Annalise Keating is back in action.
After successfully defending her client Jasmine, only to learn the news about her death not long after, Annalise (Viola Davis) is determined to improve the justice system. Specifically, she wants to change the way Pennsylvania's public defense office operates. And as we saw last week on How To Get Away With Murder, she wants to do that through a class action lawsuit.
This week, Annalise is once again trying to help Middleton University President Soraya Hargrove (Luna Lauren Velez), who's still involved in a custody battle over her children. Tegan (Amirah Vann), Michaela's (Aja Naomi King) boss at Caplan and Gold, is representing Soraya, but Annalise makes her an impossible-to-refuse offer. She'll try to get Soraya a better deal than Tegan will, and Soraya only has to pay her if she succeeds.
Tegan doesn't realize that Michaela knows Annalise, but she doesn't take her off the case when she realizes her intern is Annalise's former student. Michaela is flustered, though, cornering Annalise several times. It's clear she wants nothing to do with her former professor after the breakup dinner. Eventually, Annalise tells Michaela that she wants her and Tegan to stand in for the mom she never had, a statement that leaves Michaela truly shaken.
In most ways, Annalise is as cunning as ever. She uses a voice recorder to take her notes so the DA's office can't hack her cell phone again. And a meeting with Isaac (Jimmy Smits) helps her realize that she and Tegan can subpoena Soraya's ex-husband's therapist's notes, since his lawyer claimed he suffered from emotional distress due to Soraya's drinking. The therapist's records reveal that Mr. Hargrove visited with someone named Sue to discuss his post-marriage future. But it's not a woman he was having an affair with; rather, Warren Sue was the couple's financial adviser. Annalise and Tegan infer that Mr. Hargrove wanted to hide his assets before the divorce so that he could take more money from Soraya, as he'd been withdrawing money in small increments.
The discovery leads to a settlement that's far less than Mr. Hargrove's original offer: a victory for Soraya. And the money Annalise earns from her case goes towards her purchase of Virginia Cross', the chief public defender from last week's episode, old records. Still, Annalise does make one major slip-up: She emails a legal document about the custody disagreement to a member of the Middleton board named Barry, rather than to Mr. Hargrove's lawyer. It works out in the end, but it's still an important moment in showing that Annalise might not be at the top of her game.
Meanwhile, Annalise isn't the only one looking at Virginia Cross' records. Bonnie (Liza Weil) is doing so too, telling D.A. Denver (Benito Martinez) that she wants to make sure there's nothing that could harm his bid for attorney general. She could definitely be hiding her true motives, though. But even though Annalise praised Bonnie for her loyalty, it seems like she and Nate (Billy Brown) are still strictly anti-Annalise.
Back with the Keating Four, it's Connor (Jack Falahee) who gets most of the attention this episode. His father and stepfather are in town to check on him after learning that Connor decided to drop out of law school. His dad is sweet, telling Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) that Connor's coming out as a 12-year-old gave him the courage to come out as a married man in his 40s. He seems genuine in his desire to reconnect with Connor, but his son tells him they have nothing in common. He also tells Connor not to marry Oliver, at which point Connor walks away from the conversation.
Meanwhile, Asher (Matt McGorry) is still looking for an internship. And Laurel (Karla Souza) sleeps with Frank (Charlie Weber). In the preview for next week's episode, Frank asks if the baby could be his. (If that is a possibility, well, it's safe to say we'll know the answer when the baby is born.) Frank says he'll be there for Laurel no matter what — and if that wasn't heartbreaking enough, he brings Annalise a suitcase of money to try to make amends for the car accident all those years ago. Still, Annalise is too hurt to accept it, saying her dead baby is in the suitcase.
Laurel's doing more than having sex, though — she still wants Michaela to help take her dad down. She also sees a former Antares employee's name on a list of donors to Denver's campaign for attorney general, which means her father could be helping Denver.
And as for Laurel's baby, the flash forward in this week's episode didn't feature her crying and asking where it is. Instead, we see Michaela hugging Isaac at the hospital as he declines a call from "Julie." Julie is really Bonnie, though — apparently, she starts visiting Isaac under a fake name. It's not clear what she hopes to learn about Annalise (or do to Annalise) through this process, but it can't be good.
We also see some surprising character development from Isaac, who's taking notes on a voice recorder of his own. He expresses concern for Annalise, who's pouring all of her attention into the class action suit. He believes she's doing it as a way to seek penance for Wes' death. But he also reveals that treating Annalise could be a trigger for him, which could be a clue about the flash forwards with the bloody handprints in the elevator.
In the last few minutes of the episode, we learn about another bloody crime scene, in addition to whatever happened in the elevator at the motel where Annalise is. Apparently, the Caplan and Gold office is a crime scene — and Oliver witnessed whatever went on there. We don't know what the incident was, but there's a lot of blood on the ground. Hopefully, we'll get more clues about at least one of these crime scenes soon.
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