Gemma: So we’re down to Frank or Nate or Connor under #DatSheet, and either Wes is evil or he and Annalise have some secret conspiracy that he took too far again.
Rasha: I was thinking in the last few episodes that Wes seems younger than all the other characters, and I’m not sure if it’s just that I see Dean Thomas from Harry Potter when I look at Alfred Enoch, or whether the writing makes him seem younger. Maybe that’s another thing that makes the Laurel hook-up feel weird.
He just seems impulsive in the way that 17 year olds are, not the way that 25 year olds are. We didn’t even talk last week about how he’s been casually lying to Meggy about his mother dying of cancer.
G: Oh, god, he’s transcended Dean Thomas for me since this show began. But no, we did not talk about that. I still haven’t figured out his M.O. with Meggie.
He’s an unstable person in a way that would justify the Laurel hookup to me if anything could, but given the end of the ep I wonder if hooking up with Laurel has a specific endgame that he’s already chosen. Also, the Mommie Dearest Therapy Session … I could possibly have done without that.
R: Huhn, I didn’t get that from this episode, but Wes has really seemed more like a cypher this season than a character, with the exception of his few scenes with Annalise–where he’s cleaning her up after her bender, and even in this episode where he tells AK that she already knows what he thinks of her–those felt like honest moments for his character that I understood. I didn’t even mind the pillow talk scene with Laurel because it seemed like at least a gesture on the part of the writers to help us care about these two characters hooking up for some reason other than SeXXXy Scandlousness.
G: I didn’t mind the scene between them either, but at the same time it was redundant. We’re getting something similar enough out of Asher and Michaela–unless there’s a wider purpose to this.
R: The Waurel canon rewrite made me wonder if they were cauterizing the Meggie/Meggy storyline from last season because the writers couldn’t figure out how to make her interesting beyond She’s Too Normal For Wes.
G: I don’t think they’re capable of cauterizing plotlines like that! They have the arcs of their seasons planned so carefully! They don’t get to staunch something that isn’t working midseason the way The Good Wife did (not that they did it well).
R: I didn’t need the Mommie Dearest Pile-on with the Scoobies and AK in all its detail, but I kept wondering if it was going to serve as the Aha! moment for AK in the case. Same thing as the scene with President Frenemy, whose character’s name I can now genuinely not even remember. Lotsa momma stories in this episode where the Mamas are Mean because they crave their children’s affection, but that’s not really AK’s deal.
G: Yeah, I thought they were hitting the Mama hammer a little hard for reasons that didn’t feel as organic as they thought they did. And President Frenemy is somehow supposed to be this year’s Hapstalls. But I’m not yet on that train.
R: I feel like this season is a pointed turn away from a Hapstall-like over-arching case. I mean, there’s the Mahoney case, but that’s the stand-in for the Rebekah/Sam murders. To your earlier point, is Wes actually unstable, and was his mom actually crazy? Season 2 felt like it debunked that with the Mahoney case history. I can understand Wes being paranoid and angry given the trauma of Sam’s murder, Rebekah’s “disappearance,” and finding out the sordid history of how his life intertwines with Annalise’s, but I just don’t get what is going on with him.
G: I think he’s traumatized and it’s coming out in strange ways in this web of deeply complicated codependent relationships that he inhabits. They made a choice not to have a Case, but President Frenemy is a focus of the season-long arc, meaning something terrible is going to happen to her.
R: Maybe she’s this season’s Rebekah and she and AK will end up sleeping together.
I don’t get those vibes. She seems more into Raul. Will we ever meet Raul?
G: Maybe, and she will somehow not have been honest about him.
R: Changing gears: I am now really hungering for a Davis-Weber scene before the mid-season break so we can see Frank’s attempt at Emmy-bait go toe to toe with Annalise’s hurricane. THAT scene with Frank and Bonnie, though. Though take note, HTGAWM writers: “sloppy seconds”…it does not mean what you think it means.
G: Yes. Again, how good Weil has gotten.
R: I would also say how good Weber has gotten. He was turning on a dime and doing the kind of crying that is mostly reserved for horrified broken women in late night dramas.
G: Indeed. I’m thinking what we’re driving towards is that Wes is to be part of this family unit, the one that Bonnie and Frank are part of and the rest of the Scoobies are not, and both he and Annalise are trying to decide if he wants that.
R: I had not thought of the emotional question being poised that way, but as soon as you say it, it makes sense. Which makes me think there has to be a vacancy in the family first, or else it changes too many dynamics. Which is why Frank has to die. And why Charlie Weber is performing the hell out these episodes.
G: You are probably right. Although that means that Nate is a cypher this season as well. Sigh. Maybe we just have too many characters. Although I loved all the Oliver stuff, speaking of scenes that one has rarely seen on TV.
R: That scene between Nate and Wes at the courthouse was interesting in light of your thoughts about the family dynamic.
G: Nate has seen this happen before. I’m not clear on how or when, but he has.
R: What do you think he’s seen? Oh, my heart hurt for all the Oliver scenes, and they were played so sensitively and with subtlety and not as melodrama. As soon as Oliver got turned down by Thomas, I was thinking: Connor would be so righteously angry at the dude and sad for Oliver and protective of him.
G: Exactly. They were played precisely and beautifully, and Ricamora was so amazing in his vulnerability and desire. And I loved Connor and Oliver coming back together from it, and even enjoyed Asher’s dudebro cockblock.
R: I love it that Michaela knows when her duvet is upside down. I also know that kind of thing, and she is absolutely that person.
G: Yeah. Everything that’s playing out in Michaela’s apartment is very entertaining right now. But again, given how tightly wound this show is, I feel like there must be a secret-plot-related Reason for everything. And I wonder what that is re: Michaela’s apartment and all who gather in it.
R: I just think back to how they tied up/off the Hapstall case last year with a minimum amount of clarity and I am feeling less inclined to shadowbox with this show. I did wonder with you about whether Wes has a plan with AK that is part of his offer to spill some beans.
G: Okay, fine. Maybe I should stop having such high expectations.
R: I bet we’ll see Connor in next week’s present-day time.
G: We will. Probably.
R: Unless we see Nate.
G: I mean, we only have two weeks until the present day. We will either have a huge plot involving Nate and then see Connor, or we will see Nate.
R: He looks good in a suit, btw.
G: Nate looks good in all the things and out of all the things, have we not established this?
R: Yeah, I think that sounds right. Well, till next week.