“I thought that I was in on the joke, but that whole time I was the joke.”-Caleb Hapstall
Episode five of How To Get Away With Murder, titled Meet Bonnie, begins with a frantic tracking shot as Bonnie (Liza Weil) fleas the Hapstall estate. She opens her car door to reveal Asher (Matt McGory), deep in thought. “You’re okay, it’s almost over…I promise,” explains Bonnie, as Asher begins retracing the events from three weeks earlier. In the previous episode Bonnie told Asher that she killed Sam Keating, not Annelise. He’s still processing this information, while waiting to take the stand and give his testimony against Annelise. Bonnie not only admitted to killing Sam, but also spun the story into a case of self-defense; he was trying to rape her. Asher frantically leaves court and rushes to Annelise’s office, where she and Frank are interrogating Bonnie. After Asher arrives at the Keating office he asks to speak with Annelise alone. He doesn’t understand why everyone is helping Bonnie cover up the murder, “Only, because you’re a man, I don’t blame you, you weren’t taught not to be one, then add your whiteness on top of that, the police were trained to believe you,” explains Annelise. Thus, the plight of Asher Millstone begins as he tries to be the hero in a story that’s only half true.
“There’s a choice you have to make, do you want be like her, or do you want to be a good guy…don’t over complicate it.”-Emily Sinclair
Lies tend to complicate the truth and lead others to perform misguided actions. The “case of the week,” involved the Hapstall’s trail, as the Keating five had to figure out a way to dismiss Aunt Helena’s testimony from evidence. They uncover evidence indicating that Aunt Helena was a racist, unfortunately the evidence was obtained illegally through Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) hacking into the police station’s database. These storylines weave perfectly into Asher’s dilemma, as we observe the Keating five using illegal means to help Annelise win the case. “My point is grab a beer, chill out, and accept the fact that our lives belong to her,” says Connor (Jack Falahee). But Asher doesn’t even fully know why Annelise owns him… he just wants to protect Bonnie. There’s the vulnerability that both Annelise and Bonnie know all too well how to manipulate. Following her confrontation with Asher, Annelise goes to Nate’s apartment to, “Kick some ass.” She arrives and ‘confesses’, lying to Nate about why she went to see Nia (his wife) last week. This scene mirrors Bonnie’s half truthful confession to Asher, from earlier in the episode. Both Annelise and Bonnie attempt to appear weak, tired and distressed. Annelise needs Nate to fess up to working with Wes, so she admits to one of her lies. Bonnie understands that Asher is a good guy and that he wants to be the hero, so she presents Sam’s murder as self-defense. Ironically, Sam’s murder was self-defense, but Wes killed Sam…not Bonnie.
“Because that’s what we do around here…ruin everyone’s lives to save yours…Nates, mine, and now Bonnies.” –Annelise Keating
The things we do to protect those we love… and sometimes we lose. D.A. Sinclair wins this small victory in the Hapstall case as the judge decides to allow Aunt Helena’s testimony into evidence. “We’re losing, and I don’t know how to fix it,” cries Annelise to Frank and Bonnie. This is not another Keating trick, in this moment Annelise feels helpless to protect the ones she loves. Luckily for her she has two full-grown adults to help her protect the Keating five. Frank already has a plan in the works to prevent Wes from discovering that they covered up Rebecca’s murder (Bonnie’s her killer). While, Bonnie feels confidant that Asher won’t testify. In an epic ending sequence we witness Annliese confronting Nate; Frank’s plan succeed to Wes’ dismay; and Bonnie’s “impression of Annelise” fails. “I’m always so stupid…I was trying to protect you…just blame it on me,” Bonnie cries after Connor decides that he can’t help her run from the consequences of her actions any longer. When you fail… try, try again. Asher returns to Annelise’s home and she decides to show him Bonnie’s childhood. The camera holds on Asher’s reaction to watching a child pornographic video of Bonnie with her father. While trying to get away with murder there are many truths and lies, but to succeed you must tell the correct truth, lie, or half-truth at just the right time. Asher is one of my favorite characters in the series, he’s a wild card, and just like in season one, is uniquely tied to the overarching plot line. He ran out of the court at the beginning of this episode, but he’ll be given another opportunity to tell his truth… in three weeks. Flash forward. Bonnie leaves Asher in the car to use the restroom at a gas station. She frantically tries to clean the blood off of her hands and clothes… whose blood is it? Meanwhile, Asher ditches Bonnie and walks into a police station. “I need to make a statement.” Cut to black.