HTGAWM Reviews : “Mama’s Here Now”

by MAYA DAWIT

For HTGAWM, class is now in session. Bear with me, this show has a lot of storylines.

Over the course of its first season, I think How To Get Away With Murder has done quite an excellent job of making a name for itself in the world of primetime television. I know that I tune in religiously every Thursday night with over 9 million other viewers and look forward to seeing whose ass Annalise will be kicking. The one fact that I find incredibly important to point out, however, is that this show is different from our other Thursday night favorite, Scandal. And this is because while this show does have some Shonda influence (she’s the Executive Producer,)  it’s style is very different from that of her pieces of masterpiece television because it is not her creation. That being said, let’s get into what happened last night.

Last week’s episode ended with Annalise in bed, looking quite broken, and making a desperate call to her mother to come to her side. That’s where we picked up this week (sort of.) The episode actually starts with former detective/Annalise’s lover Nate Lahey making his way to prison after being arrested for the murder of Sam Keating, but you and I both know he didn’t do it. No, this poor, beautiful man has been framed and is now being forced to degrade himself by stripping down and being searched by his former colleagues. NOT TO MENTION HIS WIFE IS DYING OF CANCER! Does she know what’s going? Is she even still alive??? I will say this though….thank you to whoever (Shonda, I’m lookin at you girl) decided that this scene was necessary.

Nate
Courtesy of CTV

It was.

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Meanwhile, Annalise’s minions were dealing with their own problems. Michaela, the resident unfriendly, black hottie, is feeling guilty about what is happening to Nate and tracks his case closely. Laurel, who is my favorite character by the way, pay a visit to Frank after she figures out it was him who framed Nate and essentially got them off the hook. Connor goes to see his boy toy with a bottle of apple cider to celebrate his “one month of sobriety.” I would like to pause for a second and say that pretending to be a drug addict to get your lover to stay, while wrong, seems to be very effect. Kudos to you Connor.  And last, we have little Wes and Rebecca (somebody please take those damn braids out of that girl’s hair) who is being questioned by the police about a phone call she made to Nate the night Sam died.

It’s from this point on that the episode gets good. Back at the Keating residence, in walks none other than Miss Ophelia Harkness a.k.a Annalise’s mama, played by the incredibly talented Cicely Tyson. When I first heard that Cicely was cast in this role, I was ecstatic. This woman has been gracing screens since 1951 and at 90, she is still killing it!

Courtesy of http://galleryhip.com/
Courtesy of http://galleryhip.com/

Mama walks in and the first person she runs into is Frank, followed by Paris….I mean “Bonnie” (she will forever be Paris Gellar to me #GilmoreGirls.) After serving them a spoonful of sass, she ventures upstairs, where she see Annalise has not gotten out of bed. Like any true black mama, Ophelia pulls open the curtains and starts to simultaneously tidy up and lecture Annalise about her poor life choices. Meanwhile, Annalise has a look on her face that I too have given a number of time when my deep slumber has been disturbed.

Back downstairs, Bonnie announces they are taking on a new case, despite Annalise being “sick.” This came as a shock to the minions, not because Annalise wouldn’t be taking the lead, but I think they genuinely forgot they worked for a lawyer and weren’t actually trained killers. This week’s case involved a nurse accused of raping her patient while he was recovering. With Bonnie at the helm, they head to court where everything was actually going good, until homegirl has the Freudian slip of the year and calls the client guilty.

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Thankfully, Bonnie gets her act together and with the help of Connor’s tech-savvy boyfriend, the team figures out that the lawyer from the hospital the nurse worked and man suing her are in fact getting it on and this whole case was a plot to make them rich. Case adjourned, one point for Bonnie. That point was then very quickly taken away when Frank sees Bonnie and Asher celebrating her victory in the parking lot.

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While all this legal drama is going down, Annalise and her mama are hashing out some drama of their own. First, Ophelia tries to get rid of Sam’s old clothes, which sends her daughter into the defensive side. We learn a number of things from their interactions. Like for starters, Annalise’s real name is Anna Mae?!?!? A name she tried to leave behind, but as her mother tells her. “I wiped your ass and I’ll call you anything I want.” Also, Annalise has never invited her mother over. Rude. And, it looks like Annalise came from very humble beginnings, with her mother’s home burning down when she was a child and the family forced to survive on the hand-me-downs of others. Oh, and it looks like Mama thinks her daughter might have been the one to really kill Sam. My mom once told me that if I ever killed anyone she would want me to tell her because she isn’t here to judge, that’s God’s job and Ophelia tells Annalise the same. Point? Both our moms are great.

By the middle of the episode, Annalise has made it out of her room and to the kitchen where Mama is cooking what might be the only real meal we’ve seen on this show. This sets off probably the most important message of the episode. “Men were put on this planet to take things.” With a bottle of vodka in her hand, Annalise confronts her mother about not protecting her as a child. Turns out everyone’s favorite lawyer has been harboring a secret, she was raped as a child by her uncle and it looks like Mama knew all about it. And it was that incident that set off the chain of events to led to this moment. As an adult, Annalise decides to see a psychologist about her trauma. A psychologist she ended up marrying and whose murder she is currently covering up. Can I just that watching this makes me very thankful for the boring life I have been blessed with. Like, geez, someone get Iyanla in here to help fix this woman’s life. Thankfully, by the end of the episode we learn just how truly amazing of a mother Ophelia is. With comb in hand and Annalise sitting between her legs, she tells her the story of the real reason their house burned down. She set it on fire. With rapist Uncle Clyde passed out drunk inside. Let me say two things. 1. As someone who spent the first 13 years of her life getting her hair braided by her mom, I got very nostalgic seeing Annalise and her mother sharing that moment. 2. Someone give Ophelia the Mother of The Century Award.

Channeling my inner Annalise circa 2000
Channeling my inner Annalise circa 2000

This give Annalise the push she needs to clean herself up and got visit Nate, where she gives the performance of her career pretending to be angry with him for killing Sam, while secretly slipping him the number for a better lawyer.

So, with everything in court taken care of and the drama in the Keating house resolved, you would think this episode would be over right? Nope. Rewind with me a little. Remember the crazy guy, Rudy, who lived in Wes’s apartment before him and put all those scratches in the wall. Well, turns out his “nervous breakdown” was actually a drug overdose that landed him in mental institution. Seemingly unimportant, except for the fact that this all happened the same day Lila was murdered and it was Rebecca who called the police. Speak of Rebecca, she’s been with the police answering questions about her connection to Nate. Oh, and Wes is avoiding her because she lied to him…again. All of this new information has Wes doubting whether Sam really killed Lila and thinking he might has killed an innocent man. So, after confiding in Laurel about his doubts, the two decide to pay Rudy a visit. One fake story and false piece of identification later, they make it into his room. Rudy doesn’t speak (of course) but as soon as Wes shows him a picture of Rebecca he mutters one word. “Wet.”

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Oh, and Rebecca is tracking his phone because that chick is crazy.

Quote of the Night: “Don’t you know a VIP when you see one? Your boss came out of my v and her daddy’s p.”

My head hurts. Next week is the season finally, so I’m sure that one will be a dozy. Until then, stay warm kids and remember, nothing good comes from killing your law professor’s cheating husband.

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