How To Get Away With Murder S1E12: “When In Doubt, Shut Your Mouth”


By Lexie Schapitl

Before I dive into this week’s episode, I’d like to address the inconsistency of success in TV murders. (Warning: Spoilers to follow) What I mean by that is, how does the “Scandal” gang kill people and dispose of their bodies on the reg without raising the slightest suspicion, while police find Sam Keating’s body in approximately three days? Remember when Jake killed those reporters and then literally dug a random hole and buried them in the middle of the day? How did that work? Or what about this week’s bloodbath, complete with head sawing? The magic of B613? OK, Shonda. Don’t even get me started on the body melting of “Breaking Bad.”

Photo courtesy of ABC

Anyway, Sam’s body has been identified, and no one takes the news very well. Wes, Rebecca, Laurel, Connor and Michaela, who have been growing increasingly paranoid, struggle to sit back and act natural while police investigate. When the cops arrive at the Keating house to tell Annalise and Hannah, Annalise has virtually no reaction, while Hannah completely loses it. She breaks down crying and yells for the police to arrest
Annalise. “She is a murderer,” she says. “She killed my brother.”

Annalise, on the other hand, shows little emotion about Sam’s death. She continues to teach, and takes on a COTW (Throughout the episode, the team defends a mobster who has been charged with trafficking heroin. This case was literally so irrelevant that I’m not even going to describe it for you.) At one point, a cop questions her stoicism and she responds, “You gonna arrest me because my grief doesn’t look the way you want it?” Yes, people deal with grief in different ways. A lack of visible emotion in no way signals a lack of sadness or feeling, and it definitely doesn’t signal involvement in some sort of conspiracy. Except when it does.

In class, Annalise tells her students that when it comes to prosecution, anything they say truly can and will be used against them in the court of law. The Fifth Amendment was designed to protect us, so “when in doubt, shut your mouth.” So that’s essentially what the gang does. They can hardly even talk to each other now, since their phone calls can be logged and used as evidence.

Hannah is convinced (correctly) that Annalise was involved in Sam’s murder. She goes to the police station and tells a detective that Annalise had lied to them about Lila’s affair. Annalise killed Sam, and Nate helped, Hannah says. The cops just need to search the house to prove it. While at the station, Hannah sees the photos of Sam’s remains. The sight of her brother’s charred and dismembered body only makes her more motivated to find the truth.

Photo courtesy of ABC

She testifies in court that Annalise had threatened Sam’s life before. Annalise sends Bonnie to challenge her claims, and Bonnie fails in spectacular fashion. The courtroom literally laughs at her. It was sad. Bonnie has sort of become the Garry Gergich of this show. Earlier, Frank found her crying over Sam’s death and basically says get the hell over it because “the
guy was a liar and a killer.” He’s right, but still.

When the cops arrive to search the house, the tension between Annalise and Hannah finally boils over. Hannah looks on while cops search for incriminating evidence against her sister-in-law. At one point, the two argue and Annalise delivers this line: “Incest is best, put your brother to the test.” Zing.

But the cops don’t find anything. A flashback reveals that Annalise scrubbed the place clean (remind anybody else of “Gone Girl”?). Annalise and Frank share a look of relief. Bonnie sees this, and starts to piece things together. The missing rug, the broken trophy, the students’ strange behavior and Frank’s insensitivity all make sense now.

Everyone is relieved that the cops don’t find anything, but Connor is still growing more and more paranoid. Annalise calls him to her office to talk, and assures him that she is going to protect them. Connor says she wants to trust her, but is frustrated that she tells them nothing and expects them to sit idly by. Annalise understands, but reminds him that they are in an impossible situation and he has no other choice. “I’m your only option here,” she says. “The odds are better with me.”

Later, Bonnie confronts Annalise. She’s not angry about Sam’s murder, but she is concerned that the kids are going to get them caught. “You’re not going to get away with this, not if you keep avoiding the police,” she says. “Don’t let them ruin you. Annalise thinks this over, and makes a call. (At this point, my notes read “Oh HELL no don’t turn in the kids.” )

The police had tested the foliage found in Sam’s remains and determined that they came from the woods behind campus. A ring had also been found in this area. But it wasn’t Michaela’s ring; it was Sam’s. The one Wes had returned to Annalise. Frank had planted the ring back at the scene of the crime, and the police had found fingerprints on it (At this point my notes read “Noooo don’t frame Frank”).

Photo courtesy of In the Frame

But flashbacks show that Frank had also planted those fingerprints by transferring them from a glass CSI-style. The fingerprints were Nate’s, and he is arrested for Sam’s murder. I’m assuming that Annalise has some master plan to save Nate, but what if she doesn’t? What if this was her desperate attempt to save herself and the kids?

Hannah still believes Annalise is involved, and will probably do everything in her power to prove it. The episode closes with Annalise crying in her bed, calling her mother for help.

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