This will be an interesting recap, since I don’t know how much of this particular episode was consequential. I am sad to say that Laurel is the least compelling character on this show. Even less compelling than Rebecca.
The case of the week, on the other hand, was the most compelling case the show has had, but the case is ill-treated and a lot of the drama that could have come out of it was left unexplored.
A kid killing their abusive parent in self-defense (and in the defense of their abused mother) is something that isn’t out of the realm of reality. Apart from the fact that murder’s involved, the idea of protecting yourself and your family from a monster of a human being is something tons of people can identify with. However, that also made the case the easiest to win and, as far as soapy drama goes, the case that would cause an insufficient amount of camp for an admittedly campy show.
I’m not a lawyer. But let’s look at the case for what it is. It was a cut-and-dried case from the beginning. A jury in their right minds would more than likely grant the kid a completely innocuous sentence, if not grant him a not guilty verdict. If he got any harsh sentence, he probably would have gotten manslaughter, since it could be argued that he killed him in the heat of the moment.
The first thing I would have done as a lawyer would be to lean heavily on the evidence, since the evidence in this case also had tons of emotional pullings. When Annalise asked The Little Rascals what avenue they should pursue with the case, the first thing I thought she’d say was “self-defense.” But instead, she says something about appealing to the emotional aspect because they couldn’t lean on evidence. WHAT?! That don’t make a lick of sense. The emotional aspect is all inside the evidentiary support! In this case, it’s impossible to have one and not have the other.
This weak way to create drama only served as a weak way to have Annalise get over on her lawyer opponent. Why the judge would throw out hard evidence that detailed the father’s repeated instances of abuse (the boy’s blog) is beyond me. This plothole was shown for what it is when Annalise was later able to get the blog back into evidence. Without the blog, what exactly did the judge expect her to argue?
Laurel’s tally sheet with the jury was also weak. I could have cared less about how Laurel was using her supposed empathy to figure out which jury would bend in their favor. And if she figured they had at best the chance for a mistrial, why would she muck things up by putting the jury nullification instructions in plain sight of a juror?
I know there was supposed to be a big “ta-da” moment with Annalise somehow getting the boy juvenile probation, but how jury tampering led to this was explained murkily at best. At worst, it wasn’t explained at all. All we saw was Annalise come out of the courtroom saying that somehow public perception had led the judge to award the boy with probation. HUH?!
Also, I don’t care about Laurel’s “relationship” with Frank. I don’t know who Frank and Laurel are as people, so why am I supposed to care about their fling and Laurel cheating on Kan (who has a purpose we’ve yet to ascertain)? I was largely uninvested in this entire episode, to be honest.
Let me not even tear into Rebecca. I’m done with her emo shtick. If she’s paranoid, fine. I get being paranoid. But her supposed mental issues aren’t portrayed in any way that provide a deeper look into her mindset. She’s constantly written as an extremely unlikeable person that Wes should have no business being involved with. Her just barging into his room to eat the pizza he bought for himself? RUDE. Not ever apologizing to Wes for being mean after he jumped through hoops to get her out of jail? TERRIBLE. Wes not taking her to task hard enough for the above and other unmentioned transgressions? IRRITATING. Rebecca’s not interesting, even though the show keeps making us want to think she is. All I’m waiting on is for Wes to get the cougar treatment from Annalise, because you know it’s going to happen. Annalise is the only woman Wes has any chemistry with.
As a side note before I end this recap/review/rant: Connor needs to be shown doing more than just sleeping with people. Some folks on social media were stating that an element of slut-shaming was happening. If anyone thinks that I’ve been slut-shaming Connor, I’d like to clarify. I’m okay with him getting it on whenever he wants with whomever he wants. But I require Connor to have more characterization than just him being persistently horny. After a while, Connor becomes less of a sexually-empowered character and more of just a one-note caricature.
Let me provide another character as contrast to further prove my point. Blanche Devereaux from The Golden Girls could have been a strictly one-note character—a woman who is constantly sleeping with men. But throughout the season, we see a lot of sides to Blanche. We learn that she’s, of course, a good friend, but we also learn that she has some prickly parts to her personality (such as her vanity). We discover she never learned to see herself outside of her sexuality and that her fear of becoming old or “less desirable” is tied to her own waffling self-worth.
Okay. Done. What did you think about this episode? Give your opinions in the comments section below!
Photo credit: Mitchell Haaseth, Nicole Wilder/ABC