How to Get Away with Murder: “Mama’s Here Now” Review
This week’s episode of How to Get Away with Murder is a little disjointed, as it seems to be telling three different stories, but there’s so much good stuff in there that it’s completely forgivable.
First there’s the master class in acting by Viola Davis and Cicely Tyson as Annalise and her mother. The two barely interact with anyone other than each other as they fight and monologue with and at each other throughout the episode.
Mama doesn’t have time for bull, asking Annalise point blank if she killed Sam after a tirade about how she never should have married the man and now she has no husband, no boyfriend and she’s laying in bed like the Queen of Sheba. It doesn’t take long for Annalise to turn it around on her mother, asking her if Mama knew what Annalise’s uncle had done to her as a child.
Over the course of the episode, the whole story unravels. When she was young, Annalise’s uncle raped her and she believes her mother knew about it and did nothing. She went to see a therapist about it. Turns out, that was Sam, which is how they met. Mama doesn’t understand that. “Men take,” she says, revealing that both her and her sister had been raped multiple times when they were young, it was just a part of life.
Just let that sink in for a minute. This is a woman who has lived in such a way that rape is a part of life. This is hard stuff to watch, and this conversation is happening on network TV. This show, already progressive and groundbreaking, has taken the conversation to another level entirely. After all, Mama holds no judgment for Annalise if she murdered Sam. You do what you have to do. Which is why Mama waited until the uncle was passed out drunk, then set the house on fire with him inside it. This is a revelation to Annalise; her mother punished the man that hurt her little girl after all.
This gives Annalise the courage to finally get out of bed in time to see Nate (Billy Brown) get arraigned, then to visit him under the pretense of thanking him for killing Sam, but instead passing him a note to fire his lawyer, giving him a number to call. Guess she has a plan for him after all.
This storyline juxtaposes nicely with the case of the week, which Bonnie (Liza Weil) is heading up. A female nurse is accused of raping a male patient, and Bonnie doesn’t start out great, accidentally saying “guilty” instead of “not guilty” in her opening statement. But she pulls it together with the help of the students, despite their lack of faith in her. They prove that the accuser is actually gay, and that the sex was consensual, since he was colluding with one of the legal staff at the hospital, his lover. It was a scam. Bonnie wins the case and kisses Asher (Matt McGorry), the only student who didn’t doubt her. Frank (Charlie Weber) sees the kiss, and there’s no telling what he’ll do with that information. Speaking of Frank, we still don’t know what his deal is! I hope we find out by the end of the season.
As for our students, Laurel (Karla Souza) knows that Frank planted the ring framing Nate, bringing the two of them closer. Michaela (Aja Naomi King) is feeling extreme guilt over Nate’s arrest, but Annalise promises her that she’ll set things right. Connor (Jack Falahee) wants things to move forward with Oliver (Conrad Ricamora), so he sets up Oliver to meet his fellow students, and they help sell the lie that Connor is a drug addict. Things heat up a little back at Oliver’s, with Connor telling him that he wants them to be together and Oliver saying those three little words, though whether he’ll remember saying them is anyone’s guess, since he’s drunk.
But the really interesting thing is Wes’ (Alfred Enoch) investigation into Rudy’s disappearance. He finds out that Rebecca (Katie Findlay) is lying about Rudy and that Rudy is actually in a mental institution. He and Laurel worm their way into seeing Rudy, and when they show him Rebecca’s picture, he only says one word: “Wet”. The immediate assumption is that he’s talking about the water tower where Lila’s body was found. And then we see that Rebecca is tracking Wes’ phone and she knows that he found Rudy.
What does this mean? Is Rebecca really the murderer? If so, will she get away with it? The charges against her were dropped, so double jeopardy doesn’t apply and she can be tried again.
The two hour season finale is next week. Are you ready?