This is a show that I’ve enjoyed since the beginning and was my first forray into Shondaland. I’m a big fan of Viola Davis and she has absolutely owned the role of defense attorney Annalise Keating since the beginning and has been a joy to watch, even winning an Emmy for her performance. Scandal after scandal (no pun intended), her and her students always seem to make it out relatively unscathed. What will the scandal be and how will they get out this time?
Synopsis: In the wake of Wes’ tragic death, Annalise returns to her family home to pick up the pieces of her shattered life, and realizes that, in order to rebuild, she must make a tough and shocking decision. Meanwhile, “the Keating 4” all face an uncertain future while Laurel becomes obsessed with finding out what actually happened to Wes the night he died. In a flash-forward, a terrifying crime is committed and everyone’s a suspect. (Wikia)
Writer: Pete Nowalk
Director: Jet Wilkinson
Running Time: 43mins
Now the episode title, “I’m Going Away”, meant different things for different characters but mostly in a figurative sense as certain characters had to go away from what they once were in order to move on with their lives. A lot has happened since Wes’ untimely demise at the end of last season so most of the episode was spent on showing us Annalise and the rest of the Keating 4 trying to rebuild their lives.
Laurel spent some time with her father (who we know is responsible for Wes’ death). She told him that she was pregnant and that she had an abortion (which we later learned wasn’t true as she was 4 months pregnant). He pretended that he didn’t know anything but he obviously knew more than he letting on. She then got saved by a text from Annalise asking for everyone to meet her for dinner to discuss something (more on that later).
In terms of the others, Connor and Oliver were at a gay bar. They argued about the merits of marriage after Oliver proposed. Connor hasn’t answered yet but he didn’t see the point of it and it wasn’t a good time for either of them. Asher did a little too much over sharing while he and Michaela were shopping for mattresses. Bonnie and Frank were looking at a new office for Annalise. Frank thought this would help with Annalise and that she would forgive him for what he had done although Bonnie was skeptical.
Now we see Annalise, one week prior, on a plane to visit her family. The family needs to decide what to do with Ophelia after she was diagnosed with dementia. Annalise was supposed to get insurance money from her house that burned down but Sam’s sister Hannah is suing for rights to the house. Ophelia was not as receptive of looking at potential nursing homes since taking care of her was proving to be more and more difficult thus causing friction within the family.
Later on, Ophelia and Annalise had a great scene where Ophelia came to terms with her situation and how she was losing control of her fate. She was sad about all the things Annalise has lost, including her. However, Ophelia wasn’t about to give up either, vowing to hold on to herself for as long as she could and wanted Annalise to do the same. Before leaving, she put her estranged father on notice, making sure he took care of her mother.
At her disciplinary hearing, she begged them to not take her legal licence away as it was the only thing she had left and she won. This led to the dinner meeting with her big announcement being that she was severing ties with everyone, including Bonnie, leaving them with recommendation letters that she wrote for them. They were not too happy about it, except for Connor, but she ultimately didn’t want to hurt them like she had hurt Wes.
We learn what she wrote about each of them when we see them go back to their lives. Laurel got a text from her father but instead of asking him why he killed Wes, she deleted her text and said that she loved him. Bonnie is joining the DA’s office. Annalise went to her first therapy session with her new therapist Isaac (Jimmy Smits).
The big twist, at least for now, was that 3 months later, Frank calls Isaac to the hospital where we see Laurel without her baby.
Overall, this was a great episode despite its slow start but it definitely picks up at the end. What made up for it were the great performances all around, especially Viola Davis and Cicely Tyson in that one scene. The missing baby is perhaps not the most shocking thing to happen on this show but it’ll be interesting to see where it all leads.