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How to Get Away With Murder Recap: The People’s Court

How to Get Away With Murder

Lahey v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Season 4 Episode 13
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Mitch Haaseth/ABC

Even though it’s March 1, I’m pretending it’s February 29 because I need another day of Black History Month and because this episode feels like something that comes around once every four years. Gasp! It’s the fourth season of How to Get Away With Murder. Something has aligned and I never want to go back. My edges are lush, my skin is hydrated, and my brows are plucked, and I am FULFILLED. This is one of the best episodes of television I’ve seen in a long damn time. I don’t give a shit about Wes and who killed him. LET HIM DIE and GIVE ME MORE SUPREME COURT.

The episode starts with Olivia and Annalise running Annalise’s case, and Olivia is being a fierce devil’s advocate. Hey, douche bros on the internet. This is the actual purpose of the devil’s advocate — you play the opposite side to help someone strengthen their argument. Not to say what you really believe and then only claim to be playing devil’s advocate when you get some criticism. Annalise and Olivia see the state’s attorney on TV talking shit about Olivia and Annalise. The rest of the Keating Gang is at home freaking out about Annalise trying a case in front of the Supreme Court. Connor is still in his feelings about Michaela swooping in and helping Annalise get to Olivia Pope. Olivia tells Annalise not to get distracted and not to quote anything she writes in her brief because she doesn’t have any time to waste. But Jacqueline keeps calling Annalise.

Meanwhile, Bonnie is at home with nothing to do except try to calm Laurel down about the investigation into Jimmy Smits. Bonnie says that he’s not a reliable expert anymore. Do they know I don’t care anymore? We’re going on a field trip to THE SUPREME COURT. JIMMY SMITS CAN WAIT.

Fitz sends Annalise a bottle of Champagne and quite frankly, it’s not a great gift. The state’s attorney is saying that Annalise and Olivia are just pursuing this case to distract from their jacked-up reputations. Olivia says it’s time to kill or be killed. Why isn’t Kerry Washington on this show every week and on every show?

Nate goes to visit his dad to tell him that he’s headed to the Supreme Court. Was anyone else weeping during this entire episode? Annalise calls Bonnie to find out what’s up with Jacqueline and Denver isn’t reopening the case. Bonnie encourages Annalise to invite her mom, but Annalise couldn’t handle all that pressure.

Annalise walks up to the Supreme Court. You guys, I know it’s all CGI and sets, but I’m telling you, I COULDN’T STOP WEEPING. Annalise was so happy and I’m so happy for her. Oliva comes in to remind Annalise of the weight of the moment and to suggest that maybe —just maybe — they accept some help from the ACLU and the NAACP. If Annalise screws this up, they’ll set back criminal justice reform for decades. I know this is only a show, but guys, I’m really worried that we’re not gonna fix criminal justice reform.

Annalise finally calls her mom and invites her. We’re about to get:

VIOLA DAVIS.

KERRY WASHINGTON.

CICELY TYSON.

This is the Dream Team of black women’s television history. I’m exhilarated and so exhausted from that excitement.

Then Frank and Bonnie do some bullshit. Laurel’s mom gave Wes $100,000. WHO CARES.

Annalise decides not to accept any help from any other law groups becuse all she needs is Olivia. All any of us need is Olivia and Annalise to help us in this world. One of the justices is getting information to the state’s attorney, so Marcus and Michaela set off to find out in the sexual-tension-mobile. Cicely Tyson arrives with stew in a Tupperware. Thank God for Cicely Tyson.

Michaela and Marcus are staking out the state’s attorney’s house, but she’s only getting hella pizzas and not any visits from justices. Michaela and Marcus can’t contain their sexual tension for each other and Michaela has to remind Marcus (and herself) that she has a boyfriend, even though Marcus is cute and charming and everything she could possibly want. You know that GIF of Blanche from Golden Girls spraying herself with a water bottle? That’s Michaela’s inner monologue right now. The rest of the Keating Gang gets ready to head out and there’s some little scuffle about Oliver and Connor not having a big wedding.

Nate drops by the hotel where Annalise and Olivia are prepping and Olivia freaks out when she realizes that Nate is Annalise’s ex-boyfriend. We have no time for exes or stew! Annalise and Olivia snipe at each other in the hallway because Annalise is tired of being ordered around when Olivia needs her too. Olivia’s got a bad reputation too, and Annalise wants this more than anything she’s ever wanted in her life.

Back in the sexual-tension-mobile, Michaela wants to know why Marcus is still single because ……… she really wants to bang him. Oh screw it, they’re gonna bang hard in the back seat.

It’s the big day and Annalise is already up and dressed. Nate is shaving his dad while a Gil Scott-Heron song plays and it’s become the blackest two-part crossover TV event ever. Michaela arrives with Marcus and Laurel can smell the pheromones on them and knows immediately that they banged. What was that moment? What evidence did we have that Laurel would know that? Michaela fesses up in front of everyone while Marcus and Asher to get the tickets to get into the session. But Michaela notices that the pizza guy is with one of the justices! He’s really an aide and was feeding the state’s attorney information and the justice’s line of questioning. Unfortunately for Annalise, he’s a hard-line conservative judge.

After Annalise signs the Supreme Court guestbook, she gets a call from a blocked number and she finally answers it. You’d think you’d turn your phone off if you’re about to, y’know, try a case before the Supreme Court. It’s Jacqueline and she tells Annalise that Jimmy Smits overdosed and it’s all Annalise’s fault. Have a great day! Bye!

Annalise breaks all the way down. Michaela finds Olivia confronting the pizza guy and tells her that they have an Annalise problem.

Olivia delivers a fantastic prep talk and tells Annalise they don’t have time for this, so what does she need? Annalise just says vodka and orders Michaela to go get the vodka. Annalise is worried that she’s just going to fail and let all these people down. Olivia says, “Fuck all these people. This is for you.” She needs to pick herself off the floor. Michaela runs in with the vodka and Olivia tells Annalise to drink if she’s got to drink, but whatever is in the bottle, Annalise already has in herself. It’s twisted and beautiful. Annalise is ready to do this.

It’s time for Annalise to make her case. Of course, the conservative justice is giving her a hard time and Annalise makes a decision to argue the race issue of the case. The justice is not pleased and all kinds of drama and crosstalk breaks out on the bench. Annalise decides to use the rest of her time to not listen to these old white men debate but prepare for her rebuttal. She slips a note to Michaela to get a file and Michaela dashes off.

While Annalise is presenting her case, Cicely Tyson is in the bathroom with Olivia Pope because she spilled stew on her beautiful white blazer. She thinks Annalise is preparing for a debate tournament. Olivia gets her jacket clean and they sit down in the bathroom and Cicely tells her that she’s a fixer, but she never has any time for herself. It’s beautiful and inspiring.

Michaela rushes back in with the file and Annalise throws the words of the conservative justice back in his face when he said that race is present in all arguments about the law. Annalise delivers a stirring and moving speech about the racism of the criminal justice system.

Annalise heads out of the courthouse, where she’s swamped with reporters. She gives Connor credit for helping with her case … and only Connor.

Then Franks finds some flash drive in Wes’s apartment that proves he met with Laurel’s mom. UGH. I’m OVER IT.

Olivia puts on an amazing coat and meets with Annalise in the night as they congratulate each other. I want them to be best friends and co-presidents of the United States.

While Annalise is reveling in her potential victory, she gets a call from Bonnie at the hospital. It isn’t an update on Isaac. Simon is awake!

How to Get Away With Murder Recap: The People’s Court