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'How To Get Away With Murder' Season 1, Episode 5: 'We're Not Friends'

Kelly O'Mara |
October 24, 2014 | 12:00 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

In the order of how episodes have unfolded, it’s no surprise that this week we finally learn about Laurel — and, more importantly, about ‘Laurel and Frank.’

We start again at the night of the campus bonfire, which I’m now just so curious about as a university tradition. The fatal foursome again, on virtual repeat each week, carry their dead body out into the woods to light it on fire. Again, Laurel’s phone rings with a picture of a shirtless Frank popping up on her caller ID. Only this time, we get to hear her tell the others she slept with him (and, I totally make someone's caller ID photo a shirtless picture of them in bed after the first time I sleep with them. Naturally). Oh, how could you Laurel, they say?! First, you cheat on your boyfriend of like one episode and then you help kill someone and cover it up. Basically the same thing.

READ MORE: 'How To Get Away With Murder' Season 1, Episode 4: Let's Get To Scooping

Six weeks earlier, Laurel is finally standing up to Annalise Keating in class. Wes tries to ask the good professor about the secret dead girl’s phone with the penis pics on it, but she doesn’t want to use it in the defense yet, and she doesn’t want to turn it into the police. He can’t figure out why. I have a few ideas, like maybe the fact that those penis pics are her husband's. Maybe.

We flash back even more to the night Keating was confronting the husband about his photography skills. He confesses to sleeping with the dead Lila Stangaurd over the summer. She was needy, he says. Keating says that’s the way he likes them, that’s how he liked her when he slept with her and was still married to his first wife. Oh, snap!

Downstairs, Bonnie listens as the fight gets ugly and then the husband storms out. Bonnie, apparently, is always in the shadows, lurking, waiting for the husband.

Here’s the case for this week: Ryan shot his dad after years of his father abusing and beating his mother. His dad was a cop, so this could go badly for him. In one of those twists that happen on legal TV shows (but that you really hope isn’t how things actually happen in our legal system), the judge excludes all testimony about the abuse. Laurel takes all this really hard, because she actually feels bad for the kid and wants to do good and maybe has some other emotional things going on too.

For educational purposes, it is determined this case will be all about emotion and the jury. So, the law students are each assigned a few jurors to learn about and follow—but definitely not to talk to. 

They also have to find a way to get the abuse evidence into the record through the back door, by getting one of the prosecution’s witnesses to mention the kid’s blog, where he documented his father’s abusive behavior at length. Laurel makes this happen by reading the blog inside-out and jumping on an English teacher’s testimony that parallels a blog entry from three months earlier.

At Wes’ apartment that night, Rebecca invites herself over for a piece of pizza. They flirt back-and-forth. She wants to know why he bothered to lie to get into jail when he hardly knew her. Obviously, it’s for her amazing repartee. 

READ MORE: 'How To Get Away With Murder' Season 1, Episode 2: It's All Her Fault

At Keating’s house/office, she’s busy drinking and ignoring calls from her husband. When that gets boring, she heads out to find Detective Nate. Somehow she always knows where to stand exactly as he pulls up in his car and opens the door. Detective Nate is not in the mood, though, because Detective Nate just got fired thanks to Bonnie telling the police chief that Nate was investigating the husband and sleeping with Keating. Only, Detective Nate thinks it was Keating that told his boss and he doesn’t believe her when she says she has no idea what he’s talking about. In all fairness, I probably wouldn’t believe her either. He’s also pissed enough to tell her that he lied: her husband wasn’t at Yale when Lila was murdered. Sleep well next to that.

Back in the woods the night of the murder, Frank keeps calling Laurel. She doesn’t want to take it, but the others tell her she has to, it’d be a good alibi, since he’ll hear that seminal bonfire in the background. She gets on the phone with him and says she doesn’t want to talk, he lied to her. He promises to do anything for her to make it right.

Six weeks earlier, she’s hanging out with her Legal Aid boyfriend and talking about how they can win this kid-shooting-his-abusive-father case. The key is something about jury nullification, where a jury votes their emotions (or a not guilty verdict) despite that the facts suggest the defendant is guilty. Or something. Aren’t you glad you learn so much about the law on this show? But, here’s the conundrum: you can’t tell the jury about jury nullification without breaking all kinds of rules about jury contact. Legal Aid boyfriend says Laurel shouldn’t risk going to jail, but she’s thinking about it. You can tell, because she looks thoughtfully off camera.

Keating reams Bonnie out for airing her dirty laundry to the police chief to get the confession video. Bonnie tries to suggest that she did it for Keating. But, Professor Annalise knows better than that.

