In the first episode of season 3 of How to Get Away with Murder, “We’re Good People Now,” Annalise and the Keating 5 try to move on from the sins of their pasts, but things are never that simple for this group. How can they move forward when Frank is still MIA, Mahoney’s murder is still unsolved, and Annalise’s reputation has taken a nose-dive? As if that isn’t enough to deal with, someone close to Annalise winds up dead in the season’s first flash forward.

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Annalise Thinks Frank is Guilty

The new season picks up shortly after last season ended with the immediate fallout of Mahoney’s murder. Wes is being questioned by the police, but it’s hard to say if they consider him a real suspect or not. He lies and claims he approached Mahoney to ask for directions because he was lost. (Of course, the person Mahoney was talking to on the phone right before his death could’ve heard their real conversation.) The police let Wes leave and Annalise is there to pick him up.

She asks him to tell her what happened with Frank and we see that earlier that night, Frank went to Wes’ apartment and offered to help Wes meet his father. Frank drove Wes to his father’s office and waited in the car while Wes went in to meet with Mahoney. Frank disappeared after Mahoney was shot and Annalise assumes Frank killed him. (We did not see if Frank was involved in Mahoney’s murder, but we do see him shave off his beard and hair before leaving town.)

In a twisted but hilarious scene, Annalise takes Wes into the woods so they can both scream at the top of their lungs over these men who screwed them over.

Four months later, we see the Keating 5 return to campus for Annalise’s new pro-bono criminal law clinic. One of the other students says the Keating 5 were only chosen for this class because of their relationships with Annalise. I will be calling him “Drake-the-douche” for the rest of this recap. Annalise arrives and explains that in the clinic, they will be actual lawyers responsible for their own cases and clients. Annalise’s lecture is interrupted when she notices a flyer featuring her face and the word, “Killer.” Annalise plays it off and continues with the clinic.

She explains that they will all be competing to be first chair, but some of them will never step foot in front of a judge. Annalise then presents their first client. This man, Karim, is a refugee from Iraq who came to the States ten years ago with his children. A year ago, the police pulled Karim over and found over two ounces of marijuana in his car. He plead guilty to possession with the intent to distribute, but even though he served his time, he is now facing deportation. Annalise gives them until tomorrow to present a defense to keep their client from being deported.

After class, the Keating 5 talk to Annalise about the flyer, but she brushes off their concerns. She tells them that everything is fine and nothing bad happened over the past four months. The police have moved on and they’re safe now. Annalise says this is because, “We’re good people now.” She wants her students to repeat that little phrase to themselves until they believe it.

Annalise uses a hidden cellphone in her jewelry box to contact someone. Based on the person’s response, I assumed this contact was Eve. (I am wrong, as we find out later in the episode.) Annalise asks if they found anything and the person responds that they have a reliable lead.

Wes Gets His First Case

Laurel goes to question Karim. She arrives at the clinic with a new defense. Laurel says that Karim admitted to her that the pot was his daughter’s, not his. He lied to protect her. But Annalise says that this could just lead to Karim’s daughter being deported instead of him. She kicks Laurel out of the running for first chair.

The rest of the students all make their cases, but Annalise likes Wes’ approach the best. Wes is made first chair, with Drake-the-douche as his second. Wes wants to talk to Annalise about his opening statement and she’s surprised he has one prepared already. Wes was apparently just that confidant about his chances. Alas, their talk is interrupted when Annalise and the students see more “Killer” flyers hung up on a bulletin board. Annalise quips that they at least chose a good picture of her, but it is clear that she is upset.

Later that night, as the Keating 5 are all reconnecting, Annalise tells Nate about the flyer and he asks if she told the president of the university. Annalise didn’t because the president already has issues with her. Annalise continues to act like the flyers don’t bother her.

Throughout the episode, we see how all of the students spent their summer. Laurel went to visit her mother in Mexico, Connor stayed in town and tried to be happy, Wes met a new girl with a terrible name, Asher spent his time looking for a way to afford tuition now that his mother cut him off, and Michaela spent her summer trying to keep herself together until a drunk driving incident made her realize that she can never be normal again. (I loved the scene between Annalise and Michaela, and I hope Michaela takes Annalise up on that offer for drinks at her place.)

