Well that escalated quickly.
The cops have found Sam's body, and judging by the previews for next week the number one suspect is going to be Annalise Keating. Can the master of manipulation escape from a murder investigation?
But back to the episode at hand -- everyone (and their sister) had a horrible Christmas. Which happens when you kill someone, but regardless. And to make matters worse, the case of the week involves an Ariel Castro-esque situation that might be even more grotesque than the murder and cheating the Keating kids are accustomed to. Happy holidays to you and yours, everyone.
Annalise kicks off the episode on a vodka bender, because if you're a Shonda heroine you must have an alcohol of choice (Olivia's got wine, Meredith has tequila). Upon returning to the house post-Christmas break, she finds Sam's sister Hannah (apologies for thinking it was Anna last week) waiting for her. Hannah asks Annalise how she could possibly go out of town with her husband accused of murder and missing. Great question, Hannah, great question. Annalise doesn't have much of a comeback to that one, and to be honest, she's not doing a very good job of looking innocent this episode to the outside world.
In the Wes, Rebecca flashback that is "orphan Christmas," a Christmas card for the crazy law student that lived in Wes' apartment before him arrives. Turns out the guy that lived there, who left suspicious scratches and teeth marks all over the place after some extracurricular activities and an alleged mental breakdown, was named Rudy Walters. Chances Rudy Walters has something to do with Lila's death or something else nefarious? High. We have had way too many close-up shots of those scratch marks.
Back in present-day, the only way to distract from the murderous aftermath at hand is the horrendous walk-in case of a woman who has knowingly imprisoned two women in her house for years for her abusive husband. She wants the women freed so one of them can deliver her baby safely, but also wants to cut a deal so she doesn't go to jail for knowingly keeping them imprisoned. Talk about disturbing.
Back at Laurel's West Palm Beach mansion, we realize murder shines her meek self up nicely. That and she speaks Spanish. When we return to present day, Laurel is tipping Frank off to the danger inherent in Connor's blood encrusted car. She's turned into quite the baller over the holidays.
Annalise gets tailed by her sister-in-law, who follows her to Nate's house. Annalise cares not one bit, and sleeps over with Nate anyways. Nate, if possible, got hotter and more gullible over the holiday break. He decided to tell his dying wife about the affair he was having with a woman who just threw her missing husband under the bus for murder. I just don't buy that he's that stupid, but maybe he is. That six-pack though...
At Connor's Christmas, we find out the brilliant Connor is a Midwestern kid. Never would have guessed that. Maybe we learned this earlier (if so, correct me in the comments!) but he does not give off Midwest vibes. Connor admits to his sister that he has serious feelings for Oliver, who we then see in present-day. Despite manipulating Oliver over the fake drug abuse, they're kind of an adorable couple that's as close to normal as couples on this show get (they're watching a movie! That's close to normal!). The night ends with Connor's car being stolen. Thank you Frank for following through on Laurel's excellent suggestion. Anyone want a Frank, Laurel spinoff? Anyone?
Next we find out Bonnie, Frank, and Asher stuck around town, being generally pathetic. Moral of that story: happy people with happy families don't kill people.
As for the case of the week, the twisted awfulness of rape and child abduction comes into play. Annalise does the right thing and sacrifices her client to save a missing four-year-old. At least Annalise gets to save one person this episode.
As for Michaela, the happy facade all comes crashing down. Turns out her fiance broke off the engagement over Christmas, and the fake engagement ring she's wearing is useless. She seems two seconds away from absolutely losing it, which is only one second better than Wes with his nightmares.
Bonnie and Hannah have a little chat, where it becomes apparent that everyone knew Bonnie had a massive crush on Sam. But as Hannah points out to Bonnie, Annalise could get this case against Sam "thrown out with her eyes closed." Annalise truly is doing a horrible job of looking innocent.
A bright spot at the end of the episode is the revival of the Oliver-Connor relationship. It appears Oliver is in this for the long haul, and Connor is lucky to have him.
In the closing minutes, Frank makes it clear that he threw the police off the trail with a fake call "spotting Sam" in New York, and he says he would gladly "take care" of Sam's sister if Annalise wanted. Could Frank have anything to do with Lila's death, since he's so obviously Annalise's henchman? What is the hold Annalise has over Frank (and Bonnie for that matter) anyways?
Annalise then has Hannah over for a home-cooked meal, and she even cooks brussel sprouts. In a real heart-to-heart, she tells Hannah she's been sleeping with Nate and knew about Lila when she found the infamous photo on Lila's phone, thus admitting she lied to the police and helped Sam cover his tracks. This confession seems like a dumb move considering five seconds later the police find Sam's body.
But this is Annalise Keating, so you know she is playing some sort of long game here -- right?
Odds and Ends
- Does no one care about their first semester grades? How did they not fail out?
- "Hey there killer" -- Connor wins best line of the episode.
- The title of this episode "Best Christmas Ever" is on point.
- While it's sad everyone had a horrible Christmas, at least these kids have a conscience over killing someone.
- Wes now wears his plaid to bed.
- If next season is only Bonnie and Frank's backstories, it'd be worth it.
- This season is flying by, since we only have four episodes left
- And as next week's preview points out, how did the police know to go look in that landfill for Sam's remains?
"How to Get Away With Murder" airs on Thursdays at 10 p.m. EDT on ABC.