Guess who’s not dead?
In the first reveal of the season, which came at the very end of this week’s episode, we learn that Oliver survives the mysterious house fire at Annalise’s. For some reason—and it may or may not be a legit one—the cops think Annalise burned her own house down. In typical Annalise fashion, she screams at the cops to arrest her, and they do, but not before she slips Oliver a phone and tells him to wipe it clean. At the beginning of the episode I thought it was crazy she was a suspect; by the end, I think she may have actually burned down her own damn house. But this is why we love Annalise Keating, amirite?
Back in the present day, Annalise checks her super secret flip phone while Nate is in the shower. She calls the PIs number but Frank picks up. As I suspected last week, Frank a totally killed that dude in the hotel. He looks pretty broken up about it, though, which is very un-Frank. She almost gets busted on the phone by Nate who wants her to join him in the shower but Annalise does NOT have her priorities straight because she takes a call instead.
The college president’s office calls and they want to see Annalise ASAP to talk about the “killer” flyers situation, which is getting enough publicity to concern the college. After the meeting with President Hargrove, Annalise runs into Wes and scene gets this week’s most bizarre scene award. Out of nowhere, Annalise asks Wes to move in with her. Their relationship is and has always been so weird (mostly because Annalise is forever making it weird) and this isn’t lost on Wes. He uses the fact that he has a girlfriend as an excuse but Annalise doesn’t take poor Meggy any more seriously than the rest of the group. My best guess is that Annalise is scared that Frank is coming for her, but she has Nate so why ask Wes? He’s a lovely person, but not the most intimidating guy. There’s a reason they all call him the puppy. I’ll just chalk it up to the fact that the Annalise/Wes dynamic is bizarre and keep it movin.
Laurel goes to see Bonnie “to say hi” but she’s there for information on her two favorite men: Wes and Frank. She wants to find out if Wes is a subject in the Mahoney case (he’s not—Eve is on it) and she wants to know if Bonnie has heard from Frank. Annalise comes home and can’t be bothered with either of them. She goes upstairs and smashes the super secret flip phone.
Frank looks like someone put his face through a meat grinder but he still manages to cover up the PI’s murder. Step one of that is, apparently, DRIVING HIMSELF INTO A TREE. From there it’s pretty simple—drag dead man from trunk to front seat, bash dead man’s face into steering wheel, put phone in pocket, light car on fire, and BOOM. It was pretty great to watch Frank doing some of the dirt we always knew he was off doing somewhere.
At the clinic, Connor tells the rest of the 5 that he got dumped and predictably they all think he cheated. Connor seems to think that it will all blow over in a few days, which considering the fact that Colliver is still living together and walking to class together like nothing happened, seems reasonable.
This week’s clinic case is that of Irene Crawley, a woman convicted of killing her husband after years of domestic abuse. She is up for parole and it’s up to the members of the clinic to get her out. The Five all meet with Irene and she chooses Connor, who didn’t want the case or really even try. He thought it was a lost cause because Irene refuses to talk to the parole board about her abuse, which is the one thing that will get her out of prison.
Annalise asks Nate to help her find Frank. She admits that she’s worried he’ll come back. We learn that Sam was his doctor in prison, which is an interesting piece of information that I, for one, would like to know more about. Annalise isn’t fully forthcoming with Nate but she tells him that she knows Frank is capable of violence. Nate agrees to help her track him down.
Asher and the group make an “AK’s Enemies List”: Catherine Hapstall, Levi aka Eggs 911, ADA Denver, Rebecca, Frank, Emily Sinclair Relative, the entire DA’s office, All the Cops, Hannah Keating. I can’t decide whether I like “All the Cops” or “the entire DA’s office” better. The group suspects poor Meggy for no discernible reason and wants Oliver to hack her. Wes has already checked her out and she’s clean, but the rest don’t know this.
Bonnie tells Annalise that she checked Laurel’s phone logs and she has been calling Frank, to which Annalise replies, “I hate them. Every single one of their bitch ass lying faces.” That’s my favorite AK line of the season so far and I plan on using it frequently in my day-to-day life. Bonnie says she is going to “take care of it” and now I’m slightly worried for Laurel.
