Review: I can’t think of a witty way to start this recap, because this hiatus simply wasn’t enough for me to move past the events of the midseason finale. This recap might also be a little different from the usual ones. But it’s been two months and I’m still not over it. Which is what I both love and hate about tv shows. Television can give us such rich and layered storytelling and create the most compelling characters that stick with us long after the show itself ends. And, sometimes, characters even stick with us when their story ends and the show goes on. And in that sense, some characters don’t always get the ending they might have deserved.
Which brings us to this week, when the K5 officially becomes the K4 and we lose a huge chunk of the heart of this show with the loss of Wes. Because Wes was our body under the sheet and, yes, he’s actually dead. No fake outs, no fake shooting or a fake corpse. They even show us his autopsy. Sweet Wes Gibbins is no more.
Such is life. And, just as in real life, everyone grieves differently. Asher and Connor lash out in different ways, with Connor using his words, while Asher puts his fists to work. On Connor’s face. Though honestly, he kind of had it coming, after pulling a real jerk move by telling Laurel Wes isn’t the kind of dad she should have wanted for her baby, anyway.
Yes, the baby is Wes’s. Thankfully. And Laurel is obviously a mess. Not just because she’s devastated, but also in tremendous physical pain, recovering from the fire. Which makes Michaela go into mama bear/caring BFF mode, as she focuses on helping Laurel and thereby distracting herself from her mom’s sudden departure and Asher’s completely opposite way of grieving. Where Michaela closes herself off, Asher’s grief is completely open and out there.
Amid all of this, we get flashbacks of the remaining K4 with Wes, of unseen moments that reveal new things about the dynamics between the students. Or flashbacks that are supposed to convince us some of these Wes hating people didn’t hate him as much as we thought. In Laurel’s flashback of Wes, we find out they not only enjoyed a bubble bath every now and then, but that they were at least aware of the possibility of a pregnancy. As Wes says, ‘If I wasn’t so big, maybe it wouldn’t have broke!’ I had no idea he had it in him, ha!
Additionally, we find out that Michaela knew about Wes and Laurel’s new relationship, as she ran into him while he was buying Laurel a gift. We also learn that Connor started going to therapy around the time of Wes’s birthday. Which might be the best decision Connor’s made so far. Especially because, according to him, he’s “broken”. To Oliver, Connor confesses that he doesn’t feel a thing when it comes to Wes’s death. Although that could also have something to do with him not even remotely liking Wes and having spent all that time blaming Wes for most of his own choices…
Meanwhile, Connor and Oliver are still in some kind of weird limbo. Oliver gets closer to finding out the truth about Sam and the night of the bonfire, but thankfully realizes that he might be better off not knowing so he won’t be considered an accomplice. Later, however, Connor tells Oliver to go to the police and tell them about Annalise’s phone and try to get immunity. But Oliver is determined to stand by his man, prison be damned! Connor then pushes him away some more, lashing out by telling him he slept with Thomas to hurt him. I hope Connor will discuss this in therapy, too.
Oliver, who at this point might be better off cutting his losses and moving far, far away before he gets in too deep, still stays. From Connor, he also learns that he was right about the bonfire and Sam Keating and that knowing the truth will make him an accomplice. But in the end, he still recovers the data he wiped from Annalise’s phone.
Through Annalise’s flashback of Wes, we learn that he got an internship to work with undocumented immigrants. We see him happy, playing soccer with Meggy, enjoying the sport like when Annalise first saw him as a child. Like, Laurel, Annalise is a mess. Though in Annalise’s case, it might also have something to do with her being in jail on charges of arson and first-degree murder…
While Annalise’s lovely cellmates try to help her adjust to life in jail, Bonnie’s doing everything she can to make sure Annalise can come home. She starts by trying to trying to get something out of Laurel before the cops visit her, but Laurel is more than happy to talk to them. According to her, Frank must be the one behind all of it. When the cops visit her at the hospital, she tells them that, when she walked into the house, she went downstairs. She saw that the basement door was open, then heard a noise upstairs and then woke up at the hospital. She tells the cops that Annalise didn’t do it, but refrains from telling them about Frank. Whether it’s lingering doubt or the start of an epic vendetta justice outside of the confines of the law, I’m not sure.
Bonnie, however, is still sort of on team Frank. Kind of. When she goes to see him, Frank denies being involved and instead claims the Mahoneys must have gone after Wes. Which seems like a decent theory, but too obvious for this show. Bonnie also tries to get something out of Nate, who’s gotten himself in trouble at his new job for talking to Annalise (and sleeping with Atwood!). But Nate won’t budge. He offers Bonnie immunity if she wants, but she refuses. Instead, she turns to Frank again, who bribes a cop to get the call log to the station to find out who their source is. Turns out, it’s Hannah Keating, who called the cops the night before after receiving a drunk phone call from Annalise.
As Annalise doesn’t want anyone else to represent her, Bonnie is left with no option but to actually be Annalise’s lawyer at her bail hearing. At the hearing, Bonnie’s plea fails. ADA Atwood puts a stop to Annalise’s release by bringing Wes’s plea for immunity to the judge’s attention. Although Wes left the police station before actually signing it, the DA’s office claims that it shows that Wes did have the intention of talking about Annalise’s involvement in other unsolved cases. And, so, Annalise is ordered to stay in jail until her court date (and play nice with her two cellmates).
Bonnie tries to convince Frank to confess to Wes’s murder, so Annalise can go free, but it’s not until he sees Laurel – and Laurel blames him for Wes’s death – that he actually does it. And, Frank’s flashback of Wes shows us that there might be some truth to it. Because right after we last saw Wes at the police station, Frank found him and convinced Wes to get into the car with him. Keeping with the tradition of Wes in Frank’s car leading to murder, or so it seems.
But it’s probably too early into the second half of the season to take Frank at his word and wrap up the mystery of Wes’s murder, right? Can we cancel the mystery and just get flashbacks of Wes instead so we can forget he’s dead and pretend he got his happy ending?