The next law student to be highlighted on tonight’s episode of How To Get Away With Murder is Laurel Castillo. In the recap of the bonfire she admits to sleeping with Frank, cheating on her boyfriend Todd and to be a murderer. That dialogue alone raises a gazillion questions and just like that, we’re sucked in (as if last week’s cliffhanger wasn’t enough!) On top of that, there’s a brand new case being thrown into the mix that involves an alcoholic cop, his accused son and a stressed out Annalise who’s trying really hard to keep it together.

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The Case Against Ryan

Ryan is being charged with the first degree murder of his father. He was the son of a respected police officer who happened to be an alcoholic — he was also very abusive to Ryan’s mother. One night, Ryan couldn’t take the abuse anymore and shot his father with his own service revolver, killing him. The key to winning this case is picking the right jury, which entails picking people who would be sympathetic to Ryan and his plight. That includes divorced women and men who are distrusting of authority. Keating students are tasked with keeping an eye on the jury while she plays the abuse angle.

As soon as the jury is picked, the history of abuse is thrown out on the grounds so that there’s no objective evidence that demonstrates that. So they have to figure out a way to get the abuse in through the back door, i.e Ryan’s blog. While Annalise is cross-examining one of Ryan’s teachers, Laurel finds a blog entry that corroborates the witnesses’ account of the boy being disturbed and troubled. The blog is admitted into evidence and so is the abuse.

But this case proves to be even tougher than any of them thought. The deceased was a well-respected police officer and the only witnesses to this abuse was Ryan and his mother — the least credible people in the room. Laurel is frustrated because for once, they have a client she actually likes. The only way they are going to get an acquittal is through jury nullification — a legal clause that neither side can tell them about. Well, she finds a way around that. She prints out a whole packet on how a jury can ignore the law and go with their heart and casually leaves it on a bench for a juror to find.

Frank sees it all go down and threatens to tell Annalise. Laurel dares him to and secretly wants him to so it can prove how good she is. Frank tells Annalise but omits which of the students actually did it. Instead of trying to covering it up, Annalise tells him to report it to the DA. The next day, the DA tells the judge that the jury was tampered with and has to declare a mistrial. Because Ryan is painted in the press as a hero instead of a sociopath murderer, his charges get downgraded to juvenile court and he totally skirts jail time.

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Annalise is Starting To Seriously Unravel

In all of her natural glory, Annalise confronts her husband about his penis on Lila’s cell phone. Without any hesitation, Sam confesses to it all down to how many times they slept together and how persistent she was. I mean that’s what you do with girls who are troubled, right? (insert sarcasm here). Annalise knows that line all too well because she was the lost girl in his life when Sam was married to his first wife. He says it was not the same thing and that he didn’t love Lila. Annalise doesn’t want to hear it and in a crying rage she kicks him out. As he heads downstairs, ducking a pillow on the way out Bonnie is at the foot of the stairs. Clearly she heard everything and wasn’t the least embarrassed that Sam knew it.

After the abuse bombshell in court, Annalise spends that night crying and having a few drinks. Then she gets in her car and goes to see her detective boyfriend Nate. If he wasn’t feeling her before, he wasn’t feeling her now because he is mad. He was fired because the police chief found out about them when Bonnie used that info to leverage Rebecca’s confession tape last week. He thinks it was Annalise who did it and to get back at her he reveals that Sam didn’t have a solid alibi for the night of Lila’s murder.

With no boyfriend, a could-be-murderer husband, and a case that seems to be tanking by the second, Annalise has to take her frustrations out on someone — and that person is Bonnie. She calls her into her office and chews her out for airing her “dirty laundry” to the police chief. Annalise makes it clear that she knows her associates loyalties lie with her husband and not her. It’s about time someone called Bonnie out on that!

Annalise finally confronts Sam about being at Yale when Lila was murdered. He said he wasn’t because he got a call from Lila saying she was in trouble and was going to do something to hurt herself.  He drove back home to find her but couldn’t so he went back to Yale. He apologizes for sleeping with her but swears he didn’t kill her. Annalise doesn’t let him get off that easy. She tells him that Rebecca is on her way over and that he is going to do a psych evaluation on her. Annalise is going to listen in to see if Lila revealed to her or any other friends that she was sleeping with Sam. While the evaluation goes well for Sam, because Lila didn’t tell Rebecca who she was seeing, Annalise doesn’t believe him. The only thing she knows for sure right now is Sam is a liar and he’s going to be hanging out on the couch for awhile.

Wes Puts Two and Two Together

Because Wes is so invested in Rebecca’s case, he’s at the Keating house when Rebecca was questioned by Sam, though he doesn’t know all the gritty details. He goes home to find Rebecca’s apartment door open and the girl is gone. She calls him and she is frantic, making a run for it. She tells him that he can’t trust Annalise and that “they were in on it together.” Wes has no idea what she means and tells him to look upstairs at the wallpaper. So what does he do? Go back to the Keating house in the middle of the night to go upstairs and check out the wallpaper, startling the mess out of Annalise. The wallpaper there and the wallpaper in the penis picture was one in the same. Now Wes is calling out liars, telling Annalise that he knows it was Sam in that photo.

Frank’s Involved in Sam’s Murder?

Throughout the episode we see the love triangle between Laurel, her boyfriend Todd and Frank. We find out early on that Frank and Laurel had a sexual relationship but what we didn’t know was why he was calling her the night of Sam’s murder.  She finally takes his call and his apologizing profusely (for what, we still don’t know). He says he’ll do anything and at first Laurel tells him, “too late,” but she shows up at his apartment anyway. She tells him she needs his help, pulling out the trophy that the gang needs to get back to Asher. What does she ask him to do? We won’t know until next week!

How to Get Away With Murder airs on Thursdays at 10pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Margaret McGriff

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV