Have you ever noticed that every Shonda Rhimes show has a character with a signature drink? Meredith and Cristina had tequila, Olivia Pope has red wine, and Annalise Keating has vodka.

Lots of it. In a tumbler. But when you’re trying to get away with murder, sometimes only a hotel’s tiny trove of liquid sanity will do.

So Annalise puts on her wine cardigan, which here is really more of a minibardigan, and holes up in downtown Philadelphia sucking down spirits and crying for the man she loved (loves?) who so recently called her a whore, put his hands around her throat, and then tried to assault her students before being introduced to the business end of the Scales of Justice. The last lady, indeed, whose caress Sam Keating would ever know.

It is obviously a time of quiet dignity and reflection.

How did everyone else spend the Christmas holiday? Well:

Wes and Rebecca took refuge in his place. There’s some mention of Rudy, the guy who lived there before and left insane notches in the wall that bespeak a man whose senses jilted him. Wes is also having trouble sleeping, thanks to a variety pack of nightmares in little fun-size portions, so he’s decided that for some reason clubbing his professor’s husband over the head and watching his life ooze out of the ensuing skull hole has made him go crazy. Rebecca is very sweet with him, and not at ALL traumatized by the fact that she is the one who ended up with Sam’s brain matter dappling her face.

Laurel spends the holiday with her family in Florida, none of whom have any interest in her life as an urban professional, which causes her to drink too much and blurt out that she’s working for a woman whose husband choked out his student lover and then dumped her in a water tank. Her mother would rather talk about dating, so Laurel goads them until they snap and then stomps off — but as she does, a little smile comes over her face, as if she’s almost relieved to get back to the stresses of massaging her murder alibi.

She also looked COMPLETELY gorgeous.

And I forgot to mention last week that she went crawling back to Forgettable Kan and told him she doesn’t want to end things. But even as she has done that, she’s still clearly intrigued by Frank. I think what’s happening is that she’s a little turned on by the danger, and it’s bringing out the more assertive side of her because she is the ONLY one of the Fallible Four who isn’t falling apart.

Indeed, right after the break, she scurries straight to Frank and says she’s been thinking about how Connor’s car is full of DNA and they need to scrub it. Frank, in a move that COMPLETELY flips me around to being on his side, curtly tells Laurel that she’s an utter moron for discussing the details of their crime and coverup in the middle of a courthouse. TEAM FRANK. That’s all it took, was ONE PERSON dropping a sense bomb on the clueless. And Frank then steals Connor’s car to help destroy the evidence, and Laurel teases him about how he’s using all her brilliant schemes; she’s hot for the drama, and the two of them are going to have MUUUURDER sex pretty soon. If Kan were any less lively he’d be a broom, so you know she won’t keep HIM around long.

Connor tells his sister that he’s got a boyfriend, and turns down the hot piece of tail she cued up for him as a Christmas present. It seems right somehow that Connor would have a willing sibling pimp. Cut to after Christmas, when Connor comes back with a hat for Oliver and tries to burrow back into Oliver’s comfy life. In a nutshell, Oliver resists until finally he doesn’t — the trigger is The Thorn Birds, a.k.a. the aphrodisiac of champions — and then Oliver pulls away and insists he’s addicted to Connor the way Connor is addicted to drugs (the lie Connor told to cover his behavior on The Night of the Murder). Connor convinces him they can take it slow, and that he wants to because Oliver is the only person in his life that he truly trusts.

These two are not going to take it slow. LOOK HOW CUTE HE IS IN HIS HAT. Pants will be dropped, and that hat will get hung on a fleshy novelty hook for sexual sport.

I THINK Asher spent as much time in Philly as possible, because his family sucks, which means he ended up being Frank’s drinking buddy.

Then Asher makes this face. It doesn’t matter why. (He had asked Frank about Paris’s “screwed up” family and Frank deduced his interest, thus causing an electric denial.)

Michaela pounded the bubbly at her in-laws’ holiday party, then freaked out when she saw Aidan laughing closely with another man and marched right up and asked if the two of them were hooking up (remember, Aidan and Connor once had a maybe-thing back in boarding school, and she knows about it). This didn’t go over well with Aidan, who then tells her he can’t DO THIS ANYMORE because she’s acted completely insane the entire break — sleeping the whole time, saying nothing, acting like a loon — and presumably dumps her. Although interestingly, his answer is not, “No that man and I are not hooking up,” but rather, “We work together at the Mayor’s office.” I don’t know if that’s an intentional dodge, but Aidan IS into politics, and the dude has to know that simply being colleagues is no reason why you can’t also be boinking. See also: Frank and Laurel, Paris and Asher, Annalise and Nate, and every single living human on Grey’s Anatomy, plus probably at least six people at your office. Seven if there is some REALLY fun geometry.

Case of the Week:

Crazy Lady, inspired by Annalise turning in her husband for murder, confesses that her spouse has two young girls locked up in their basement. One of them is pregnant with the second attempt at a child for The Crazys raise as their own. It turns out Crazytown herself was an early victim of her now-husband’s, and is trying to get him locked up so that she is scot-free to raise the first baby, who she told the birth mother had died (and who she told the HUSBAND had died two weeks prior, so he would leave the girl alone and not creep on her). It’s a thorny web that leads to Annalise lying to Crazytown about a plea deal, in order to extract the location of where she was hiding the child, unsupervised for long stretches and woefully dirty. Child rescued, mother in psych, husband in jail, captives freed. DONE.

Annalise also not only backtracked on Sleevegate this week, but actually HAD a jacket with her and actively did not wear it and only donned it after she LEFT the courtroom. She is DELIBERATELY messing with us all now. I would yell OBJECTION but she has not demonstrated any real knowledge of what it means.

And then Asher makes this face. It doesn’t matter why.

And then Asher makes this face. It doesn’t matter why. (He is annoyed that they’re representing Crazytown because she’s morally questionable and participated in keeping two minors hostage, and in between threatening to walk off the case and then receiving abuse from Paris, he goads her about how he could sue her for sexual harassment.)

Paris makes THIS face and I think it actually curdles Asher’s testes.

Then Asher makes this face. It doesn’t matter why. Except: He finally explains to Paris that the reason he’s tweaking her about this is, she hurt his feelings. He explains that everyone else on the team makes fun of him mercilessly and seems not to respect him, but she never treated him like he was ridiculous until she dumped that frosty cold vat of Haterade all over his head. Poor Asher. He has so many feelings and nobody who wants to hear them.

Well, nobody except maybe Frank. The Pretty Little Lawyers watch Asher and Frank dudebro their way into court, and conclude that Frank is keeping Asher close so that he can manage Asher’s suspicions. Which is probably true, but Asher needs a friend, and Frank can only improve his lady game, so I’m all for it.

And, Marcia Gay Harden is in town as Sam/Tom Verica’s doting psychologist sister, hell-bent on finding him and proving he isn’t a murderer. Her reasoning is that he was awesome and never acted like a murderer.  She obviously doesn’t read People magazine, which is FULL of stories of people who never acted like murderers until suddenly they turned murdery.

She is unconvinced by all of Annalise’s evidence against Sam, and takes to following her around town, including to Nate’s for a tryst. Annalise is both amused and somewhat nervous. Marcia Gay Harden doesn’t have a ton to do other than play the Staunch Believer, but there’s something crackling about having her there to go toe-to-toe with Viola Davis. It’s almost like Viola was missing having a more seasoned scene partner.

She has soldiered forth bravely, though, through the torture of having to place her body parts atop his. Apparently his dying wife has blessed this affair, so they can drape each other in saliva more often, which seems like a WONDERFUL course of treatment for grief. No, sincerely. They are both exquisite Grief Bangs.

Ultimately, Annalise deals with Marcia by pretending to level with her. She admits to shagging Nate. She says she saw the penis photos way earlier, knew about the affair earlier, and covered up evidence to try and help Sam — all of which is the truth, actually; she really just omits the part about her student beating him about the head with a knickknack.

Which was a wise move, because now the missing person investigation is officially one for MUUUURDER. Because the FESTERING IDIOTS who burned the body, and cleaned up evidence, ended up fumbling on the goal line and didn’t complete the final incineration (Connor got crabby so they just put him in a Dumpster). Annalise should turn them all in and then take Nate and move to Spain and drink and take sexy siestas together until the end of time. Colluding with the Dipshit Brigade is only going to drag her down long-term.