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'How To Get Away With Murder' Season 1, Episode 6: 'Freaking Whack-A-Mole'

Kelly O'Mara |
October 31, 2014 | 2:23 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

At this point, I’m wondering if an episode will ever not start with the increasingly sinister-looking bonfire on the night of the murder. This time, after the dark flashes of the party on campus, we get Asher’s story (the mysterious missing fifth member of the squad).

At his apartment, Asher’s pumping himself up to rock the ladies and throwing dollar bills around his room. Because that’s what I always do before going out. No worries, though, he’s got the class trophy — except it’s not on his shelf! That’s why he ends up outside Keating’s office/house, banging on the door, while the others hide inside with their dead body. They freak out some until Asher leaves when Michaela texts him to say she’s at the library.

Then, we’re weeks earlier in class and there’s the trophy. It’s sitting on Wes’s desk, but Wes isn’t here. Keating starts her lecture on “habeus corpus” — the one legal term everyone actually knows and rather appropriate for this class. But, then she sees the trophy sitting there and zones out. 

She’s remembering Wes, after he stormed into her house, realizing the penis-guy on Rebecca’s phone was her husband. He told Keating she disgusts him and she loses it. I’m not totally sure why she’s started crying and yelling after him down the stairs. Professor Keating really only has two modes: pulled-together machine or flipping out. (OK, yes, she’s a complex and multi-layered woman, but still.)

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

Back in class, Bonnie comes in with news and class is dismissed, because there’s a new case!

Here’s what you need to know about this week’s case: When Annalise Keating was a law student, 21 years earlier, David Allen was put on trial for murdering his girlfriend. Despite the lack of evidence, he was convicted. And, Keating says it was the first time she realized telling the truth isn’t always rewarded. (Maybe this explains a lot.) It’s haunted her for years and now her appeal is finally through. They have three days — or else he gets executed in two weeks. 

At the office, the law students (minus Wes) are running through the transcripts from the original case. There’s just one thing: Judge Millstone was the presiding judge. You know who else’s last name is Millstone? Asher. “We finally know why you’re here,” says Connor.

In the back of the office, which is also wierdly her house, Keating and her husband argue. He’s worried Wes is going to tell the police about his dick pics.

Side point: This is really, in some ways, the first episode that has addressed the races of its characters. The death penalty appeal case is about a black man accused of murdering his white girlfriend. And now, as Keating and her husband (who are the opposite make-up of a mixed race couple) argue about how she doesn’t have time to fix his problems or worry about Wes going to the police, she tells him, “When I made the appeal, I didn’t know you were screwing some white whore.” Well, if we’re going to address race, we might as well do it head on.

Bonnie comes in and Keating leaves. The husband thanks Bonnie for everything he’s done, and they make eyes at each other, but she says she’s doing it for Annalise, she’d do anything for Annalise.

Annalise is at Wes’s apartment, where he opens the door without his shirt on, just to further make the sexual tensions here awkward. She tries to convince him to come back to her class and leaves the trophy on his desk. But, he doesn’t want it. She’s also curious about the weird sex scratches in the wall, which haven’t really been mentioned since the first few episodes. But, what she’s really here to ask is: what does Wes want. He tells her that he has a written copy of everything he knows in a safe deposit box. Unless Keating gets Rebecca back, he’s going to the police. Why does he want Rebecca back? 

At the office, Frank and Laurel have awkward post-making-out small talk. He’s so in to her. She is so not, though. (Except really she is in to him. She just doesn’t know it yet.)

Keating shows back up with Wes. All the other students want to know where he was and why Keating treats him so special. He’s not answering their questions, though.

In her office, she tells Frank to go find Rebecca.

With three days until the appeal is heard, there’s no sleeping for anyone. One group is sent to re-interview the old defense attorney. He is very dismissive of their naiveté, but he does have one gem. David did have an alibi, even though it was a heroin addict. One group is sent to re-interview the eyewitness, who says she doesn’t remember anything else from then. And one group is sent to re-interview the prosecutor. The prosecutor disappeared mid-trial and tries to claim it was because he needed a break. Michaela, though, does some researching on her phone and discovers he was assigned to a different case. 

READ MORE: 'How To Get Away With Murder' Premiere Recap

It turns out that he had a tip about perjury. He told Judge Millstone, but the judge didn’t do anything about it. Instead, the prosecutor was taken off the case. He felt there was pressure to convict that may have been racially-motivated.

Asher is pissed about these allegations. He says there’s no way his dad could have done this. “You won’t be the first person disappointed by your father,” says Keating. They start investigating the judge.

Back the night of the murder, the foursome is driving the body away to burn it. Connor’s losing it, per usual, and then they almost hit Asher with their car. What if he sees them? There’s some tense moments, but they pass. It’s “freaking whack-a-mole.”

Weeks earlier, Asher is pissed about what his dad might have done and goes to talk to him. Evidently, going to talk to him involves going to a manor with a maid. In his dad’s study he pours through his yearly marked journals and finds something shocking — but what? Guess you’ll have to keep watching to find out.

