Photo: Nicole Wilder / ABC

Dead Girls Tell No (Useful) Tales

Yeah, we know she was pregnant; that was last week's bombshell.

We got another red herring case this week. It's a sleepwalking pill-popper with a dead nanny on her hands. She's manic, Type A and possessed of some truly lousy family members, none of whom seem to care whether or not she goes to prison. There's some implied statutory rape between the nanny and the client's teenage son, an unconvincing, out-of-place Crowded House poster in said teen's room, a pivotal mention of "Tricky Mona" (which I hadn't thought about since my eighth-grade health class) and a spiteful cheating husband who's actually behind the killing.

This all serves to highlight the "self-serving, possibly nefarious husband vs. long-suffering wife" dynamic that's plaguing Annalise. (Never mind the fact that she, too, is a cheater. Are we just glossing over that now?) Sam's in her head, big-time, and she's shouting at, chewing out, or firing anyone who crosses her path.

Oh, and we get to meet Lila Stangard. In her pre-corpse flashback, we see her having the world's most dysfunctional rooftop slumber parties with Rebecca. She's the bubbly good girl (we know this because she wears white, contrasting with Rebecca's bad-girl blacks) with cracked priorities. She shares her home-wrecking secrets, the girls snort lines, there's giggling, crying, and general female bonding. You know, typical undergrad stuff.

  1. Bonnie
    First off, I was remiss in not saying how much I love that weird orange thrift-store sweater she wore in the final scene of last week's episode/first scene of this week's. But that's not why she tops this list. (Seriously, though, I would kill it in that sweater!) Bonnie bears the full brunt of Annalise's scornful wrath, taking insults like "pathetic" and "mousy" on the chin. The boss lady is losing her edge at work and losing her marbles at home and somebody has to pay.

    So, it's revealed that Bonnie knew more about the Lila-Sam tryst than she originally let on. When she allows Sam to scoop her up and kiss away her worries about his possible involvement in the murder, I want to smack her upside her head. But then, she turns right around and confesses it all to Annalise, like a good little foot soldier…only to have her groveling, tear-stained moment of fragility snuffed out with a heartless firing. Day-um, Annalise! It's like that? That girl was on her skinny little knees for you! Hmph. Bonnie deserves better and very much seems like the type to snap, an inevitability for which I want a front-row seat.

  2. Mary Walker
    The evil mother-in-law. How trite. I loved it all the same! Mikaela's finally getting more of a backstory, albeit one that proves she's loathed by everyone in both her professional and her personal life. Mary is the prenup-wielding mother of the groom and Lynn Whitfield plays her to fang-baring perfection. The adversaries meet up in a restaurant for an airing of grievances, which gave off strong "Scandal sloppy seconds" vibes. Circling her wagons around the family fortune, Mary looks ready to stab defenseless little Mikaela, either with those eye daggers of hers, or with a straight-up steak knife. And when the simple-ass girl tries to raise her hand to the riled-up Mama Bear? Mary barely flenches. "Oh, you wanna play!" I laughed as hard at the deflection as I did at the crumpled look of defeat on Mikaela's face.
  3. Annalise
    Silent rage is her motivation this week. Slow-trickling tears and body tremors paired with measured words uttered through clenched teeth make for a woman whose actions are worth every second of airtime. Too bad she gets too little of it.

    She shares the secrets of Sam's Maury moment with Wes and cautions him not to tell Rebecca. I choose to believe there was method in her madness. I mean, even Wes couldn't believe she'd divulged this valuable information to him. If this doesn't turn out to be some calculated move on her part, I'm going to have to seriously reassess my allegiances on this show.

    My favorite one-liner of the night? Her real-talk reaction to finding out her husband had knocked up the murder victim: "You should've worn a condom." Ha! #WhoKilledSam? I don't know. Tricky Mona, maybe?

  4. Nate
    "Really, this is just me helping myself," he says, explaining his involvement in this whirlwind of WTF-ery. Nate's job got tanked behind Annalise and all her craziness and he is not best pleased. So, he's pulling Rebecca's strings, using her to get the dirt he needs to…well, it's still not clear. But I'll continue holding out hope that whatever he's plotting, it'll be something snapworthy.
  5. Asher
    At this point, it just feels like reflex, putting this dude relatively high up in the ranking. He basically performs two functions this week: groove-thang-shaking and bro-slang-slanging. While his home-alone dancing moves are truly the gifts that keep on giving, his "off the heezy fo' sheezy" one-liners are starting to wear thin. I'll attempt to love him through the schlock, but my fandom is not a renewable resource.
  6. Mikaela
    Welcome up from the dregs, girl. It's about time! You are here for saying what I've been thinking about that internship all along: "Anyone else feel like we do all her work for her?" She's paying all that tuition money and she actually wants to spend her time studying. This computes. After all, she needs to hit the books, considering she gets schooled on legal matters by a Court TV-watching granny this week. Let's face it, though. The real reason she's been elevated this week is because she's the catalyst for introducing Lynn Whitfield's character.
  7. Sam
    Has he ever even made it onto the list before? He's always seemed like a non-entity to me, what with him being "dead" and all. Plus, he's not at all a convincing Lothario, so my mind tends to block him rather than try to comprehend him. But when he kicks Rebecca to the curb with a succinct "You're welcome here when Annalise invites you. Otherwise…" he finally makes it onto my radar.
  8. Frank
    His job description is no less clear. If Annalise was gonna fire anybody, it should've been him. His nymphomania finds him making backseat booty calls, initiating hook-ups in client's houses, sending racy cell-phone pics, and getting caught with Laurel when his girlfriend unexpectedly turns up. Ruh-roh! Without him, though, there'd be no steaminess this week, as Connor's sitting this one out.
  9. Laurel
    The player gets played. If she has any sense at all, she'll pretend all this Frank nonsense never happened and go crawling back to Kan.
  10. Connor
    His high point was obtaining a copy of the upcoming exam, oh so Zack-Morris-ishly. His low point was Annalise spitting, "Are you good for anything? Or are you only good at getting evidence when you're screwing it out of someone?" A.) Writers, get out of my head. And, B.) The answers are "no" and "yes," this week at least.
  11. Wesbecca
    Wake me when they conquer their trust issues and start doing regular couple things like bickering about that ugly plaid shirt he's always wearing, or how all her friends are either drug dealers or dead.
Readers liked this episode
What did you think?