“Why did they do it?”- Annalise Keating
Episode three, It’s called the Octopus, begins with the Keating five (minus Asher), getting Connor, and then running away from the crime scene, as Annalise continues to bleed out on the Hapstall’s living room floor. She attempts to reach her ringing cell phone, as Nate Lahey calls to see if she’s all right. Did Nate know that someone was planning to murder Annalise? Well, at least we can eliminate him as a potential murderer suspect. Now back to the episode, where we see Annalise “take her last breath,” then wake up…in the middle of the night, seven weeks earlier. She’s racked with guilt over Nate and can’t sleep, so we observe Annalise heavily drinking and working on the Hapstall case. “Motive is everything in this case,” explains Annalise as she records herself, talking about the various motives, that the prosecution could use against the Hapstall siblings. This mirrors the viewer’s investigation of who shoots Annalise (and D.A. Sinclair) in the future? Motive is not just important in the Hapstall case, but as the episode proves, it’s significant in any trial. Both the prosecution and the defense can manipulate a suspect’s motive in their favor.
The implication of your client being a sexual deviant can greatly affect the jury’s verdict. This episode is structured around Annalise building a defense for Tonya Randolf (Sherri Saum). She’s the owner of the sex club, the utopia circle, where her partner dies after having a heart attack during sex. In season one a majority of these, case of the week, stories concluded with Annalise proving her client’s innocence. Welcome to season two, where Annalise continues to prove the innocence of the guilty. Tonya Randolph gave her ex-lover nitroglycerin to mix with his Viagra and induce a heart attack. Remember, “the heat of passion defense is the most commonly used defense, when your client is guilty,” explains Annalise during her opening interior monologue. After discovering that Tonya is guilty of first-degree murder, Annalise uses the “heat of passion defense,” by proving that the decease’s wife gave him the nitroglycerin that night. Annalise’s cross-examination of the wife perfectly mirrors Tonya’s testimony in the beginning. When a motive for murder can apply to multiple suspects it makes getting away with murder that much easier. Tonya isn’t too comfortable with Annalise displacing her guilt to Mrs. Ewing, and even questions how Annalise sleeps at night?
“Alone, on very expensive sheets. I like very expensive bottles of vodka.”- Annalise Keating
The Randolph trial episodic arc spurs run off story threads through our central character’s romantic relationship statuses. Connor and Oliver can finally have sex, without fear of Connor contracting HIV. Michaela finally has her first orgasm with new love, Levi (he’s not Eggs). Laurel attempts to get to know Frank better before joking up with him again. Wes is not necessarily hung up on Rebecca, but still struggling to understand her “disappearing act.” Annalise is dealing with her loneliness and truly misses Nate. The most interesting sexual story thread run off involves both Bonnie and Asher. They are very much together in the beginning, but then breakup at the end of the episode. Remember, Asher’s being blackmailed by D.A. Sinclair to spy on Annalise, he stole her recorder, that she was using during the opening scene. Asher’s keeping this a secret from everyone, including Bonnie. Meanwhile, she accuses him of cheating on her and they go their separate ways. Now, who’s Tiffany? What happened at Trotter Lake? Where’s Asher the night that D.A. Sinclair is murdered, seven weeks later? Asher may not necessarily have motive to shoot Annalise, but he’s my prime suspect for murdering D.A. Sinclair, especially after he confronts her this episode.
Wes and Nate are certainly acknowledging that Annalise is a real threat in their lives. Rewind back to the episode’s opening sequence. Annalise discovers a rat in her basement, the same place where Rebecca was murdered. Annalise calls Wes to help her get rid of the rat. We learn that Annalise is not the only one having trouble sleeping at night, Wes still misses Rebecca; while Annalise dosen’t miss her husband, but her ex-lover, Nate. After they say goodbye the screen splits for a moment as Annalise appears on one side of the door, and Wes on the other. The truth continues to separate these characters from one another. Fast forward to the ending scene, when Annalise shows up at Nate’s apartment. He insists that they can’t be together now, but maybe after more time goes by. Again, the screen splits to show Annalise on one side and Nate on the other. Annalise believes that she’s being given another chance; while on the other side we see that Nate’s playing a long game-with Wes. Yep, the camera zooms out to reveal Wes hiding in Nate’s apartment. Note, that this alliance most likely consists of three members, the third being Rebcca’s foster brother, Levi (Matt Cohen). “Either she was wrong about you, or was it that lady you work for,” suggests Levi as Wes confronts him outside Michaela’s building. Nate’s driving to the Hapstall residence the night of Annalise’s murder, Wes is running from the crime scene, but where’s Levi? After watching this episode we can certainly cross off Nate’s name from the suspect list, only then to add Levi’s name.
“You did it you’re the real killer in this courtroom,” accuses Annalise during the Randolph trial. Now who’s the real murderer in the show? Since, it appears that most of these characters have motive to kill Annalise, will the real murderer get away? Six more weeks to go.
By Sarah Belmont