Laurel Returns to 'How to Get Away With Murder' for Annalise's Trial (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 6, Episode 14 of How to Get Away With Murder, "Annalise Keating Is Dead."]
Laurel (Karla Souza) returns as a surprise witness for the prosecution as Annalise's (Viola Davis) begins, leaving the accused to wonder who will show up next.
And as her former students take the stand to testify against her, Annalise learns just how much they've been told to say about her — and the three of them find out just what's waiting for them after the trial. Are all of them facing jail time? Who has the best deal? Oh, it's awkward when that information comes out.
Meanwhile, Annalise is so worried about the outcome of the trial that she's willing to make a deal with the devil, but even that backfires on her.
She's Doing It Her Way
It's the morning of the trial, and everyone's nervous. Are they wearing the right clothes? What will the jury think when they see them? "If I lose, I'm going to lose looking like me," Annalise decides after debating wig or no wig. Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) encourages Connor (Jack Falahee) to think about the future (and thanks him for getting him immunity). "Five years, and then we can start our life together," Oliver promises.
Meanwhile, Annalise tells Bonnie (Liza Weil) she can't tell Frank the truth about his birth parents, but she wants her to go to Hannah's lawyer. They're going to turn Hannah to their side because "no way in hell she lets the world see who she really is." They'll tell the world about her and Sam if she doesn't agree to be a witness for Annalise and tell the truth that she colluded with the Castillos and Governor Birkhead in a conspiracy to destroy Annalise.
Once in court, US Attorney Lennox (Jamie McShane) puts forth a new motion to have Tegan (Amirah Vann) removed as Annalise's lawyer due to a conflict of interest — with Laurel there to testify to it. Annalise makes it easier on everyone and decides to represent herself. "I have to do it my way, win or lose," she tells Tegan after.
Annalise keeps Frank (Charlie Weber) distracted from looking for proof of Sam and Hannah's incest by having him dig into the kids' immunity deals, while Bonnie brings Hannah's conditions to her: $100 million penalty if she tells anyone else.
"The Thing About Wes"
Meanwhile, Nate (Billy Brown) visits Jorge (Esai Morales) in prison and tries to convince him to help against Birkhead by testifying in court. "Get the governor before she gets you," he advises.
Michaela (Aja Naomi King), Connor, and Oliver corner Laurel at the courthouse and find out she's been in Brooklyn this entire time. What does Lanford (William R. Moses) want her to say? Annalise ordered Sam's murder and "the thing about Wes," Laurel confirms. Same as them. But what's different is she negotiated probation and won't serve any time behind bars.
Michaela takes the stand and runs through the agreed-upon story. They were studying at Annalise's when Wes came in looking for Sam. Wes pushed him over the railing, then hit him over the head with a statue and said it was what Annalise wanted. Why did Wes do this for her? "She was sleeping with him," Michaela says.
Annalise crosses her former student and pushes her about this claim — Wes told them, Michaela says, and she saw their looks — and even deporting Simon. (Michaela denies it.)
After, Annalise tells Bonnie she agrees to Hannah's terms because she needs her "to win."
Frank visits Laurel in her hotel room and confronts her about not telling him she wanted to leave. She's missed him, she admits, and she wonders if she should've said yes to becoming a family. He is a good person, she assures him, and he tries to convince her to repay the debt she owes him by not testifying against Annalise. But she'll always choose to protect her son, and that means she can't do that.
About Those Deals...
Frank passes along the details of the kids' immunity deals to Annalise and tells Connor Michaela has a better deal than him before he takes the stand. (Lanford and Michaela both deny that claim.) After a panic attack, Connor testifies, giving the same story as Michaela. He wanted to make Annalise happy, he says.
When Annalise crosses him, she reveals the conversion camp he wrote about doesn't exist. She even presses him about his motives for being with and marrying Oliver. Ouch.
Meanwhile, Hannah still hasn't signed the agreement because she has a new request: if she testifies against the governor and Annalise wins, she wants her to admit publicly that she killed Sam. It would ruin her, Tegan warns her, but Annalise considers it because she feels she's losing. "Hannah is the best witness I could ask for," she says.
Annalise lures Laurel into the garage for a meeting and, as we see throughout Laurel's time on the stand, tries to convince her to change her testimony. If Annalise wins, no one else will be prosecuted for this, she promises. Laurel won't risk going to jail and losing her son. And if she does go through with the original plan, Christopher will eventually find out and hate her, just like Laurel hates her own father.
At first, Laurel sticks to the plan on the stand. She did what Annalise asked for cases because "you don't say no to professor Keating." But then she admits she's been lying and just saying what Lanford told her to. She was coerced by the FBI. Annalise and Wes were not sleeping together, she says. And Wes did kill Sam, she continues, not because Annalise asked him to, but because he was mentally ill.
Still, Annalise signs Hannah's contract after, wanting to make sure they win. And in a sense, her declaration is true if she has to go through with the terms: "Annalise Keating is dead."
Meanwhile, Michaela and Connor visit Laurel, who admits she "just needed to do what is right. Isn't that what you want, too? To stop pretending like we're people who can just lie and cheat and be okay with it?" She wants to be good, and Connor can understand that because he does, too. It's why he took the deal, because they deserve to go to prison. But then Michaela reveals she did negotiate a new deal: no prison time.
Xavier's murder hits the news, and the governor will now be facing questions about her ties to him. Nate brings this to Jorge and pins Xavier's death on Birkhead. Take the stand against her, he urges the distraught man.
Things seem to be falling into place for Annalise, until Bonnie joins her and Tegan and reveals that Hannah was found dead. It looks like a suicide. Or could Birkhead have done it?
Well, Bonnie has another suspect: Frank. He told her he didn't want to keep anything from her and admitted he still loved Laurel. He always would for what she gave him, but it doesn't come close to how much he loved Bonnie. "With Laurel, it was feeling normal, but with you, the love I feel for you and that you give back, it's because I get to be me," he said. And then Bonnie told him the truth about Sam and Hannah's baby.
Who will get away with it? Will anyone go to prison? Is Annalise really dead in that flash-forward? What's the deal with Wes being there? We'll find out next week.
How to Get Away With Murder, Series Finale, Thursday, May 14, 10/9c, ABC