Season 3 of How To Get Away With Murder opened with this season’s big mystery: who exactly is in that body bag?
We don’t get much to go on before we flash back to where season 2 left us: Wallace Mahoney (aka Wes’s bio-dad) getting shot right in front of him. Wes is interrogated after Wallace’s murder and lies to the police about what exactly he was doing there. He’s become an excellent liar under the tutelage of Annalise, who shows up to pick him up. They drive to some far off location to have a little chat.
Season 2 left us wondering what happened to Frank and we learn that he is the one who took Wes to see his father but he took off without a trace after the shooting (which he maybe did?) leaving Wes at the scene. Annalise tells Wes that Frank killed Wallace Mahoney for her, to make up for the past, and then Wes and Annalise both scream into the void for some much needed catharsis.
I would like to personally thank Shonda Rhimes for the gratuitous Frank Delfino shaving scene. RIP Frank’s Beard – you will be missed.
Flash to September (4 months later) and Wes is back at school. He runs into Laurel and things are super awkward—almost as awkward as the fact that they ever got it on in the first place. Wes apparently has some girlfriend named Meggy and isn’t returning Laurel’s texts. Sorry Laurel, he’s just not that into you, but that’s ok because you and Frank belong together. Flaurel 4 lyfe.
The Keating Five are reunited in class. Enter Some New Guy being a dick, telling them that their grades suck and they are only in the class because Annalise is playing favorites. The guy, who we only know now as Mr. Drake, is smug but he’s not wrong. To be fair, it’s not like Annalise gives them a lot of time to you know, STUDY while they are in law school. They are all pretty busy dealing with the absurdly ridiculous circumstances of existing in Annalise Keating’s world. Take it down a notch, Mr. Drake.
This semester Annalise is running a Criminal Law Legal Clinic where apparently they will all be practicing lawyers competing for first and second chair on real cases with real clients. As she puts it, “You’ll finally get to be me.” The class is a bit distracted, though, because behind Annalise on the board is a picture of her with the word KILLER on it. Subtle.
Annalise plays it cool and keeps it moving, telling the class about their client: Karim Assaf, an Iraqi refugee who was pulled over while driving with his two children. The police found over 2 ounces of pot in the car and Karim pled guilty. Now he is subject to deportation, and that’s where the class’s pro bono work comes in.
After class the Keating 5 approach Annalise, rightly concerned that someone is going around putting up flyers calling her a murderer. Annalise is still fronting like she’s not bothered and says, “I’ve been called worse,” which is funny because it’s probably true. The 5 are still freaked out, though, to which Annalise replies: “We’re good people now. Say it to yourself until you believe it.” The fake-it-till-you-make-it strategy has not historically worked for the Keating 5, although Wes has become pretty good at burying his feelings and lying to everyone so he might be able to make this work. The rest of them? Not so much, but I’m sure they’ll give it the old college try.
Meanwhile, Annalise has some super secret flip phone and is texting a mystery person asking for an update to which the mystery person replies: “Reliable lead. Keep phone close. XOXO.” Is Annalise texting Gossip Girl? Only time will tell.
Flash back to May: Laurel is going back to Mexico for the summer. This is right after Frank disappeared and Laurel tries to make it clear to Annalise that she’s equally as pissed at Frank as Annalise is. Annalise doesn’t seem to fully believe her and tells her straight up that her loyalties are either with her or with Frank. Laurel says that Frank is dead to her but we all know that’s a lie. Flash to the present: Laurel is calling Frank’s cell and leaving a message telling him she hates him. Yeah, that’s what I thought. Flaurel will never die.
Back in class the students are giving their proposed defenses. Wes wins OF COURSE and he is first chair with the super-annoying Mr. Drake (aka The Douchey New Guy) as second chair. After class the Keating Five gather around the campus bulletin board which is covered with Annalise KILLER flyers, to which she replies, “At least they chose a good photo.” I dream of one day being as cool as Annalise Keating. And she’s right—it’s a great picture.
Flash back to June: Connor is sunning himself on a rooftop and has mastered the art of effective bitchface with sunglasses on. It’s really impressive. I need to work on that. Connor is trying to “disconnect and be happy or something” and tells Annalise that Oliver is going to apply for a job with her. He makes her promise not to hire him, which she does, so anyone who has watched like five minutes of HTGAWM knows that she is one hundred percent going to break that promise.
In the present day, Oliver is doing his best in his interview with Annalise but she tells him she’s not hiring. For a second you think, wow, I can’t believe Annalise is keeping her promise when Oliver is so clearly useful to her, but then Oliver drops his truth bomb about sabotaging Connor’s acceptance to Stanford. Oliver wants her to know that he is capable of doing bad things, and so she gives him the job. She knows those hacker skills are valuable (and she’s already using them), and you don’t want to piss off a hacker as talented as Oliver who already knows the weaknesses in your system.
