This post contains spoilers for episode 3×02 of How to Get Away with Murder.
Are there worse things than murder? I guess to Michaela, it’s sleeping with Asher. Personally, I tell myself there are worse things than murder when I see a giant spider lurking around my house and contemplate getting rid of it. Letting it live and give birth in my house would be worse than having it gone. For the most part, HTGAWM characters are pretty chill when it comes to murder; it’s just another Tuesday to them, really – scheduled somewhere between lunch and an evening gym session. Just when you think this show can’t get more sinister, we get the sense that even worse things are to come. This week’s episode, entitled ‘There are Worse Things than Murder,’ is another layer-by-layer reveal of what’s going on this season and a worrying insight into what’s going on with some of these characters.
In present day, we’re back to this season’s biggest mystery: Annalise’s house is up in flames, someone is apparently dead, and she’s in shock. Or is she? I can never tell with this show, I don’t know what’s real and what’s not; I don’t know who’s genuine and who’s acting. For all we know, Annalise might be faking her shock. She might be involved. Annalise is defensive when the police ask her questions – to be honest, if my house burnt down and I’d just seen a body under a sheet, I’d be pretty pissed and distressed. She yells at them to arrest her and they’re probably going to.
Flashback to two months ago, and Annalise is in bed with Nate and living out everyone’s dream. Nate seems to be shirtless all the time and it’s gotten to the point where I wonder if he has any clothes at all; how does he survive the winter months? Probably within the warmth of Annalise’s duvet. While Nate and his abs head to the shower, Annalise pulls out her flip-phone and tries calling the man she sent to spy on Frank but Frank answers! Unsurprisingly, Frank killed the hitman and weeps into the phone to a worried Annalise. He pleads to her but she hangs up. I have to say, Rogue Frank is in quite the bad state. In fact, Rogue Frank and Bearded Frank are quite the Jekyll and Hyde. He’s like a whole different person, just y’know, with the same violent tendencies. A glistening Nate returns to coerce Annalise into the shower but she gets a call from the president at the law school. They invite Annalise in for a meeting and let her know they’re doing all they can to investigate the ‘killer’ flier situation. She’s annoyed, probably because she was dragged away from the opportunity to shower with Nate for a useless meeting.
In this week’s episode, Annalise invites Wes to move in with her. WHAT. What are you doing, Annalise? Wes aptly says what I’m feeling: “but it’s weird.” Annalise fails to see how inappropriate this is and is mad that Wes has a girlfriend and won’t move in with her? I don’t even know. The Wes and Annalise relationship continues to be one of the weirdest things about this show and I’ve watched two seasons full of manipulation and murder.
Back at Annalise’s, new locks are being put on the doors and Bonnie is doing all the administrative work she used to do before she joined the Corrupt Clique. Laurel is hounding Bonnie for answers on the Mahoney Case because she’s worried about Wes being a suspect and also trying to not-so-subtly talk about Frank – I’m not even Bonnie, but I’m irritated. Annalise comes home and batters her flip-phone with a decorative piece. RIP circa-2006 flip-phone. Meanwhile Frank, being the method actor that he is, crashes a car so that he can stage an accident, making it look like the hitman died that way rather than at the bare hands of Frank. Rogue Frank is such a disciplined mess.
Connor and Oliver are living life so normally that I forget they’re broken up for a second until it’s brought up. I’m still sad about this. Connor tells the rest of the Corrupt Clique that he and Oliver broke up and they all immediately think it’s Connor’s fault – understandable. It’s touching how much they all care about the Coliver breakup. They all went from hating to each other to being murder accomplices to genuine friends. Isn’t that just how all friendships work out? New Guy Mr. Drake pops up in again while they’re talking about the killer fliers and I really need to know what his issue is. Is he some sort of private detective? Does he have any friends of his own?
HTGAWM brings up the important topics of domestic and sexual abuse as this week’s case is that of Irene, a woman who killed her abusive husband and now, 32 years later, is up for a parole hearing. Irene will choose who will be her advisor and each of the Corrupt Clique talk one-on-one with Irene – she’s not impressed by most of them. Asher hilariously points out to Irene that he should be chosen because he’s a white man and white men will be making her parole decision and “racism for the win, right?” – this character is such a parody. Irene ends up picking Connor who doesn’t actually want the case.
Wes questions why Annalise asked him to move in with her and concludes it’s because she’s worried about him. However, she lets him know it’s because she’s lonely and tries to make him jealous (?) by telling him she has plans tonight. This relationship has me messed up. I must be looking into a mirror because Wes looks as confused as I feel. Annalise goes to meet up with Nate for their date and, in a surprising turn of events, he’s wearing clothes. I know, I’m as shocked as you are. She asks Nate to help her find Frank and Nate’s facial expression tells me he wishes he was just on a beach somewhere. She’s really worried about Frank and mentions Frank’s file, from when Sam was his prison doctor. I don’t want to know the things that are in that file but I’m sure we’ll find out anyways. Rogue Frank seems like a ticking time bomb. Nate mentions the fact that Annalise had Frank set him up for Sam’s murder and reminds me why Nate often seems suspicious to me – while Nate seems like a nice guy, he has serious past grudges against Annalise and, while they’re cosied up now, they’re still in the back of his mind. The question is: how much can he put up with before he turns? Meanwhile, Meggy and Wes have a date of their own and she’s really into the killer fliers situation and I’m still suspicious of her. Wes says Annalise’s career is doing fine and she replies with “for now.”
