I am not ashamed to admit this was a good episode of HTGAWM, but what else would you expect when you have Cicely Tyson reprising her role as Ophelia, Annalise’s badass mama?
As always, Viola Davis was exceptional in every scene, and while I thoroughly enjoyed her heartbreaking interactions with her mother in prison, it was Annalise and her father’s brother that made this episode worth it for me. Whether they’re talking about early signs of dementia that Ophelia is unfortunately exhibiting or how Annalise’s dad raped her as a child, every moment between these two was powerful and chilling. I do hope we see more of Annalise’s family in the future.
Shockingly, the rest of the episode was just as thrilling thanks to some incredible performances. Oliver’s lies proved to be enormously intense and entertaining to watch while Laurel’s emotional breakdown at Wes’ memorial was gut-wrenching. Karla Souza gave her best performance yet as she displayed a spectrum of emotions, one minute crying and screaming her lungs out at people who barely knew Wes and another minute trying to catch her breath after his body goes missing. The show has already lost a lot of its credibility this season, but it’s amazing that despite the crazy narrative, its performers still make the best of the material they’re given.
Because oh boy, the material is pretty damn cheap. It’s frustrating to watch Annalise get away with yet another scam, and I’m very disappointed to see her released from prison already. Additionally, Nate’s entire existence on this show continues to be useless as the character makes one dull decision after another, which makes the cliffhanger with him being at the Keating house with Wes right before the fire all the less impactful. This season hasn’t benefited a bit after killing off one of its core characters, and sadly the show’s entire narrative is crumbling down as a result. I do hope the writers start planning things out better, especially after being handed an undeserved renewal recently.
– Perfect scene as Bonnie practices her speech in front of a mirror paralleled with Annalise being escorted out of her cell. I got goosebumps.
– Is it bad that I laughed out loud at Laurel telling the morgue receptionist that she’s going to hell?
– Awkward moment as Annalise’s uncle steps in for a hug, but she completely ignores him.
– Shocking moment as Ophelia reveals how she burned her rapist husband’s body and house.
– After their terrible confrontation last week, I’m glad that Frank and Laurel had a fantastic if not heartbreaking exchange this time. Seriously, it bears repeating: Karla killed it this week.
– Asher pouring wine on the floor was such a welcome bit of comic relief.
– The funniest thing I’ve heard all year: Bonnie saying the judge must be in on the conspiracy against Annalise after she declines bail for the third consecutive time.
– I need to know more about Annalise’s replacement at the prison, an inmate whose name may or may not be Beyoncé.
– Gut-wrenching moment at the end as Annalise lies to her mom about being freed of all charges.
– Oliver revealing he has whatever Annalise wanted him to remove off her phone is a very exciting development, quite possibly one of the season’s best twists so far, despite how low-key it may seem.
– So seriously, where the hell is Wes’ body? If he is somehow miraculously still alive, I am done with this show.
Oliver: How do you do this, go out into the world knowing one wrong word and everyone goes to jail?
Ophelia: All I have to do is tell the police the truth. You didn’t burn down the house. I did. I’ll tell them that I made sure all the kids was out of the house. And then I poured hooch all over the couch that Clyde was on.
Annalise: Mama, stop.
Ophelia: They got to know what that pervert did to you. And that you’re here to take the fall for your mama. I’m not gonna let you do that, baby. They want to lock me up, that’s fine. The only judgment I fear is from the Lord God Almighty. And if I go to hell for burning that bastard, then so be it.
Laurel: He didn’t do it.
Bonnie: He told you that?
Laurel: He couldn’t. His lawyer was there.
Asher: Then how do you know? Did he blink twice or something?
I Decline by Perfume Genius
Avalanche by Zola Jesus
Top-notch performances elevate another struggling episode of HTGAWM.