How to Get Away With Murder Season-Premiere Recap: Class Dismissed

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Photo: Mitch Haaseth/ABC
How to Get Away With Murder

How to Get Away With Murder

I'm Going Away Season 4 Episode 1
Editor's Rating 4 stars

You almost had me, Emmy- and Academy Award–winning actress, Viola Davis. You almost had me, you sneaky beautiful bitch. You almost had me thinking that this would be a relatively simple and stripped-down episode of HTGAWM. That it would be a reasonable episode, setting everyone up to go on their own paths. The time jump wasn’t even that far! I could remember where we were in time and space, but then suddenly we jumped ahead three months and well …

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s start at whatever wrinkle in the time-space continuum is the beginning. Annalise is texting everyone that she booked a dinner at a fancy restaurant tomorrow night and she needs everyone there. Please start speculating wildly about what she might be proposing. My guess is octo-couple. Everyone living together and banging. I’d be into it. When Laurel gets the text message, she’s meeting her dad on campus. I swear to God, I forgot the Keating Gang was still in law school. You think they wouldn’t have enough time to go to any other class when they’re dealing with … any event of the previous three seasons. Laurel tells her dad that she’s pregnant and he asks if it’s Frank’s. You know, because that is a thing that would make sense based on past behavior and information. She tells him that she had an abortion and not to get all Catholic at her and also please keep it from her mom. This is going to end well.

She’s the last to arrive at the restaurant and there’s a letter on everyone’s plate. Annalise wants everyone to order first and Asher immediately orders the rib eye for two for one. He gets me. Then we flash back to ONE WEEK EARLIER. Annalise is lustily eyeing a drink on a plane that the guy across the aisle is pouring. He notices and introduces himself and tries some folksy ol’ black man lines on her. Annalise lies and says her name is Bonnie. His name is Desmond and he’s p. cute. Annalise is going to Memphis to visit her mom. She notices that her dad put a bell over the door because her mom keeps sneaking out at night.

Her visit home means we get tons of amazing Cicely Tyson moments, starting with Ophelia telling Annalise that she used to have a shelf booty but she can’t put nothing on it now. I’m done. Annalise isn’t just there for a fun visit, but to suggest that they use some of the insurance money to set up Ophelia in a nursing home for adults with memory issues. Her parents immediately hate the idea, but Annalise says that Ophelia wandered to a friend’s house. Then Cecily Tyson goes to work and delivers a monologue about how Annalise shouldn’t be telling anybody about safety because she’s got people dying around her every day.

Later that night, Annalise gets a call from Bonnie that the insurance money is being held up because Sam’s sister, Hannah, is suing for the right to the house. Annalise flops on her childhood bed in frustration and tries to look up an AA meeting, but decides sneaking out to see Desmond would be more satisfying. She meets him at his hotel and tells him, “I’m not here to drink.” I’m stealing that line.

Connor and Oliver are having a drink out at a gay bar, but they’re assaulted by a plot device — er, bachelorette party — to jump start their conversation about Oliver’s lingering proposal. Blah blah blah, heteronormative, blah blah blah, why would we do that to ourselves? But Connor definitely has a point that bachelorette parties shouldn’t crash gay bars for fun.

Annalise is in Desmond’s hotel and stupid puts her clothes back on when Desmond gets a phone call because she believes that he’s talking to his wife. She also says, “Oh man, no,” when he goes to pick up the phone — I refuse to believe that was written in the script and it was Viola Davis’s genuine reaction. He says it’s just his daughter, but she leaves anyway. When she sneaks back home, Ophelia is running around claiming the house is on fire and Clyde is dead. Annalise tries to calm her down and she realizes that her mom has peed herself. She bathes her mother and Ophelia sings to prove that she’s still got her facilities. I’m weeping. You’re weeping. Everyone is weeping. Ophelia agrees to go see the nursing home. This is a thousand times more interesting than seeing Michaela and Asher argue about how silly he’s being and how serious she is. WE GET IT. You’re opposites.

Annalise and her dad clash when they’re visiting the nursing home because he accuses her of triggering Ophelia’s episodes. Ophelia says she’s been humiliated in public and storms out. She later says that she doesn’t want Annalise to lose anything anymore and she doesn’t want Annalise to lose her. She’s going to hold on as long as she can to protect Annalise.

Annalise snaps at her dad on the way out — because she sees him putting a lock on the bedroom door so Ophelia can’t sneak out — and he finally apologizes for what Clyde did to her. Bless this show for even attempting to show black family healing.

It’s time for Annalise’s disbarment hearing. Bonnie attempts to argue that the lab results aren’t accurate, but Annalise tells the truth and says she was drinking. She begs for her license. Everything has been taken from her and she can’t lose another thing. Somehow, it works? I guess if you had Viola Davis staring you down in that wig, you’d give in too.

It’s time for dinner. It’s a big ol’ cross talk of information but here are the takeaways:

• Annalise kept her license and can practice again.

• She’s not going to go back to teach, or at least the school wouldn’t take too kindly to that.

• Laurel is keeping the baby and is due in five months. Eye roll.

• Annalise called them all there to let them go. She also wrote them all recommendation letters, even Bonnie.

• Connor thinks she’s buying them off.

• Michaela wants Annalise to “fix everything” because they’re all failing.

• Laurel is like “kbai” and leaves.

• Asher says, “Don’t invite people to a fancy dinner to dump them.”

Just like that, the Keating Gang is no more. Annalise moves into a sad by-the-week hotel. Connor and Oliver agree not to get married because their proposal was done out of panic. Michaela says she’s going to turn everything around. Asher is a confused puppy. BONNIE MEETS WITH THE DA! And Annalise goes to see her court-appointed counselor, Jimmy Smits. I’m shipping them.

We flash-forward to three months later. Jimmy Smits is being ushered into a hospital by Frank and whoever they’re going to see had drugs in their system and is unconscious. The person wakes up and … its Laurel. And her stomach is flat. The international television sign for “The Baby Gone.” She starts screaming, “Where’s my baby?!”

Twitter thinks Annalise stole her baby.

How to Get Away With Murder Recap: Class Dismissed