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‘How to Get Away With Murder’ Recap: “Always Bet Black”

Nora Dominick ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Executive Stage Editor

How to Get Away with Murder continued to reveal who isn’t under the sheet in the flash forwards and another person can be crossed off the list. Meanwhile in present day, Laurel (Karla Souza) confronts her father about Frank’s (Charlie Weber) whereabouts and Annalise (Viola Davis) continues to deal with the “killer” flyers circling the campus. Let’s break down everything that happened in the latest How to Get Away with Murder episode “Always Bet Black.”

Episode three picks up right where the previous episode ended. In the flash forward, Annalise is being taken off in handcuffs and asks Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) to erase everything on a cell phone she hands him. Oliver scrambles back to the university and rushes to erase all the contents.

The case of the week in this episode deal with a former rich estate developer Toby (Austin Basis) who is trying to defend himself and get a fair trial. After burning through five lawyers, Toby finally comes across Annalise and her team. Although this isn’t a cut and dry case for Keating and Associates. Toby is being tried for the death of an escort he had hired. Annalise tries to do the impossible, like she always does, and promises Toby he will get no jail time and will receive a fair trial.

First chair for this episode is Michaela (Aja Naomi King). While she begins to case eager to work, she is immediately repulsed when it’s revealed in court that Toby took a selfie with the dead escort. The time he spent taking the selfie could have been spent calling 911 in order to save her. Annalise, Michaela and Bonnie (Liza Weil) press on even though Toby hits on Michaela twice in the span of a single court appearance. Also, Bonnie thinks it might be a good idea to try to strike a plea deal considering Toby isn’t doing well persuading the court he’s innocent. Annalise takes Bonnie’s idea and goes to the DA about this. Although the two appear to be friends, the DA refuses because of Annalise’s past misconduct. Look like all the outbursts and court and you know, being accused of murder, finally caught up with Annalise.

Liza Weil, Aja Naomi King and Austin Basis in the How to Get Away with Murder episode "Always Bet Black." Photo Credit: ABC/Nicole WIlder
Liza Weil, Aja Naomi King and Austin Basis in the How to Get Away with Murder episode “Always Bet Black.” Photo Credit: ABC/Nicole WIlder

As if Toby wasn’t making things hard enough, Toby suddenly takes $20,000 in cash out of his bank account. Oliver, Bonnie and Michaela quickly find out and rush to inform Annalise. The dynamic duo, Bonnie and Annalise, hunt down Toby to see what’s up. Toby breaks down and lets them know that although he’s bankrupt due to all the lawyers, he has been blackmailed for several months. Of course…

So, what is Toby being blackmailed for? Nothing good, that’s what. Toby killed a different girl who refused to sleep with him and made fun of his appearance. So although he swears he didn’t kill THIS escort, he killed ANOTHER college-aged woman. Jail is looking pretty good for you Toby. Wait, you ask where did he hide the body? Where do all first time murders hide the body? In a freezer in an abandoned warehouse that’s where!

Bonnie and Annalise quickly scramble and try to figure out what to do. The new revelation specifically hits home for Bonnie, especially when she learns the girl’s mother is still looking for her.

When back in court on How to Get Away with Murder, Annalise does her very best to help Toby, who is indeed a crazy murderer. She tries to prove that Toby has not been given a fair trial and she indeed brings up the “missing girl.” With all this information, Annalise further proves how good she is at her job and gets a plea deal for Toby. He will get three years in prison for involuntary manslaughter. Pretty good considering, you know, a girl is hidden in a fridge somewhere in Philadelphia. But, Toby doesn’t think it’s good enough and starts complaining. Annalise further proves why we all love her and screams at Toby, “You killed two innocent women, and you think you still get to complain? Say you’ll take the deal. Say it!” God bless Annalise Keating.

So, while Annalise and Bonnie were out dealing with Toby, what were the others up to? The biggest storyline outside of Toby’s trial is Laurel. This episode also acted as a backstory episode for Laurel, which is something we GREATLY enjoyed. Annalise has sent Laurel back home to Miami to see her father and to find out if her father has any intel on where Frank is. From what we can infer, Laurel’s father has a company that creates governmental surveillance technology.

We learn that Laurel and her father (Esai Morales) have years of hatred towards each other that needs to be figured out. Laurel’s father abandoned her and her mother, has tapped her phone calls with Frank, you know, the typical “daddy issue” stuff. However, the one big thing is he REFUSED to pay Laurel’s ransom when she was kidnapped when she was 16 years old. WOW!

Karla Souza in the How to Get Away with Murder episode "Always Bet Black." Photo Credit: ABC/Nicole WIlder
Karla Souza in the How to Get Away with Murder episode “Always Bet Black.” Photo Credit: ABC/Nicole WIlder

Laurel’s father does make amends and wants to make things right, however he does seem to have ulterior motives. Laurel’s father refuses to tell her about Frank until she signs come family investment documents. We aren’t trusting Mr. Castillo just yet.

Eventually Laurel signs the necessary documents and her father tells her that Frank is at a motel outside of Pittsburgh. Laurel returns back to Annalise and lies to her saying she has no idea where Frank is. She tells Annalise that she didn’t want to “sign over her soul,” which of course she did.

Meanwhile on How to Get Away with Murder, Michaela, Asher (Matt McGorry), Oliver and Connor (Jack Falahee) decide to take Toby’s $20,000 and head towards Atlantic City. Michaela is taking out her frustrations on the roulette table with Toby’s money. Of course, she loses all $20,000 in a matter of minutes and ends up going to a pawn shop to hock her old engagement ring.

Elsewhere, Connor and Oliver are not dealing very well with their recent breakup. While in Atlantic City, they try to prove they can still hang out as friends until another man gets in the way. Oliver begins flirting with a guy in the casino and Connor is less than thrilled. Then, when the same guy comes over to Connor, Oliver ends up seeing and being angry. Once again, Connor ends up apologizing to Oliver. This whole, “breakup” thing isn’t working for “Coliver.” They need to cut all ties or learn to be better friends because Connor apologizing every week is already getting old.

How to Get Away with Murder couldn’t end without us finding out one person who definitely survives the fire at Keating & Associates. Bonnie emerges from the crowd at Annalise’s house. Oliver hands Bonnie the newly wiped clean phone and she discreetly slides it under the ambulance to make it look like Annalise dropped it there. The information on the fire doesn’t stop there! Just as Bonnie is about to ask for more information, a cop shouts that they have found another body, but this one HAS A PULSE! Just like that, How to Get Away with Murder adds to the mystery as we launch into episode four next week!

How to Get Away with Murder airs Thursdays at 10/9c on ABC

Overall Grade: B+

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