I wonder if the network gave notes after last week that there wasn’t enough actual real authentic legal procedures, because after The Great Missing Objections Scandal of 2014, the word “OBJECTION” was blurted out all over the place this week. If true, this makes you wonder why they didn’t just ADR the word “OBJECTION” right before Viola’s ridiculous line in that episode. Forget Olivia Pope. I am your fixer.
Let’s get the Pretty Little Lawyers out of the way.
In this week’s present-day scenes, we find out that the whole gang gathered in Annalise’s office while Sam lay there in a Lake Eeeerie of his own blood and viscera. Wes went straight to a sobbing Rebecca, and Michaela was blubbering over by the bookshelf. Connor went over to her and started hissing all up in her face, because he’s a totally unappealing jackhole and I do not get this show’s insistence on putting him and his reek behavior at the top of every hour. It’s so off-putting. I don’t expect him to be speaking in respectful rhyming couplets during a stressful MUUURDER situation, but… anyway. He is neither as cute nor charismatic nor entertaining as the show believes him to be; instead he is greasy and stabby-making. Maybe he will be next season’s MUUURDER.
We then learn that Laurel realized the bonfire needs to be their alibi. So they all go out and party the only way Kids Today know how: by screaming and taking copious selfies. Everyone manages to be convincing about this except for Michaela, who grimaces at the camera like she’s being kidnapped. And then we cut to what LOOKS like them hauling bags away from the place where they forced Sam’s body. They’re loading it all into the back of their car. Are we really meant to think they took scorching, charred remains and shoved them into plastic bags with their bare hands? Or even with gloves? Those embers wouldn’t even be COOL yet, would they? Why not just bury Sam’s ashes in the forest? Were bits of him not fully incinerated (I’m guessing not)? What… is the plan here? I am pretty sure keeping souvenir sacks of the boss’s husband’s skeleton is not on Annalise’s list of How To Get Away With Murder, unless she is literally referring to Getting Your Murder Away From Where It Happened.
Oh, and Michaela’s giant, sparkling engagement ring? Missing. I would assume a quick flick of the flashlight along their getaway path and into some of the baggies would take care of THAT, because it twinkles like the North Star. You could read by the light of that sucker.
Michaela’s fiance is a guy named Aidan, who wants a political career and lives in New York. She’s a total control freak about their future together, which may be a problem for her because…
… it turns out Connor and Aidan went to the same all-male boarding school, and totally hooked up when they were sixteen. Connor lords it over her the way only Sir Douchelot can (“Don’t worry, I don’t even remember what his penis looks like… oh, wait, never mind, I do”), and about the only good thing in it is that we don’t have to suffer through countless episodes of Pointed Glances and Meaningful Remarks between the two men. Although I suppose that could still happen, if they are stuck in an elevator and get all Aerosmith about it.
Michaela wears an EXTREMELY cute outfit for her confrontation with Aidan. She and Viola Davis are getting the best of the wardrobe department’s attention, it seems.
And Aidan swears it was Just That One Time (which sounds as convincing as “Just the tip”) and she informs him that if he’s lying, she will divorce him and rake his political career over the coals and twist him up like a pretzel and dip him in mustard and BITE DOWN HARD and then chew and spit him out into a Cuisinart. Problem solved. I’m sure we won’t be hearing anything about this ever again.
Wes goes to the police station to try and finagle information abut Rebecca, but today, the people there are doing their jobs, possibly because they heard about the super cute kid who snagged illicit information from them last week. Wes is really bad at dressing himself for shenanigans. If you are going to skulk around a police station, don’t be dressed like the rainbow, especially because people ARE going to want to taste that.
Remember when I said Viola was getting the costumers’ best work? It’s only occasionally true. Paris and Frank BOTH look better than she does here, in that absurd shirt whose flaws are somehow made WORSE by the presence of a shielding trench rather than better. Never add a trench to the problem unless you BUTTON IT.