At the prison, Keating visits David again. She really cares about him and about this case, which I suppose is a contrast to her usual clients. David tells her about his alibi, who he was lending clothes to for an interview. Unfortunately, Bonnie finds out the guy OD’d 15 months earlier. Connor and Michaela can’t find anything about Judge Millstone’s possible misconduct either. The whole thing is very demoralizing. And, it’s all just so hard for Keating. She has a rough life. So she goes into her office and stares at her files.

This gives her an idea. She hands Frank an envelope and sends him out to do something “just between us.”

At Asher’s dad’s manor, he asks his dad about the case. In all his dad’s journals, which he always looked through as a kid, there is only one day unaccounted for: the day he met with the prosector on David’s case 21 years earlier. He asks: ‘Did the ADA tell you someone perjured themself? A few months later, you got your federal appointment with the help of a recommendation from your good friend the state’s attorney, Art Trucco. Tell me I’m wrong.’ But, his dad can’t.

Asher then shows up at Keating’s office with two conditions: spare my father’s name and I want the trophy. Sure, Keating says.

Now we know that someone lied to satisfy Trucco, who is now a senator. Let’s find out why. Twelve hours until the hearing. No sleeping for anyone. Lots of coffee. At 3 or 4 a.m., Laurel sees Frank headed out and makes some flirty eyes and talk at him. Bonnie lurks in the background, because she always lurks in the background. Stop leading Frank on, she says. Rich girls like you don’t end up with Frank.

Talking through the jail phone and the thick glass, David tells Keating that Trucco owned a bunch of the properties in his area back in the day, tried to raise the rents, develop the region, and drive out the minorities. His girlfriend, the murdered one, headed the charge against Trucco.

The clock is still ticking down at the office. (No, don’t think too hard about the timeline here.) They’re all ripping on Wes about Rebecca and on Asher’s dad. Asher gets mad and knocks over everything. Fortunately, it pays out — as these things do. He’s seen the real estate logo before, at the eyewitness’ building. The eyewitness lives in a building owned by now-State Senator Art Trucco. Case solved! Because that’s how it works!

Now it’s time for the appeal at the state’s supreme court. It’s a super serious occasion and Keating is nervous. This one she really cares about. Frank let’s her know that he also took care of ‘that other thing.’

The eyewitness is on the stand now and Keating presses her about facing eviction for being three months behind on rent, but then four days after testifying the eviction suit was dropped. “Was it because your testimony was payment?” Epic line. She lives in a building owned by now-Senator Trucco.

Somehow, Keating gets Senator Trucco subpoenaed to testify. Immediately. She starts quizzing him about his land. He’s all snide and wants to know what her question is. “Did you have her murdered?” Well, that’s a question. She goes on a rip about coming to power on the backs of the powerless, driving out people’s whose color didn’t fit his bottom line, and destroying lives. Everyone’s a little bit, like ‘can she do this?’ Yet, she does anyway, until she gets threaten with being thrown in jail. Oh man, Michaela wishes she could do that. But that can’t be taught.

The court is not happy about her big speech, but they vote to vacate the judgement anyway and order an investigation, because that’s totally how the law works.

After that’s done, there’s been a development in Rebecca’s case. Interestingly, the police found a phone in the football player Griffin’s car with another man’s dick pics. The new theory is he murdered Lila because of this other man. (How did the phone end up there? Turns out that’s what was in the envelope Keating handed to Frank, after telling him to make sure all trace data was erased and any identifying information.) She tells Wes to go get Rebecca; Frank has the address. Isn’t Frank so handy?

Frank tries to help Laurel pick up papers, but she tells him she’s just not that into him. Again, Bonnie lurks in the background.

At the motel Rebecca’s staying in, she doesn’t get this whole phone being planted thing. How can Wes be for it, when it’s lies? Because he believes her when she says she didn’t do it. No one’s ever believed in her that much.

Keating’s husband watches the TV news, which in this town only covers the Lila Stanguard murder. He’s a little surprised to find out about the new development and the new wallpaper, so no one else can identify him in the photos. Why is she doing this? “I need you,” she says to him. She says it again and again and again, small tears rolling down her cheek. He says he needs her too.

There’s a knock on the door and it’s Wes and Rebecca. But, outside Detective Nate is watching. He gets a phone call — everyone always gets convenient phone calls — that they have the surveillance coverage he wanted. He pulls it up on his computer and it shows Frank putting something in the football player’s car. This could end badly for the group.

Back the night of the murder, Asher’s in bed with whoever the girl was he was talking to on the phone. Guess who the girl is? Bonnie! (That is definitely a surprise. It was pretty much the only sexy pair I wouldn't have guessed.) She gets a call. It’s Annalise Keating, who wants to know if Bonnie is with “him.” Who? The husband. No, no, she’s not, she swears. That’s not good, because Keating is at her office and knows her husband is missing. “Something terrible has happened.”

Contact Staff Reporter Kelly O'Mara here.



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