At Irene’s parole hearing, the three old white men Annalise predicted would be presiding over the hearing are at the front of the room, pressing Irene for details of the abuse. She isn’t forthcoming and Connor is not keeping it together well. The parole board is questioning the abuse and victim blaming Irene and Connor gets heated. It’s not helping her case and they take a break. Connor is totally losing it but Annalise won’t help him so he calls Asher for reinforcements.
Asher doesn’t pick up because he’s a bit busy with Michaela. He’s still pushing for going public but Michaela drops some truth bombs on him: she will never date him because he is a privileged white boy who is basically the opposite of her in every conceivable way and she doesn’t have time to strip him of all his “terrible white habits.” She tells him he’s a meat stick or he’s nothing, and Asher takes what he can get. Later on, Asher tells Michaela that she’s wrong about him, that they are actually more alike than she thinks, and he’s more than a meat stick. It looks like he might be starting to get through to her, though she may not admit it.
Connor is back with Irene trying to get her to talk about the abuse and he decides to tell her that he KILLED SOMEONE AND GOT AWAY WITH IT—quite the risky strategy, dude. Also, AK is listening at the door, and we all know how she feels about liabilities. Annalise rips Connor a new one for what he said but the strategy actually bears fruit; Irene opens up to the parole board and talks about her relationship with her husband. It is a powerful, chilling, heartbreaking story (performed beautifully by guest star Amy Madigan) and it visibly affects everyone in the room—even her sister-in-law, who is there to speak against her parole. After some convincing by Annalise in the bathroom, Irene’s sister-in-law (who was herself abused by her brother) decides not to stand in the way of Irene’s parole and she is set free.
The high from this victory doesn’t last long for either Annalise or Connor. Annalise basically gets fired—rather, she is suspended “for her own safety” while the college deals with the whole “killer” flyers business. Annalise calls bullshit and threatens her own bad publicity and a lawsuit.
Back at Casa Colliver, we get another another heartbreaking scene. I swear, this is like the never-ending breakup. Oliver is cooking for Connor, and wants to celebrate is victory with champagne, which is weird because HE JUST BROKE UP WITH HIM AND THESE SEEM LIKE PRETTY BOYFRIENDY THINGS TO DO, OLIVER, BUT OKAY. WHATEVER. Connor thinks they are gonna get back together (as would anyone in this situation) and he kisses Oliver.
Just when I think all is going to be right in Colliver land again, I get another gut punch. Apparently the whole home-cooked meal and champagne and celebration thing is not what Connor thinks it is. No, Oliver is trying to do for himself now and wants to be alone. At no point does he ever actually act like he wants to be alone, but that’s what he says will make him happy so poor, heartbroken Connor agrees and (finally) decides to move out. Connor goes to Michaela’s to crash and catches her with Asher. Guess that answers the question of whether or not Michaela and Asher will stay on the DL.
Apparently, Bonnie is a pool shark, which shouldn’t surprise me but it does. She’s hanging out with Laurel, chatting about Frank, and Bonnie tells her to stop calling him. Laurel admits she loved Frank (DUH) and Bonnie tells her that she didn’t really know him. Laurel admits to knowing Frank killed Lila and Bonnie says the episode’s titular line, “There are worse things than murder.”
Annalise gets some more bad news from Nate. Even though he previously told Annalise that Frank was in Wichita, Nate has discovered that Frank has been faking his IP address. It’s ok, though, because Nate is gonna be her bodyguard. I can think of worse situations to be in.
Finally, Laurel ends up in cahoots with Bonnie and Annalise. They instruct her to leave Frank a message telling him that everyone is totally cool with him and no one is mad and to come back home. We don’t get much info on what exactly the endgame is here, but part of it involves Laurel having to go see her asshole dad.
The best part of this week’s episode by far was the clinic case. Hopefully future episodes will continue to have clinic subplots as well done and engaging as this one. Last week’s deportation case didn’t pack nearly as much punch even though the outcome was tragic. My MVP of the week is Connor—not just because he ended up doing a kickass job and winning the case but because he has to put up with Oliver’s complete inability to break up with someone. I love Oliver, but what the hell, dude? I’m Team Connor on this one.