Things Get Hairy For Annalise On How To Get Away With Murder
Tonsorial symbol alert!
For the first time since the pilot, really, every major character gets something interesting to do this week. Even Michaela. Especially Michaela. And that's how you know we're on the other side of the mirror. Which...is a pretty good image to describe Annalise's hair choices in prison, since she hacks off her weave with a contraband straight razor. Whatever remains on her scalp is an obvious symbol for what's she going through emotionally. But where does her crisis fit in among the rest of this week's interesting shenanigans?
Aww...hey buddy! Asher's back to being comic relief, puppy-dogging to Oliver that he'll give the guy a hug if he needs one. Because nothing says "I'll help you deal with the revelation that you're now waist-deep in our criminal activity" like a bro-slap embrace. Equally goofy and charming is his seduction of Michaela at the end of her long day bitching people out. He puts on a fake German accent, plays Enigma's breakthrough hit from 1990, and offers her a back rub. She accepts, and it's very sweet. None of this is essential to the story, but it gives such a nice texture that I'd never cut it out.
- Oliver, Connor, and Dead Wes
Oliver and Connor are spooning again! After weeks of being pissed at him, I guess I'm ready to let Oliver off the hook. It helps that Connor remains the most morally conflicted member of the Murder Gang. Seeing Oliver share his pain (along with some of his culpability) naturally makes me want to root for them again. They're both criminals now, and they both have the decency to feel bad about it. Ergo, I wish them happiness in a luxury apartment.
PLUS, Oliver hacks into the D.A.'s computers -- because hacking anything is no problem for his vaguely defined genius! -- and discovers that Johnny Law is ready to pin every murder from this series on Annalise, including Rebecca. That's some key intel that gets a reaction from a lot of folks. And speaking of causing a reaction: Flashbacks show us Dead Wes calling Frank out for being Annalise's toady. This gets Frank so ruffled that he admits to killing Dead Wes's dad. Oops! No wonder Frank makes a panicked call to Bonnie a few minutes later, then follows Wes on her orders. Way to set the wheels in motion for your own demise, dude!
- Bonnie, Nate, Laruel
Because Bonnie is Bonnie, she spends a requisite amount of time whining about how much she hates herself, but in her attempts to get Annalise out of prison, she also uses the dirt that Oliver digs up to her advantage. The D.A. is forced into showing her hand regarding the many crimes Annalise is being investigated for, and the Murder Gang circles the wagons when they realize how many hammers are about to fall. This all positions Bonnie to strike with some legal jujitsu later.
Meanwhile, Nate subtly interrogates Laurel about how Dead Wes didn't actually die in the fire, which convinces him that Frank didn't kill the kid. I still think Nate is going to end up dead before long, but it's nice to watch him be good at his job for a minute. And it's nice to see Laurel piece together Frank's innocence as well. And then turn around and pretend like he's guilty anyway in a tearful, false confession to the cops. She does this because Bonnie convinces her it's the right thing to do. The wheels are going around so much they might fly off the bus.
Since she's in prison, Annalise is largely segregated from the rest of the crew, save Bonnie. Instead, she's learning to live without the trappings of her former success and power, and we can see that's she's still got some fight in spite of it all. Sure, she's broken and depressed and grieving, but she's also too tough to quit. That's why she stands up to prison bullies and keeps scheming ways to get herself out of jail. Like I said last week, the show could just be about this, and I'd watch.
Frank is obviously lying to the cops about his involvement in Wes's death, but to what extent? That's one of the mysteries we'll be following to the end of the season, I guess. In the meantime, his stature as a deeply wounded (yet deeply criminal) survivor is good stuff. Like Connor, he still has something of a moral compass -- and an obvious love for Bonnie, if no one else -- that makes it hard for me to dismiss him as a brutal thug. I've also got to give props to a guy who can mess with the police so successfully. By the time he's indicted as Annalise's co-conspirator in Wes's death, it's clear he's got the cops chasing their tails. It seems like he's also given Annalise the legal standing she needs to eventually get them both freed on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct.
I'm not sure where Michaela's badassery came from, but here we are. Maybe she turned tiger because her mother reminded her of the horrible life she left behind, and now she'll do anything to keep from sliding back down? Whatever the case, with Annalise out of the picture and Bonnie flitting in and out, she casts herself as the hard-nosed hussy who is going to keep her stupid classmates from fucking it all up. Whether she's barking threats at the university president or telling Oliver that he WILL be hacking the D.A. whether he likes it or not, she is the boss who can floss. When Connor compares her to Mussolini, she replies, "Mussolini got things done, didn't he?" OKAY THEN, HONEY! Guess she'll be on the president's cabinet soon!