Rasha: I am…I’ll say that I thought that argument between Eve and Annalise in the hotel room was very real, and I’m not sure that I’ve seen something like it on TV before.
Gemma: It was good stuff. I guess I should have realized at the midseason finale that there was no way we could go back to college and have it be the same actors, but I almost like this point in time better for the two of them.
R: Of course. I’m confused about what Eve is doing professionally at this point. Is she actually working for ICE and AK is calling in a favor? Is she working for some other entity and pretending to be working with ICE?
G: I believe all will be revealed in time.
R: Ok, I just wanted to make sure I didn’t miss something in this ep. So Christophe/Wes’ mom did commit suicide. And he also helped her die. I was torn between feeling for Rose (the actress made me feel all the feels!) and my old screaming argument with TV characters to Never Pull Out the Stabby Thing That Is Keeping The Person From Bleeding Out. Just don’t do it!
G: He’s twelve! How would he know this?
R: This is why we need PSAs. Like some “The More You Know” afterschool messages on PBS and in commercial breaks. Listen everybody: don’t pull the thing out of the wound, it is keeping that person alive! I get especially mad at doctor people and scientists who do this on TV and the movies, but you’re right that it’s unfair of me to expect poor Christophe to know.
G: Yes, it is entirely legit to get mad at TV doctors. But Christophe was just lost. That poor kid. (I liked that kid actor.)
R: So I watched Black-ish‘s episode addressing police brutality, and I realized that same young actor is playing the dad as a child. With a wig that is horrific on purpose.
G: Oh, I didn’t notice that, and I watched that episode too! Good job.
R: Also, that episode beat any show that has tried to have something to say on police violence.
G: Agreed. I feel that even more having watched the show for a while. Genuinely attuned to who its characters are, not who it wishes it had made them at some earlier point. And telling a real story about how this is in their lives. Anyway.
R: The argument between Eve and AK was what stuck out to me most in this episode, how it slipped so painfully and dangerously from the intimate “we didn’t work” to the phobic “I’m not gay.” What lingers with you from this episode?
G: What’s amazing about this show is how completely I believe Annalise’s ability to manipulate/control all these people. Like, this one time I saw a production of The Seagull where Natalie Portman played Nina, and it didn’t make any sense because it was completely not believable that so many people would be in thrall to her. But Annalise? I completely buy that Eve, Nate, Frank, Bonnie, the Scooby Gang are all inexorably drawn into her orbit. I’m willing to wait it out to find out what actually happened with Bonnie and Frank, and Eve and Nate in different ways, because the fundamental premise makes sense. Even Rose. You simultaneously see through her and trust her.
R: It took us a while to get here, but yes, I agree. I remember this was a central question for us in the Pilot and first season, like Why are these people jumping just because this woman said to? I mean, I would probably jump if Viola Davis told me to, but it’s taken time for us to reveal the central gears at the heart of Annalise Keating (and therefore the show). Annalise is both incredibly caring and impressively ruthless.
G: Both. Simultaneously. All the time. She carries everything with her and still has to survive.
R: In a way that pains her deeply and that she has to pay for, often far beyond reason. And in a way totally different from Glenn Close’s character in Damages, which just struck me as one show this one could be compared to.
G: Oh, I hadn’t thought of that, but you’re totally right! I always had the sense that somewhere Patty Hewes was supposed to be an interrogation of the Independent Woman concept, though, and Annalise is way past that.
R: Oh, lightyears. HTGAWM depends on the web of genuine need and genuine hurt that the ensemble of characters has visited upon each other.
I may need to go back and watch Damages again to draw out the differences more acutely.
G: I’ve been thinking about revisiting those first coupla seasons. Remember those days? We didn’t even know Rose Byrne was funny.
R: Dude, Rose Byrne is hilarious and should only do comedy now and forever.
G: I believe everyone’s aware of that now, but back in the days of Damages we didn’t even know!
R: Anyway, this ep!
G: I am so curious about what the twist is with Annalise’s pregnancy. Not just in how it will end, but in how it began. We know there’s gonna be a twist.
