Warning: SPOILERS will follow.
The epic winter finale, ‘What Did We Do?’, left us at the cliffhanger. The district attorney Emily Sinclair was run over by Asher and thrown off one of the balconies at the Hapstall’s Mansion. Nate is on his way. Frank is taking care of Catherine Hapstall; we were shown that he drugs/kidnaps her. Annalise, who was trying to convince one of the kids to shoot her to make the struggle appear real, tells Wes that Rebecca is dead. Wes shot Annalise, but not in the leg like she had asked. As Annalise is bleeding out she says a name “Christophe,” and we are shown a flash back from Wes where he is being questioned about his mother’s suicide.
Two Weeks Later…
Annalise is continuing recovery at home and Bonnie is trying to be as helpful as possible. Bonnie doesn’t seem to have any struggles keeping Annalise in line, or taking over the work load while Annalise has been incapacitated. Bonnie approaches the hallucinations in a calm manner; it seems as though she has dealt with this side of Annalise before. Annalise finds out about Bonnie’s executive decision about her not testifying and accuses Bonnie of trying to be the boss just because she is laid up a few weeks in the hospital. Bonnie then calmly says, “You don’t remember do you?… There was a baby, Annalise.” We see Annalise’s face as Bonnie says this – as if she accepts the gravity of what Bonnie is telling her now. “I’d be a terrible lawyer if I let you anywhere near a court room right now, you know that.” Annalise isn’t happy but seems to accept Bonnie’s judgment on the situation. Ultimately she disobeys after finding out that her written statement gets thrown out. She shows up at court in her ‘Annalise shocks the world’ manner. After the hearing we see Annalise going to her car where Bonnie is waiting. Bonnie knows that Annalise has had suicidal tendencies, but I believe that it scares Bonnie to see this side of Annalise. “You wanted to die that night.”
Nate also observes the dark, suicidal tendencies that are beginning to show. He comments on how difficult it is to be around someone in that mind set, “What happened to you, Annalise?” And after all that Nate has gone through, assisting his wife with her suicide, I don’t blame him as a viewer for wanting to distance himself from that type of behavior. Annalise holds the weight of the whole office on her shoulders. Some extremely serious consequences would be administered if the wrong people found out the crimes her office has both committed, assisted in, and covered up. With that in mind, I don’t blame her for having the thought of her own suicide, but at the same time she is the glue that is keeping everyone together. Also, there is a worry that the guilt Bonnie would feel for Annaliese’s death after their fight would probably cause enough pain to push Bonnie to go over the edge as well.
This episode spotlights the ‘mother hen’ side from Laurel; especially over Wes. During the last episode we saw her take the blame for Annalise’s shooting. She is the only one to go to Wes’s apartment and try to pull him back to the real world after what has happened. We also see a flash back of Laurel going to visit Annalise who address the fact that Laurel took the blame.
“They already blame Wes for Sam. And he would just fall apart if they blamed him for this, too.” - Laurel
This is also the scene we see Laurel and Annalise have physical contact, for what I believe to be the first time. I find this significant because Annalise always has a cold demeanor; hardly ever showing endearing emotions. I believe that she is using this gesture in two ways. One, she is actually grateful towards Laurel for looking out for Wes. Two, she is playing to the sympathetic side of Laurel to make her believe that she was telling the truth about Rebecca. Towards the end of the episode we see Laurel trying to call Wes. Her conversation with Frank makes it apparent that she feels guilt over the whole situation. “Nobody called Asher that day. No one had his number. But if we did, if one of us would have talked to him, none of this would have happened.” Is that why she really took blame for shooting Annalise, her guilt about the whole situation?
Poor Asher is dealing with the guilt of killing Emily Sinclair and the loss of his father. He hasn’t heard from the police about his theories that this father was murdered instead of having taken his own life. I know Asher is trying to snuff out pain and guilt in hopes that his father did not take his own life. I half hope, for Asher’s sake, the police put his theories to rest, but I almost expect his theories to be true. The grieving process has just started for Asher and I think we are going to see a lot more emotion come from his character before the season is over.
Michaela had a tough go at her relationships this episode. No one was checking in with her about how she was doing, so of course she felt a bit left out, and Caleb told her that “they all belong in hell.” Harsh words to hear from someone who gave you’re your first big ‘O’. I do not think that this is something they will be able to work out, so it is doubtful that we will ever see them together as a couple again.
Connor was his typical blunt self when he first returns from his slump, and asks how Wes was handling all the murders. Connor and Oliver did not have a very big roll in this episode. I did appreciate the fact the Connor understands that Asher is not okay, and wants to help keep his friend numb to the emotions until they are all through the storm. Highly unhealthy, but better that than Asher blowing a gasket and exposing everyone.
Wes was one of the darker characters this week, battling with this demons from his past; his mother’s suicide and what Annalise is not reveling about it. His present dilemma about Rebecca. Whether or not Annalise is stealing the truth. Throughout the entire episode we see him in the same dark and brooding mood, mainly projected onto the Annalise, for she has all the answers. In his confrontation with Annalise we see the peak of the conflicts with his admission that he wants to also ‘make it all stop.’ He actually scares Annalise, but the only thing Annalise confesses to is that he ‘ruined’ her. Is this because of all the conflict that there has a been in the house? Is it because she has been doing all of these terrible things to protect Wes, who is possibly her son?
For once we get to see the students all working together, some what as a team, to get through these hard times and support one another. We also begin to see different divisions forming between Annalise and the rest of the group; both emotionally and physically. Annalise is not talking to Frank, Bonnie, or Nate about much at all. The typical meeting place for the students, the Keating Office, is hardly visited this episode, and when it is it is only filled with Annalise and her slow demise.
Guilt and suicide have been the predominate themes throughout this episode. Guilt makes people do crazy things. There’s a heavy load of guilt going around the Keating Office. Will it cause more suicides? The creepy ending with Annalise hallucinating holding the baby again is forcing the audience to decide what they believe; has Annalise’s guilt finally caused her to come undone?
Tweet me your theories @prmiller20
We will have to find out more this Thursday, Feb. 18th at 9pm on ABC