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'How To Get Away With Murder' Season 2, Episode 8: 'Hi, I'm Phillip' Recap

Dustin Sloane |
November 12, 2015 | 10:51 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

The cast of "How to Get Away with Murder." (ABC)
The cast of "How to Get Away with Murder." (ABC)

This time around, we see Bonnie (Liza Weil) scolding an uncertain Connor (Jack Falahee). She tells him, “You agreed to this” and demands that he gets on board unless he wants to be “the next dead body out there” along with Annalise (Viola Davis) and A.D.A. Sinclair (Sarah Burns). Connor agrees, and Wes (Alfred Enoch) passes his gun to Bonnie.

Time to flash back. Bonnie, in a fetal position, sits in the shower as the confrontation between she and Annalise from last week’s episode plays. While Bonnie works on her Andre Lyon impersonation, Annalise makes sure her wig game is on point. She sends a smiling selfie to her mother, along with a loving text message. Shortly after she sends this text, Nate (Billy Brown) is standing outside her front door.

Annalise invites Nate inside, but there is palpable tension between them. “I’m making you nervous...I don’t think I’ve seen you nervous before,” Nate says to Annalise. Annalise admits that he’s right. “I should kill you, or at least make sure your life is hell. But I just come here.” Nate urges Annalise to hug him, which prompts Annalise to speak up against Nate. She says that she’s not going to “spread her legs as some sort of payment” to earn his forgiveness. Okay, Annalise. Now you decide when it’s right or wrong to spread your legs? You already broke the golden rule NeNe Leakes once stated so profoundly: “Close your legs to married men.” Please get your love life in order, Annalise. Anyway, Annalise walks away and forces Nate to sleep on the couch.

Meanwhile, Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) is shown right where we left off, with Phillip (Jefferson White) menacingly standing in his doorway. Poor Oliver, shaking and stuttering, tries to pass his interest in Phillip off as a sexual conquest for he and Oliver to have a threesome with. He quickly gives this act up, and simply begs, “Please don’t kill me.” Phillip complies. “No. I don’t want to kill you,” he says. Clearly, he has other plans for Oliver, but we don’t find out about these plans just yet because it’s time for Frank (Charlie Weber), Laurel (Karla Souza), and Michaela (Aja Naomi King).

Frank is frustrated with Laurel for “tattletaling” to Annalise in the previous episode, and he calls her a “spoiled little M.A.P.” M.A.P. apparently stands for Mexican American Princess. Frank resentfully calls out Laurel for growing up privileged, which Laurel denies for whatever reason. I’m not sure why Laurel doesn’t just own it. Her privileges in her pre-Keating life don’t mean anything now, so what’s the difference? All of their lives are ruined as a result of working for Annalise, so nothing from her upbringing really matters anymore.

Connor goes back to his apartment, and he can’t seem to find Oliver. However, he does find the spilled milk and realizes that Oliver’s gone. He immediately reports this to Annalise. The whole team convenes, along with Nate who’s still at Annalise’s house. Connor wants to report Oliver’s kidnapping to the police via Nate, but Annalise and the others ask urged him to stay calm. Connor continues to challenge the others, which convinces Annalise to make the missing persons call. Just as Nate makes the call on Annalise’s behalf, Oliver walks in to the house with Phillip. This is a recipe for disaster.

Surprisingly, Phillip does not seem violent and isn’t even that angry. He completely denies his relation to the Hapstalls. He says, “I stick to myself, and I don’t bother anyone. I’m not someone who could do that - kill someone.”Annalise apologizes and tells Phillip to blame all of this mess on her. Phillip is one step ahead of Annalise, as he is prepared to go to the cops or sue Annalise for her illegal actions of hacking Phillip. Annalise is clearly not about that life, so she stands up, smiles at Phillip, and asks, “What do you want?” She’s willing to do anything to stay out of the crossfires, and you can’t blame her after all she’s been through recently. Phillip doesn’t know what he wants yet, and he abruptly leaves.

Michaela starts searching around where Phillip sat for a strand of hair, a.k.a. DNA evidence to prove his birth parents. This is unnecessary, of course, because Oliver has already come through with the evidence from a straw that Phillip drank out of during their unseen rendezvous. They really do not deserve you and all your greatness, Oliver.

In the understatement of the century, Asher (Matt McGorry) expresses his frustration with the others. He missed out on Phillip’s arrival, and he says “It feels really mean that you guys never call me for the cool crap.” Don’t worry, Asher. You’re about to be at the center of some “cool crap.” More on that later.

