HTGAWM (S03E05): “It’s About Frank”

Review: Previously on HTGAWM, Annalise lost her license after slapping some sense into her creepy client but then made a statement about being an alcoholic and agreed to join a treatment program. Nate and Annalise broke up, which lead to Nate banging DA Atwood, Annalise’s former student and now courtroom rival. Frank killed Bonnie’s father in Coalport and Bonnie convinced Laurel to keep that from Annalise. And, the flash forwards revealed that Laurel is pregnant with someone’s baby!

We start off with our Flash Forward Mystery Event, where we see an unconscious Laurel at the hospital. And she might actually be pregnant! What we don’t find out, however, is how far along Laurel might be, a convenient detail that might help us figure out who her baby’s father is. Meggy tells Bonnie and Oliver as much, wondering if they’ve contacted the others yet. Bonnie then gets a phone call and she tells the person on the other end that Laurel is pregnant.

Bonnie/Frank: Three weeks earlier, we see Bonnie in Coalport for her father’s body. One look is all she needs and she urges the guy at the morgue to cremate him. Outside, she runs into Frank and instead of an expected angry confrontation, the first thing she actually does is give him a big hug!

Bonnie and Frank hide out in Coalport, as Bonnie lies to both Annalise and Laurel about being there with him. To Bonnie, Frank admits to shooting Mahoney and taking Wes in order to know Annalise wasn’t going to come after him for indirectly killing her son. Bonnie tells Frank that Annalise needs to hear his side of the story, of how Sam got into his head. Bonnie’s convinced Annalise will forgive him.

Bonnie and Frank’s reunion eventually turns into a sleepover in more ways than one. After fantasizing about a life away from Annalise and with their cute future kids, Bonnie and Frank finally take their friendly friendship to the next level.

The Flashbacks: This week we don’t just get flash forwards, but a ton of flashbacks, too. And they’re all about Sam, Frank and Annalise! We see how Sam and Frank met 11 years earlier, while Frank was incarcerated and how Sam convinced Annalise to take the case, when Frank was up for parole. Frank’s crime was almost killing his father at the age of 13 and Sam is convinced that Frank deserves a second chance. After much resistance, Frank agrees to fight for a that second chance with Annalise.

The Keating Five (I): It’s time for exams, because apparently the Keating Five still have other commitments than murder or Annalise. Simon Drake-not-the-rapper spends the episode reminding them of that, as he badgers them with snippy comments about Annalise’s suspension. But the only one who actually feels bad for her is sweet, darling Oliver, who’s still in the dark about the gang’s murder business.

Later, Drake-not-the-rapper finds out that his laptop has been stolen. He accuses the Keating Five of doing this, for which I can’t even blame him. He makes an attempt to go through their stuff, but the second he tries to come near Michaela’s, she channels her inner Annalise and tells him off, with a Southern twang. Go Michaela!

Later, while studying, Asher and Connor then try to figure out where that Southern twang must have come from. Anyone else remember that scene in season 1 with Aiden’s mother calling Michaela “bayou trash”? Michaela’s none too happy about Asher and Connor’s attempt to dig into her past. She sort of breaks up with Asher over it, in fact. And, later, she lets Asher and Connor know that her adoptive parents are “trash” and “not worth her breath or time”. Can’t wait to meet them!

Then, Oliver shows up. With Drake-not-the-rapper’s laptop! Which he stole, for Michaela! But instead of the outline for the arbitration exam that Michaela was looking for, Oliver’s found something even better: proof! Apparently Drake-not-the-rapper was behind the smear campaign against Annalise this entire time, having created the flyers.

Annalise: Annalise, meanwhile, is a little lost without her job and Bonnie or Nate to keep her company. After getting a brand new sew-in, courtesy of Mary J. Blidge herself, she goes to her first AA meeting. Here, she runs into her favorite person at the moment: President Hargrove of the university! Annalise immediately confronts her on replacing her at the legal clinic. But the president is tired of Annalise’s constant need to fight her.

