“How to Get Away With Murder” Recap: Mommy Issues

“Let Mama handle this, like always.”

There’s something wonderfully ironic about the fact that, just as we finally get confirmation that Annalise is not in fact Wes’s mother, the twisted maternal nature of her relationship with the kids is emphasized this week more than ever.

At one point, Annalise even announces that she’s got five children and parenting is a nightmare given they’re all ungrateful, spoiled crybabies. But at least they’re all highly attractive, which is more than most parents can say.

And when Connor shows her the surveillance video from murder night that was emailed to him, Annalise is all, “Let Mama handle this, like always.”

Everyone notices that Annalise is being especially bitchy to them these days, although I’m still not sure why she’s so extra-angry with them. Look lady, if you didn’t want to get involved with helping people get away with murder, then maybe don’t offer up a class in it, you know what I’m saying?

She especially seems to have it in for Connor, pooh poohing his concerns about the video, and even wondering if he’s actually the one behind it. I don’t think he is, but it’s worth noting that while they all assume Murder Cousin is the culprit, there’s no real confirmation it is him, other than the fact he’s so freaking creepy.

Anyway, another video comes through, this time with a helpful ransom note demanding $1 million by morning or the videos go to the police. And Connor is all, fix this “Mommy,” saying the word with the exact same venomous intonation with which most of my friends these days say the word “Republicans.”

Since Annalise has spent all her savings on vodka and household tchotchkes that can double as murder weapons in a pinch, they need to find cash to pay their blackmailer. Pooling all their savings, the kids have a total of $29.98 plus a buy one get one free burrito coupon good at all Chipotles still being investigated by the health department.

So Annalise drags Michaela with her to stick her boobs back in Murder Brother’s face and say, “We changed our minds. We’ll help you track down Murder Cousin, just so long as you give us wheelbarrows of cash right away.”

He’s fine this arrangement, and to kick things off, Annalise suggests he visit his sister in jail to see if he can worm any Murder Cousin intel out of her. He says he already tried this, but Annalise suggests he try again with the ingenious strategy of assuring his sister that, just in case she did in fact help murder their parents, he’s totally not mad at her about it. Stuff happens.

Murder Sister doesn’t seem to be doing all that well in the slammer, and she is really, really pissed at her brother. She sort of confesses to maybe sort of helping Murder Cousin kill their parents because he gave her the brother love her brother could never give her. Which … ew.

But I don’t think we’re meant to take this as a serious confession or the actual resolution of the mystery. At least I hope not, because it’s all sort of anti-climactic at this point. They’ve strung this murder mystery far beyond that story’s expiration date, so I guess I’m hoping for some sort of mind-blowing twist to redeem the whole thing.

Anyway, the ransom deadline is looming, and the gang still don’t have a plan. So Annalise suggests they all go home and get drunk and have sex, you know, advice ANY GOOD MOTHER WOULD GIVE HER CHILDREN.

So Michaela and Murder Brother immediately commence boinking.

Then Asher shows up looking for a Bonnie bootie call, but she shuts him down saying she can’t be his girlfriend right now.

For what it’s worth, Asher is also going around saying he’s going to turn himself in for A.D.A. RBF’s murder, hoping for a lighter sentence given the extenuating circumstances of her being such a bitch. And I’m like, NOW YOU’RE SUGGESTING THIS? Now that all your friends have incriminated themselves in covering up the murder and your teacher took a bullet in the gut for you? It’s bad enough you fart up your friend’s place but this is like farting up their entire lives.

Speaking of which … Oliver comes home to a sight that can’t be good in any relationship – his boyfriend guiltily slamming shut his laptop in a major hurry. Oliver worries that their sex life has been suffering on account of their gassy, douchey houseguest and that Connor’s back to cruising HumpR.

Then Connor shows him the screen and the true source of his shame. He’s applying to Stanford Law School. Gasp! Connor argues that they need to move away on account of being stalked by a serial killer. I’d argue that in the time it takes to apply to another school, get accepted, and move across the country, you’d probably already be murdered unless your stalker is really, really lousy at his job.

But of course it’s also because Connor wants to get away from Annalise. Plus, let’s face it, from what we’ve seen this current law school isn’t doing its students any great favors in terms of their educations anyway. Which Oliver points out directly, uttering my favorite line in the episode … “Given I’ve never seen you crack a book, how do you know you’ll even get in?”

Connor tries to persuade Oliver the move will be good for them, since Cali is warm and “we can do yoga all day long and our asses will look amazing.” Then Oliver says his ass’s feelings are hurt, and Connor offers to help cheer up his ass, and I say, “Ass talk! Hallelujah!” After a way too long dry spell, the couple who introduces assplay to prime time are back to basics. It’s about time.

Meanwhile, Annalise is taking her own advice, inviting Detective Downtown over for a probable booty call. Except they get into a fight over dinner about how much they don’t trust each other. But then they kiss and make up and spend the night boinking.

The next day, Annalise is all, “Good morning, hottie! Say, any idea on how to handle a blackmailing psychotic stalker, just curious LOL.” And Detective Downtown says, “Don’t ever negotiate with crazies.” Which is actually good advice.

