‘How To Get Away With Murder,’ Season 3, Episode 2 Recap: ‘There Are Worse Things Than Murder’
In the second episode of How to Get Away With Murder, season 3, Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) finds herself fighting against the board of Middleton University, who is struggling how to help her deal with the growing number of flyers on campus with her face and the word ‘Killer’ written on it.
‘How To Get Away With Murder,’ Season 3, Episode 2 Recap
The episode begins where the premiere began, with Annalise’s house burning down while policemen, firefighters and ambulances surround the area. A body is shown to be taken away into an ambulance, but it is not revealed who, as a sheet covers the corpse. Detectives begin to question Annalise, who talks back to the police and angrily tells them to arrest her if they are so sure she set this all up.
Meanwhile, the Keating 5 (along with the rest of Annalise’s class) is assigned a case involving a battered women named Irene (Amy Madigan), who has been in jail for roughly 30 years for murdering her abusive husband, Rodney with a sledgehammer. Annalise tells her students to come up with a defense for Irene, who is now in her 60s, and present it to three men who represent her parole group. She adds that one student will be chosen by Irene to serve as her primary counsel.
It is revealed that Frank (Charlie Weber), whose whereabouts are still virtually unknown, killed Annalise’s contact–who was following him–in a motel room. Frank crashes a car into a tree in the middle of a remote forest and places his murder victim in the driver’s seat to make it look like he was killed in a single-vehicle crash. Frank covers the car with gasoline and lights it on fire, causing an explosion.
Irene chooses Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee) as her counsel, realizing he is the only one she felt even remotely comfortable talking to. Connor, who was dumped by his boyfriend Oliver Hampton (Conrad Ricamora) in the last episode, is visibly distressed by the case– which apparently is described as the type of case that the defendant “rarely wins”– because of his personal problems. Oliver is hired by Annalise as her personal tech expert.
Laurel (Karla Souza) desperately continues to call Frank, her ex-boyfriend, to no avail, in order to find out where he is and eventually uncover who killed Wes’s (Alfred Enoch) real father, Wallace Mahoney. She cares for Wes too, however, and does not want him to be framed as a suspect in Mahoney’s murder. Annalise’s assistant Bonnie (Liza Weil) reassures Lila that Annalise’s friend Eve (Famke Janssen) is taking care of the Mahoney case, and that Wes is not a suspect. Bonnie also discovers, however, that Laurel has been calling Frank, and shows Annalise Laurel’s phone logs.
Annalise has her boyfriend, police officer Nate Lahey (Billy Brown), track down Frank, who traces his phone to Wichita, Kansas, although Nate later realizes that is a fake address.
Wes is now dating a girl named Meggy, (Corbin Reid) who seems baffled by the flyers about Annalise. Meanwhile, the remaining two members of the Keating 5, Asher (Matt McGorry) and Michaela (Aja Naomi King), are struggling to find witnesses but also struggling to figure out where they stand romantically: Michaela just wants to be friends with benefits, while Asher seems to want a real relationship.
After desperately trying to get Irene to feel remorseful for her husband’s murder, so that her parole team can have a greater likelihood of releasing her, Connor gets frustrated and then tries to relate to her, after unleashing an angry rant to the parole team for refusing to listen to her full side of the story (how much her husband physically and sexually abused her). How does Connor try to relate to her? He confesses he also once killed someone (Annalise’s ex-husband Sam, in season 1), without naming him, and admits he didn’t have nearly as valid of an excuse as Irene.
Annalise eavesdrops on this part of the conversation and threatens to no longer let him work for her if he talks of Sam’s murder again. Annalise also talks to Irene’s sister-in-law, the only witness the team was able to get for the case. Irene’s sister-in-law refuses to defend Irene, calling her a murder and defending her brother Rodney, saying he didn’t deserve to be killed. However, Annalise catches the woman in the bathroom of the courtroom and asks her if Rodney physically abused her too, which she reveals he did. The witness refuses to make a statement about Irene, and the latter is released on parole.
Connor returns home to Oliver, who is prepared to celebrate his boyfriend winning the case, although Connor seems so down that Oliver again says he wants them to split up. Oliver says this partly because he feels that he is always taking care of others’ needs and never his own. Connor decides to crash with Michaela for a few days.
Annalise attends a meeting with the university’s board regarding the flyers, and the president reveals the board has decided to suspend her from teaching in order to ensure her safety. However, Annalise angrily responds by saying she does not see that as a real solution, and walks out of the meeting, fuming, and vying to continue teaching her students, event if it’s outside the classroom.
The episode ends with Bonnie and Laurel playing pool, and the former telling the latter she knows she has been calling Frank. Bonnie tells Laurel to stop doing this because she knows of all the horrible things Frank has done, and thus knows him better than Laurel. Bonnie tells Laurel ‘There are worse things than murder,’ and strongly suggests Laurel rid herself of the fantasy of dating Frank because he is a dangerous man.
Finally, we return to the scene of Annalise’s house burning down. Although the body under the sheet that is carried into the ambulance is still not revealed, Annalise is shown to be hand-cuffed and taken away by police in a patrol car. Before she is taken away, Annalise discretely hands Oliver a gun and tells him to ‘wipe it clean,’ to get rid of the evidence. A mortified Oliver is paralyzed by the entire situation.
How to Get Away With Murder airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST on ABC.