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‘How to Get Away With Murder’ Recap: Annalise Represents Laurel at her Custody Hearing

In the eleventh episode of season 4 of How to Get Away with Murder, titled “He’s a Bad Father,” Laurel’s mother comes to town to help with her custody hearing and Annalise goes to Nate for help in getting his father to sign up for her class action suit. Meanwhile, Bonnie learns about another connection between Wes and Laurel’s family, and we learn that a member of Team Keating is being spied on.

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Laurel Goes to Court

As the episode begins, Laurel finishes a conversation with her mother in which she realizes that her mother knows everything. Apparently, Laurel’s mother is very close to Dominick so he was keeping her in the loop. Now her mother is coming to town to help with the custody hearing. Laurel must make a convincing case because Annalise decides to accept Laurel’s mother’s help.

While Laurel prepares for the hearing, Michaela is freaking out about the connection between Wes and Dominick. Michaela asks Laurel why Wes didn’t tell her about his call to Dominick, but Laurel is too stressed about the hearing to think about anything else.

After Annalise learns about Nate’s father being in prison, she goes to see Nate. Nate explains that his father was in and out of prison during most of his childhood. When Nate was 15, his father was convicted for killing a fellow inmate and Nate’s mother cut off all contact with him. Annalise decides to look into the case so she can possibly do something nice for Nate for a change.

Prior to the hearing, Laurel confronts her father at the courthouse. Laurel’s father tells her that this can all be over if she just gives him what he wants, but Laurel says she doesn’t have the hard drive. Her father then claims that he didn’t kill Wes so she’s tearing their family apart based on a misunderstanding.

Laurel’s Testimony Does Not Go Well

When Annalise puts Laurel on the stand, she points out that out of several drug tests Laurel took during her pregnancy, only the one performed by the hospital’s lab came back positive. Laurel then makes an impassioned plea about how much she loves her son and wants the chance to be his mother.

While Annalise and Laurel are in court, Bonnie is meant to be looking into the connection between Wes and Dominick. Alas, she gets distracted when she realizes that someone has been mirroring her computer in order to spy on her.

At the hearing, Laurel is questioned by her father’s attorney about her history of mental illness and cocaine use. (We learn that Laurel had an eating disorder when she was a teenager and she used cocaine a few times to control her appetite.) Her father’s attorney continues to go after her about her history and questions if she even wanted her child in the first place. Since Laurel’s testimony doesn’t go as well as they hoped, they need Laurel’s mother to come through on the stand.

Nate Visits His Father in Prison

Asher and Connor look into Nate’s dad case and it turns out that he is a good candidate for the class action suit. Annalise wants to go visit Nate’s dad that night, but Nate is hesitant because he hasn’t seen his father since he was 15 years old. Annalise convinces him to go with her to the prison.

Annalise and Nate’s visit with Nate’s father does not go well. After being in isolation for over two years, Nate’s father isn’t well. He ends up going into a rage at the suggestion that Nate is his son because, in his mind, Nate stopped being his son when he became a cop. The visit ends with Nate’s father screaming at Nate and Annalise before being dragged away by the guards.

Later that night, Michaela is desperate to forget about their many worries for just a little while, but Asher is too preoccupied with Nate’s father’s case to get into the mood. In other couple news, Oliver tells Connor that he is putting together a fundraiser to help Simon’s parents get into the country to visit him. Connor tells Oliver that everything he’s done since Simon’s shooting is making him look guilty and it could lead to him ending up in jail, something Connor says would break his heart.

Bonnie meets with Frank and tells him that she’s worried Denver might’ve bugged her house as well as spying on her in the office. Frank tells Bonnie that he will protect her from Denver and Laurel’s father, but Bonnie doesn’t seem convinced. She’s upset that she’s putting her life on the line, especially now that there is a question of whether Laurel’s father actually killed Wes.

At the custody hearing, Annalise puts Laurel’s mother on the stand and questions her about what kind of parent she was when Laurel was growing up. Laurel’s mother admits that she was not a good parent and that Laurel spent much of her childhood taking care of her which is how she knows that Laurel will be a good mother. Her testimony goes well and it looks like Laurel’s case might be turning around.

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Nate Gets Through to His Father

During a break in the hearing, Annalise goes to see Nate. She points out that his father is clearly mentally ill and that he’s never been treated during all his time in prison. Nate thinks maybe he should just give up on his father because some people cannot be saved, but Annalise wants to make Nate’s father the face of her class action suit. She needs someone the system has completely broken down and that’s Nate’s father.

After his talk with Annalise, Nate goes back to prison to visit his father. They discuss how the system failed him and Nate tries to get his father to recognize that he is not mentally stable and that his condition was caused by being locked up for so long. Nate must be convincing because he gets his father to sign up for Annalise’s suit.

Isaac is Taken Apart on the Stand

After Isaac testifies that Laurel passed her evaluation and there is no reason she shouldn’t be given custody of her son, Laurel’s father’s attorney cross-examines him. He brings up Isaac’s former drug use and then questions him about his daughter’s death. Apparently, Isaac was questioned as a person of interest in his daughter’s death before it was ruled a suicide. Laurel’s father’s attorney questions Isaac about the suspicious circumstances surrounding his daughter’s death and then points out that the DA’s office is going to reopen the case and Isaac will be investigated for murder. Because Isaac is now a suspect in an active investigation, Laurel’s dad’s attorney asks that Isaac’s testimony be stricken from the record and the judge agrees.

The judge rules that since they have to disregard Isaac’s testimony, they have no way of proving that Laurel is fit to care for her son. For that reason, the judge denies Laurel’s petition for custody and leaves her son in her father’s care.

Later, Annalise and Bonnie discuss Isaac’s case. Bonnie says the evidence the DA has on Isaac looks real and Annalise is feeling guilty for getting Isaac involved in the first place. Annalise tries to check up on Isaac, but he ignores her calls and he won’t answer the door when she tries to see him. (From the look of things, Isaac seems to be well on his way to a relapse, if it hasn’t happened already.) Is there actually something more to Isaac’s daughter’s death or did Laurel’s father simply get Denver to reopen the investigation in order to hurt Laurel’s case?

What is Going On with Laurel’s Mother?

After the custody hearing, Laurel’s mom is trying to comfort her while Laurel wonders if she was wrong about her father and maybe he wasn’t involved in Wes’ death. Laurel’s mother tells her that her dad is trying to make her doubt herself and Laurel says it’s working. Her mother then makes a creepy comment about Wes coming home soon, but then she corrects herself, saying that she meant baby Wes would be home soon. (Many fans have been speculating these past few weeks that Wes might, in fact, be alive. I’m not sure why Wes would fake his death or why Laurel’s mother would help him, but it’s an interesting theory.)

Nate stops by Annalise’s place to let her know that his father agreed to participate in the class action suit. They are both so happy about this positive turn of events that they end up making out. Nate and Annalise have always had a complicated relationship, but I think it would be better if they kept things professional for the time being.

Bonnie meets with Frank and tells him that she learned something about Wes. Although Wes only called Dominick that one time when he left the voicemail, he met with someone the day before he died. Who was that person? It was Laurel’s mom. Why did Wes meet with Laurel’s mother before he died and why wouldn’t he tell Laurel about it?

What did you think of this episode of How to Get Away with Murder? Is Laurel’s mother the person we should all be worried about or is the show pulling a misdirect? Are Laurel’s parents working together or is Laurel’s mother playing a long-con on Laurel’s father? What does all of this mean for Laurel and the baby? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

How to Get Away with Murder season 4 airs Thursdays at 10/9c on ABC. Want more news? Follow ourHTGAWM Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of ABC)


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