How to Get Away With Throwing a Surprise Party (HTGAWM Recap 3×04)

This post will contain spoilers for episode 3×04 of How to Get Away with Murder.

I’m not someone who loves surprises. It’s just not in my nature – I’m a curious person and I want to know what’s going on all the time. I guess I wouldn’t object to being thrown a surprise birthday party but I’d much rather you just tell me the plans so I don’t show up without my makeup done, in my tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt that’s two sizes too big on me. So it’s pretty weird that I’m obsessed with HTGAWM when all it does is surprise and confuse me, and makes sure I don’t have a clue what’s going on 90% of the time. This week’s episode was no exception, with mysteries being created and revealed left, right and centre, as the storytellers build towards this season’s climax. Let’s talk about ‘Don’t Tell Annalise.’

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Image Credit: ABC

The episode starts with Annalise and Eve are out partying together on a school night because why the hell not. They’re approached by two men who talk in innuendos and figure they don’t care as long as they get free drinks. Flawless reasoning. Annalise returns home drunk and kicks off her shoes – honestly, that’s one of the most satisfying things after a night out, when your heels have been torturing your feet all night.

The next day in court, Asher is sweating and stuttering – there’s an actual sweat patch on the back of his suit that could probably be seen from 3 miles away. He’s been chosen for this week’s case about a 15 year old teenager, Tristan, who’s been accused of stealing money using fake credit cards and faces juvenile detention. Asher’s reading off cue cards like he’s me doing a college presentation. During his terrible speech, it’s revealed that Annalise can’t represent Tristan because her legal license has been suspended. That wonderful slap she delivered to her creepy client from last week unfortunately came with consequences. Honestly, I’m surprised it’s taken this long for her to get her license suspended and all because of a slap that, quite honestly, was deserved.

AJA NAOMI KING

Photo by Mitch Haaseth/ABC – © © 2016 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bonnie, who’s now taking over the case, and Asher find out that Tristan used all his stolen money to buy baby items because his girlfriend is pregnant. The problem is he can’t tell anyone what he spent the money on because his girlfriend works at the school… Bonnie and Asher quiz the teacher in question, who reveals nothing and fakes ignorance so Bonnie decides to make her confess while on the stand. It’s a risky move as she recklessly questions her about her involvement with Tristan, every question clearly adding fuel to the fire of her fury. The teacher pleads the fifth but not before it becomes clear she took advantage of and manipulated a poor, disadvantaged teenager from a broken and abusive home. It’s just a really sad situation.

Laurel is still calling Frank and trying to trace him by contacting his father, and I want to grab her by the shoulders and shake her – the beard is gone, girl! It’s time to move on. Meggy calls Laurel and decides to get her involved in some party prep instead of stalking, asking her to help her throw Wes a surprise birthday. Meggy seems super sweet so I’m conflicted about being on Team Wes/Laurel – but also, why is she constantly sneaking peeks at Wes’ phone? Wes is entirely too concerned with Laurel’s activities and she ends up ruining the surprise part of the surprise party for Wes. How uncool, Laurel. But hey, at least he won’t turn up in tracksuit bottoms and without makeup now. Wes seems so happy to hear this because he’s never been thrown a birthday party before and I’m crying inside. I want him to have all the nice things in life.

ALFRED ENOCH

Photo by Mitch Haaseth/ABC – © © 2016 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

Annalise goes to visit the university president so she can give her one of her “I’m a bad bitch, you can’t suspend me” speeches, which she’s seemed to have perfected in the course of 4 episodes. The president shouts at Annalise to shut up. Woah. They get up in each others faces and Annalise says something about “make me feel” and the vibes I had from the first episode are confirmed – something resembling a hookup is probably going to happen between these two.

Annalise returns home and is ready to rumble with Nate. She calls him a ‘little bitch’ and yells at him to hit her. Nate calls her ‘a cancer’ and an alcoholic. He tells her she’ll die alone and no one will care. Ouch. Does this mean we won’t be seeing Nate’s glistening abs around the Keating house any longer? This is a true tragedy.

Annalise gives a private statement to some important-looking university people and says she’s an alcoholic in an attempt to be able to get back her license by going through an approved treatment programme. Then it’s time to say goodbye to the lovely Eve, at least for now. Eve’s with someone else now and moving to be with her. In a true act of love, Annalise tells her to go and let herself be loved, because I guess Annalise can’t give her stability right now. It’s really heartbreaking. This is like the Connor and Oliver breakup 2.0. Meanwhile, Nate sleeps with the ADA, or the self-confessed Annalise 2.0, as I also like to call her. This is going to cause so much drama I don’t think I’m prepared for. But hey, I should’ve known Nate’s abs wouldn’t desert us like this.

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Wes arrives to his surprise party and does a poor job of acting surprised. Everyone else does a poor job of wanting to be there. Laurel is sulking in a corner because of Wes and Meggy and probably Frank. A drunk Michaela seems to be the only one enjoying the party. Connor and Oliver are broken up but still having sad conversations. This week, Connor uses a dating app in order to sleep with every gay man within a 5 mile radius in order to make Oliver jealous. He even has a threesome to numb the pain of the breakup. But not before checking the guys’ IDs like a nightclub bouncer to make sure they’re old enough and handing them condoms. Connor is nothing if not responsible. Oliver and Connor are still flirting with each other so I see no reason for them breaking up apart from the unnecessary angst I don’t need in my life.

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Image Credit: ABC

Earlier on in the episode, shirtless Rogue Frank was staying in a motel with wads of cash stuffed into a suitcase and bought poisonous gas from some random woman. We find out he’s pretending to work as a cleaner called Kevin in a prison. He sleeps with a nurse in order to steal her keycard to access a locked off area. Turns out, he’s there to murder Bonnie’s paedophile father, who’s hooked up to a machine to keep him alive. I don’t understand Bonnie and Frank’s friendship but I appreciate how ‘ride or die’ he is for her. Why decide to kill him now though, is this just a stop on the Frank Redemption Tour?

Back to present day’s mystery and we’re at the hospital, where Oliver and Bonnie are anxiously waiting to find out who the still-alive second person in the fire is.  Turns out it’s Laurel! And she’s pregnant! Oh. My. God. Some surprises you really can’t anticipate.

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That was a pretty great episode and it definitely seems like HTGAWM is really getting into this season’s mystery now – the bricks continue to be laid and we have to wait and see what on earth they’re building. There’s only four episodes left until we find out who’s under the sheet and they’re going to be hell, I can already tell.

Who do you think got Laurel pregnant? What is up with the rollercoaster that is the timeline of this show? Was this episode the end of Annalise/Eve and Annalise/Nate forever? What’s up with the weird tension between Annalise and the university president? Let me know what you thought.

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