Tell Me How To Say No To This
How To Get Away With Murder Season 2 Episode 15 recap
A season finale is supposed to be heart-pounding, breathtaking, a constant roller-coaster riding twisting screech to the finish. Revelation! Revelation! Twist! Gasp! That’s what we’ve been trained to expect.
The finale tied up loose ends, but the unexpected treat was spending a long, unhurried visit with Annalise’s family—her mother and father and her sister Celestine, and her brother (but then who did those kids belong to, if her parents had no grandchildren? His new girlfriend? Shondaland is very conflicted about kids on camera the past couple of weeks). To see her dance…not in the frenetic way she danced with the ‘kids’ in the club, but unhurried, unworried…I felt as restored being at Mama’s house as she did.
Annalise was, of course, all ‘better’ from her gunshot wounds when she went home to be nursed. But we know so much more about her now, and why she avoided telling Wes the truth until she needed to…because of all the pain it brought back. Because she had to tell her mother, and therefore herself, about the baby, Sam, who never lived. I thought the moment with the jacket was really nice, too—Sam Keating may not have wound up a very nice man, but Annalise can still miss the memory of who he was before - not everything is tainted by the last memory. There’s so much of her life that was more open, less secret-filled, before. No wonder it felt so good to let her secrets out. To write a note to the baby she loved. To not have to hide the hurt from her mother anymore. In fact, Annalise is so twelve years old and easily played that her mother is able to do what nobody else has done in two years—she made Nate palatable as a person—even though I was really hoping he was going to be the informant.
But no, Caleb Hapstall, who was always a little too perfect to begin with, tries to frame Annalise and meets his match instead. I do love how much Annalise smiled as she got out from under her stupid ADA. Getting out of her arrest warrant wasn’t even the hardest thing she did that morning. But, as Phillip walks in to take the rap for whatever he did (which is not much, maybe, but he assaulted Annalise in the creepiest way possible) we’re still left to feel some deal was made. Something went down beyond whatever strings were pulled to get Nate in to talk to Catherine, who WAS messing around with her brother! Points to everyone who called some sort of twincest, even though there was an inexplicable virginity test early in the season. Shudder.
But of course, the worst of everything happens after Annalise gets home. She finds out about Frank, and why he was so devoted to Annalise for so long. How much did he sell her out for anyway? Frank ghosts, and I loved Annalise asking Bonnie, “Why do you keep doing it? Believing what men tell you?”
But while we’re on the subject, and though I was happy to get rid of Frank, at least for a moment, let me just raise a glass to the uncelebrated, unsung acting of Liza Weil, who disappears into Bonnie so deeply every week, and who has made her a little tougher and more capable each week, a little less afraid of the things she’s done. She’s earned her status as one of the most intriguing characters on the show…
You get away with murder by seeing things happen, and then continuing to breathe day after day. The longer you keep going after being involved with something like that, the more likely you are to live to tell again. Now, if you’re standing there spattered in blood when your most-likely-father is straight-up assassinated on the street, I’m not sure if the same rules apply. I’m not sure what this does for Wes next season.
But as HTGAWM settled into its format, giving us the end before the beginning, the oddball rhythm of the series allows us to find out more. There are still some characters I’d happily throw out with the bathwater, pun fully intended, Michaela, do you have an alibi for the time of Caleb’s bath (oh, and honorable mention to sad sack pouty-pants Connor)? But the less black and white everyone gets, the more I want to watch them all conquer all their various murderous demons and come into the sun. Next year.