Trigger warning for child sexual abuse mention, domestic violence, and rape.
It’s amazing that the first time there is a transgender character on a Shondaland show, she is actually portrayed by a transgender woman! Professor Jill Hartford knows Annalise well and calls in a panic because she’s killed her husband who has been beating her.
As to be expected, there is transphobic shit from an officer who wants to arrest the professor, but presented in a way that highlights just how messed up his comments are. Annalise is as epic as always in defending her clients, especially when Hartford murdered her husband but framed the scene because of Cece McDonald’s real life case. Good job, show.
Plus, the Keating Five were in charge of the Hapstell case, decreasing any time that may have been devoted to shitty commentary. Too bad the Hapstell case continues to be boring. Brutal murders don’t do it when everyone is a murderer. Besides a line here or there, the issues that could be highlighted with transracial adoption, especially by rich white parents, is also left by the wayside.
At least, Michaela’s background is illuminated by the case because she refuses to let the siblings’ biological parents be suspects when they were brave enough to give the two up for adoption to get better lives. This, obviously, is meant to connect Caleb and Michaela more since he knows she was adopted.
The show is presenting the case as a link to the flash-forward, and will ultimately culminate in Sinclair’s murder and Annalise being shot, but I don’t give a shit about the Hapstells or why Sinclair is dead. I mean I want to know who did it, why Annalise is dying, and how the students+Nate are involved, but not actually about Sinclair herself. If Annalise was a murderer, Sinclair’s vendetta would be more commendable.
This apathy is unfortunate and might be indicative of why people aren’t watching, even when the show itself is much stronger than last season.
Anyhow, in present time, we finally find out what happened at Trotter Lake in the past! Honestly, this show should just introduce time-travel at this point. Asher was somehow involved in Tiffany’s gang rape. What the F! That’s terrible and honestly not what I was expecting and not necessary to indicate that Asher too is a messed up person. Next week’s more involved explanation of this backstory is going to be hard to watch.
Of course, because the cases almost always manage to link back to our lovely students, Annalise gets the case against Professor Hartford dropped by giving the district attorney everything she has on Asher’s dad, and gets Sinclair off her back.
Oliver’s hacking into various databases, and especially the police department, doesn’t come back to bite him in the ass yet, but his hacking into Philip’s (from 2.08’s title “Hi, I’m Philip”) computer will. Especially since the webcam was on and Philip heard everything.
Other happenings this week include Catherine recording the Quartet and what they say. Asher asks why Annalise knows about Bonnie and his dad, to which Annalise responds it doesn’t matter. Protecting Asher and Bonnie, however, matters so Asher chooses not to testify.
Annalise lies to Bonnie to make her think she did the fixing. She also leaves Nate a peach cobbler when she finds out Nia (after Nate gave her the pills because he loved her) died. He tells Annalise that no one will ever love her like he loved Nia. It takes two to tango dude.
Michaela and Laurel tell Wes he needs to stop freaking out, and then Laurel goes with Wes to just ask Frank about it, which ultimately leads to Laurel meeting Frank’s family!!!!!! I can’t even help but root for them. Annalise continues to lie to Wes about Rebecca going missing, and then calls Frank, who is in the process of burying Rebecca. Damn. Though the directing in this scene was superb because it is intercut with scenes from the flash-forward as well.
And I have to mention once again how all of us are rooting (at different levels) for a bunch of murderers and accomplices. Welp.
Especially considering that knowing Frank and Bonnie are ultimately loyal to Annalise, and actually seeing their loyalty is two different things. I say this, because flashing forward two weeks, the missing pieces are finally shown!
Frank, telling the doctors in the hospital that they can’t let Annalise die (an act for the parking lot camera), and Catherine, awkwardly knocked out in his backseat. First Bonnie and Asher, Nate and the Quartet, and now Frank and Catherine.
Who is laid out by Frank on the ground in the woods sprayed with blood but then suddenly regains consciousness.
So is Frank framing Catherine for everything? I bet Philip will be majorly involved in this and we have yet to see if Oliver will be in the flash-forward or not. Overall, the episode does a good job of pulling certain plotlines together and introducing others and with two episodes until the finale, things are starting to really come together.