This is definitely one of the heavier HTGAWM episodes I’ve ever seen. It is just drowning in social commentary. Commentary about women, about race, about rape, etc. It’s a nice change of pace.
As you remember, we are still trying to figure out who exactly killed Sam Keating. And obviously, when I say we, I mean the characters. We (the audience) know who killed him: the students. Nate Lahey was just arrested for his murder, unjustly. How could Annalise be so ruthless? Believe me, after this episode you’ll understand why.
An unknown fact about our beloved Ms. Keating is that she was sexually abused as a child. Her uncle molested her in her own home, and her mother never really dealt with it. Her uncle died shortly after that night. This certainly explains why Annalise is emotionally detached and puts on a very tough face.
Annalise’s mother comes to visit because of all that has happened. At first she seems like a very harsh woman. She yells at Annalise for changing her name. She was born Annamae, but decided Annalise was a better fit. Her mother also has very one-sided views on gender. Her mother says that men are born to take from women: money, property, virginity. And women are supposed to give, to nurture, and to protect. Such a traditional view is challenged nowadays, and Annalise is a perfect example of someone who doesn’t agree. We also learn that her mother set their beautiful childhood home on fire after Annalise’s uncle molested her. It is really a beautiful moment. Even though she murdered her brother, she did it for the good of her family. She was ruthless, just like her daughter.
The gender role commentary parallels the case of the week. A young nurse is accused of raping a patient while he was unconscious. Most people find this ridiculous. Why would a woman rape a man? But really, this is a case in which men try and control women. The patient and his lover (also a man) tried to con the hospital out of thousands of dollars by accusing a timid nurse of doing this. Bonnie takes over this case. And after successfully getting the charges dismissed, in a spree of happiness, she kisses Asher again. This time it’s more passionate and slightly steamier. Personally, I like the couple together. But this time, they had an unfortunate observer… Frank. Who knows what that will mean for the future?
And just in case we didn’t think Annalise was ruthless enough… in the courtroom, when Nate Lahey is standing trial, she says to Michaela that “injustices happen in the courtroom every day.” She knows that what she’s doing is wrong. But she also knows the jury will most likely find him guilty because of his race. It’s a sad truth in society, and one that HTGAWM clearly cares about.
And finally, the real shocker of the week… Wes and Laurel go to a behavioral institute to get some more information about a potential suspect in the whole Sam Keating mystery. The psychiatric patient knows Rebecca. He recognizes her when Wes shows him a picture. He starts to mumble a word. “Wet.” Wes immediately realizes what he means. The water tank from the Kappa Kappa Theta house, where Lila Stanguard was found dead. The last shot of the episode is Rebecca on a computer, tracking Wes’s cell phone. She looks devious. I believe that she in fact did kill Lila and has been framing those around her quite well.
Next week’s season finale should clear everything up for us.