Written by David Oliver
Hi, I’m Philip Plot:
The Hapstall case gets — did not know this was possible — even more complicated as Annalise (Viola Davis) and the team are racing against the clock to prove Philip’s (Jefferson White) motive. Too bad he’s not the only one they should be worrying about.
Can I just say: FINALLY, we have an actual idea of which Hapstall sibling is the shady one. I’m not going to reveal this right now because that absolutely spoils the point of reading this thoroughly.
In this week’s flash forward — now only three days in the future — Bonnie (Liza Weil) meets up with the Keating 4, and Wes (Alfred Enoch) gives Bonnie the gun. Let’s remember that Bonnie, in theory, just pushed Sinclair (Sarah Burns) from the roof.
Back in the present, Bonnie is sitting in the shower, crying (do people actually do this?) and is missing a call from Asher (Matt McGorry).
Annalise snaps a selfie and sends it to her mom, saying “I miss you.” I hope this is a hint Cicely Tyson is coming back. Nate (Billy Brown) texts Annalise he’s outside. She invites him in, and he’s drunk and she isn’t having it. “I’m not gonna spread my legs as some sort of payment,” she tells him.
As for Oliver (Conrad Ricamora), Philip shows up at his place and Oliver starts rambling about how he and Connor (Jack Falahee) were looking for a threesome. Philip says he’s not there to kill him, though when Connor comes home to find Oliver not there — and the now infamous spilled milk — he goes to Annalise and naturally freaks out.
Annalise has Nate call it in, but then Oliver shows up at the house, with Philip. And that’s where the first commercial happened. Such a tease re: Oliver, but I understand the suspense/marketing idea.
Oliver tried to explain the Hapstall case to Philip but figured it would be better to bring him to Annalise. Basically, Philip denies the connection and threatens to sue. Annalise wants to test his DNA to find out if he indeed is a Hapstall. I’ve gotten so used to typing this name now that I’m going to miss it when this arc ends.
Annalise asks Laurel (Karla Souza) to be the new Bonnie while Bonnie is out. Something tells me the series’ end game is finding Frank (Charlie Weber) and Bonnie’s replacements among Wes, Asher, Connor, Laurel and Michaela (Aja Naomi King) (or if not, I think I just came up with a working idea).
Annalise asks Caleb (Kendrick Sampson) and Catherine (Amy Okuda) if they know Philip and they deny it — though they have lied before, as Wes notes. Sinclair wants to offer the siblings plea deals — 15 years each, though they expire at 5 p.m. that day or it goes to trial.
Annalise sends Michaela to go talk sense into Caleb, who is considering taking the plea. Catherine asks for Wes to come over and discuss it. Wes tells her he would take the deal, as he wishes he told the truth about Sam (Tom Verica). Annalise takes him off the case as his emotions are getting in the way.
Asher figures out that Sinclair has been bugging the house through sent discovery. It turns out it’s through a pen! Looks like a candidate for the new Frank.
Caleb takes the plea deal (30 years, so Catherine gets no time), though it isn’t official until it’s in front of a judge.
Sinclair gets a search warrant for the mansion and doesn’t find a gun, only for the clock to hit 5:15 p.m. with no official plea deal.
Philip is giving a statement at the police station when Nate goes into the computer and switches a criminal record to have Philip’s name. Dude just got his job back — stupid.
Catherine goes to Sinclair and negotiates a 10-year deal, and there’s just an hour before the hearing. It’s not looking good for evidence until Frank bribes someone at the lab — with money from that briefcase — and gets proof re: Philip to Annalise in time to show Catherine so she doesn’t take the deal.
A bigger twist: The DNA shows Philip is actually a product of incest (!) — so that’s still some weird motif in this story.
Catherine delivers a painting to Wes, which is sweet for five seconds until it’s so, so shady.
Then there’s this sex montage with: Connor/Oliver in the criminal law classroom (hot?); Frank and Laurel after he makes her dinner; Michaela and Caleb, since case “closed”; and Annalise and Nate because why not. Nate also tells her that Sinclair is investigating Philip.
So everything’s perfect until Wes sees a painting of Catherine’s in a photo of Philip (!) and races to Annalise’s to deliver the news. As this is happening, Caleb shows Michaela the murder weapon Sinclair couldn’t find stashed away (!), and he thinks Catherine did it.
Cue Catherine and Philip meeting in car. “Don’t worry, I’m gonna take care of this,” he tells her. MAJOR GULP.
And yet, so many questions: Is Caleb as innocent as he seems? Will the bigger twist be a reveal that Frank killed Lila (Megan West) (one can dream)? What new computer will Oliver get since Connor destroyed his? And, obviously, who shot Annalise?
For a pre-midseason finale, this had me confused and intrigued the whole time. A-, since I would’ve liked more hints as to Annalise’s shooter and found the Oliver death red herring cheap.