Connor is trying to strategise with a class full of adults who are behaving like 6-year-olds, with Asher leading the pack. Being the unwitting matchmaker he is, he couples together Michaela and Asher and Laurel and Wes for the case. Asher refers to his penis as “little Asher” and I die a little inside. How has Michaela stuck with him for so long?! He accuses her of being embarrassed of “banging a white dude” – to be fair to her, Asher, it’s probably just you. Michaela points out that Asher has some serious racial issues when it comes to their relationship and it’s problematic. He just wants to make their sleepingtogethership public and she understandably doesn’t. There are some thing worse than murder alright, and being with Asher might be up there on that list. (I’m kidding). The way Matt McGorry plays Asher really makes me laugh, I have to give him that – or else, the character could really be wholly detestable. While Michaela tries to get Asher to shut up about Little Asher, Laurel and Wes try to coerce Irene’s ex-husband’s sister into not testifying against Irene’s release and Connor goes to talk to Irene, who doesn’t want to discuss her abuse, only to be let down again. It’s a short but difficult scene.
The Corrupt Clique are discussing who could be behind the fliers when Connor walks up. They’re making a list of Annalise’s enemies and it’s hilarious – it hosts a variety of people like Emily Sinclair Relative??, the Entire D.A.’s Office, All the Cops, and the deceased Rebecca. I’m surprised they didn’t put down The Ghost of Lila Stangard. Connor reminds them that they should be helping him with Irene’s case but making lists is too much fun. Laurel is being her jealous self and suggests putting Meggy on the list, and I agree, to be honest. What do we really know about her?
Bonnie tells Annalise that Laurel’s been calling Frank and Annalise says that she “hates everyone of their bitch ass lying faces.” I don’t blame her; being the Corrupt Clique’s babysitter is hard work. Bonnie says she’ll sort it out for Annalise because she’s frankly tired of her administrative duties which mostly means rearranging files. After being involved in killings and their cover-ups, I see why Bonnie might be bored with that. Go get a non-violent hobby, please. All the characters on this show need one of those adult colouring books.
Time for the parole hearing. Irene is being blunt and Connor keeps speaking over her because he’s frustrated and wants Irene’s story to be heard. The men on the parole board try to diminish and deny the abuse she faced. In the original trial, she didn’t discuss her abuse because contemporary laws that protect victims were not in effect. HTGAWM upsettingly shows just how much victims suffer, not only because of the actual abuse but also because of the ways in which they must repeatedly prove their victimhood by reliving their horrors. One of the men asks Irene why she killed her husband instead of just leaving him and Connor explodes, highlighting the disgusting nature of their questioning and their persistent attempts at denying her abuse.
Afterwards, during a break, Connor is advising Irene to tell her truth. In order to convince her, he reveals that he killed a guy and got away with it. WHAT. I know I collectively call the main characters killers but all of them aren’t actually killers – they range from cover-up accomplices to self-defence killers to accidental killers to actual murderers. First of all, Connor falls somewhere between cover-up accomplice to self-defence killer on that scale – he hasn’t actually killed anyone. Secondly, he needs to not reveal information just like that after two seasons of them all trying to cover everything up, as an eavesdropping Annalise reminds him. Nevertheless, they both seem to be calm about the fact that Connor just revealed that he’s a killer. I feel like this will come back to bite the Corrupt Clique.
Finally, in a harrowing scene, Irene recounts her abuse at the hands of her husband. The actress playing Irene does a fantastic job in this scene – it was completely chilling. Afterwards, Annalise tries to talk to the ex-husband’s sister, who was also abused at the hands of her brother, and tries to stop her from testifying against Irene’s release – she doesn’t testify. This and Irene’s candour play a huge part in her being finally released. I’m trying to keep these recaps humorous but HTGAWM tackles some really serious issues and this episode did a good job at addressing the difficult issue of domestic abuse and victim-blaming.
The school board tries to suspend Annalise and she straight up says ‘no.’ And rightfully so. She’s gonna teach if she wants. This is Annalise Keating’s world and we’re all just living in it. Connor and Oliver kiss and then finalise their breakup and I feel like I’m going through last week all over again. Please stop doing this to me, you two. But we finally get a reason why Oliver wants to break up: all his life, he’s done everything others want and, for once, he needs some time for himself. I wish him the best in eventually finding his way back to Connor. Connor honours Oliver’s wish to let him go and leaves to stay with Michaela, who’s housing an underwear-clad Asher. She simply says “we’re screwing.” I think after everything they’ve all been through, this is honestly not that messed up a thing to have to deal with, so Connor just says “okay” and moves himself in with Michaela, Asher and Little Asher.
Bonnie tells Laurel to stop calling Frank and brings up Frank’s mysterious past, saying “there are worse things than murder” – I’m so intrigued by what on earth that means. What has Frank done? What’s been done to him? Nate tells Annalise that Rogue Frank is untraceable and that he’s moving in to be her bodyguard. Annalise stays living the dream (if you ignore how there’s always people out to get her). She is further living the dream when Wes shows up at her house with pizza. That is definitely the stuff of my dreams. She invites Wes in to talk and he calls Laurel his best friend and says he trusts her completely – where do I sign up to confirm my place on Team Wes and Laurel? Then Annalise and Bonnie make Laurel leave Frank a very fake voicemail message and it also seems like Laurel’s mysterious father is somehow involved. Last season, she confessed to Wes that her father was a bad person so I’m curious as to how he fits into all of this.
We’re back into present day’s mystery, the house is still burning, and we find out that Oliver is one of the people still alive. He doesn’t know whether there’s a body and Annalise hands him her phone, telling him to wipe it clean, before she’s arrested. What’s going on??
Another wild, infuriatingly mysterious episode and here we are. So Oliver’s still breathing (for now). Who else out of the Corrupt Clique is going to make it out alive? Who’s under the sheet? What is Annalise hiding? Will Laurel and Wes get together? What the hell is in Frank’s file? Do you also dream of Alfie Enoch showing up at your front door with pizza? Let me know what you thought of this episode!