See? Wide-necked button-down shirt + a size too small + also somehow a size too BIG + high-wasited shirt x wrinkles = the costumer spilled espresso on the intended outfit and found this balled up at the bottom of a box and thought, “Maybe Annalise just forgot to pick up her dry-cleaning. Yes. That’s right.” AND Viola is stuck in it for a good chunk of the episode, which is lousy. This look on her face is exactly what mine is doing, except hers is better. I wish I could hold up a cardboard cutout of this expression every time I need help communicating that I am Not Impressed.
Here, Annalise is skeptical because the school — and football coach — is asking her to represent the MUUURDERback who may have killed Lila Stangard. She’s going to think about it, by which she means, beg Nate to hurry up with his investigation into whether or not the killer might have been Sam.
Nate is out and about looking EXTREMELY HOT while he finds out several damning facts: that Sam blew off the lecture he was supposed to give at Yale, and thus was no longer in contention for a teaching position; that Sam’s car was parked at the hotel valet, as planned, except for a suspiciously large window the night of the murder; and that he is able to pull off lavender and purple together (or pink and blue, or whatever the heck the real color palette is here; the point is, he’s a dreamboat, even if he sometimes walks like he’s a robot).
Meanwhile, Ana Ortiz from Ugly Betty and Devious Maids pops up with the guy from The Office who played Pam’s first fiancé. Ana was arrested for maybe being a hooker, after she was caught wanging a guy in her car. As soon as Annalise gets her out, Ana is arrested for being a woman who, in a protest years ago, set off a pipe bomb that killed a man. Her husband does NOT think this sounds like the act of a woman who wears pink blouses.
Annalise looks a lot better now that she has something lighter to do than think about MUUURDER. She is teaching her class all about how to use the brainwashing defense. You will never guess what it involves: claiming there was brainwashing. I KNOW. Radical.
Michaela looks enviable while explaining the obvious to us. However, every single time Annalise calls on a student, she paces and frowns and HMMMs and then — surprise surprise — calls only on one of our five leads. NOBODY else in that class gets to give an answer. We’re going to need some tertiary personalities in here soon. Like tomorrow.
Jason Gedrick — at smarmy, feathered heights — plays the cult leader Annalise is trying to claim brainwashed her into setting the pipe bomb. Let’s cut to the chase: It was all an elaborate ruse. The woman arranged to get caught so that Gedrick could get himself on Annalise’s witness list, and thus tempt the prosecution to offer him early release in exchange for testifying AGAINST Ana. Then Ana does a runner and it’s revealed that she meets Jason on a bus because his early release WAS ONE MINUTE AFTER HE LEFT THE STAND. I hope everyone in the Philadelphia justice system got a bonus for processing that shit at ludicrous speed. Even Velma Kelly probably had to wait a hot second, and then another hot three hours because she had to sign some forms and somebody stole the only pen and then it was someone else’s coffee break.
At a dinner party with friends, Sam confesses that Yale hired someone else, and Annalise gives him Dark and Stormy Eye Daggers that no one notices, because: TV.
Also, as she’s lying awake at night, glaring at her slumbering spouse, she is wearing a very pretty nightie, and (I think) no makeup. Which I LOVE. People on TV never do that. Even Erica Kane had on full-face one of the many times she was in jail for MUURDER. So, applause to Viola for letting Annalise sleep the way normal human women do. But a BreatheRight strip on Sam over there would go a long way.
The gang overhears Annalise snarking to Frank that he should “let the real lawyers” do the work, leading to some confusion as to what Frank actually IS. Bodyguard? P.I.? Vest model who was raised in the woods by a kindly Gruffalo?
Also, every time the Pretty Little Lawyers are in a group shot, it looks SO carefully staged, like somebody was told that every single freeze frame of them should be able to double as a poster. I didn’t catch this one in the MOST optimal moment, but…
… Just SO careful. Which: TV. So I get it. But it still makes me laugh.
Unlike Paris’s sleeveless trench dress, which is no laughing matter. I wanted it to be cute, but the longer I look at it, the more I want to burn most of it. They really should have called her on Bonfire Night and offered to blitz some DNA off THAT as well.
