Last week, I complained a bit about the relationship between Annalise and Wes as I tried to parse out whether it’s based entirely on manipulation or something real. Tonight, we finally got the answer about the two of them that we’ve been waiting over a season for. At least, I think we did.
In a scene between Annalise and Eve (Famke Janssen returns!), Annalise explains that Wes isn’t just one of her students. Right, that part has been evident since the beginning. “It’s him,” Annalise says, and Eve understands immediately, even if we don’t. But even though it isn’t explicitly said, I think we have enough reason to believe Wes is Annalise’s biological son. It’s a theory I’ve danced around for a while, and it’s the only one that really makes any sense. Annalise does care about Wes in a way that she doesn’t with the rest of the Keating Five. There has always been something special about their relationship, which has oscillated between motherly and sexual. Based on what she says to Eve and how Eve responds, the former has to be the truth. Wes is only at the school because he got off the waitlist, and it’s not hard to believe that Annalise had something to do with that.
Now that the truth is somewhat out there, I’m unsure exactly where Murder can go in order to achieve real payoff for this reveal. The writers have certainly taken their time with it, and while we do have some more context for Annalise’s behavior as it pertains to Wes, this answer to a question we’ve had for a while isn’t exactly a key that makes everything make sense all of a sudden. The best part of this scene actually has nothing to do with Wes and everything to do with Annalise’s relationship with Eve. I’m thrilled to see Eve return. If she had only been around for her couple of episodes at the top of the season, it would have undercut the significance of the character. By bringing back Eve, the writers acknowledge that she wasn’t just being used as some sort of stunt. Annalise’s relationship with her is as complex and long-lasting as the characters insist it is. And it’s more than just sexual. Annalise knows something very personal about Annalise. She doesn’t miss a beat when Annalise says “it’s him,” and that’s a real testament to their relationship.
Unfortunately, this crucial reveal for the series plays out as rather anticlimactic, most likely because it’s buried in an overflowing, messy episode. The Nate/Nia case brings Eve back, but there isn’t a whole lot at stake here. Maybe this is especially obvious because The Good Wife recently also did an episode revolving around a medically assisted suicide case, but Murder just also doesn’t really seem all that interested in teasing out the complexity of the issue at the center of the case, which would be fine if the storyline made up for a lack of commentary with some engaging character development, but it doesn’t. Plus, it’s wedged into an episode with another storyline about suicide that similarly never really figures out exactly what it’s trying to say. There are essentially two cases of the week in “I Want You To Die,” and neither of them hold their own.
But most of the stories happening outside of the courtroom have some weight to them, especially the continued unraveling of Bonnie, who is understandably crushed by both the revelation of what happened at Trotter Lake as well as the revelation that Annalise told Asher about her abusive father. The former breaks her heart, and the latter rips it open. Both open her wounds. Bonnie speaks with painful honesty from the perspective of a survivor of sexual abuse when Asher proves once again to have no idea what he’s talking about. I still think this show doesn’t quite know what to do with Asher, but at least Bonnie puts him in his place when he tries to be some sort of hero. How To Get Away With Murder is always unflinching in its portrayal of abuse. On another show, Asher might be able to convince people that he really was an innocent bystander, but through Bonnie, this show acknowledges his complicity.
And now the writers want very badly for us to believe that Bonnie kills Annalise, which means that Bonnie probably doesn’t kill Annalise. Still, one of my favorite aspects of the serialized narrative this season is built around is that it’s starting to become clear that anyone could murder Annalise. Nearly everyone has a motive at this point. Bonnie straight up tells Annalise she wants her to die, and it’s rooted in such raw emotion and under totally understand circumstances that I believe her when she says it. Viola Davis and Liza Weil sell the hell out of the scene. I actually thought to myself that the scene had to end in either them making out or someone murdering someone, which is really representative of what this show is at its core, where sex, love, and murder are intricately linked at every turn. According to Bonnie, Annalise doesn’t know how to love anyone, which so far with this series, has proven to be mostly true. So does she really love Wes? Even after tonight’s reveal, that isn’t totally clear.
- That red dress on Annalise is perfect.
- Hey there, Susan Walters!
- Laurel is on fire in this episode. Karla Souza is really bringing it this season.
- Viola Davis and Janssen really have the greatest chemistry together. I need the fantasy life Eve and Annalise envision together to become a reality!
- Emily Sinclair gets feistier in every episode, and I’m very here for it.
- Nate and Eve awkwardly discuss their complicated Annalise feelings.
- I’m very worried about Oliver!