“How to Get Away With Murder” Recap: “Carpe The Dance Floor”

Oliver starts a pizza delivery service, and Asher eats it up.

Much like Annalise, you’re going to need to guzzle a bottle of vodka to get through this one. This episode is an emotional roller coaster — absolutely devastating in parts, and an acting tour de force for Viola Davis who continually finds surprising new dimensions to this complicated character.

We open mid-phone call:

Eve: “Annalise? What’s going on?”
Annalise: “GURGHANNNA!!!!”

Annalise can’t talk right now because she’s being strangled to death by Murder Cousin. But turns out Annalise wields a hefty right hook because of course she does, and she goes ahead and clocks him a good one in the side of the head then hightails it out the door.

Back at her house, there’s a lovely small scene where she gets some tender loving care from Eve, who wants Annalise to stay at her apartment in New York where she’ll be kept safe. Annalise is all, “Um, that’s nice but Nate is muscle-y. I think I’ll stick with that.”

I’m so conflicted because on the one hand I love Annalise and Eve together and I want them to get married and open a B&B in Vermont where they breed collies. But on the other hand, Annalise sticking with Detective Downtown means we get to see him take his shirt off.

Detective Downtown is downstairs at that very moment in the flesh with big news! Murder Brother has gone missing, which freaks Michaela out since she assumes he was serial killered by his cousin. I’d say given Michaela’s history with men, they should just look for him in Fire Island, Palm Springs, and the nearest departing Atlantis cruise.

Having never seen a horror movie, they decide the safest course of action when a serial killer is on the loose and eager to off them is to stay together in the same house. Sigh.

But then they get called to the Male A.D.A.’s office. Even though they technically have immunity for the night of Annalise’s shooting, there’s all sorts of other stuff he hopes to nail them on. We get a montage of them each being questioned, and while they’ve learned hardly anything in law school, if there’s one thing they have learned from Annalise it’s how to sass the authorities.

Laurel of course is the best at this, although Connor comes a close second. When the A.D.A. asks why he looks so disturbed in the video, Connor says he has “resting bitch face.” Actually, Connor, that’s not true. You have resting “smoldering good looks face”, and there’s a difference.

They’re sent back home, but then the A.D.A. wants to question Asher, who wasn’t even on the videos. Turns out the A.D.A. is no dummy and is starting to piece together what actually happened, helped out by an eyewitness who spotted Asher in the same garage as A.D.A. RBF the day she died. Ruh-roh! Pesky eyewitnesses!

Back at Annalise’s, Asher apologizes to everyone for being such a doofus for getting them all into this mess, although they all agree the real mess started with whoever killed Lila because Lila’s murder led to Sam’s murder which led to Rebecca’s “disappearance” which led to A.D.A. RBF’s murder which led to Annalise’s shooting. Um, sure it did.

Connor wonders if he should out himself to Oliver as a murderer helper for the sake of having an honest relationship and everyone goes “TERRIBLE IDEA!” Just then, Ollie himself marches in bearing pizza, illustrating once again why he is ideal boyfriend material. Asher feels this too, greeting him with an enthusiastic “O-man!” and announcing that he wouldn’t mind turning gay so he could date him too.

Talk turns to Laurel dumping Frank. Oliver bemoans this turn of events because it means the end of “Flaurel” which is such a perfect shipper name and since “Basher” isn’t a thing any more. No one bothers to mention “Conniver”, although I’d like to take this opportunity to announce that I’m officially changing “Conniver” to “Ollie-Con,” because that’s also the name of the convention I’m starting for all fans of gay TV ass sex. You’re all invited.

Laurel says, “Wanna know why I broke up with Frank? Funny story! Because I think he shot Annalise so we could all frame Murder Sister!” Oliver is horrified and says they should go to the police.

Privately, Connor pulls Laurel aside all “WTF?” She says she wanted to show Connor that if Oliver is so upset over something piddly like Frank shooting Annalise, just imagine how’d he react if Connor told him all the other sordid goings on chez Keating.

Meanwhile Bonnie and Frank are somewhere having it out and he finally tells her that it wasn’t Annalise who put him up to killing Lila, as Bonnie always suspected, but Sam. Frustratingly, he still doesn’t really say why he had to do Sam’s bidding. The closest we get to any sort of explanation is in one of the flashbacks where Annalise tells Frank and the weasel living on his head at the time that she only took him on because Sam, having found him in the gutter somewhere, felt bad for him and coerced Annalise into hiring him.

In the present, Annalise spies the two of them all chummy and naturally wonders if they’re boning, because like us she knows full well that at some point every single person on this show will have boned every other person in every possible combination — as evidenced, you’ll see, by a surprise hook-up toward the end of this episode.

Anyway, when Annalise isn’t accusing employees of boning, she’s guzzling vodka in her office, at first behind Bonnie’s back but then proudly in front of her. Bonnie asks her what the eff is going on with Wes that has her acting this way

To which Annalise drunkenly storms into her living room and kicks everyone out of the house. They’re all, “What about hanging out here so we don’t get murdered?” And she’s all, “You’re all probably going to be murdered anyway so carpe diem. And by that I mean go out, get blotto, and f*ck.”

Which they do, heading out to a bar where they have a fine time doing 400 shots of jager and drunk grope-dancing. At the bar, Oliver tells Connor that he’s stronger than he thinks and can handle whatever secrets Connor’s hiding.

He adds that he’s got secrets of his own, and you should see the look of abject horror on Connor’s face at the thought that Oliver is hiding something. I had to admit my first thoughts went to “secret porn star,” “card-carrying dungeon master” and “long lost Kardashian.” Sadly, his big secret is that he quit his job because he wants more excitement in his life, like the fun times to be had working for Annalise. Connor is really not into this idea, but I’m hoping it means Conrad Ricamora is upped to series regular next year which would be fantastic.

Oliver says they shouldn’t worry about this stuff now and instead “carpe the dance floor,” where they dance erotically along with Asher, who then watches the two of them making out with clear longing. Sigh. At this point, this show is just trolling us with these hints at the Asher-Ollie-Con threesome we’ve all been fantasizing about.

Instead, Asher goes off to drunk dance with Michaela. Then he makes a dumb joke about Murder Brother being murdered and when it doesn’t land announces that it’s because his job is to be the worst. Then they hook up.

I mean, they really, REALLY hook up, having hot and heavy and ass-spanky sex in the restroom on a sink. ARGH! My eyes! No, no, no, no no! A thousand times no!

Actually, you know what? Yes. Hell, yes! Against all odds, I find myself not all that upset by this turn of events. There’s something about the two of them, unlike the Wes/Laurel smooch, that feels right. I’m digging Michealasher. What did you guys think?

Anyway, back at Annalise’s house, she’s kept Wes behind so she can finally tell him the truth …

Flashbacks! 10 years ago, when the nation was rocking to the Macarena and Alanis Morrissette was mangling the word Ironic.

Eve: “Annalise, what did we do?”

We’re back at that scene that was the big shock right before the winter hiatus. Annalise and Eve are watching young Christophe be questioned by the police.

After, Annalise yells at the D.A. that there’s no way the kid killed his mother. But she’s still not telling anyone, including Eve, that she knows full well what happened to Rose given the woman killed herself right in front of her.

The D.A. tells Annalise to chill. They don’t think the child killed his mother but they also don’t think she necessarily killed herself on account of the Hedge Fund Family being so horrible and therefore likely guilty of something.

At her hotel, Annalise gets a visit from Hedge Fund Daddy who wants to know how their star alibi witness could wind up dead on her watch. She accuses back that it was his doing, since Rose was clearly terrified of him and coerced into lying for him.

Later, she tries to get Eve to go to the police to rat out Hedge Fund Daddy for his threats to Rose. When Eve refuses, Annalise heads to the police station in her car, using her antiquated old timey cell phone to call ahead to let them know she’s on the way, when …

BLAMMO! Another car smashes into her, and I jumped about 18 feet into the air it was such a shock.

She’s rushed to the hospital and this is the emotionally devastating sequence I was referring to. We see Annalise get a C section, we see them try to revive the dead baby, and we see her holding him and falling apart. It’s absolutely heart breaking, and Viola Davis just kills it.This is the kind of storyline that brings a movie actress of her caliber to television.

There’s even an added emotional dimension when Eve is denied access to Annalise by the hospital because she’s not family. Eve and Sam have an awkward meet-up, and when we see Sam with Annalise, we also see how what looked to be a pretty solid relationship started to crumble from that moment on. Annalise blames her career ambitions for what happened.

In the present, she tells Wes that what happened to his mother is her fault. She wanted to win her case so badly that she pressured his mother to testify, and Rose couldn’t handle it so committed suicide.

Wes says, “‘Bull’ to the ‘sh’ to the ‘it.’” He can sense Annalise is still holding something back from him. In a flashback, we go back to that moment between Annalise and Hedge Fund Daddy, and now we see that Annalise figured out why Rose was so afraid — Hedge Fund Daddy had raped her.

So Wes, the bad news is your father was your mother’s rapist. But the good news is he’s still alive and he’s loaded, as present-day Wes discovers when he googles the guy.

Later on, drunk Laurel shows up on Annalise’s doorstep to make all sorts of accusations, including that she had Frank kill Lila. I guess Annalise didn’t know it was Frank? Honestly, I’ve lost track, but it doesn’t matter because Annalise reveals nothing.

After Laurel’s gone, she packs a suitcase. I was hoping she was taking Eve up on her offer to hole up with her in NYC. But it’s something almost as good. She shows up on her mother’s doorstep, which means more of Cicely Tyson’s loony tunes mama shtick, a highlight from last season.

Whew! I need a Xanax. Next week: season finale! Are you ready?

Proud to be joining the cast of Real Housewives of New York. Tagline: "When it comes to my TV viewing, I don't believe in guilty pleasures. It's all pleasure."