By Lexie Schapitl
I was right last week in predicting that this episode would be Asher’s time to shine, as both the COTW and our flash forwards focus on Asher and his father’s legal history. The episode opened with Asher dancing alone in his apartment, drinking beer and throwing money in the air.
During class, Keating gets a phone call informing her that her request for an appeal has been granted. She immediately dismisses class but asks the “Keating Five,” to stick for this week’s assignment. But the Keating Five is down to four for the moment, as Wes is noticeably absent. More to follow on this.
Twenty-one years ago, David Allen, a black man, was convicted of murdering his white girlfriend, Tricia Stanley, solely on circumstantial evidence. Annalise said this case was the first time she realized “the justice system doesn’t always reward those who tell the truth, but those who have the power to create their own,” Now, Allen is on Death Row and will be executed in less than two weeks unless the Keating team can get the conviction overturned.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am against the death penalty.
From the looks of it, Shonda Rhimes is probably against the death penalty, too. This entire episode could have been one big commercial for the Innocence Project.
The team goes to work reviewing Allen’s original case, looking for anything that could bolster their defense. Annalise badly wants to win this one.
The original prosecutor tells Connor and Michaela why he left the case mid trial: he received a tip about perjured testimony, and thought there might be racially motivated pressure to convict Allen. He reported this to the judge, but the judge ignored it. That judge would be none other than William Millstone, Asher’s father. Asher insists that this can’t be true, but Annalise isn’t so sure, and tells him that he “wouldn’t be the first person in the world disappointed by your father.”
Asher begs his father to tell him they’re wrong, that his success wasn’t built on a lie that has fatal consequences for an innocent man. Papa Millstone orders him to get out, calling him an “ungrateful little twit” after everything he has done for him.
Asher returns to the Keating office with one helpful bit of information and two demands: his father’s name stays out of the case, and he gets the trophy. Annalise agrees, as long as his information is solid. Art Truco, now a state senator, needed someone to lie in the Allen case. At the time, he was a wealthy developer who was raising prices to keep poor people – specifically poor black people – out of his buildings, and Tricia Stanley was leading the charge against him. Linda Morelli, the key witness in the original Allen case who claimed she saw Allen running from Stanley’s apartment with a gun, lived in one of Truco’s buildings, and was facing an eviction suit. Days after she testified, the suit was dropped and she never paid the rent she owed. Annalise claims there is sufficient evidence to suggest Morelli’s testimony was perjured, so the court calls Art Truco to the stand.
And to put it simply, Annalise GOES OFF. She accuses Truco of having Tricia killed, blackmailing a witness into perjury, and being an all-around racist a-hole. Truco obviously denies it all, but Keating keeps yelling. The chief justice demands order in the court.
When she finally simmers down, the chief justice reprimands Keating, but says that the original case was now rooted in singular testimony that the court no longer has faith in. They have no choice but to vacate the charges and open an investigation into the original case. David Allen is a free man.
This week in the Lila Stanguard Trial Saga, Wes is angry at Annalise for lying about Sam’s involvement with the case. Annalise goes to his apartment and asks what he wants. Easy: find Rebecca and bring her back, whatever it takes, or he will tell the police about Sam and Lila. Annalise asks Frank to plant Lila’s cell phone in Griffin O’Riley’s car and to track down Rebecca wherever she is hiding out. He does this easily. The police find the phone and consequently the pictures of Sam, and all of a sudden Griffin has a really strong motive. As they watch the local news discuss this development, Annalise asks Sam if he likes “the new wallpaper.” She cries as she tells him that she needs him and loves him.
Wes goes to Rebecca and asks her to come home. Problem solved. But not really, because it turns out the police had been tailing O’Riley, and they have footage of Frank planting the phone in his car.
Speaking of Frank, this week Bonnie tells Laurel to get it together and stop leading Frank on. It’s not fair to him, and he’s going to end up hurt. Laurel understands, and tells Frank she’s not into him, a sad moment for all of us on Team Flaurel.
In our flash forwards, we see Asher first realize that Michaela has stolen the trophy from him. He goes to the Keating office to look for them, as we’ve seen 48372625274949 times before. Towards the end of the episode, Asher is in bed, angrily looking through pictures of the rest of the gang at the bonfire, when it is revealed that he is in bed with BONNIE. UMM WHAT. Too weird for life and I hate everything about this. Then Bonnie gets a frantic phone call from Annalise asking if Bonnie “is with him.” Who? Sam, not Asher. Bonnie says she’s not, and asks what’s going on. We see Annalise standing in her office on the phone as she tells Bonnie “something terrible has happened.”
Will Annalise finally start appearing in our flash forwards? How is Annalise going to get Frank out of this jam? Is Bosher going to be a thing (because if so I quit this blog)? Tune in next week to find out.