So Annalise calls the gang together to tell them they have to show Murder Cousin they won’t be intimidated by him, that she’s certain he won’t follow through on his threats to go to the police because that would also put himself at risk. Together, they countdown to the deadline, New Year’s Eve style. When they reach it and nothing happens, Asher commences his, “We own your ass” victory dance.

And then … BING BING! You’ve got psycho mail! It’s another video, only this time from the night before, of Annalise and Nate in her kitchen. And that is really freaking creepy. Everyone, quick! Apply to other law schools before he can find you!

In addition to the Murder Cousin storyline, the other major plot thread of this episode has to do with Wes’s mother, and we finally, finally start getting some actual answers about her past connection to Annalise. This information is doled out to his in wig-happy flashback sequences, as well as some present day sleuthing by Wes and Laurel.

What’s Laurel doing wrapped up in this, you wonder? Well, remember that time she was so upset with Frank for being a liar that he decided he’d make her feel better by telling her he’s also a murderer? Turns out that conversation did not go so well!

Laurel is pretty freaked out, at first thinking he’s still lying, then wondering if Annalise put him up to killing Lila. Frank promises to explain the whole thing, just as his phone rings and he goes to answer it. SIGH. Naturally, Laurel uses this opportunity to flee.

Flee to Wes’s house, where she’s all, “I’m having a fight with my boyfriend and I’m bored so can I mess around in the trainwreck of your life for a while,” and he’s all “Sure! Help yourself to a stack of newspaper clippings Annalise left me on my doorstep instead of just telling me what happened like a sane person would.”

So the story is basically this … 10 years ago, Annalise was representing a young hedge fund guy accused of beating his fiancé to death. You know how it used to be that a character’s sexuality was often code for psycho? Well, these days we all know that hedge fund anything is code for corrupt a-hole. And Annalise’s client’s father, Hedge Fund Daddy, certainly fits the bill, revealing himself to be a racist sociopath fond of making thinly veiled threats.

Anyway, Hedge Fund Daddy’s company was being investigated by the Feds for corruption (I know! Shocking!), and Hedge Fundie Jr.’s fiance, who happened to work there as well, threatened to turn whistleblower, which is the alleged motive for his having murdered her first.

But Rose, Wes’s mother, was a cleaning woman at the Hedge Fund offices, and claims she saw Hedge Fund Jr. busy at work the night of the murder, thereby providing him with an alibi. Annalise has been buddying up to her all this time to persuade her to testify in his defense.

But Rose is afraid to, on account of being an illegal immigrant and single mother. So Annalise arranges for her to testify anonymously from a remote location. BTW my second favorite line of the episode is when Annalise goes, “I already checked with the judge. He’s fine with it.” LOL!

Look, I appreciate any effort to move this story along as quickly as possible, but seriously? This is something you can just run by the judge in your spare time without any sort of formal hearing? Can you just directly ask the judge for anything you want during a murder trial, like, “Oh and judge? This whole jail thing isn’t really working for my client, so OK if I put him up at the Waldorf? Thanks much!”

Anyway, in court, the TV monitor is set up all ready to broadcast Rose’s anonymous testimony. And then she’s a no show. Ruh roh! Outside the courtroom, Hedge Fund Daddy confronts Annalise at his most threatening and most racist. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that given how villainous he’s being portrayed, he probably isn’t the one behind any of the murders. Let’s just assume it’s his wife for now, okay?

In the present, Wes and Laurel are in Cleveland piecing this all together through trial transcripts presented to them via the most awesomest character ever … Oddball Library Lady. Wes jumps to the conclusion that Annalise persuaded Rose to testify and when she didn’t, the Hedge Fund family had her killed and make it look like suicide. He also realizes the only reason he got into law school and all this special treatment from Annalise is because she feels guilty over what happened.

When they take a break that night, Wes asks Laurel what’s going on with her and Frank. She tearfully confesses that she fell for a replica of her father, who it turns out is a VERY BAD MAN. She thought she could go to law school and escape him, but instead wound up with a guy just like him.

Then Wes leans in and OH MY EYES! MY EYES! Make it stop! Because the two of them start making out. NOOOO! A thousand times No! They pull back from each other and announce that this was probably a mistake. But I have a feeling we’re in for more of this, and I’ll have to prepare myself better emotionally for the next time.

Back in the past, we see Annalise track down Rose at her home. She suspects that Rose fled from testifying because her whole story is a lie that the Hedge Fund family put her up to. But she also warns that she doesn’t know what that family will do to her if she doesn’t follow through with testifying. Rose says Annalise is as bad as they are, and shuts the door on her.

Then she turns around and demands that her son, Wes Christophe go to bed. He doesn’t want to go to bed, so HE STABS HER TO DEATH!

At least that’s the image we’re left with in the end. In the present, Laurel finds a piece of paper in the official report on Rose’s death and snatches it without telling Wes. Then she runs back to Annalise with it, demanding to know if it’s true what the paper said and if Annalise knew about it – namely, that a prime suspect in Rose’s death was her 12-year-old son.

In a quick final flashback, we see young Wes Christophe standing over his bloody mother’s body holding a bloody knife. Yeesh! Talk about some serious mommy issues.

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