She says, "We both know who in this house you did it for." I think she means the husband.

In the courtroom, the dead abuser’s cop friends don’t believe he could have beat his wife. Laurel gets more and more upset. She just wants to do something good. Frank understands, in his dark and misunderstood way. Still, he warns her not to tell the jury about jury nullification. While everyone else is goofing around and not taking this seriously, Connor’s goofing around at least gets one of the jurors thrown out after the juror sends nasty messages about the kid through a Tindr-style app. But, their chances of winning still aren’t good.

The mother testifies about the abuse. It is touching. She cries. Some of the jury members cry. Of course, the prosecution points out that when the father was shot he wasn’t actually threatening anyone’s life at that exact moment.

Flashing forward to the murderous woods, Michaela is freaking out, looking for her engagement ring and crying. She might have cracked. They all might have cracked. She’s supposed to return the trophy/murder weapon, but she clearly can’t. Laurel says she’ll do. She’ll figure out how.

Keating makes an emotional closing argument in court, but things still don’t look good. It’s hard to shoot your cop dad in the back and not go to jail, no matter what he did before.

That’s why Laurel takes matters into her own hands. She prints up explanations about jury nullification and leaves them on a bench as one of the jurors comes to sit down. Frank sees and says he’ll have to tell Keating. He does, but he doesn’t tell her who did it. (Keating totally knows he’s lying, by the way. She’s all: Frank, I can not have any more men lie to me. Word.) Frank points out that he’s not a lawyer; he doesn’t have to tell the district attorney. But, Keating does some wily thinking and tells him to report it anyway.

The judge is forced to call a mistrial. Fortunately, all the talk of abuse changed the district attorney’s mind. They won’t re-try the case, but are pushing it down to juvenile court. The kid gets off with community service, counseling, etc. Frank keeps looking at Laurel all meaningfully. Bonnie’s like "cut it out."

READ MORE: Get To Know The Actors Of 'How To Get Away With Murder'

Keating waits at the house for the husband to come home. “Were you at Yale?” she asks. The husband admits that no, he wasn’t. Lila Stangaurd called him and threatened to hurt herself. He came back to Philadelphia, but couldn’t find her. Probably because she was dead. But, “I didn’t kill her,” he says.

Well, Keating tells him, pull it together, because Rebecca’s coming over for a psych evaluation. Or, at least that’s what they’re telling her. But, she’s really coming over so they can try to figure out if she recognizes the husband or if Lila Stangaurd ever told Rebecca about who the guy with the penis pics was.

During her fake psych eval, Rebecca tells the husband that she met Lila at the bar. Lila was a spoiled sorority girl, she says, who wanted excitement, so asked to help on drug deals. She left the phone at Rebecca’s apartment the night before she was killed. And, she never told Rebecca anything about the guy she was sleeping with, other than that he was married and she called him “Mr. Darcy.” He probably killed her, Rebecca figures. The odds certainly aren’t bad. But, Rebecca doesn’t seem to recognize the husband or know anything about him. She heads up to the bathroom while Wes waits for her.

The night of the bonfire and the murder cover-up, Laurel shows up at Frank’s apartment. He wants to know if they're going to talk about things. She says, no. But, you said you’d do anything for me, did you mean it, because I got a big one. She pulls out the trophy/murder weapon and asks for his help.

Six weeks earlier their “romance” starts when Laurel confronts him about not telling Keating that it was her who leaked the info on jury nullification. Maybe she wanted Keating to know, she says, maybe she doesn’t need protection. They yell a bunch of stuff at each other and then they start making out. It’s all hot and heavy until Laurel pulls away. “I have a boyfriend!” Oh, Laurel, you have a guy you’ve been dating like two episodes.

Laurel then goes to the Legal Aid boyfriend’s office and has sex with him on the desk. I feel like maybe that sex isn’t so much about him. Maybe.

Wes returns to his apartment and finds the door to Rebecca’s open. She’s cleaned out her stuff and left. When Wes calls her, she wants to know if he was in on it. In on what? She may have figured out who was connected to the penis in the pictures. She says not to trust Annalise. It’s the wallpaper! Which seems like an unnecessarily cryptic way to tell Wes that when she went to the bathroom she recognized the wallpaper in the penis pic on the dead girl’s secret phone.

Wes runs back to the house/office, runs up the stairs, and is staring at the wallpaper when Keating comes out of her bedroom with her wig and make-up off. “You lied to me,” he says. And, just in case you haven’t totally figured it out yet, he also says that the photo was taken here and Mr. Darcy is her husband.

Way to get there Wes, way to get there.

Reach Staff Member Kelly O'Mara here. Follow her on Twitter.



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