How To Get Away With Murder Episode 4×09: “He’s Dead” – Review

How To Get Away With Murder returned from winter hiatus with a bit of a recap episode. “He’s Dead” played out in chronological order and filled in the gaps of the events of the night of the shooting and the aftermath at the hospital—some stuff we’d seen over the course of the first half of the season and some stuff was new.

The episode finds everyone catching each other up. Annalise doesn’t know about Simon’s accidental shooting at the party and the squad doesn’t know about Laurel and the baby. There are a lot of phone conversations where no one knows what the other person is talking about. It’s honestly pretty boring because we, the audience, already know. If not for the amazing performances (Aja Naomi King in particular), I would have just preferred a group text where everyone gets the deets all at once.

Moving on to some not boring info: Evil Mr. Castillo has somehow managed to get custody of Laurel’s baby, who is alive but very premature and in the NICU. The Department of Human Services is all up in Annalise’s shit, grilling her and Frank at the hospital about whether or not Laurel is a drug addict and about her mental health history. Apparently, there’s some cocaine in Laurel’s system. At least, that’s what the hospital’s paperwork says. Laurel doesn’t strike me as a secret coke fiend sneaking bumps in the bathroom when no one is looking Laura Palmer-style, so I’m gonna go ahead and assume her father had something to do with these results.

Also, Frank’s not the baby’s father, which we all pretty much knew was going to happen. We could tell just by looking at the baby that he’s Wes’s kid but the paternity test also confirms it. But Frank is 100% down to take on Wes’s kid as his own because he’d die (and kill) for Laurel. More on that later.

Annalise called Isaac to get him to help with the psych hold on Laurel. She wants him to do a psych evaluation and say she’s fine so Laurel can get custody back. Isaac decides, especially after hearing the Laurel’s doctor took her off her anti-depressants during the pregnancy, that he can’t in good conscience do what Annalise is asking. I love Isaac, as anyone who reads my recaps knows, but I find it interesting that he picks and chooses when to do the ethical thing. So does Annalise, and since she can’t get what she wants any other way, Annalise threatens to report Isaac and Jacqueline for malpractice if he doesn’t go along with it.

KARLA SOUZA, VIOLA DAVIS
Source: How To Get Away With Murder / ABC

As for the mystery of why Asher is in jail, it turns out that he actually told the police the truth (or some version of the truth that didn’t include the whole stealing the Antares files and framing him thing). Michaela and Oliver, on the other hand, told the cops that Simon killed himself because he got caught stealing the files. When Nate goes to see Asher in prison to find out what he told the cops, Asher says that he told them he picked up the gun and that he’s just tired of lying—and fair enough, honestly. All these fools do is lie all the time and it very rarely works out well for them.

Michaela, having found out about Laurel and the baby, goes to leave C&G but Tegan stops her at the elevator and asks her how the hell Simon could have gotten her key card when Michaela had her purse. Tegan seems to be able to see straight through Michaela’s bullshit response and she’s not happy with her new protégé.

Bonnie shows up at C&G to question Oliver, but really it’s to find out where the drive with the Antares files is and get him out of there. Oliver thinks Laurel has the drive but when Bonnie checks (and basically steals Laurel’s purse out of evidence) she finds it’s not there.

Tegan does some ineffectual lying of her own when Dominic shows up at C&G on behalf of Mr. Castillo wanting to know about the security breach. Tegan tells him that it’s all good and there’s no evidence that the files had been compromised but it’s not enough for Dominic. He wants to talk to the IT guy and Tegan gives him Oliver’s name since he’s already left.

Back at the hospital, Annalise (acting as Laurel’s lawyer) is told that Mr. Castillo is taking the baby to another hospital, even though the kid isn’t really in a position to be transferred to another facility. That should have been a red flag for the hospital people that his priority isn’t the baby’s well being but hey, he’s probably paid them off or threatened them or some shit so they let him do what he wants. Annalise freaks out and chases after Mr. Castillo screaming but there’s nothing she can do about it. He takes the baby and Annalise has no idea where he’s going.

Laurel is restrained in her hospital bed and Annalise (in her scary Annalise tone) demands that she be freed. Laurel is feeling like this is all her fault because it turns out that Dominic called her before shit went down and basically told her that her dad already knew exactly what she was planning and that she shouldn’t go through with it. She tells Annalise that she doesn’t deserve to be a mom because she caused all of this.