Some more fan-service to thank Shonda for: Nate massaging Annalise’s feet shirtless. Nate is trying to get her to report the KILLER flyers as harassment but she won’t because she doesn’t want anymore trouble with the police or with the school.
And now for one of the most amusing moments in the episode: Asher’s adventures in “poverty.” Flash back to June: Asher shows up at Annalise’s asking for a loan for tuition because his mom cut him off. Annalise finds it amusing that this uber privileged white boy thinks he’s struggling. In Asher’s mind, it’s partially Annalise’s fault but she drops some truth on him: “You need some money, get a job like everyone else.” Poor little rich boy. I love Asher but come on, bro. You gotta work for that money.
Back in the present and, to basically no one’s surprise given the little looks and comments earlier in the episode, Asher and Michaela are still boning and sneaking around. They are actually kind of cute together (but they are no Colliver). Asher is currently living in the dorms as an RA to work around his whole tuition money problem. Michaela sneaks a peek at his defense strategy notes while he’s not looking and then she decides to bounce. Michaela is so shady and I love it. Another A+ line is when Michaela tells Asher she’s a grown woman and won’t have dorm room sex and Asher says, “You’re just discriminating against me cause I’m poor now.” Michaela replies, “Welcome to America” and walks out. Amazing. Have I mentioned that I love Michaela Pratt? Because I do.
Wes arrives in court and he’s nervous but Annalise tells him he can’t mess it up because it’s basically unwinnable to begin with. Wes is killin it when Michaela busts into the courtroom and interrupts, which happens in like every single trial on HTGAWM. Michaela has used Asher’s idea of ineffective council and secretly recorded Karim’s original lawyer saying he doesn’t know whether or not he advised him on the risk of deportation.
They take a recess and in the hallway Annalise tells Connor that she’s hiring Oliver and throws in the whole Stanford betrayal thing while she’s at it. It’s cold as ice and classic Annalise. Connor doesn’t look particularly surprised that she has lied to him YET AGAIN but the Stanford thing is a shock.
Flash back to August: Annalise gets Michaela out of a DUI. Michaela is a mess and gets into it with her on the street. At one point she just straight up calls Annalise a bitch. Messy Michaela is some of my favorite Michaela because when she breaks down she goes all in. This is no exception. Annalise tells her that if she wants to get sloppy drunk she should just come do it at her house.
Back in court, despite the fact that Michaela’s strategy got the original criminal charges lessened, the judge still rules against Karim and orders his deportation. The saddest part, of course, is that it was his daughter’s weed and he was just covering for her the whole time. Wes is understandably upset about this outcome and snubs Laurel in the hall outside the courtroom.
At Casa Colliver, shit is about to go down. Oliver tells Connor about the job and Connor says he knows about Stanford, but Connor totally forgives Oliver for it. Instead of, I don’t know, being happy that he was forgiven for doing a shitty think, Oliver then decides to BREAK UP WITH CONNOR because he’s decided their relationship dynamic is unhealthy. Seriously, Oliver? After all you’ve been through together? How dare you? I’m not crying I just have the shattered remains of Colliver in my eyes. I refuse to believe they are fully over so let’s just ignore this for now and appreciate this tweet from Jack Falahee:
Flash back to August: Annalise meets with the new college president, played by Lauren (now Luna) Velez, who I love. We learn that the college is demoting Annalise to a research position instead of criminal law professor because of all the controversy. The new prez tells her the Keating 5 all have crap grades (all in lowest 10% of their class). For the record, here are their GPAs:
In the present day, Laurel shows up at Wes’s place to confront him about ignoring her and Wes tells her that he just can’t deal with her because she reminds him of Frank. Enter Meggy, who is totally cute and nice and must be protected from the Keating 5’s craziness at all costs.
Annalise’s super secret flip phone gets a text: “Call Me ASAP” and she calls some mystery man (a PI? Secret assassin?) who tells her he’s found Frank. Annalise is indecisive about what she wants to do, which gives Frank time to ninja his way into the room and attack the mystery man. He drops the phone and we don’t know whether Frank kills him or not. It’s Frank, though, so probably.
Cut to two months later (the future): the mystery body from the opening scene being taken away on a stretcher. Annalise runs to see and totally loses it when she sees who it is. Also, her house is on fire in the background. Here we go, Season 3! The hook for this season is that each week viewers will find out one person who is NOT the dead body, not that I need a hook to watch this show. I can’t get enough of these dysfunctional messes. See you next week!