Hearsay: an out of court statement, made in court, to prove the truth of the matter asserted.
Cicely Tyson joined this week’s episode of HTGAWM as Annalise’s, excuse me, Anna Mae’s mother. The minute she walked in the door, she had me laughing. Bonnie and Frank think she’s a client, and inform her Annalise is ill and not taking on any cases right now, Cicely told them what was up, “Your boss came out of my V, and her daddy’s P, so show a little respect for her mama.” Slay Mama.
She wasted no time trying to get Annalise out of bed. She opened up the curtains, and pulled back the covers spilling truth tea in her wake. “Ain’t got no husband, ain’t got no boyfriend, and you’re holed up in this bed like the queen of Sheba.” You know Mama meant business when she called Annalise by her given name Anna Mae, which Annalise was having NONE of. Mama got straight to work by going into Sam’s closet and getting rid of stuff to give to Goodwill. She also had no problem bluntly asking Annalise if she killed Sam. Annalise shakes her head no, but of course doesn’t elaborate that she’s helping her students cover it up.
Bonnie takes on the case of the week as Annalise continues to argue with her mother over her life choices. This time we have a nurse named Jolene who is accused of sexually assaulting a patient while he was in a coma. Bonnie monumentally messes up in her opening statement by asking the jury find her client guilty. Then she finds out her client wrote about the relations with the patient on her blog. However, with the help of Connor (via Oliver), they find out the man she’s accused of assaulting is gay, and on the app Humpr. The problem is, they can’t use his sexuality as a defense to sexual assault so they have to find another way.
The hospitals lawyer who kept lurking around, pressures Bonnie to tell Jolene to settle, but Bonnie won’t accept the deal. Thanks to some more digging, they find out the lawyer, and the “victim” are lovers and created this scam to gain a bunch of money. In a nice little twist, Bonnie gets Jolene to accept the deal, which means the plaintiff will be paid out by the hospital, but Bonnie makes sure the hospital goes on record with it all so when she pulls out the gotcha card, the lawyer goes down for paying out himself too and committing fraud. Bonnie celebrates her win by making out with Asher. Cool.
Meanwhile, Wes is determined to figure out what really happened with Rebecca, and since he knows she can’t give him answers, he decides to go straight to the source. Laurel helps him by posing as Rudy’s sister, and they visit him in the mental hospital. Rudy is in no position to talk as he just mutters a bunch of nonsense, but those mysterious scratches above his bed are back. Is it code for something? Finally, after some coaxing, they ask him if he recognizes Rebecca and all he says is, “wet”. Wes then realizes Rebecca may have been wet from dumping Lila’s body in the water tower.
Rebecca, being as creepy as ever, uses the tv show version of “find a friend” app, which shows that Wes is at Rudy’s hospital. Makes you wonder what she’s going to do now that Wes is hot on her trail.
Connor and Oliver made more progress in their relationship. Oliver finally meets Connor’s friends, but not before Connor tells them quickly to pretend that he’s an addict to hold up his cover story. Oliver gets a little too drunk and really wants to have sex with Connor, and be his boyfriend again, but Connor tells him no not while he’s drunk. Oliver’s final words before passing out are, “I love you.” I wonder if that’s enough to spook Connor’s flight tendencies.
Meanwhile, Nate is still taking the fall for Sam’s murder, which includes getting stripped and searched and humiliated by the police. Michaela takes up massive amounts of concern because 1. he’s innocent, and 2. he’s black, and the stereotype is all too real. She decides to flirt with one of the prosecutors to see what they think about Nate and when he’s up on the docket next. She goes to court the day he is to be arraigned, but Annalise pulls herself together to go and pull Michaela out of the room before anyone notices her. Later, Annalise visits Nate and goes off on him as the “grieving widower”, but manages to slip him a paper that says, “ditch your lawyer, call 555-1234”. Maybe she has a plan for Nate after all.
The most poignant moment of the episode goes to Viola Davis and Cicely Tyson’s hair combing scene. This was special to me because as a black woman, we rarely see our hair addressed in any way, especially not on a mainstream show. Davis has been very vocal on highlighting this as she wears her hair natural, but wigs for the show. She wanted to make sure everyone knew that, which is why we got the scene of Annalise taking off her wig a bit ago.
This scene came after Annalise and her mother battled back and forth over how she was raised. Annalise mentioned that their home burned down, and implied she was molested, which is how she met Sam – he was her therapist – and accused her mother of never helping her deal with any of the bad things in life.
Moving forward to the hair combing scene, Annalise’s mother makes her sit down on the floor while she combs through her natural hair – an act many black girls and women have experienced in their lives with their own mothers. However, in this scene, her mother goes into a monologue (give Cicely the Emmy thanks), how she didn’t ignore what happened to Annalise. In fact, that good for nothing Uncle Clyde got exactly what he deserved after she saw him coming out of Anna Mae’s room. Her mother briefly passes over what was probably her own experience with sexual assault, and tells Annalise that Uncle Clyde infiltrated her entire home with his cigarettes and hooch. She tells her that night, she got her babies to safety, and set fire to the house and watched it burn, “And Uncle Clyde burned right with it.”
She adds, “You’ve been torturing yourself, baby. And maybe you did something real bad, but I know you had your reasons. Because sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Even if all you have is a long match and a very flammable hooch.”
It’s in that moment that Annalise realizes she didn’t put enough faith into her mother, and they’re more alike than she ever thought. Even changing her name isn’t enough to change her DNA.
Tomorrow is the 2 hour season finale. We’ll find out who killed Lila, and if anyone will be getting away with murder.