Meanwhile, the drive is completely MIA. Bonnie shows up at the hospital to give Laurel her purse back but it’s not in there. Annalise and Bonnie get into it a bit, since that’s just what they do now, and Frank wants them to kiss and make up but I don’t see that happening any time soon. Bonnie is pretty pissed at Frank, too, since he hasn’t been honest with her about basically anything that’s gone on this entire season. Of course, Bonnie has been doing her own shady shit and people in glass houses blah blah blah… Regardless, the missing drive is a problem. Laurel realizes that there is no way that her father has it because she thinks that the whole reason he took the baby was for leverage to get the drive back from them. Laurel knows her father better than anyone so I’d say that theory is legit.

laurel purse
Source: How To Get Away With Murder / ABC

Isaac and Annalise get into it again because Isaac is more concerned with Annalise’s mental health in the wake of all this mess than he is with helping Laurel. Annalise is just totally frazzled and frustrated with Isaac’s refusal to help and she lashes out at him with a really low blow about how he’s the reason his daughter killed herself. That one was harsh even for Annalise. Still, my dreams of a toxic Isaac/Annalise relationship are still alive.

The police are investigating Simon and they find all the perfectly planted evidence. The investigator thinks it’s a bit too perfect and wants to charge Asher but Bonnie points out that, since they used to date, Asher’s lawyer will be able to get the case tossed out. She tells them they need to wait until they have more solid evidence against him because, as it stands, it’s all just circumstantial. Also, they can’t charge him with murder because (drumroll) Simon is alive. Always a stubborn asshole, Simon somehow managed to survive a gunshot to the dome. (Yes, I still hate Simon.)

This news is not great for the squad because, if he wakes up and is able to tell the cops that their stories are complete BS, they are all going to jail. Connor suggests sending Frank in to kill Simon, and maybe he’s joking, maybe he’s not—who even knows with these kids. Oliver, who has come to really care for Simon despite his role in this mess, is absolutely horrified by the squad’s insensitivity. He truly believed they all want Simon dead (and, honestly, he’s probably right).

Frank isn’t currently available to take out Simon because he’s too busy taking out Dominic. He questions him about the hard drive but he doesn’t have it. We also learn that Dominic is clearly in love with Laurel, or at least he was at some point in the past since they go way back. Dominic tells Frank that he and the squad don’t know who Laurel really is. I have to say, I would be super into a plot development in which Laurel is some sort of diabolical criminal mastermind. We don’t learn anymore, though, because Frank snaps Dominic’s neck like a twig.

laurel baby pic
Source: How To Get Away With Murder / ABC

It’s not long before Laurel finds out. Annalise is visiting with Laurel, who it seems has finally forgiven her since she saved her baby’s life. Annalise shows Laurel a picture of her baby and they have a really nice heartwarming moment that reminded me of better times when everyone didn’t hate Annalise. Frank comes in and Laurel says that she wants to call Dominic because she thinks he will help her. Of course, that’s not possible and when Laurel calls his cell, it rings out from Frank’s pocket. They all know without asking what happened to him because it’s Frank and Frank kills people.

The episode ends with the squad and Annalise all together in the hospital lobby, looking absolutely miserable as a result of yet another one of their dumbass failed schemes. Annalise says what they (and we) are all thinking: none of them ever learn.

nalise you never learn
Source: How To Get Away With Murder / ABC

Frank interrupts this depressing moment with some news: Dominic’s phone didn’t have much of anything useful on it except a voicemail from (GASP) Wes, who says, “It’s Christophe. I’m in trouble. We all could be. Call me as soon as you get this.” In a flashback to the night of Wes’s murder we see him leaving that voicemail for Dominic, and Dominic is listed as “IN CASE OF EMERGENCY” in his phone.

This is as big of a WTF moment as we’ve had on HTGAWM in a while, and after an episode that I honestly found kind of boring, my interest was finally piqued. What is Wes’s relationship to Dominic? More importantly, does he have some sort of secret relationship to Mr. Castillo? WAS HE A SPY THIS WHOLE TIME? I have a million questions and I’m very much into this new mystery that will unfold over the second half of the season.

Tune in to How To Get Away With Murder on Thursdays at 10pm EST on ABC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: Ali Sciarabba

Twitter: @alimscribbles

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