Back home, Annalise starts throwing out all of her liquor. And there’s a lot of it. And most of it reminds her of Sam and their marriage and to drive the point home even further, we even get the flashbacks to prove it! As it turns out, the baby Annalise lost because of Frank, was not the first child Annalise and Sam lost. For years they’d been struggling to conceive and at one point, Annalise was pretty far along in her pregnancy before it all went wrong.

The memories become too much for Annalise and she relapses. Later, when she’s drunk and dancing and leaving Nate messages, she gets a visit from Wes. Wes ends up taking care of Annalise, helping her when she gets sick and eventually getting her to her bedroom. But not before Annalise compares Nate to Meggy and Wes assures her he didn’t actually want her to die when he shot her that one time – though, if I remember correctly, Annalise asked him to…

The Keating Five (II): The next morning, the students talk to Annalise about the smear campaign. This ends up being a great wake-up call for Annalise, knowing that it was just a “sad, pathetic, lost boy” and not an actual threat. Annalise pays Drake-not-the-rapper a visit, scaring the hell out of him. So much so, that he freely gives his outline of the arbitration exam to the Keating Five!

Nate: Nate is still busy with DA Atwood. He only seems 50% happy about it though, as a part of him is still worried about Annalise. Especially after hearing her drunk voicemail.

 Wes/Laurel: Wes has a date. With Meggy’s father. While the others – minus Laurel – tease him about committing to Meggy, Wes doesn’t seem so sure about it. After all, he’s never been quite honest with Meggy, having kept his history of murder and that of his parents from her. In Connor’s words, Meggy is a civilian and Wes is not. And a relationship with a civilian is much more complicated. Too complicated, if you ask Connor. Perhaps they should all stick to dating each other? Laurel and Wes sure seem to be considering this, after some loaded stares that make me forget that Wes is very much taken.

Dinner with Meggy’s dad goes well, by all accounts. But when Wes has to lie about the circumstances surrounding his mom’s death and his dad, he realizes that Connor might be right. And his visit to Annalise only further affirms that staying with Meggy and continuing to lie to her, will only mess him up more.

During the legal clinic the next day, Wes has the audacity of texting Laurel to meet him in the stairwell to ask her if he should break up with Meggy. Wes says that he’s sick of lying to her and by the look he’s giving Laurel, I’m not so sure if he means about all of the murders or all of his feelings for Laurel. Wes then takes it a step further, implying that with Meggy and Frank out of the picture, it means they can totally be together and make that flash forward baby, right? Wrong! “Frank isn’t gone”, are Laurel’s next words.

The End: Only Frank is, in fact, gone, as we discover when we see Bonnie returning to their motel. Frank hit it and quit it and Bonnie’s rightfully devastated.

Back in Philadelphia, Annalise visits president Hargrove to tell her that she’s suing the university for 50 million dollars. Go big or go home, indeed! Guess she’s not done fighting! According to Annalise, the university has spent their resources getting Annalise disbarred and the legality of this is very very questionable. The threat of a lawsuit is enough for Annalise to get what she wants. And that’s how Annalise got her legal clinic back!

When Annalise gets home, Laurel and Wes are there waiting for her. Though Annalise is not in the mood to see their “needy faces”, Wes convinces her to hear them out. And when Laurel can’t bring herself to tell Annalise about Frank’s whereabouts, Wes basically does it for her. But then Laurel steps up, confronting Annalise with the info she got from Frank about Annalise trying to kill him. Unfortunately for Laurel, this is when Bonnie shows up to overhear her do the exact thing she promised Bonnie she wouldn’t!

The last flash forward shows Bonnie still on the phone with the mystery person and Meggy promising to keep them updated. Oliver then tries to reach Connor, but instead, a woman picks up. The woman? Michaela’s mom, Trishelle! Played by Grace from the iconic ‘Grace Under Fire’. Michaela snatches the phone away from her mother, who seems to be staying at her apartment. Michaela tells Oliver that she doesn’t know where Connor is and she seems to be completely unaware of everything that’s been going on, including Laurel’s pregnancy.

In the background, we find out through a news broadcast that the dead victim under the sheet was most definitely male! Should I be worried about Connor or Wes? I’d rather not be.