R: Really? I feel mystery about the end, but not the beginning. Do you think she was having an affair and the kid’s not Sam’s?
G: I’m not sure. But I get the sense something was off from the beginning.
R: You’re right that the very lovely and competent psych is returning to create inside/outside tension in the Scooby Gang.
G: Indeed. There’s no room for that kind of steadiness and competence in the world of this show. And by the way, I’m still sticking to my Oliver Theory of Online Video. I believe that Asher’s prank was there to alert us to this possibility.
R: I thought the same thing when I saw it!!! I was ready to scream. Dude, Philip has returned!!!!!!
G: I think that way back in the day, when Philip took Oliver out to dinner instead of killing him, this plot is what transpired. And Oliver, at this point, might not mind of damage were done to Annalise for Connor’s safety.
R: No. that I don’t believe. I don’t see Oliver conspiring with Philip I actually don’t think Philip’s a murderer, either, as creepy as his peach fuzz face is.
G: I SINCERELY HOPE PHILIP IS NOT A MURDERER
R: Catherine did it. The show can tell me whatever it wants, but that is what I believe.
G: There were two idiot plots in this ep that annoyed me. One is that we’ve never in any way demonstrated Philip is a psychopath/sociopath, we’ve just assumed it, so I really hope it’s not true. But that was definitely Philip tripping Annalise in Wes’s apartment. Two was that Annalise just left that police report lying on her desk.
R: Yeah, I am so annoyed at the hyperbolic “Philip’s gonna kill us all!” that it’s clear to me that the show will go in another direction. I was disappointed that AK didn’t wait until AFTER LEAVING THE APARTMENT to tell Eve to call 911.
But you know, without that we don’t have the Dramz we so love.
G: Well, he was waiting under the chair. She would not have made it out of the apartment, either way.
R: Philip better just be trying to figure out WTF is going on. I am not into him menacing her during some hostage situation. Though it does ring back to Rebecca being taped up in Wes’ bathroom around this time last season.
G: Oy, this show.
R: It’s got quite the catalog of motifs.
G: It has indeed.
R: Do you imagine the cast just pranks on each other all the time and goofs off? They must have some strategies for dealing with the direness of the plots.
G: Well, according to Matt McGorry’s Twitter feed, yes, they do that a lot. Say more about the significance of the Annalise-Eve conversation for you?
R: I will set aside for a moment how improbably short Eve’s dress was for someone posing as an ICE agent because maybe they were trying to signal to us with the bangs and the abbreviated hemline that she’s Young.
And perhaps they were going for a contrast to all the flowing coats and wide-leg pants that mark the Adult phase for Professional Lesbian Mermaids. However—
G: Well, how other than wide-leg pants does one ultimately hide one’s mermaid tail?
R: You have hit upon the matter exactly! Anyway, the conversation struck me for how many conversations they were having at the same time–Annalise has called Eve for help, they haven’t seen each other in 3 years. They’re having old and new conversations all at the same time, they’re still close enough to their relationship that they can fall into the rhythm of caring for each other, and there’s still hurt and defensiveness blistering under the surface. They both have theories about why their relationship ended, and like arguments in real life between actual couples, they slide across all of these dynamics and lash out at each other or deflect by moving between the different conversations.
G: This is very true.
R: The particular moment when Eve is accusing Anna of leaving because she was scared and Anna responds with “I’m not gay” felt like the heart of it. Anna was scared and still is, and maybe being gay is one among the things she’s scared of. I want to hold some space for there being a real reason that AK broke up with Eve other than that Their Love Was Too Good For This World. At this point though, Eve comes across as very perceptive about and even supportive of her ex.
G: Indeed. It does make me want to know how they got involved in the first place (although I admit the Jessica-Jones-esque casting of the younger versions of these women would be challenging).
R: It now seems clear that this murder case in which Rose was a witness is going to become/continue/reveal some bigger structural issues.
I think we’ll see it carry over to next season. I can’t imagine how they’ll wrap up the Big Bad Dad in just a couple more eps. ONLY TWO MORE EPS!
R: I think we’ll find out who’s sending the videos next week, and it won’t be Philip.
G: My money is on Oliver.