By Lexie Schapitl
Before I dive in to what happened on this week’s episode of HTGAWM, I would just like to say that if have to see that Middleton cheerleader flying through the air in slow motion one more time I might have an aneurism.
In this episode’s COTW 17-year-old Ryan Remini is on trial for killing his father, Anthony, a respected police officer but also an abusive alcoholic. After years of watching his father beat his mother in drunken rage, Ryan “couldn’t do nothing anymore,” so he got his father’s gun and shot him in the back. And he was happy he did. “Things are better now that he’s dead. Ryan said. In a case where the facts are clear, the defense must play to the jury’s emotions. Selecting jurors sympathetic to the defendant and his mother is their best (and only) chance of winning.
While I am personally a fan of the COTW structure (it was one of my favorite aspects of Scandal before the show spiraled into insanity), this week’s case was particularly irrelevant. The most notable moment of the trial was when during closing arguments, Annalise tells the jury that “what happens behind closed doors of a marriage can be shocking.” Holy, parallelism, Batman!
Following last week’s Connor-athon, this week’s episode was very Laurel-focused. She badly wants to win this case so she can feel like she is doing something good for once, instead of just getting bad guys off on technicalities. She wants to win so badly, in fact, that she drops some information about jury nullification – which occurs when jurors acquit a defendant even though they know he is legally at fault – on a courtroom bench for a soccer mom juror to stumble upon. This could get Laurel fired and Annalise disbarred, but since the information cannot be linked back to the defense, the judge rules a mistrial. Ryan’s case is moved to juvenile court, and the Reminis can move on with their lives.
The Laurel-Frank storyline is also prevalent. After frank sees Laurel drop off the nullification info, but doesn’t rat her out to Annalise, Laurel is angry because she wanted credit for saving their case. The two argue, and then promptly start making out. The classic Fight/Kiss TV convention. However, Laurel pulls away, says she has a boyfriend, and runs off to have sex with Khan. But Khan probably wasn’t the one on her mind.
This week’s episode also included the aftermath of Sam-Lila Sextgate 2014. Wes doesn’t understand why Annalise is reluctant to introduce the penis pics into evidence. Isn’t this exactly what she taught them, to introduce a new suspect?
We also see the confrontation that followed Annalise’s closing line last week. Sam says he lied about the affair because he was afraid she would think he hurt Lila. He claims that Lila didn’t mean anything to him, that it was just about sex. When Annalise questions if she means anything to him, Sam responds that “this was not us.” “You were never just some affair,” he says. Apparently Sam cheated on his first wife with Annalise, and just couldn’t shake the habit. Annalise is enraged, and orders Sam to get out. As he runs down the stairs, we see that Bonnie was in the foyer and heard the whole thing. Because of course she was.
Later, Annalise gets drunk and goes to see Nate, but he wants nothing to do with her, since he believes she got him fired (dammit, Bonnie). She explains that she would never do that, but he doesn’t care. He decides now would be a good time to tell her that Sam wasn’t actually in New Haven when Lila was killed. Sam may be a cheater and a murderer, but Nate is kind of a jerk, too.
Annalise brings Rebecca in “for a psych evaluation with Sam,” (read: to see what Rebecca knows about Sam and Lila.) It turns out not much: Lila only referred to Sam as “Mr. Darcy,” a la Pride and Prejudice. After the evaluation, Rebecca goes upstairs to use the bathroom.
“Why would I mention that detail?” you ask. Because while upstairs, Rebecca notices the wallpaper in the Keating bedroom is the same wallpaper seen in Lila’s sexts. Wes returns to his apartment to find that Rebecca has BOLTED. When he calls, she tells him to go see for himself, and that he can’t trust Annalise. They’re in on it together, she says.
Wes returns to the Keating household and casually makes his way into their bedroom. Annalise is understandably shocked when she, without her wig or any makeup on, symbolically at her most vulnerable, finds him there. Wes realizes that Sam is Mr. Darcy, and that Annalise had lied to him in order to protect her husband.
In our flash-forwards, we see more of the Laurel-Frank storyline. He calls her as the foursome is hiding behind a hill with Sam’s body. Michaela is furious that Laurel told Frank about the mess they’re in, but Laurel didn’t tell Frank; she just slept with him, and that’s why he’s calling. He calls again, and when Laurel answers he begs for her forgiveness and says he knows he messed up. Later, as Michaela has yet another mental breakdown, Laurel volunteers to return the VIP trophy/murder weapon to Asher. But instead, she takes it to Frank’s apartment and asks for his help.
Where did Rebecca run off to? Now that Wes, Michaela, Connor, and Laurel have each been the focus of one episode, is next week Asher’s time to shine? Is it weird that I am actively rooting for Laurel and Frank? Tune in next week to find out.