By Lexie Schapitl
I’d like to open this recap by saying something I have yet to say about HTGAWM: this week’s episode was GOOD. For the first time since the show began, I was sucked in to the storyline. For the first time, I was surprised by what happened. And I really cared. I was angry at some points, sympathetic at others. The show finally came through.
While the quality of the show was much different this week as opposed to previous episodes (in my opinion), the structure was not. You know the drill.
The Case of the Week (COTW, let’s make it a thing): Marin Trudeau, a successful businesswoman who started an investment firm from nothing, climbing her way up through the cutthroat and traditionally male-dominated field, is accused of insider trading. Think Jordan Belfort in a cheetah print dress.
Trudeau’ is accused of acquiring inside information about Edson Pharmaceuticals before buying stock in the company, and wouldn’t you know she made a sex tape with the Edson CEO? The stock was also bought using Trudeau’s unique company login code. Annalise tells her team to interview Trudeau’s employees, because “everybody hates their boss.” Trudeau insists that this was an outside hack, and is outraged when she finds out Annalise is investigating her own people. Trudeau says that Annalise doesn’t trust anyone, not her clients, her coworkers, or even her husband, and orders Annalise to start looking for outside suspects. Well, SPOILER ALERT: it turns out Annalise was right after all. Connor uses his usual tactics to discover that Trudeau’s most trusted assistant of eight years, a young, attractive man named Paxton, had conspired against her with the help of other workers in the firm. Trudeau can’t believe that Paxton would do this to her. She says she “loved him like a son,” but has a funny way of showing it: after he tries to explain that he was sick and tired of waiting on Trudeau hand and foot without ever receiving anything in return, she GOES OFF on him. She says that his family didn’t care about him, that she will prosecute the (expletive deleted) out of his case, and basically that she hopes he gets raped in prison. Apparently unable to bear these consequences, Paxton THROWS HIMSELF OUT THE SKYSCRAPER WINDOW.
My reaction: SLKDFJEMEYIOSJEMVYRRN OMG WHAT.
With the evidence of Trudeau’s innocence now “out the window” (yes this is quote Trudeau actually says in the show), Annalise’s only chance to get the case thrown out in pretrial hearings and save Marin’s firm is to find Pax’s accomplices. The culprits: a cold, and ambitious Talia and a cool and sharp Jimmy. The two hoped to frame Trudeau and start their own business with her clients after her firm tanked. As the two are walked out in cuffs, Trudeau applauds and yells, “Enjoy your stay at Club Fed!” I couldn’t help but hate her. She was selfish and greedy and mean. Maybe that’s what got here to the top. Annalise tells her that “you don’t make history being liked.” I don’t think that was much of a problem for Marin.
Meanwhile, Rebecca’s bail is set at $1 million.
She tells Annalise and Bonnie that she didn’t kill Lila, and that the prosecution coerced her into a confession. She also reveals that Wes told her Griffin would pin the crime on her, which Annalise is not happy about. She demands that Wes come clean about everything he said to her and everything he knows about the case, which he doesn’t. Annalise then kicks him off the case, and forbids him from seeing or speaking to Rebecca. Keating and co. tries to obtain Rebecca’s taped confession,
hoping to find evidence of coercion, but the prosecution won’t yet submit it to evidence.
Later, Nate searches Sam’s car, hoping to discover where he went the night Lila was killed. He is snooping through Sam’s GPS when Sam walks outside. Smooth talking detective Nate tells Sam that he was “on a night run” when he noticed Sam’s car light was on, and didn’t want his battery to die. Bonnie sees this go down, and uses this as leverage with the police department. Why is detective Leahy investigating a new suspect if Rebecca’s confession is so rock solid?
The tape does suggest that Rebecca was coerced into confessing, and is thrown out of evidence. The judge reduces bail to $100,000, and Rebecca can go home. When she does, Wes is waiting to talk to her. She needs to tell him how to get into Lila’s phone, he says. She finally trusts him now since he didn’t tell Annalise about the phone until she agreed. Wes brings the phone to Annalise, who is at first angry that he lied, but admits he did the right thing. Wes says the photos on this phone will
definitely prove Rebecca’s innocence, but we don’t learn what these alleged photos are of, until Annalise goes home and asks Sam, “Why is your penis on a dead girl’s phone?”
My reaction: SLKDFJEMEYIOSJEMVYRRN UMMMM OKAY.
Certainly an interesting way to end the episode. In our flash-forwards, Asher Millstone makes his first appearance! Turns out he isn’t dead after all. While our foursome + Rebecca is regrouping in the office after Sam’s murder, Asher comes to the firm looking for Michaela because he wants the trophy
back. Convenient timing. He doesn’t enter the building, but knocks on the door and yells that he knows they’re all in there. Later, Connor repeatedly mentions that this encounter, plus their run-in with the cops, plus all the forensic evidence they undoubtedly left at the scene, plus traffic cameras, will all implicate them in Sam’s murder. “We’re already screwed,” he says. After they burn Sam’s body, Connor hacks it to pieces while the rest bag it up for disposal, and he looks pretty sadistic while doing so. Towards the end of the episode, we see that Connor goes to Oliver’s apartment the morning after the murder, and finally breaks down at what they’ve done.
Some other takeaways:
After Annalise learns what is on Lila’s phone, she sits at her vanity and takes off her makeup and jewelry before bed. Her eyes tear as she wipes her face and removes her wig, which she apparently wears and is never explained. I’m no high school English teacher, but this was definitely a metaphor for something, and I thought it was really powerful.
Connor’s relationship with Oliver was also pretty prevalent in this episode. First Oliver refers to them as “a couple,” and is immediately mortified. When Oliver finds out about that Connor had sex with Paxton, he’s, um, not pleased – justifiably – and orders him to leave.
Speaking of sex, this episode was FULL of it. Aside from the Connor/Oliver and Connor/Paxton trysts, here are just a few lines showcasing this:
“Isn’t your ass sore?” “Who says it’s my ass?” – an exchange between Asher and Connor.
“Take some notes kids, because this is what Pilates can do for you.” – Marin commenting on her sex tape. Marin also later tells Annalise that if she had a husband who looked like Sam, she would “never be able to walk straight again. “
“You’re not here to talk about my pussies.” – a stockbroker on her figurine cat collection.
So why is Sam’s penis on a dead girl’s phone? Since when does Annalise wear a wig and does this matter to the storyline at all? Is considerate neighbors turning off car lights a common thing in the Middleton area? Tune in next week to find out!