Last week, let’s face it, How to Get Away With Murder veered too far off into inane case-of-the-week territory, which was a disappointment to this girl. This week, the case of the week actually dovetailed right back into the big picture, picking up the pace and amping up the tension.
As always, we start at the scene of the crime. More details: Michaela’s freaking out; Connor’s ripping into her. Wes has his arms wrapped protectively around Rebecca — and when he tells Connor that he’s going to take his new love home to safety, Connor flips. But there’s no time: a knock at the door. Someone knows they’re there. It’s Asher, and he wants his trophy back.
Flashback: seven weeks. Connor pays Oliver a booty call — but then the boys discuss their couple status. It’s cute. Maybe there’s something actually there between them.
In court, Annalise has her work cut out for her with Rebecca, who has confessed to the murder. Oopsie. Bail is set at a cool million.
Bitter Blonde and Annalise interview Rebecca, but she’s hardly talking. “I didn’t kill her.” She says she confessed because she wanted to go home. She says Wes was right, that he told her Griffin would pin it on her. Boy, is Wes in trouble now! Annalise rips him a new one. She wants to know everything. He thinks back to the phone. Doesn’t say anything. So Annalise takes him off the case. He’s not allowed to speak or even look at Rebecca.
Back in the office, Bitter Blonde and Cranky Frankie are talking shooting stars — which one of Annalise’s interns will flame out first? Hair Gel, Douche Face, Wallflower, or Prom Queen?
Case-of-the-week time! Longtime Annalise client (and dare we say pal?) Marin Trudo — stockbroker to the stars — is accused of insider trading. As detectives destroy her office, Marin sets the warrant on fire. When Annalise demands proof on the charges, the head detective pulls up a video of Marin getting the, uh, inside scoop from Elias Edson, the man whose company she reportedly bought stock from, right before it went way up.
Marin’s take? “So I made a porno, so what?” She claims she was hacked. “I have got enemies galore.” She wants the case thrown out. If it goes to trial, her firm goes under.
Back at the office, the gang is assigned to interview Marin’s 52 employees until they find the traitor(s). Annalise’s reasoning? “I just know everybody hates their boss.” So the fearful fivesome (including Asher here!) start chatting up the traders. Only Connor finds a lead: Pax, Marin’s gorgeous assistant, so he tries to work it. Cue another office romp. As they wrap up, Pax’s phone rings. So Connor excuses himself. Pax chats with someone, notes that “they still think it’s her.” Luckily, Connor planted a recording device before he bailed. He takes the recording to his boyfriend.
Meanwhile, we get another tense moment with Sam, off to another “working” dinner. As he walks out, we see someone breaking into his car. Nate. Checking the GPS to find out where all that lost time went. Sam catches him. “I’m not trying to steal your car, man,” Nate tells Sam, making some excuse about trying to save the battery because the light was on. He runs off. Turns out Bitter Blonde is in the car behind Sam’s, and she watched the whole thing go down. The next day, she goes to the detective’s office and asks if they think Rebecca Sutter is the culprit and why they’re also investigating Sam Keating. “A jury would definitely find it confusing.” She demands the confession tape, unedited. Now!
Laurel invites her new boyfriend, Khan — who is brown but doesn’t have an accent — over to discuss how to get Rebecca’s bail money with Wes. Cranky Frankie comes in and cranks at them because he’s jealous.
Flash-forward to the car, headed to the woods. Connor’s driving and freaking. They’ve left blood, guts, and fingerprints at the crime scene. Street cameras are recording them as they drive through town. So he turns on the radio, Christmas carols, and sings along. In the woods, Connor’s having a meltdown, hacking the body, ordering Michaela to dig.
Back to the past: Annalise, Connor, and Frank take the recording to Marin, who’s flummoxed. Pax has been with her eight years. He bought her first pair of Spanx and helped her squeeze into them. She confronts him, and he says he’s sick of being her accessory. And she gets mean, saying he’s going to have some fun in prison, giving his family a real reason to be ashamed of him. So Paxton throws himself out the window. Shit just got real.
Whoever Pax was working with was Marin’s minion, too, so they run down the list, and ta-dah: The icy blonde, Talia. Jimmy, the slickster. They each logged out exactly when the deal went down. So in the end, we find out, Talia and Jimmy set it up — Pax the lookout, Jimmy the smoke-break distraction, and Talia on the computer, doing the buy. “I was just doing what you taught us,” Talia seethes. Marin’s response: “Enjoy your stay at Club Fed.”
Back to the future: Post-bonfire, Connor goes to Oliver’s at 6 a.m., smelling like smoke. Freaking out. Melting down. Then flashback: Oliver, listening to the recording of Pax, in particular, the part where Pax mentions the hookup. So Oliver kicks Connor out.
Big-picture time: In Rebecca’s video confession, she tells them Griffin was choking Lila. Apparently, Rebecca was there, but not touching the body. D.A. Park’s office coerced her into saying otherwise. The judge sets an inquiry into the confession, reducing bail. When Rebecca gets home, Wes is waiting. With the phone. He brings it to Annalise. “You thought keeping this from me would be beneficial how?” Wes says that Rebecca trusts him now. And Annalise says that actually works. It’s a big deal. If he can hack it.
In the end — in one of the most real moments this season — we see Annalise, exhausted, removing her wig, then the eyelashes, then the makeup. Then we see why she’s looking so fragile and weepy. Sam returns, inquires about Rebecca’s situation. Then she turns to him, and holding up the secret cell, asks: “Sam? Why is your penis on a dead girl’s phone?” Sexting with students? ICK. But not really a surprise.
So this week’s big lesson? “Getting the witness to confess is one of the most fun parts of being a trial attorney.” Step one: Warm them up with small talk. Sleep with them if necessary. Step two: “Don’t ask for the truth. You pound it out of them. Until you get the answer you want. And like a good detective, you lie.”
Next week, we get to see how well that works out when your witness is also your husband.