“Did you know this the whole time?” a feisty Laurel charges in on an important Keating and Associates foyer meeting after going MIA for a few days. WTF is “this,” Laurel? That they’re all psychotic monsters, recruited in order of ball size to join this evil cult? That Annalise is destined to fall back again and again into the arms of Nate, the beefy cop? No and no. “This” is far less sexy. Laurel shoves a page she’s stolen from the Cleveland P.D.’s file on the death of Wes’ mother, Rose. There it is, the possible motive for all of this show’s angst, ever: “PRIMARY SUSPECT — VICTIM’S 12-YEAR-OLD SON.” Did Wes kill his mother? That’s the cliffhanger “It’s a Trap” leaves us dangling from like an icicle on a vodka bottle. But based on the title alone, I’m guessing there must be another explanation for why, in a flashback, Wes is shown standing over his mother holding a bloody knife as she gasps her last breaths. Yikes. If it’s true, then Annalise has been helping Waitlist get away with murder for 10 full years. As they’re not on speaking terms right now so he has no reason to go into the office, this trend has only intensified: Wes still has not shaved his ridiculous mustache! Thursday’s set of flashbacks paint a more vivid portrait (SIT DOWN, Catherine Hapstall, no one is talking to you!) of a much lighter, feelings-friendly version of Annalise. So much softer, in fact, that Annalise enlisted floppy-haired Frank to play bad cop to her pregnant confidant in her 2005 dealings with Rose, a key witness for the Charles Mahoney murder trial. We see Annalise steel up hard, maybe for the first time, when her client’s father, Wallace (founder of a hedge fund that swindled millions from its clients and might have a murder to hide), claims he only hired her because she’s a Black woman. “Don’t give your people a bad name,” he seethes after Rose fails to show up on a live feed to corroborate his son’s whereabouts the night Wallace's future daughter-in-law was murdered. Clearly this rich prick — along with whatever really happened to Wes’ mom — prompted a turning point in both Annalise’s career and her character.
We still don’t know what happened to her baby 10 years ago, but Annalise’s conviction that she never wanted children still rings true today. “Now I have five of them and I know: It’s the worst experience of your life,” she confirms to Bonnie after an anonymous e-mailer threatens to send footage to the police of the ducklings running from the Hapstall mansion the night Annalise was shot. The source (whom the gang assumes is “serial killer” Philip) demands $1 million, but instead of coming up with the money, Annalise decides all she wants is to enjoy some meatloaf two ways (read: dinner and Nate). She barks at everyone to go home, have sex, get drunk, whatever makes them happy, because honestly who knows what can happen tomorrow?
Michaela takes her up on it, getting busy with Caleb in the creepy murder mansion. Connor and Oliver consider moving to California so they can tone their butts with yoga and escape the Philly-based cult, then settle for toning their butts the old-fashioned way. Buzzkill Bonnie turns Asher down for both sex and legal advice; she just can’t be that person for him right now, or ever. Meanwhile, Wes and Laurel are making out in a random rental car, having jetted off to Ohio — ostensibly so they can dig deeper into his connection with the Mahoney murder trial, but really so that Laurel can avoid the sinking feeling that she’s dating a con man just like her father. So many unanswered questions here: Who in their right mind would hit “decline” on a shirtless pic of Frank? Do Laurel and Wes have genuine chemistry, or did his facial hair do most of the kissing? Did Frank kill Lila on Sam’s command or Annalise’s? Why are we still talking about Lila? This one may sound crazy, but what if it’s not Philip sending the videos but someone unexpected. Eve? Connor himself, as part of a poorly hashed escape plan? Bonnie?! I get the feeling that Bonnie is up to something scheming and sinister, but it could just be that her everyday look has gone slightly more wild. Next week, the mystery of Wes’ mother’s death will be solved…but that won’t stop him from opening Annalise’s bedroom door with a silly grin on his face. [MUFFLED SCREAMS!] Seriously.