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How To Get Away With Murder Recap: Governor Basic

How To Get Away With Murder

I Got Played
Season 5 Episode 7
Editor’s Rating *****

How To Get Away With Murder

I Got Played
Season 5 Episode 7
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Kelsey McNeal/ABC

Ladies, gentlemen, and those in-between, I am back and I’m all caught up on How to Get Away with Murder. Well … I think I’m caught up. This season, it’s been a little difficult to tell if we’ve got all the information.

It’s been a couple of weeks since we checked in on the Keating Gang, and as I try to remember what happened two weeks ago, the dialogue might as well be:

“Should we tell her?”
“Tell who?”
“Tell her. She needs to know.”
“We can’t tell her. Because of what it is.”
“Because of what it is or because of who she is? You can’t protect her.”
“ALL I KNOW IS I’M NOT HELPING YOU.”

It’s a real “Who’s on First?” murder situation. Or maybe a Dadaist exploration of secrets. If the secrets mean everything, then they really mean nothing, and if something means nothing, who is Gabriel?

At this point in the season, we’re faced with more questions than answers, including: Who is dead at the wedding? What was Emmett’s misconduct at Caplan & Gold? Where is Bonnie’s child? What are the “adoption papers”? And after “I Got Played,” the only real answer I can provide is, “The person who dies at the wedding has a black jacket on.” Watching these last few episodes have felt like listening in on one side of a phone conversation.

But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The real star of this show is THE LAW, and so the realest, purest drama in this particular episode is with THE LAW. So let’s start there: What is going on with THE LAW?

Nate Sr. is going to be transferred out of prison and Annalise has negotiated a pardon for him. She quits her job at Caplan & Gold in order to work with the governor on a new task force for fair legal defenses. All Nate’s dad wants to do is move in with Nate and write a remorseful letter. He’s found dead outside of the prison he was just released from after being shot in the head. Nate receives a phone call telling him there’s been an incident, which is literally downplaying the situation as much as possible.

After a month, the medical examiner has finished their own investigation into Nate Sr.’s death, and there isn’t evidence of any criminal activity or negligence, so we’re done here, everyone. Nate spends most of the episode sitting quietly on a bench, ruminating.

While he’s doing that, Annalise is spinning up a massive conspiracy about the governor. She believes that the governor wants to destroy all her hard work, so she’s quietly shutting down the task force after Annalise quit her job and eliminates her most important plaintiff.

If that all sounds a little far-fetched, maybe it’s because Annalise is drinking again. When her icy standoff with Bonnie finally begins to thaw, Bonnie discovers vodka bottles in Annalise’s trash can. Bonnie decides “fuck it” and hands Annalise a drink and drops the bomb: “The governor knows about the adoption.”

WHAT. ADOPTION?!?

We’re trying to balance the emotions of watching Annalise deliver a passionate speech, during the inquest into Nate Sr.’s death, about black men’s deaths being caused by the presumed innocence of white women with the image of Gabriel in those sweatpants, and you want to throw “the governor knows about the adoption” on us, too?

But why does the governor even care what Annalise is doing? The answer comes in a whirlwind, and at the end of this episode, it’s gone. Annalise finally catches the governor’s attention and the governor offers Annalise her dream job. Emmett keeps pointing out to Annalise that the whole thing is too good to be true. Annalise tries to be happy at Caplan & Gold but she feels herself being drawn to the governor’s offer and leaves Caplan & Gold. But once Nate Sr. is shot, the governor keeps slowing down the project’s launch, and ultimately the governor can say that pardoning a man who attacked prison guards on the day of his release is a bad look, so if Annalise could just go, that would be great for everyone. Unsurprisingly, Annalise does not take well to this and calls the governor “basic” to her face. Can you imagine the big dick energy it requires to look into the eyes of the chief executive of the state in which you live and call her basic? But if a bitch is basic, a bitch is basic.

Unfortunately, the jury has reached a verdict in the inquest and they find the guards didn’t commit any criminal acts and the homicide was justifiable. The loss is a huge blow to Annalise and Nate, the latter of whom is emotionally devastated and continues to stare into the distance while feeling emotions. Later, when Annalise goes to visit Nate to let him know that she’s not done fighting, Nate says that he wants the governor to suffer.

And what does Annalise do after this huge loss? She’s going to go back to Caplan & Gold. But first, she turns to Teagan to help her find some material on Emmett’s misconduct (another vague situation). Maybe she’ll blackmail him, maybe she won’t, but she needs some information before she can even try. Teagan comes through for Annalise and Annalise goes crawling back to Caplan & Gold. But instead of blackmailing Emmett, Annalise strongly suggests that he hire her as his lawyer to make the misconduct go away.

All of that stuff with THE LAW takes us up to our flash-forward to the wedding — okay, fine, the Keating Gang does some stuff in this episode, too. Let’s do a quick check-in to see where they’re at:

Laurel is still speaking in vague terms with Frank about who Gabriel is and spending all of her time watching Gabriel on the live feed. She misses when Gabriel has apparently … Googled Michaela? He’s not looking at her Facebook or Twitter but he’s just staring at pictures of her.

Connor and Oliver are meeting with a pastor at a local church to please Oliver’s mom. Connor is obstinate for no real reason when it seems like this issue with the wedding has been solved and re-solved multiple times. The pastor is, like, totally chill, and says she’ll marry them. When the guys are out celebrating a non-mom bachelor party, they kiss on the sidewalk when a bigot walks by and yells a slur at them. Connor is not above telling the bigot that if he says something like that again, he can get these hands — which leads to Connor getting in a fight on the street and THAT explains his scars at the wedding. Okay, that’s literally one question answered.

Michaela winds up in Asher’s bed cuddling him while he drifts off to sleep. It’s impossibly creepy and weird and if they get back together, I’m going to lose my mind. Michaela checks in on Gabriel on her way home and they wind up making out with Asher listening through the wall.

Finally, it’s time for our flash-forward to the wedding. We see Bonnie in the snow with a mysterious dead figure in a black jacket. Bonnie goes over to a blinking set of eyes and tells the eyes that they should go back to the victim’s car and drive away.

My theory is the adoption papers are the killer.

How To Get Away With Murder Recap: Governor Basic