A Case Lost

Unbeknownst to the rest of the group, Michaela and Asher are still sleeping together. It is during one of these get-togethers that Michaela spots Asher’s notes on Wes’ case. She basically steals his idea and finds a way to win their case. Apparently, Karim’s original defense attorney was terrible at his job and Michaela got him on tape admitting that he doesn’t remember if he advised Karim about the risk of deportation. Annalise, impressed with her work, makes Michaela second-chair instead of Drake-the-douche.

While Annalise tries to use Michaela’s recording to get a better deal for their client, Wes and Michaela have to stall in court. Annalise gets the original prosecutor to drop the charge down to a misdemeanor so their client can stay in the country. Alas, after Karim admits to lying under oath, the judge decides to order his deportation anyway. Annalise tells Wes to use his anger over this verdict in his next case.

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Things Aren’t Going So Well for Connor

Connor tells Annalise that Oliver wants to work for her and he asks her not to give Oliver a job. Annalise assures him that she won’t hire Oliver. Alas, Oliver makes a pretty good case for why she should hire him. During his “job interview,” Oliver tells Annalise that he deleted Connor’s acceptance letter from Stanford and hacked into their server so any follow-up attempts were sent to him instead. Oliver knows that Annalise doesn’t always play by the rules and he wants her to know that, “I can be bad, too.” Later, Annalise tells Connor that she is hiring Oliver. She promises to put him to work in her clinic so he stays busy and stays out of things he shouldn’t be involved in.

Instead of being angry that Oliver deleted his acceptance letter, Connor apologizes to Oliver for not listening to him when he said he didn’t want to move. Oliver is upset that Connor isn’t angry at him. This leads Oliver to believe that their relationship isn’t healthy. Oliver says he doesn’t want to be someone who lies in his relationship so, despite how much he loves Connor, he thinks they should break up. Oliver doesn’t know who he is anymore and he thinks he needs to figure it out on his own. (I really hope the show doesn’t keep these two apart for long because I adore them together.)

Laurel Meets Wes’ Girlfriend

Laurel confronts Wes after he spends most of the episode avoiding her. Wes admits that he can’t stop associating her with Frank and that makes it really hard to forget what Frank did. Laurel tells Wes what she told Annalise earlier in the episode — that she will never forgive Frank for what he did to Wes. As Laurel is about to leave, Wes’ girlfriend shows up. The girlfriend, Meggy, says Wes talks about Laurel all the time. They share an uncomfortable hug and I hope the show doesn’t spend too long on this possible love triangle.

(Despite what Laurel says to everyone else, she clearly still feels some pull toward Frank. We see her calling him and leaving a message. She knows he must be checking his messages because his mailbox isn’t full. She ends the call saying that she hates him.)

Is Annalise Capable of Murder?

Back in August, Annalise met with the university president and she told Annalise that the school was going to transfer Annalise into a research position for the upcoming year. Basically, they were taking her class away from her. When Annalise asked what this was all about, the president said that the Keating 5 were all ranked in the bottom 10% of their class. Annalise then comes up with the idea of the pro bono clinic to restore her reputation.

Bonnie comes to see Annalise to discuss the Frank situation. She asks Annalise if she thinks Frank is responsible for the “Killer” flyers, but Annalise doesn’t. Bonnie then asks if Annalise knows this because Frank is dead. After saying that this whole thing is Sam’s fault for making her hire Frank, Annalise says she isn’t a killer and she will not let Frank make her into one.

Alas, Annalise isn’t exactly being honest with Bonnie about her lack of murderous intent. We see that her secret phone is what she uses to contact the hitman she hired to track down Frank. The guy calls saying he found Frank and he asks Annalise how she wants him to proceed. Annalise hesitates and Frank ends up attacking the guy before Annalise can decide whether or not she wants him dead.

We flash forward two months later and see Annalise arrive at her house where a body is being taken away. We do not get to see who this dead person is, but Annalise’s reaction tells us that it is someone she cares for. Did this person die in the fire consuming Annalise’s home, or was the fire set to cover up a murder? Annalise’s reactions to this dead loved one seems genuine, but is it possible Annalise is just putting on a show for the cops?

What did you think of the season 3 premiere of How to Get Away with Murder? Who do you think will be killed two months from now? Are the Keating 5 someone responsible for this death, too? What did you think of Annalise hiring a hit-man to take out Frank? Do you think she would’ve gone through with it?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

How to Get Away with Murder season 3 airs Thursday nights at 10/9c on ABC. Want more news? Follow our HTGAWM Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Megan Cole

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV