Rasha: Ok, so if you only have one guess about who died in that fire, who would it be?
Gemma: This week they were leaning so hard on Frank that I want to say Nate.
R: I know, right? Except I don’t want to say that. And yet, we get Nate ex Machina ONCE AGAIN.
G: Ferrealz. But I think the next one is the midseason finale, so …
R: Yes, it is.
G: I mean, we did manage to get Laurel in bed with Frank, so she’s presumably double-pregnant. You know, one week double-pregnant.
R: Did she sleep with him?
G: I thought that was why he was putting his clothings on.
R: I thought that’s what we and Bonnie are supposed to be thinking, and maybe that would be a ploy for Laurel to get him to stay, but I actually am in the She Didn’t Go There Again camp. Maybe he was Doing Laundry and that’s why everything was unpacked on her bed. Or maybe they slept together but didn’t make one week old embryos. As in, didn’t have the sexxxes.
G: Really? I’m going with the cigar=cigar direction here.
R: Might be true. I feel like I really can’t say. You know what I did say, though?
G: What did you say? that we’d see Connor in the flashforwards? ’cause you did say that.
R: I said yes, when Michaela asked Asher what he wanted to know and he said Everything. I WANT TO KNOW EVERYTHING, MICHAELA.
G: Well, somehow they’re going to squeeze at least EVERYTHING PART 1 into the next ep.
R: Right? Except maybe Mom will show up and ask for money/do something that Michaela totally didn’t expect, and we’ll get no explanation. Ooo, do you think we’re going to get some parallels to the awesome, juicy, jaw-dropping storytelling when Cicely Tyson starred as Mama?!?! That is probably not possible.
G: They’ve certainly been setting the stage for some Annalise-Michaela parallels. I’m ready for greater depth. The writing in this ep did feel a little lazy to me. Less subtext than there usually is, somehow.
R: Yarp. I like it that they mess with the parallels btwn Michaela-Annalise. It’s not neat, given that Michaela is adopted. I could go for more depth if they’re going to parallel the Michaela/Asher and Laurel/Wes relationships. Viola Davis’ face, though, is everything as always when she’s yelling at Frank in her living room.
G: The Frank-Bonnie-Annalise triangle. Even with the contrived drama of that moment, I wanted to know more.
R: I got the set up, but not really the full drama scene I was hoping for. Weil and Davis were bringing it in discordant Greek Chorus.
G: Which is my favorite Greek Chorus genre.
R: For real. Like what happened when Bonnie joined and entered that whole dynamic? It seems like she came after Frank? at least in terms of working for AK. She was her client much earlier, obvs.
G: Yes, but somehow we’re in a slightly sexy dysfunctional family and we don’t fully understand how we got that way
R: Whew. You know what, Alfred Enoch was making me want to buy the Laurel/Wes thing this week, and even AK being happy for them, but I’m not feeling it from the Laurel motivation end. I guess we could surmise that she has a soft spot for guys who’ve had a tough life and need help/saving?
G: I had a flash during this ep where I got annoyed about Laurel’s role on this show basically being manipulative motions with different men.
R: Right, or she’s sometimes Bonnie’s understudy. That was actually a more interesting time in the Laurel character. She’s actually most interesting when she’s interacting with her family and her Bad Dad.
G: So far. But even with Bad Dad, her role was basically extract information from him. And Get Frank Back. And Take Care of Wes.
R: Once again, as with Michaela, I would LOVE to know more about her family story. Maybe somewhere in there we’d find out something that she really wants?
G: I would like that.
R: I hear you that she doesn’t seem to have an internal drive mechanism. Michaela wants to escape the life with her adopted family and achieve a kind of respectable comfort that she feels will make her okay. I don’t even know how to conceive of What Bonnie Wants, and then I realized that my brain is too foggy from being sick and it broke.
G: I don’t think Bonnie knows what she wants, only what she needs.
R: Fer real. Was it this episode where she tells Annalise that she loves her or was that last week? Last week, I think.
G: Last week. The desperation that undergirds both Frank and Bonnie is pretty potent.
R: Damn, yes. Is that the path our Scoobies are on?
G: Yeah. The dynamic with Asher is interesting, in that the effort to keep him out is a combination of “he’s too dumb for this” and “he can’t handle this thing that is crushing us so we don’t want to force him,” but all Asher wants is a home base.
R: I feel like I could handle McGorry being a little less caffeinated during his scenes, but I guess Asher is the only character who brings lightness.
G: I like McGorry’s caffeination, honestly, esp. given that I know his range from OITNB.
R: OMG, we haven’t talked about Connor and Oliver yet. Their shower scene was adorable.
G: Oh, gracious, yeah, that was a good shower scene. But somehow Connor’s in bed with Thomas while the house is on fire.
R: And then am I right that the last scene with Connor and Thomas is a present time scene, after the fire, and that’s why they can’t find him?
G: Yes, exactly!
R: I really have to say, the actors who play Oliver and Connor have a really genuine chemistry, and I think they deserve a lot of credit, as much as the leitmotif of their romance is one that everyone is cheering for.
G: I agree with that. I believe they love each other and I believe they can hurt each other that much.
R: Exactly! Like, I can see it in their eyes, their hair, their skin. So much so that this is the first time I’m paying attention to realize they are the only actors on the show who I only think of as their characters. Connor ends up with Thomas because Oliver hit him where he lived by implying that Connor is damaged. So that must be one of the things Connor fears most about himself, and so he did something hurtful and destructive. Also self-destructive.
R: Connor on Michaela’s couch is a Connor we haven’t seen since Sam was killed and he was crying outside Oliver’s apartment.
G: This is true. I wonder how linked those two things are.
R: Right? I wish sometimes I could give this whole cast an award.
R: I will offer in closing: Asher in Michaela’s robe, and how everyone obviously wants to wear Michaela’s robe because she only buys the good sh*t.
G: I f*cking want Michaela’s robe, I’ll admit it.
R: Right? This show understands the visceral.
G: Oh, also, President Frenemy.
R: Oh man, this is definitely not going to end well.
G: That case is going to come around with a plot twist, but I have no idea what that plot twist is beyond she’s dead.
R: I predict President Frenemy will be the main plot of the second half of the season. Mahoney will somehow connect to it. Mahoney’s wife esp! Mrs. Definitely Murdered her daughter-in-law Mahoney.
G: Ohhhh yes, you are right.