How to Get Away With Murder Recap: It’s All About the Wallpaper

Photo: Mitchell Haaseth/ABC
How to Get Away With Murder
Episode Title
Freakin’ Whack-a-Mole
Editor’s Rating

“Your husband’s Mr. Darcy.”

That’s what Wes said to Annalise Keating — right before he told her that she disgusted him with all her secrets and lies. It’s kind of thrilling to see Annalise taken down by someone — and Wes with a bit of backbone for a change. But let’s see how long he can actually hold onto this little taste of power he’s scored. Because as smart as he may think he is, he’s no match for Annalise Keating.

OMG Moment of the Week: Asher’s RIDIC tailgate dance — right before he discovers his trophy is missing and goes ballistic banging on the office door trying to reclaim it from the fearful foursome. Stay tuned, because it turns out poor little rich boy Asher’s full of surprises. A

This Week’s Lesson: Habeas corpus. The Great Writ (yes, according to Wikipedia). Annalise’s whole mission this week is to free a wrongfully imprisoned man — and she’ll do whatever it takes. B

Case of the Week! This one is a doozy: race and real estate and father-son drama. In 1993, David Allen was put on trial for the murder of his girlfriend Tricia Stanley and convicted of murder on circumstantial evidence. “This was the first case that opened my eyes to the fact that the justice system doesn’t always benefit those who tell the truth, but those who have the power to create their own,” Annalise tells her students. “It’s a fact that’s pissed me off ever since.” But now, Annalise and the Keating Five, as she’s dubbed them (although Wes is MIA), have the chance to revisit that case — they’re working their first appeal. It’s a death row case. And they have 72 hours to try to reverse the verdict.

Wes and Laurel interview the original defense attorney. His advice: “corporate law.” But he also mentions that Allen had an alibi — a druggie — that he dismissed. Asher interviews the “old lady” eyewitness Linda Morelli with Bitter Blonde Bonnie. He asks about her glasses but she says they’re a new development.

Connor and Michaela go after the old ADA, Travers, who says he left because he got a tip about perjured testimony. Travers told them he told the judge, but the judge chose not to act on the info. And, in an interesting turn, Asher’s dad William Millstone was the judge on the case. White judge, black defendant — can Annalise play the racism card here? Asher insists that his dad wouldn’t bury evidence. But Annalise puts the target squarely on him. Naturally, Asher is freaking out. So he goes to his parents’ house and digs through his dad’s old notes. And finds something clearly incriminating. He talks to his dad about the case. He tells him that he’s looked through his journals, and they’re meticulous. Only one day is unaccounted for: the day he met with David Allen’s attorney. The summer before his dad got promoted to federal court. “I’m sitting here, accusing you of grave judicial misconduct, and your only response is to ask me where I got the idea?” Asher says. “Please, Dad, tell me I’m wrong. But you can’t, can you?”

Meanwhile, Annalise is working the alibi, Jason Watkins, a kid in Allen’s volunteer program, whom he says swung by to get a suit for a job interview around the time the murder happened. The problem? The guy OD'ed 15 months ago. The news hits Annalise HARD. Tears and all. This could make or break them.

Asher comes back, and he wants the trophy. He’ll give up some key details as long as Annalise keeps his father’s name out of it. Senator Art Truco is the man who convinced someone — who, we don’t know yet — to perjure themselves to get a conviction. The Keating five pull an all-nighter to unravel this mess.

Turns out Truco was trying to force the poor black folks out of the neighborhood, and Tricia was leading the charge against him. And the real-estate company’s logo? Right there on the building where they interviewed the key witness. Back in ’93, she was going to be evicted, a lawsuit pending for back rent. But four days after she testified, the suit was dropped.

So the court subpoenaed Truco. Annalise fired a bunch of questions about real-estate deals, then asked if Truco had Tricia Stanley murdered. She lets him have it. “You tore a community apart, you tore families apart. You destroyed lives.”

The judges are “beyond dismayed” by Annalise’s conduct. They say she’s speculating. But they no longer have faith in that eyewitness testimony from Linda Morelli. So they issue a retrial. David Allen is a free man. A-

Crazy Connor’s Awesome Antics: Hardly any Connor at all in this week’s episode, which means this category is a solid F.

The Big Picture: Annalise, “worried” about Wes, shows up at his apartment, and of course he’s half-naked. She asks him what he wants. But he’s not playing games with her. He wrote out everything he knows, and there’s a copy in a safe-deposit box. In case he disappears. But he’ll keep his mouth closed if Annalise protects Rebecca. To do that, she’ll have to find her first.

So Annalise puts Frank on the case (after mentioning to him that “the puppy” is acting up). He digs up some details: The police found new evidence that Griffin killed Lila because she was dating another man. Mr. Darcy, of course. A cell phone was found in Griffin’s car — the cell phone. Of course Cranky Frankie planted said cell phone. But whatever.

“What about your husband?” Wes asks in disbelief.

“That’s my concern,” Annalise counters. “Not yours. Whatever it takes. Isn’t that what you said?”

When Wes finds Rebecca, she points out that none of what Annalise has planted is true. But Wes says that’s how they’ll defend her. Because she didn’t do it. Right?

Back in their bedroom, Annalise, exhausted, starts her nightly routine again. And she asks Sam if he likes the new wallpaper (still a twirly fleur-de-lis type of deal), the only thing left that ties him to that dead girl. “Unless, of course, there’s someone else out there who knows what your penis looks like.” Why is she doing all this? Because she needs him. After all he’s done — lying, cheating — she still needs him. I don’t know, something about this moment is totally not ringing true. And it takes a lot of tears before he finally gets up to comfort her.

Before they can tuck in, though, Rebecca and Wes show up at their door. And outside in his car is Nate, who’s got photos of Frank planting the phone in Griffin O’Reilly’s car. B-

The Big Reveal/Hookup of the Week: I know what you’re thinking: The hookups are the Big Reveal? It’s true! This week, the hookups are crucial to future plot points.

First, Cranky Frankie and Laurel’s slow burn is still … slowly burning. Sigh. But a twist: Bitter Blonde wants her to stop leading Frank on. Because rich girls like Laurel don’t end up with poor doofuses like Frank. So Laurel tells Frank she’s not into him — he better keep things professional, or she’ll tell Annalise.

But then there’s the real turn-around: Asher in bed with Bitter Blonde. Uh, hypocrite much, Bonnie?

And then: Annalise calling in tears. “Are you with him?” Not Asher. Sam. Why? “Something terrible’s happened!” B

The Takeaway: Gotta say: The case of the week this time around was pretty engrossing because Annalise seemed so personally connected.

Maybe it’s just the walls breaking down as she deals with the Sam sitch, which, of course, is a bit infuriating. She needs Sam despite his philandering, violent ways, and she’s totally alienated hottie Nate, who’s now on a revenge mission of his own. And wait for it, because that showdown, when it really happens, will be the takedown we’re all waiting for.

Meanwhile, expect Wes to return to wishy-washy, STAT. He may have messed with Annalise this week, but it can’t last. She’ll run him right over.