I would reckon that the actual case is important to talk about, even though the surrounding drama is a lot more interesting, but for a quick synopsis: the next case the students have to help Annalise with is the death of Marjorie St. Vincent, a department store heiress. Her husband, Max, was charged with her murder and the students have to defend him…somehow.
Max is quite repugnant as a person and licentious, which is shown in connection to his sexuality. He comes onto Connor (who, I guess, Max read as being the “player” of the group) and, as he uses him as his prop to display “How He Would Have Killed Her” (to paraphrase OJ Simpson’s book), he’s also simultaneously getting his jollies at the same time. I hesitate to say that the episode was another instance in which bisexuality is played up for villainous effect since HTGAWM has many other equal opportunity representations of the sexual spectrum, but I just gotta call them like I see ‘em, even if I do like the show.
Anyways, it’s clear that Max is a nutjob by the way he described the murder. But still, the students and Annalise work to prove his innocence. Once again, the students fall into their usual MOs—Connor relies on his “not-boyfriend” boyfriend Connor to hack into people’s correspondence again, Michaela is using her Hermione-teacher’s pet ways to uncover evidence (and get on Annalise’s nerves—it’s clear that Michaela gets on Annalise’s last nerve), and Wes is somehow falling into evidence while quickly becoming Annalise’s actual teacher’s pet. Everyone rightly wonders why this is, since it would appear he hasn’t proven his worth.
However, he does—when he’s tasked with picking up some supplemental arrest reports, Wes realizes that the arresting officer who supposedly found a hunting knife at the scene of the crime was a different officer, not the one that was going to be on the witness stand. Thus, the knife is thrown out as evidence and Wes scores another star with Annalise.
It’s clear that she’s going to eventually use him as a replacement for Nate in the booty call department, right?
Speaking of Nate, he’s had enough of Annalise. Somehow, she thought they could still talk, but after getting put on probation due to Annalise exposing him on the stand, he can’t stand the sight of her. However, this won’t be the end of Nate’s usefulness to Annalise, as we’ll see later.
To make a long story short, Max ends up acquitted, but not before a deafening blow to Annalise’s defense. The prosecution reveals through Max’s daughter that Max has killed before; he led his daughter to believe that her mother had died in an accident, but she was actually killed by him! However, it’s not Annalise that’s able to come up with a plausible defense—it’s Laurel, who has up until now not proven herself (especially after the dressing down Bonnie gave her in the office). Laurel figures out from the hunting trophies on Max’s wall that he’s a hunter, and as such, he’d know how to kill in a humane manner, something Marjorie’s killer didn’t know how to do. So who’s the killer? Wes deduces that it was the daughter all along!
So now Laurel and Wes are Annalise’s current favorites—well, Wes is always Annalise’s favorite—and the once-killer gets off (which puts the daughter in a precarious situation, since her father hinted at some severe trauma coming her way), and Annalise is happy that she’s once again succeeded in the courtroom. But all is not well! Annalise is trying to prove that her husband Sam did (or didn’t?) kill Lisa Stangard and I’m not so sure she’s succeeding. She’s been doing her best to hack into Sam’s phone to see any emails from Lisa. She manages to find one, with Lisa asking about an extension on a report. But instead of signing the email with her name, she signs off with simply “L.” Now, “L” is a little too personal for a student-to-teacher email, but it also doesn’t mean an affair is occurring. But Annalise has her suspicions. Those suspicions worsen when she comes home after the case and finds that all of his emails from Lisa have been deleted from his phone.
She leaves and runs to Nate—well, stalking him home, more like it—she corners him outside of his house and begs for him investigate Sam’s involvement with Lisa. This and the other moment with Nate earlier are the only two times we see her veneer really crack. She’s actually quite a vulnerable person who is so used to dealing with depraved human beings that she doesn’t know when she can actually relax and trust someone. Nate tells her to go home, but she’s so adamant (and crying profusely), that Nate agrees to check up on Sam for her.
This conversation is intercut between Sam and Annalise having sex, but I have to wonder why she’s having sex with him. When she sheds a tear afterwards, is it because she feels sad about her husband’s involvement with Lisa, or ashamed at doubting him and running to Nate? I guess we’ll find that out in the next episode.
There’s more with the Lisa Stangard case to discuss; Wes recognizes that Griffin is one of the suspects in the case and both Rebecca and Griffin are arrested! Wes does his lawyer best to advise Rebecca to not say anything to the cops, but what’s really important are the flashforwards to three months from now. Somehow, in those few months, Wes becomes BAMFWes, ordering people around, calling people on prepaid phones in dingy gas convenience stores, lying to his friends about the outcome of the heads-tails debate (heads meaning that they had to go back for the body), and putting a busted-out-of-jail Rebecca in a dinky motel! Not just putting her there, though, but embracing her like a regular Clyde Barrow! Okay, Wes—we clearly underestimated you.
Of course, that still doesn’t mean that Rebecca’s Lisa’s killer. The killer could still be Sam, or Annalise or even Bonnie, who seems to want to sleep with—or is sleeping with—Sam. Everyone has motive to kill Lisa and Sam and we’re no closer to knowing who could really be capable of murder.
Who do you think has killed Sam and Lisa? Give your opinions in the comments section below!
Photo credit: Mitch Haaseth/ABC