SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers

How To Get Away With Murder - We're Bad People - Review + POLL: "Good, Not Great"

Peter Nowalk and his creative team left How To Get Away With Murder fans a juicy cliffhanger to chew on over the winter break, and tonight's mid-season premiere and tenth episode of this third season deepened the plot even more as Wes's death begins to fracture the already fragile bond that keeps the remaining characters in line and sane. Sarah L. Thompson wrote the script for "We're Bad People", which was directed by Jennifer Getzinger.

Right from the beginning it was clear that this episode was designed to look and feel completely different to any of its predecessors from this season and the previous ones. The frugal use of music and the further darkened filters created a much more somber mood. The pace was pulled back considerably too. This all aided in creating an atmosphere which was perfect for the setting, and hopefully it features in the remaining episodes this season depending on how the story plays out.

To summarize events, with Annalise in the slammer, she effectively hired Bonnie to serve as her attorney. Bonnie immediately went about securing Annalise's release on bail, but was ultimately unsuccessful. Laurel is on the mend in hospital. Asher, Michaela, Connor and Oliver all butted heads at some point and are dealing with Wes's death in different ways. Meggy is also caught up in the mess despite no fault of her own. Finally, Nate closed ranks and set about protecting himself, and Frank pulled some strings to uncover new evidence and help Bonnie, only to go to the police and attempt to confess to Wes's murder.

Let's start with Annalise and her situation. She's holed up in a shared cell with two other cellmates. They were clearly veterans, and Annalise was very, very green despite being no stranger to the environment thanks to her line of work. She spent almost all her time in her bunk, and abstained from eating and even using the toilet. She was a shade of the Annalise we've come to know over three seasons, but I couldn't help but thinking the showrunners and Viola Davis were trying far too hard to portray this once ferocious courtroom lion as a cowering kitten.

I felt like I was observing a completely different character who had zero likeness to the original. She also had no willingness to advise or work with Bonnie on her bail hearing. If Annalise had been in jail for an extended period of time then this would be understandable, but barely a couple of days and she's like this? Nah, you're dreaming.

I wanna tell him who did it. Frank.

Fortunately the other characters made up for this, Laurel in particular. She is now the number one player in the story. She knows it, and although she's far from there physically, she's attempting to leverage it as much as she can.

As the sole witness and survivor, for now, what she says is as close to the truth as anyone is going to get. Initially, Laurel spoke to Bonnie alone, and hinted that Frank was the perpetrator. Later she spoke to the detectives and outlined her movements in the house which would explode moments later. She told them she went down to the basement after noticing the door was open, then heard noise upstairs. The next thing she knew she was in the hospital. She told them that Annalise wasn't responsible, but didn't implicate anyone else.

It's your job to figure out.

Later, Laurel spoke to her fellow students, Connor, Asher and Michaela. Connor's highly strung personality escalated the situation, resulting in Asher punching him several times. Laurel told them all that her baby was fathered by Wes, and Connor told everyone that Annalise ordered Oliver to delete everything off her phone before he was aware Wes was dead. Ultimately, Laurel told the group that she hadn't implicated anyone when speaking to the police.

Lastly, Frank visited Laurel. She was filthy with him and blamed him for everything that happened. This sounded similar to the admonishment Frank received by Annalise which nearly pushed him to commit suicide in the eighth episode. Laurel told Frank in no uncertain terms that she loved Wes far more than she ever loved Frank, but most importantly, she told him that she saw someone exit through the basement's storm door when she was there before the house exploded, which contradicts the statements she gave to Bonnie and the police. We now have three possible versions of events, and the facts that Wes died, Laurel nearly did, and the house somehow exploded is still the only concrete part of the story. It's safe to say that I don't think this mystery will be solved overnight.

Michaela, Connor, Asher and Oliver were very much on the sideline, but contributed in small ways nonetheless. In Michaela's case, her mother - who we met in the winter finale - wasn't anywhere to be found, and had left town like she was told. It makes her presence in the first place rather bewildering, because other than causing a pressure point for Michaela and generating brief conversation, she contributed nothing to the greater story.

Connor got (rightly) punched by Asher, accused of killing Wes by his friends, and questioned about his involvement with Sam Keating's disappearance by Oliver. Most importantly, however, he at least questioned Annalise's innocence, which no one has openly done to date. His sanity is barely intact though - he tried convincing Oliver to go to the police to secure his immunity.

Asher was largely there for his girlfriend, Michaela, and apart from punching Connor and later profusely apologizing to Michaela and Connor, nothing much happened on his end. Aside from his dealings with Connor, Oliver is now much more of a power player than normal, with a flashback near the episode's end showing him storing the data on Annalise's phone before wiping it and returning it to the crime scene. Given this series tends to play advantage to those who know stuff others don't this is pretty important. Watch this space for sure.

Frank's loyalty is incredibly hard to crack, it seems. Despite being banished by Annalise, Bonnie and Laurel, he continues coming back for more. His role in this episode was minor, but important, as he obtained the call logs from the police station which unveiled the next stage of the storyline and another possible perpetrator responsible for Wes's death. When she was drunk in the winter finale, Annalise called her sister-in-law, Hannah Keating, and challenged her to take her house. Whether that's indeed true remains to be seen.

Finally, Nate. His attempt to get early information from the medical examiner in the winter finale backfired when A.D.A. Rene Atwood put him on the defensive when she questioned him about it. He played the workplace sexual harassment card to stonewall any repercussions, but closed ranks on Bonnie when she asked him for help. How he manages himself in the upcoming weeks will be fascinating to watch.

Peter Nowalk promised we'd still see more of Wes despite his death, and he wasn't wrong. Flashbacks were used to depict a positive memory Annalise and his fellow students had of him. This was a really nice touch, and it helped show another side to the character outside of the regular story. Wes's moment with Laurel in the bathtub was my favorite for sure, followed closely by Michaela's flashback with him. In his moment with Laurel, it became clear that her pregnancy wasn't a complete surprise, but whether she decides to keep the baby remains to be seen. I don't think we'll see these moments continue through the remainder of the season, but I'm excited to see what becomes of Wes's time with Frank moments after he walked away from his immunity deal at the police station, mere hours before he died.

This has been a tough episode to review, but that doesn't mean it wasn't good. It will take some time to adjust to Wes's absence in present tense, and the adjusted look and feel worked wonders to acknowledge that. The completely overdone changes in Annalise's character dulled my overall approval of this episode quite significantly, and it's likely too late in production for that to be changed. Even if she stays locked up, the series can't afford for Annalise to become a completely different person overnight. It's the wrong approach for the type of character she is, and it's enough for me to rate this episode as good, but not great.

That said, the remaining cast were solid, and there's enough there to develop over the coming weeks. It's great to see Laurel and Oliver in a strategically advantageous position, and I'm looking forward to seeing Bonnie grow as she serves as Annalise's lawyer for the time being.

Thanks for reading! Our weekly opinion poll on this episode is just below so make sure you make your thoughts known there, and don't forget to leave your thoughts and theories in text format in the comments further below that. You can find out all you need to know about next week's episode right here. Catch you all back here next week!