Rasha: This was QUITE an episode.
Gemma: I think this might actually have been one of my fave episodes ever.
R: I thought it was up your alley.
G: It felt like the show hitting its stride in terms of character development, that not every emotional turn in had to be a Plot Point or a Twist, even when some of them were.
R: Well, P. Nowalk has said he wants it to be all about the characters now, and they are making a good case for why it should be!
G: Exactly! They’ve now clearly done a good enough job, as an artistic team, creating these characters and this world that they can drive.
R: Of course, Viola Davis is always everything.
G: Well, that goes without saying.
R: Dude, where do we start?
G: The young ‘uns are getting it together, as well. I continue to be impressed by Weil. I had no idea she had it in her.
R: Yeah, she’s the string, and Viola Davis is the kite in this episode. We need to believe both of them for the dynamic to work, and it does. What I love about this episode that makes it so special and feel so new and so much more real at the same time is that it didn’t sensationalize Annalise’s break. This wasn’t an episode about Annalise Spirals. We’ve seen her spiral, she lives on a spiral staircase.
G: Indeed she does.
R: Bonnie’s role as continuity witness is so grounding. She’s seen this happen before.
G: And the shift in the power dynamic is fascinating. We’ve wondered, in the past, why Annalise keeps Bonnie around, and the show has just offered us a much deeper and clearer reason than any we would have speculated on. And, to its great credit in Shondaland, much less sensationalistic.
R: I loved how we could see such practical responses to what would be handled in such histrionic terms with another show: Bonnie knows what’s going on. She goes into damage control. Once AK is lucid and sober from pills, she agrees that the triggering pills have to go and that she can’t testify. Both of them agree that she’s not ready to talk with Wes. And yet, the danger and tenuousness of that order are so real. I had to watch both Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal afterwards just to calm down. (Btdubs, It’s telling when Scandal is the soothing episode. To Shondaland’s credit, this week’s GA was also taut! If only it hadn’t been wrapped up so patly at the end with a lesson.)
G: It is. But the details of the relationships were what got me in this episode: Connor and Oliver trying to offer a bro-shoulder (broulder?) to Asher, Michaela thinking her orgasms were adequate tools to overcome these life-destroying machinations of which she is a part, Laurel having this peculiar sense of honor based on the limited information available to her. When we live in horrible worlds, we live in them together.
R: Yeah, Frank’s assertion that everyone has everyone’s back will make for interesting times. They were all eating dinner over at his apartment. I would *not* have guessed in S1 that Frank would become the Troop Mom.
G: Yes, that was delightful, wasn’t it?
R: But I guess if the troop is a Murder Troop, maybe that makes more sense.
G: Speaking of mothers, young Christophe apparently had one.
R: Yes, we know Wes had a mom, and from S1, his understanding was that she couldn’t overcome mental health challenges and ended her own life. Eve seems to imply that she and AK are responsible. Is there any way it was an accident that [a pregnant?] AK runs into Christophe/Wes’s mom? Christophe is Wes, right?
G: Well, I think we were meant to be questioning whether the baby Annalise is carrying was actually Wes, but I’mna question whether she’s actually pregnant in that flashback, or whether she was set up to win Christophe’s mother’s sympathy for some to-be-revealed reason
R: Here’s my thought: I knew she was hallucinating that mother/baby at her door from the jump. But I also knew that she was hallucinating based on something that really happened or that she feared/regretted happening.
G: I didn’t know from the jump. Good job.
R: I think the baby is not Wes/Christophe. I think the baby is her baby. That she may never have carried to term. I am agnostic on whether she was pregnant or not when talking with Christophe/Wes’ mom. I mean, Christophe sounds more like a Haitian Creole name that Wes, doesn’t it?
G: Much more.
R: Maybe it’s just me just being linguistically reasonable. I suppose we don’t know nada about Wes’ dad, so there are all kinds of wildcard variables. I bet some folks about there are going to say that Sam was Wes’ father. Surprise Oedipus!! Cherished readers, I am not one of those people.
G: Well, let’s recall that Annalise is involved with our favorite lesbian mermaid at this point in the past, and probably not yet Sam.
R: Well, she left our Lady of the Professional Lesbian Mermaids to be with Sam, so the timing is close. Were she and Eve going to have a child?!
G: That would definitely surprise me.
R: Some way or another, I think AK had some baby trauma at some point before she met Bonnie, and that her drama with Wes, and whatever responsibility she feels for him, are plugging into the hot circuits of that trauma.
Dude, let’s give it to Alfred Enoch too, in this ep.
G: I always give it to Alfred Enoch, you know that.
R: That confrontation scene with him and Viola was tight.
G: And yet so unrevealing!
R: I kept getting disoriented because I could sense the scene from the perspective of both characters: AK is trying to hold on to her sense of order and reality, and Wes’ is turned upside down and he feels owed answers.
G: That, I believe, is the very definition of a master class. In acting and writing.
R: He feels like she has all the power, and she is terrified that her emotional investment in him will send her over the edge. Or that it has already. What do you think of AK’s line to Wes that “I think you ruined me.”
G: It will be interesting to learn at what point on the timeline she means that.
R: I KNOW. Right.
G: At what point did Annalise become the primary agent of her own destruction?
R: Can I take a timeout for how radiant AK looks in the flashbacks, rocking what Lady Funky Dineva would rightly call out as Poetic Justice braids? Radiant like the sun. We have not even talked about this season’s case and the Hapstalls.
G: This is true! We have not! And at what point did she shed Anna Mae?
R: When she went to college, is the sense I got from her episode with her Mama.
G: I want #moreMama, please.
R: Oh yes, please. Can we get Eve and Mama in the same episode?! Because they have totally met, and I bet Mama both approves and doesn’t approve. Also, I love how the actress playing Laurel sneaks things in like her correct Spanish pronunciation of burrito.
G: Oooh, yes.
R: How long will it take Bonnie to call Eve? Or is Bonnie possessive like that? She did go to Nate to get him over to visit AK.
G: Have we seen Bonnie and Eve in a room together? I don’t recall. I think Eve will just show up.
R: Does Eve know about this part of AK’s struggle? The allure of Eve is someone who knows AK’s secrets and still loves her, but there has to be some limit to that.
G: I suspect that limit was hit in the past, at some point during this incident with Christophe, and what we have is a return with some nostalgia and some real longing. Anyway, Hapstalls! Do we need to say things about the Hapstalls?
R: Not really? Idk.
G: I’m waiting to find out whether our team has killed Philip. Because this show….
R: I hadn’t even thought about them killing Philip!