A Lawyer's Guide to HTGAWM Season 2, Episode 11: 1L Psych Ward

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on February 22, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

We've had murders, conspiracies, ridiculous plots, and even hallucinated babies. But it wasn't until last Thursday that How to Get Away With Murder actually landed anyone in the psych ward.

Now here we are, held against our will and desperately in need of some intensive therapy, so let's start the talking cure. Here's your spoiler-filled lawyer's guide to How to Get Away With Murder.

Case du Jour: Forgiveness

This week's background legal drama involved a murder, a mother, and a pretty atypical use of restorative justice proceedings. Annalise is in court ready to get a judge's John Hancock on her murder-client's plea deal. That's mucked up when the victim's mother stands up, demanding restorative justice proceedings that the D.A. and Annalise have ignored. The judge indulges the mother and, though the restorative justice proceedings are a disaster, they inspire the killer to accept responsibility in order to gain forgiveness from ma.

Sound heavy-handed? It's even more so when the mother desperately wonders, "Maybe we can help each other. Wouldn't that be nice? To just help each other after all this horribleness?"

Yes, Annalise Is Responsible for the Death of Wes's Mother

Don't expect that much helping each other, however. This is How to Get Away With Murder, after all. But we get hints to a bit of rapprochement between Annalise and Wes this episode and maybe even some acceptance of responsibility on Annalise's part.

Unfortunately for Wes, that responsibility is for the death of his mother, which this episode indicates that Annalise had a hand in. The playground meeting between Annalise and Wes/Christophe's mother last week is revealed to be much more than a chance encounter.

Annalise tracked down Wes's mother, Rose, because she is somehow connected to the murder trial of Charles Mahoney, a hedge fund manager. Annalise meets Rose in a café, slaps down a folder full of Mahoney-related files, and watches as Rose goes in to a panic. Don't worry, Annalise, reassures her, but we already know how dependable that promise was.

The question now isn't "was Annalise involved with Wes's mother's death," but just how deeply involved she was. Involved enough, perhaps, to cover up a murder by staging it as a suicide?

We may soon find out. At the end of the episode, Annalise drops the same Rose-frightening file off at Wes's door.

The Law School Psych Ward

Speaking of Wes, he's spent most of this episode temporarily committed to the psych ward. Still all beaten up by almost killing Annalise, Wes goes to the doctor for some sleeping pills and makes a very tasteful comment about wanting to kill himself. The law school health clinic immediately puts him under a 120-hour hold. (Alright, we're not sure if Wes is at the law school health clinic or neighborhood hospital, but if any school needed an on-campus psychiatric ward, it's this one.)

Of course, when the rest of the law school gang finds out, they're primarily concerned over whether Wes will spill their murder beans. He doesn't, distracting the shrink with tales of his mother's suicide, instead of Annalise's near murder.

But if Wes's shock therapy doesn't reveal the murder of A.D.A. Sinclair, Philip might. He's back, with a video of the cover up. Talk about the return of the repressed.

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