Anyway, Douchebag Quarterback gets up there and faces off against one lawyer, one Paris, one Frank of Dubious Origin, and five of his fellow students, and lays out his case. This is ten thousand kinds of wrong every time they do it, and again, I understand that it’s for exposition, but couldn’t Wes have OVERHEARD it? If I were that kid, I’d be like, “Tell you what: Y’all can hire me a lawyer who DOESN’T sell tickets to my pre-trial interview.”
He spins a yarn that is thus: He and Lila were at a party. They wanted cocaine. They called Rebecca, a known dealer, and then suddenly he and Rebecca were messed up and having sex. Which is something he and Lila had sworn not to do until they were married, so when Lila stormed in, she was furious. QB claims that Rebecca had set him up — texted Lila “while we were hooking up” (not a compliment if all she can think about is texting people while your tongue is in her mouth) and arranged for him to get busted. Then he says Rebecca TOTALLY killed poor sad Lila and it’s just such a relief to get the truth out there. Except, why? Is his claim that she killed Lila out of an obsession with him? Because… the damage was KIND OF already done to their relationship, no? Killing seems like, well, overkill. But this is the story DBQB is going to pitch, and I’m sure it takes everyone by total surprise that he flipped on her in order to get out of trouble. Wes, in fact, is galvanized into action, because he is obsessed with Rebecca and actually might BE a crazy stalker.
So he makes a fake ID, the better to sneak in and pretend to be Rebecca’s lawyer. And dumbass makes one WITH HIS ACTUAL NAME ON IT. So even if it worked, his name would be in the register — he had to sign in — and when the REAL public defender eventually showed up they would sniff out these shenanigans faster than I can sniff out an unopened Diet Coke just waiting for freedom. GIBBINS, you beautiful dimwit.
By the way, Nate lies to Annalise that Sam’s alibi completely checks out, and she weeps with relief… and then gropes his inner thigh and purrs that she missed him. I don’t know if she intends it as repayment, or she’s just hot for him because her interest in Sam only extended as far as being worried HE was betraying HER. Again, could be all three. Nate brushes off her advances and gets out of the car. He’s very noble, which doesn’t entirely jibe with him sleeping with Annalise in the first place — like, he’s almost TOO removed and unaffected. There isn’t the sense of temptation here. It’s almost like he pities her, and I’d rather see some HEAT emanating from him beyond just the fact that he’s physically dreamy.
Permission to nap while I deal with Laurel: GRANTED. Basically, she asks for a pass to go to a Law Review party, and Frank is all, “WHAT WHERE WHAT BAR TELL ME,” because he is a master of unsubtlety. When he gets there, though, Laurel is hitting it off with some dude who works at Legal Aid, and Frank leaves in a panty-wadded snit.
Which Asher notices, but misinterprets as Frank being grossed out by Laurel tonguing that guy. I still find Asher frustrating and not ENTIRELY sketched out, but Matt McGorry is at least starting to dig into the more ridiculous aspects of his Intellectual Dudebro facade. The overpronounced slang, the eagerness to do shots, the fist-pumps, the under-the-breath or over-the-shoulder comments that are just off-color but which he clearly thinks are funny. He’s giving it what he can.
When Wes talks to Rebecca, she isn’t interested, so she busts him to the guards. As he’s being hustled out, he screams to her that DBQB is going to flip and pin the entire murder on her. When Annalise comes to pick him up, Wes is unmoved by the dress whose design mirrors her conscience and the GIANT bracelet that doesn’t go with it AT ALL but which deserves another home. Instead, he delivers this whole speech about how he just wanted to HELP and she was fighting with DBQB, and the whole reason any of them want to be lawyers is to make a DIFFERENCE, and then he gets Sad Puppy face. I hope it turns out this guy is a master sociopath. Because…
… Annalise gives HIM the Immunity Idol after this stirring display, and decides to represent Rebecca instead of DBQB.
But when they get to her in prison (the entire team, of course, because again: TV), an attorney played by Alysia Reiner of OITNB smugly says that Rebecca already confessed in full. On tape. Wes’s plaid shirt of hope creases itself in frustration, and when his face falls, a baby bunny yelps in pain.