Photo: Nicole Wilder / ABC

Whose Show is This, Anyway?

After going from fake to fierce last week, Annalise fades back into the background again. Boo.

This week's legal distraction comes in the form of a mom-protecting teen who shot and killed his abusive alcoholic father. The show doesn't delve as deeply into the clients' lives as in previous weeks, nor do we get a lot of the scooping and sleuthing that the interns are typically tasked with. Each is assigned a pet juror on which to spy to help the defense get a leg up, but their shenanigans are relatively tame this time around. Frankly, the TV screen had scarcely dimmed before I forgot about the trial specifics entirely. My main take-away from this week's case is how both the jury and the angry police buddies who turn up for the trial all have a laughably United Colors of Benetton vibe to them.

Regardless of what went down in the courthouse (or, Annalise's house, for that matter), this episode is all about one particular intern who's proving to be a sleeper hit.

  1. Laurel
    I like a girl who hand-doodles organizational charts. What better way to suss out their team's in-trial odds than to sketch out an itemized graph detailing each of the jury's particulars? Her anal-retentive attention to detail speaks to me. And you'd never know there's the mind of a covert bad-ass lurking behind those freakishly horizontal eyebrows of hers. We get to see a bit of Laurel's backbone as she stands up to Professor Keating in class, puts her foot down with the skeazy higher-up who's trying to take advantage of her, and lays her mack down on her new older, more distinguished boyfriend. And in the computer lab, no less! Most importantly, her "showing off" gets the murder case thrown out of court (even though the "doo-doo-doo...I'm just gonna leave this game-changing document on this bench right here" clincher is beyond cartoonish).

    If I had to ding her for anything, it'd be forgetting to turn off her cell phone ringer while disposing of a dead body. (I mean, if you can remember to do it at the movies....) Oh, and carrying around a bloody murder weapon in her Goyard tote. Those bags cost a grip!

  2. Bonnie
    She's on the back-burner much of this episode. Bonnie does, however, get called up to have Annalise bust her on two different serious "I know you know I know" = offenses. Through it all, she wisely keeps her yap shut. She saves her sharp tongue to deliver the best line of the night later: when Frank feigns innocence about protecting jury-tampering Laurel, Bonnie shoots him a "Bitch, please." Bonnie clearly has as little tolerance for her man candy officemate as the rest of us.
  3. Rebecca
    Early in the episode, she's super-chill, considering she's the #1 suspect in a murder case. She's all pizza, piercings, and poseur goth makeup. Putting on her best Monster High doll facial expression and giving off as much insouciance as she can muster, she busts into Wes's apartment, takes his food without asking, and still doesn't give him his due credit for saving her sorry ass. Aren't some sort of sexual favors in order at this point? I'm sure he thinks so.

    All the same, Rebecca's up from the bottom ranks this week for finally exhibiting some common sense. When she finds out that Annalise's husband is the dick pic guy from the dead girl's phone and that Annalise is well aware of that fact, she does what any right-thinking person would do: she skips bail and skips town. If the good guys -- the ones who supposedly have your back when it's against the wall -- are shady, don't sit around gawping and asking questions. That's something slow-blinking Wes would do. No, you bounce first and ask questions later. That's just sound judgment.

  4. Asher
    Predictably, I'm a sucker for dude's one-liners. This week's laugh-snort comes courtesy of "Let it rain, Hairy Guy. Let it rain," followed by his lone heartfelt tear when their client gets the best possible outcome. I can't wait to see the interior of Asher's apartment in future episodes. I wonder how many neon beer signs and Croakies there are hanging in each room.
  5. Connor
    He keeps it in his pants this week. Instead of getting laid to get leads, he relies on social media to get the dirt he needs. He uses a juror's penchant for oversharing on casual sex site Humpr to get him thrown off the jury. A tip of the hat to you, Connor, for being as smart as you are slutty. You let your swiping finger do all the work and got results without having to take a shower or a walk of shame afterward.
  6. Annalise
    She's soaking her troubles in booze, flubbing her cases (as usual), running back to Nate (as usual), and can't make hide nor hair of what to do with her Sam situation. She finds out the truth about her husband's philandering (and we find out that his wandering, er...eye is what led to this, his second marriage, in the first place). She deals with him being a man ho and possible murderer by angrily making him sleep on the couch. Right. And then she puts the two most likely murder suspects -- Sam and Rebecca -- alone in a room together. In her house. Even this episode's two wigless scenes don't garner enough goodwill to seal up the patience that I'm hemorrhaging this point. According to next week's teaser, we're promised that her next move is "just wow." Could it please be: get a grip?
  7. Wes
    Peering around neighbors' open apartment doors and breaking into other people's houses in the middle in the night while wearing a hoodie (also, while being black)? You might want to rethink that, slim.
  8. Frank
    He made the list this week, though only barely. He's creeping toward relevance via his newfound Laurel devotion. His "I'll do anything, please!" pleading over the phone has piqued my interest about what's got him so whipped. There's obviously more than just sex going on between them and now I kind of want to know what it could be.
  9. Mikaela
    The "prom queen" is stuck pulling up the rear here, as ever. She frets about homework deadlines and later continues to flip about losing her engagement ring. But there's no way the writers can, in good conscience, keep her this lame for long. Right? She's the Daphne in this Scooby Gang, but I'm pulling for her to be more than just a pretty face at some point soon.
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