Annalise asks Laurel to be her “new Bonnie.” The first promotion we’ve ever seen on this show. Nice job, Laurel. Does this mean she’s at the same level on the Keating hierarchy as Frank? How cute.

Annalise channels Adele’s “Hello” in a voicemail to Bonnie. “Bonnie, it’s me...I’m here when you’re ready,” she says. Bonnie clearly isn’t ready because she does not appear in the remainder of the episode. From the flash-forward at the beginning, we know that she comes back into the mix at some point. Until then, we will watch a Bonnie-free “How to Get Away with Murder,” which is not bad at all.

Annalise tells Caleb (Kendrick Sampson) and Catherine Hapstall (Amy Okuda) that Phillip knows he’s a suspect, which frustrates them. “You screwed up again,” Caleb shouts at Annalise. In the midst of their discussion, Laurel says that Sinclair has just called and wants to offer Caleb and Catherine a plea deal. Annalise: “I don’t smile often, but this - I’m smiling.” Annalise knows that Sinclair is scared of losing. Unfortunately, so is Caleb. Caleb actually seems to consider the deal, whereas Catherine trusts Annalise and urges her to “knock some sense” into Caleb.

Then, Michaela visits Caleb and Catherine, for whatever reason, wants to see Wes. She wants to know if Wes thinks they should take the plea deal. Caleb poses the same dilemma to Michaela. Michaela says that they should not take the deal, but Wes says they should. Annalise wants to know if Wes said this to spite Annalise, but Wes’s motives were beyond Annalise. Wes says he wants Catherine to take the deal because he wishes he turned himself in when Sam was murdered. Annalise tells Wes that his feelings are clouding his judgment and that he’s off the case.

Suddenly, Asher finds Annalise and tells her that he thinks Sinclair has bugged the house and has been watching and listening to their work for the past few days. Annalise and her minions humorously stage their work to mislead Sinclair as she allegedly watches them on camera. As they participate in this set-up, Catherine calls Laurel. She is distraught and says that Caleb took the plea deal.

Annalise and Michaela visit the Hapstalls and urge Caleb to change his mind, but he refuses. As Annalise and the Keating Five plot their new case based on Caleb’s plea deal, Sinclair arrives at the Hapstall case with a warrant to search the premises. Annalise confronts Sinclair about this unconstitutional search, but the search was useless. The police does not find any murder weapon. Not to mention, Sinclair finds out that it’s 5:15 in the evening, and that her plea offer has expired. One win for Annalise. Also, Connor and Asher officially discover that Sinclair wired a microphone in a pen. Make that two wins.

Now, one loss for Annalise. Nate calls her, and he says that Phillip is giving a statement to the police. Nate says he will “fix this,” presumably through illegal actions. Yup, what he’s doing is definitely illegal. He forges documents stating that Phillip is schizophrenic and has reported multiple false stalking incidences in the past.

Sinclair is back to her old tricks, and she negotiates a plea deal of a shorter sentence with Catherine. Catherine is unwilling to change her mind, but Annalise and her employees try to work around this as quickly as possible before they have to go to court.

It seems like it’s too late. Catherine begins accepting her deal. Right before it's finalized, Frank barges in with DNA evidence. Annalise shows this evidence to Catherine, which prompts Catherine to change her mind and prompts me to take a huge sigh of relief.

After the court proceedings, Sinclair is on the phone, panicking, until she sees Annalise waiting at the door. Annalise boasts about her new evidence, which proves that Phillip is the likely perpetrator behind the Hapstall parents’ murders. I’d love to say that this is the final nail in the coffin in Annalise’s battle with Sinclair, but we haven’t even gotten to Sinclair’s dead body, let alone a coffin.

For the next ten minutes, we see some romantic and intimate moments between Frank & Laurel, Connor & Oliver, Catherine & Wes - which is still so random - Caleb and Michaela; Annalise and Nate. I have absolutely no time for these lovers because Shonda is about to drop a major bombshell on the characters and the fans.

Wes realizes that one of Catherine’s paintings is in the background of their photo of Phillip, so Catherine and Phillip obviously know each other. Caleb also has suspicions about Catherine, and he reveals them to Michaela. “What if she killed them?” he asks. Then, Phillip gets into a car with Catherine and says that he’s “going to take care of this.”

Just when I thought this show could not get any more twisted. Last week, I predicted that Oliver shoots Annalise. I’ll stick with that prediction due to stubbornness, but there's no telling how next week’s reveal will turn out. Be sure to tune in to the winter finale of “How to Get Away with Murder” next Thursday at 10pm on ABC.

Reach Staff Reporter Dustin Sloane here.



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