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'How to Get Away With Murder' recap: A deja vu case

For The Baltimore Sun
The Keating five start to unravel on "How to Get Away With Murder."

Picture this: A group of outsiders seeking approval who will do anything to reach it. A master manipulator takes advantage of the innocents. An acquaintance of both turns up dead. Sounds familiar right?

No, I’m not talking about the Keating five. This week’s installment of “How to Get Away With Murder” brought us the high-school murder case of Zoey Mitchell, accused of killing her best friend, Rachel, in a modern day “Mean Girls.”

As a whole, this episode felt a bit slow compared to previous ones. I hope it's setting up for next week’s episode but anyways let’s dive in.

As always, we open with Annalise bleeding out in the Hapstall mansion, except paramedics are now arriving. It looks like Annalise will survive … for now. In Nate’s car, Michaela anxiously takes phone call acting all innocent because, well, she does not have much of a choice. Could it be Levi on the phone?

Back in present day, Annalise is literally sprung from a bath with a phone call from Nate ... or should we say Nia. Nate’s terminally ill wife (Enuka Okuma) summons Annalise to the hospital. Annalise admits she is scared to meet with Nia, a rare display of vulnerability.

In some bizarre way, Nia admires Annalise’s strength. Nia is in multiple clinical trials but nothing is working so death seems imminent. She has a couple of final requests for Annalise. She tells her to continue loving Nate because he will need someone once she’s gone.

And then she drops a bomb on Annalise. Nia wants Annalise to kill her, medically speaking. Nia wants Annalise to have Frank get secobarbital so she can die peacefully. I find it interesting that Nia knows who Frank is and what he is capable of. It makes me wonder how much Nate has told her.

Annalise does not have much time to think about the proposition because she’s greeted with Zoey Mitchell’s case as soon as she walks in the door. Her defense is simple: Zoey and Rachel became friends with two popular girls, Molly and Megan. Molly got angry when Rachel went after her boyfriend so she had Zoey kill her.

During opening statements, Annalise portrays Zoey as an innocent girl just trying to be popular in high school. She had no choice. Connor is the only one who sees the similarities between this case and their own involvement in Sam’s murder. Connor even lays out a step-by-step plan of how alike the cases are.

Asher calls out of work because he’s “sick” and Michaela is assigned to prep the Hapstalls for their trial. Why? Because she’s smart and has boobs, which according to Annalise will help them figure out if the Hapstalls were sleeping together.

So Wes, Laurel, and Connor are left to poke holes in the prosecution’s story.

Michaela arrives at the Hapstall house, only to engage in a little bit of phone sex with Levi, because that is what professionals do. Wes confronts Nate to find out more about Rebecca’s death. All Nate knows is that Frank called a number three times the night of her death so Wes makes Levi investigate.

Why is Wes trusting Levi so much? He just met the guy and even that was under sketchy circumstances.

Back at the Hapstall house, Michaela reveals to Caleb that she’s adopted in attempt to get him to open up. Caleb denies the incest, noting how crazy the accusations are. Michaela tells Annalise she believes he’s telling truth but Annalise is not happy with that.

“What’s the matter? You don’t know how to use your boobs?” Annalise tells her.

So Annalise is whoring her students out to get information, how wrong could that be? I mean Annalise has never been the most ethical person. Bonnie is that annoying girl who cannot accept when a boy dumps her. We all know someone like her.

Bonnie has Frank track Asher’s phone in exchange for the information that Laurel is very interested in Frank. Also Asher is still getting called “Doucheface” so that’s a win for us.

Laurel stole Zoey’s phone at the hearing because she did not trust her and turns up at Frank’s apartment late at night to show him. I was rooting for them to finally hook-up.

Wait, I’m rooting for Frank? What is this?

Anyway, Laurel finds videos of the girls on a “hidden away safe” app that disguises videos as tools so no one will find them. The video shows Zoey reenacting the killing and expressing the desire to kill someone else.

Zoey’s parents demand the tape be destroyed and Annalise obliges.

Connor cannot believe Annalise would do this because it is clear Zoey is guilty. At the hearing, the video is shown by the prosecution. Molly takes the stand to talk about how Zoey is a psychopath. And Zoey finally snaps and shows her true self.

Zoey threatens to kill Molly and screams at her, “You would still be a basic bitch if it wasn’t for me!”

As a recent high-school grad myself, I can confirm that being basic is the last thing you want to be.

Zoey is hauled off to prison as her parents watch in shock.

Annalise confronts Connor back at the house because she knows he gave the video to the prosecution. Connor defends himself saying Zoey would just kill again and again. He could not have any more blood on his hands. Annalise reminds him he still has blood on his hands and in his car.

This is when Annalise gets scary. She lets Connor know that she has his car hidden and is not afraid to use that against him. She yells at him to never cross her again or else. It was a bone-chilling threat for sure.

Michaela does her job for once and gets information about the Hapstalls. Turns out, Catherine Hapstall is a virgin and is willing to get medically tested to prove it. Michaela lusts after Caleb and who could blame her? His eyes are perfect. Annalise is slowly building her defense of the siblings but this still does not explain the kissing picture.

Levi discovers that the phone number belongs to an acquaintance of Frank who just so happens to work at a cemetery. Wes and Levi head to the cemetery to search for Rebecca. Wes then flips on Levi for still sleeping with Michaela.

Levi admits to lying because he will do whatever it takes to find Rebecca. Wes continues to whine since that is all he knows how to do and goes to find Nate.

Asher is once again in a parking lot with D.A. Sinclair. His father worked out a deal so Asher will have immunity if he testifies against Annalise. Bonnie shows up because she’s a stalker and does not know how to handle a breakup.

Asher admits to being a rat and knowing all about Sam’s murder. Bonnie lies and says she killed Sam, which shocks Asher. These two are so clueless I guess that’s why they attract each other.

The final scenes take place at Nia’s hospital. Annalise will not give her the medication because Nia is too good of a person. Annalise admits she has thought about killing herself before.

“You’re a better woman than me. And if I don’t deserve to die then you definitely don’t,” Annalise tells her. As Annalise walks out of the parking lot she spots Wes and Nate talking. It is only a matter of time before Annalise figures out what they are up to.

Flash-forward to the group hiding in Nate’s car following Annalise’s shooting. Nate drops Michaela off at a mysterious apartment complex. Michaela opens the door to Caleb Hapstall waiting for her.

“How is she?” he asks.

How is who?? And why are these two together? I mean, I am now rooting for Michaela and Caleb, but still. So many questions need to be answered next week. From the looks of it, Frank and Laurel finally get back together, Levi threatens Michaela and someone gets a gun pointed at them.

Can it be next week already?

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