HTGAWM Season 4 Ep 1 Recap

I had to rewatch the last season finale of HTGAWM to make sure I was properly prepared for the premiere, “I’m Going Away”.  I still believe if Wes is really dead…

Things get started with Annalise writing letters to her students.  Not sure what for, we’ll find out later. Who writes letters anymore?!  A forgotten art.

Laurel is meeting up with her dad, cutie pie Esai Morales, who we know from last season is shady.  Laurel tells her dad she’s pregnant, but then quickly says she had an abortion, and even quicker she wants to go get some food.  I guess she’s not into chit chat with him.  Before they leave, Dad insists on taking a picture, it was awkward, kind of like he needed an alibi for something.  We’ll see what he’s up to.

Moving on to the dinner, Laurel is the last one to get to this secret dinner.  The handwritten letter is on everyone’s plate but that’s all we get for right now.

Side note:  I have to be mentally prepared for this show.  They switch scenes so quickly.  

Now Analise is on a plane, not sure of the destination.  Of course she sits next to a man (Desmond) who won’t shut up.  This is one of my worst nightmares, that’s why I wear headphones on planes.  Annalise (who introduces herself as Bonnie – shout out to Olivia Pope / Alex).  Ok she’s going to Memphis to visit her family.

At the family dinner, Annalise and her sister are trying to convince their mom to visit a nursing home since she’s been suffering from dementia.  That’s gonna be a tough sell but does represent what a lot of people go through as their parents age.

Upstairs, Annalise is settling in and Bonnie calls to let her know that she’s about to be broke.  Sam’s sister is contesting the insurance payment for the house that burned down.  She ends the call quick and when her dad comes to the door, she says she tired and slams it in his face.  I guess she’s not really feeling him right now.  Stressed out, Annalise searches the internet for an AA meeting.  When her battery is low she reaches in her purse to get the charger and sees a little reminder from that man on the plane.  Old school player – he wrote his number on a napkin!  I think Desmond is her husband in real life.  Keeping that money in the family!  I like that.

Annalise heads right on over to Desmond’s hotel and he’s waiting in the lobby for her.  He saved them two seats at the bar, but she says “I’m not here to drink”  Oh my!  Be careful girl!

So now we switch to Connor and Oliver at a bar.  I don’t know how I feel about beardless Connor, something doesn’t sit right with me on that but maybe I’ll get used to it.  They are at a bachelorette party or something like that.  Connor gets his text about Annalise’s dinner.  

Back to the “I’m not here to drink”…

“Bonnie” and Desmond start to get it on when his phone rings.  He actually stops to answer it, doesn’t even know who it is.  That’s just disrespectful.  It sounds like another woman, he says it’s his daughter.  Not sure about that Desmond.  Well Annalise changed her mind and left with the quickness.  She heads back to her parent/s house, sneaking in like a teenager who missed curfew.

Annalise’s mom has another episode in the middle of the night, thinking the house is on fire.  This part is sad to see, but that Cicely Tyson can act.  I hate that she’s not in more stuff.

Moving on…

Asher is still acting like a 12 year old  – he’s cutting up in the mattress store, but I can see how he’s loveable.   While laying on the mattress Asher and Michaela get the dinner invitation text from Annalise and start wondering what it’s about.  When Asher offers that maybe the dinner is because Annalise misses them, Michaela says in her sweetest voice “Baby – she’s dead inside – she misses noone”.  Michaela is a trip.

Back home in Memphis, Annalise is helping her mother shower, get cleaned up, and dressed.  Her mother finally opens up to the idea of visiting the nursing home, after they both start singing a bedtime lullaby from Annalise’s childhood.  It is amazing how some memories are so clear for her and some are not.

While visiting the nursing home dad is complaining about the cost and says he can take care of mama for free.  He and Annalise get into it and he tells her “You’re not too grown that I can’t still whoop your ass.” Umm sir, isn’t she around 50? I think that’s too old for a whoopin’ and you must not really know her. Annalise will murder you quietly in your sleep – you might want want to fall back.  So mama has to come over there and calm them down, trying to figure out why in the world they are embarrassing her in the nursing home after she got all dressed up with her hat and everything.

Moving on again…

I’m glad Frank grew his beard back, I didn’t like the beardless Frank.  He found new office space for Annalise and Bonnie is checking it out.  He offered to pay for the place and Bonnie basically said that’s cool and everything, but Annalise still won’t forgive you.  Frank is determined to get back in the circle.

Back at the house, Annalise and her sister are talking.  Annalise spills the beans that she might be broke and that she probably lost her job because of drinking.  Her sister says “I’d be drinking too – if I had your life”.  I’m not sure how to interpret that one.  It’s a true statement but kinda mean to say out loud.

Annalise heads downstairs to talk to her mama.  Mama explains that she just wants to protect Annalise from any more loss in her life including losing her mama.  She knows her mind is deteriorating so she thinks they should start preparing themselves for the inevitable.  The acting in this scene is pretty amazing – Viola Davis and Cicely Tyson are two of the best.

The next day, on her way out, Annalise lets her dad know he better act right, stop drinking, and take care of her mama.  Finally he offers an apology for what Clyde did to her.

Back home, we move into court where the proceedings are taking place to find out about Annalise’s job.  After Bonnie tries to professionally defend her, Annalise (silently) tells Bonnie, I got this, and stood up to take over.  She owned up to what she did, which was take a drink but that violated her probation and could lead to disbarment.  

Now we are switching back to the dinner, remember Laurel was late and everyone else is already there. Still don’t like Connor’s beardless look.  Annalise explains that she won her hearing and can still practice law.  Laurel mentions she can’t drink because she’s having a baby, which has me confused since she told her dad she had an abortion (not sure where that scene falls into the sequence of events).  

Annalise basically tells them she’s letting them go.  They are all giving her the stank face while she tries to explain that they have a second chance to do something different / better.  The letter she wrote was a recommendation letter.  Laurel had enough and left.  Michaela stayed to voice her angry opinions but eventually everyone left except Bonnie.  They didn’t even eat.  Then Annalise pulls out another letter from her purse for Bonnie.  Poor Bonnie she thought she was special.  While Bonnie is begging to stay onboard, Annalise just walks away.

When they get home, each of the students finally reads over their letters, which were pretty complimentary and very detailed.   Michaela is still pissed, and she’s drinking out of a wine bottle while reading her letter.  She’s finally free of Annalise and she and Asher can become the “Michelle and white Barack” they were meant to be.  Michaela might be the funniest one on the show.  She’s pumping herself up to get ready to take on the world.  Beast Mode time!

Oliver is reading over Connor’s letter, he’s a little salty that he didn’t get a letter himself.  Connor isn’t impressed.  Connor says he wants to marry Oliver but just not yet.

Meanwhile, Bonnie, still sad that she got fired has a meeting with the DA.  Not sure what’s up with that, she’s been pretty loyal up to this point but that may be changing.

So as this episode wraps up, Annalise is headed to therapy, she certainly needs it.  Oh wait, the therapist is Jimmy Smits.  Another excellent actor who is also pleasing to my eyes.  But wait, in the preview for ‘3 months later’ he looks a little suspect.  He and Frank are rushing to get to Laurel in the hospital and she isn’t pregnant anymore.  UGGHH gotta wait until next week!  Survival of the Fiercest.

Five questions I have after episode 1:

  1. Bearded Connor vs Beardless Connor.  Which one is better?
  2. Is Wes really dead?
  3. How long are Michaela and Asher gonna last?
  4. Will Connor and Oliver get hitched?
  5. Will Frank ever be back in Annalise’s good graces?

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