How To Get Away With Murder Season 2, Episode 8 Recap: Hello, Phillip

Photo: Tony Rivetti/ABC.
Oliver is okay, thank God. Bonnie’s crying in the shower, which is honestly the best therapy. I want her to steam in there a whole week just to see if she’d out smiling. Smirking, at least? I’d settle for a straight-line mouth to be honest, and I think Bonbon would too. But a spa week is not in the cards for our girl, who looks to be running the hell out of the carefully plotted-out murder extravaganza three days later at the Hapstall mansion. Next week’s it’s-not-even-winter finale should illuminate how Philip the “inbred weirdo” — whose DNA matches the crime scene of the double murder — factors into the flash-forward world of protection, betrayal, a dead prosecutor, Annalise’s gunshot wound, and Catherine’s seriously terrible portraiture that has hung over our heads in a toxic swirl since the beginning of season 2. Got all that?

But first: An eight-character orgy before it all goes to shit! Four couples do the dirty in a montage with such quick cuts that it’s almost hard to tell that the two guys are full-on 69’ing in a criminal law classroom. Bravo, team! And to think I was already hot and bothered when most of the main characters piled into one room to watch Annalise run damage control against Phillip in her fabulous red silk robe. Clearly I need to up my standards of what “tasteful slumber party” really means. Also in the bliss mix: Creepy-hot Caleb Hapstall gives Michaela her first big O, then punctuates his job well done by showing her the murder weapon his sister or the inbred weirdo (maybe both) used to kill their parents. Meatball Frank ladles his special sauce over Laurel once she agrees his apartment can be an Annalise-free zone. But not so fast, kids! The boss is a part of this sex scene too — and a constant haunting presence in your minds whether you like it or not.

That’s right: Annalise and Nate are back in the saddle, the saddle of course being his stretchy, superheroic ripped-beyond-belief torso, which frankly could have seated all eight of the sex participants but let’s not get too crazy. “I should kill you,” the world-weary widower openly admits to the woman who had him thrown in jail for her husband’s murder. “Or at least make sure your life is hell. But instead I just come here.” In more ways than one, honey. Annalise nixes Nate at first because he’s drunk and makes her nervous. “You need to decide whether you wanna forgive me,” she dragon-throats at him to test his loyalty. “I’m not gonna spread my legs as some sort of payment.” Emboldened by a purpose (whoa, what if HTGAWM is just like this week’s American Horror Story and Nate is a very muscular ghost?), Nate flings himself into the Hapstall case, tampering with Philip’s police record even though he just got his cop job back. That’s how bored and lonely he is.

But can you really blame someone for showing up drunk at Keating and Associates late at night? If you don’t get upstairs, that house is so dope that even the couch would qualify as a cozy bed and breakfast. Then as a wake up call, Asher could pour O.J. on your face and declare you a bug — not with his words but with his dance moves. I’m telling you, it’d be a real trip. Four and a half stars.

It’s crunch time in the case against Caleb and Catherine, the not-really-siblings accused of killing their adoptive parents. He wants to take a plea deal and she doesn’t, but they switch positions once Michaela/her hungry eyes and Wes/his guilty conscience intervene, respectively. Annalise throws Wes off the case for telling Catherine to take the deal because it’s what he should have done: turned himself in for Sam’s murder. “Instead it weighs on me, you, all of us,” he emo-bots in his place of work. “We could have all moved on by now.” Yawn, Wes. Look around. Everyone else has moved on, except Bonnie and that’s a given no matter what the topic. But alone in his sad studio, Wes can’t help being a wounded puppy genius, especially when he’s pretending to study for Torts. Suddenly, in an intuitive flash following Michaela’s soft moan in the sex montage, Wes connects the awful painting Catherine had gifted him to a similar one he spotted in the team’s footage of Phillip’s apartment. Turns out those two have been plotting together to kill their parents (inbred weirdo’s mom is the dead racist aunt) this whole time.

Meanwhile, Bonnie’s absence gives Annalise a great excuse to play favorites and berate people at random, not that she ever needs any. Laurel becomes de facto Bon Girl, answering phones and taking names. Michaela continues to be encouraged/dared to boob her way into Caleb’s safe of secrets — brain, heart, pants, cloud, whatever. Who even knows where people store all their baggage these days? But it’s Frank who bears the brunt of the personnel shift. The mafioso dandy is not used to being painted as such an incapable bastard. So when the vague promise of a duplex on State Street doesn’t entice a pregnant city forensics employee to rush his order, he digs into the decoy suitcase of cash to bribe her for real. And it works! Sometimes that spare 50 grand lying around can really get you somewhere. Presto: Phillip’s DNA is a near-perfect match to the crime scene, so the case against the siblings is dropped. Yet the getting away with murder endures…

Suddenly craving meatballs? Just me? See you next week!


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