Annalise and Sam reached the end of their fractured fairytale of a marriage. How could she ever think they’d live happily ever after given their less than moral beginning? Their relationship began as an adulterous affair. Was it karma that adultery ended their marriage?
Their epic fight was muted by the nearby bonfire, or surely someone would have heard them and called the police. Annalise couldn’t reconcile what her marriage had become, so expelling Sam from the house was the next logical step in her mind. No amount of begging or pleading would soothe Annalise’s wrath. Sam was on his way out, and probably off to the local precinct if Annalise chose.
The boxing gloves came off, and Annalise and Sam hit each other above and below the belt. No place was safe. No memory was sacred. Each laid bare their souls and attacked vulnerable spots in the other’s psyche. Their backs were against the wall literally and figuratively, spare no weapon in the emotional and physical assault. Dreams, delusions, and good intentions mixed and swirled into a bitter elixir. They stood on the edge of a cliff, each daring the other to jump or push. I can do what you do, only better. My affair was more meaningful and fulfilling than yours. I could choke the life out of you. No, you’re not man enough, that’s why you slept with a girl. I am a woman, listen to my lioness roar. No, you’re a monstrous piece of ass that I felt sorry for. You put out, that’s why I slept with you.
Wes, Laurel ,and Connor inched their way in traffic en route to the office because Rebecca might have gotten in over her head. A collision seemed all but evident given the various chess pieces in motion and conflicting agendas.
The story was set, and the curtains pulled back to replay and reveal new details of how Sam was murdered, and the culprit. Early bets that Annalise did it would have been wrong. She left Sam home alone licking his wounds and nursing his ego at the bottom of a scotch or brandy glass. The house is always dimly lit or dark, and the front door unlocked, which was never fully utilized throughout the previous eight episodes. A house of this size, we never saw a side or back door. This whodunit could have been richer with a few more credible suspects, exits, and a home alarm system.
I don’t think the writers played fast and loose, but to the target audience that wanted to be entertained and titillated. Perhaps the dark, unlocked house was a commentary of sorts. Locked doors and alarm systems would have been obstacles for the students to overcome.
I had a problem with the Rebecca in the bathroom copying phone logs from Sam’s laptop scene, while the others waited calmly in the master bedroom. It felt too staged and blocked out. Who keeps a backup of their cell phone call log on their laptop? The scene needed urgency and fear, which all of the students except for Asher, didn’t have. There’s always a tradeoff on scripted, beat-oriented television shows. A choice of what would be realistic over the course of several episodes. Reality can’t be scripted. No way I would walk into the Keating bedroom if I thought Sam murdered Lila.
Sam thought the element of surprise would work better than brute force, however that reasoning propelled him over the upstairs railing, and to the floor below. If that was the end of it, Michaela would be guilty of murder. Sam wasn’t going down without a fight. His earlier strangulation attempt only whetted his appetite to finish the task on Rebecca who surely deserved it for all the trouble she caused leading up to tonight. Round and round they went again, yet this time the coveted statue figured more prominently on the show.
Wes isn’t a bodybuilder, but the brute force with which he wielded the statue coupled with Sam’s compromised physical condition was enough to save Rebecca’s life and end Sam’s. Wes was too calm after bludgeoning Sam. Will there be a big reveal into his life after the winter break?
Missing puzzle piece: Is Asher the only person who doesn’t know Annalise’s door is never locked? Or is it he knows not to walk into a person’s house uninvited? It’s too convenient otherwise for Asher not to walk inside, but to walk away feeling like an outcast yet again. I don’t recall any of the students stopping to lock the front door when they rushed in to rescue Rebecca.
If I understand the sequence of events after Sam’s murder, they were as follows: (a) the students left undetected (b) Wes deposited Rebecca in a nondescript motel room, and (c) Wes returned to the house and retrieved the statue, and apologized for killing Sam. I’ll revisit this timeline later as it applies to Annalise. I’ll hold off on what’s certainly a spoiler for those who’ve not seen this episode.
Back on the outskirts of the bonfire, bickering, plotting and recriminations resumed. What to do with the body?
We rejoin Annalise at Nate’s door after she opted not to report Sam to the police. Nate’s no longer repulsed by Annalise now that his wife is back in the hospital. In the forward action, Annalise called and left a worried message for Sam. Nate’s mildly concerned, but having make-up sex eventually wins.
The students burn and dismember Sam’s body, and pack the parts into large black trash bags reminiscent of Dexter. Wait, Michaela’s lost her engagement ring somewhere between the house and the disposal site. All she needs is for her future mother-in-law to discover her involvement, as her Vera Wang dress fades further out of view.
Spoiler alert: Annalise went to Nate’s apartment to establish an alibi for Sam’s murder. When she returned home, she went immediately upstairs to the bedroom and away from the study. She left a longer second voicemail that was meant to be heartfelt.
Why couldn’t Frank detect the previous night on Laurel who showed up with a smudged face, and most likely reeking of lighter fluid, smoke and garbage?
The morning after, Annalise continued her grieving wife command performance with a panicked and accusatory call to Bonnie. The Keating 5, Bonnie and Frank were summoned to Annalise’s house to provide statements in the wake of Sam’s disappearance.
A flashback revealed that Annalise was sitting at the desk when Wes returned the statue, but the only difference was she told him not to be sorry for having killed Sam.
Sound the alarm! I’m suspicious of the time, logistics and distance between Nate’s apartment and Annalise’s house during the time of the murder. In TV time, enough elapsed that allowed the students to temporarily go their separate ways to concoct alibis, Annalise’s return and brief words with Wes, and then leave again. The students return for the body, burn it, dispose of it while Annalise and Nate have sex.
When she thought enough time had expired, she made the roundtrip back home. Is she that coldblooded and calculating to have the students do her dirty work? Apparently, she is.
We have to wait until January 2015 to see what happens next.