going off about how she’s going to confess to burning the house down. At first it’s like “damn, that’s some Mother of the Year level of commitment,” but then she continues on and it becomes clear that things aren’t quite right.
Annalise’s mom is under the impression that Annalise is on trial for the house that burned down in her childhood, with her pedophile uncle inside. Her useless dad is like “lol cute story dear,” because men are literally the most oblivious creatures on earth.
Annalise: Idk maybe don’t let your wife walk around and confess to arson and murder.
Mac: Wait what.
Despite concerns from literally everyone, Oliver sails right through his questioning. The fact that he’s a real life human puppy consistently fools people into thinking that Ollie can’t be just as manipulative as every other person on this show. He tells the cops that Annalise never asked him to do anything illegal on her behalf and that he definitely didn’t wipe her phone the night of the fire. So, you know, he lied.
Laurel corners Nate and guilts him into finally letting her see Wes’ body. I recognize that she needs closure, but looking at her dead boyfriend covered in no doubt rotting burns doesn’t seem like it would really do much for her mental state at this point. Only problem? The body inside the bag labeled “Wesley Gibbins” is most certainly not Wesley Gibbins.
In this next round of traumatizing family visits, Annalise’s parents come back to jail just so Annalise and her Dad can hash out their lifetime of issues.
Mac: You want to blame me for your sad childhood? Sure, maybe I deserve that.
Annalise: You are literally 100% to blame.
Annalise: I mean, other than that dude that molested me.
He goes on to call Annalise selfish (not wrong) because she isn’t doing anything to get herself out of jail so that she can help her mother (flawed logic at best). Idk if this man understands how jail works but, uh, there’s not a whole lot you can do from the inside. Unless you’re Annalise Keating, that is.
In another visitation room across town, Laurel finally gets to confront Frank. His lawyer being present makes things a little difficult, but Laurel leaves with the firm conviction that Frank did not kill Wes. The rest of the Keating crew isn’t so quick to believe her, which is ridiculous because they’ve all been on this show long enough to know that it’s never the first suspect. Like, what are they even learning in law school??
Speaking of incompetent lawyers, Bonnie has failed at her 300th attempt to get Annalise out on bail. All I can say is that Paris Gellar would never have let this happen. Rather than offer sage advice or any kind of reaction at all when Bonnie calls with the news, Annalise just hangs up on her. Like, kill me for agreeing with him but maybe your dad was right?
Hell nah. Mostly because the men on this show are never right. Annalise hangs up the phone, heads straight back to her cell, and taunts the woman who already hates her into beating the shit out of her. Bonnie goes back to the judge with photos of Annalise’s busted face and gets her out on conditional bail. Come at our girl again, Mac. See what happens.
As the episode winds down, we get a lot of glimpses into everyone reacting to Annalise’s release. Oliver tells Connor that he saved a copy of her phone and I’m pretty sure Connor immediately gets a boner. Frank calls Bonnie with the news that he is his own lawyer and therefore, as co-counsel, they can speak in private. Laurel heads to Wes’ apartment, only to find it has been completely ransacked. And Annalise herself? She heads home and lies to her mother, in the midst of another episode of dimentia, telling her that all charges have been dropped. All in all, no one is coping well.
The episode ends with a big reveal: Nate was in fact the one who got Wes’s body shipped away in secret. Why would he do that, only to cause a scene about it being missing? Maybe because he had something to do with Wes’s death. The last shot shows Nate and Wes running into each other at Annalise’s, just minutes before the explosion.
Do I actually think that Nate killed Wes? No. Is this somehow a convoluted step in the journey to saving Annalise? Probably. Will Nate suffer for it in the end? Without a shadow of a doubt.