A Lawyer's Guide to HTGAWM, Season 2 Episode 12: Mommie Dearest

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on February 26, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Last night's episode reminded us why we fell in love with How to Get Away With Murder in the first place. There were ridiculous plots, a few jaw-dropping moments, and even some good acting -- on Viola Davis' part, at least. Oh, and all that matricide.

We just had to go all the way to Ohio to find our love again. Here's your spoiler-filled lawyer's guide to How to Get Away With Murder.

O-H? I-O!

It's time for a road trip! While Annalise's flashbacks have been taking us to Cleveland for awhile -- where past-Annalise has been busy manipulating Wes' mother, Rose -- Wes and Laurel take an actual, present-day trip to the Buckeye State.

Laurel needs a break from her relationship after Frank confesses to killing Lila. (He's just too much like her father.) And Wes is still distraught by Annalise's document dump from last episode, the one that highlighted the murder trial hedge funder Charles Mahoney's murder trial. They, of course, couldn't just have files couriered over.

Ohio it seems is a few decades behind the times, at least in Shonda Rime's imagination. None of the documents from the case they're interested in are digitized, causing Wes and Laurel to spend days going through the court's old parchment scrolls. (Millennial TV writers, 2005 was not that long ago, really.)

Mommie Dearest

Here's the back story on this episode's two moms. Wes's mother, we find out, worked as a cleaner for the Mahoney's company. Charles Mahoney is on trial for the murder of his finance, and Rose is providing his alibi. He was working late and they just spent the night chatting about the rain, not murdering anyone. This explains why Annalise has been stalking the poor woman.

When Rose gets cold feet, Charles' billionaire father issues a not so veiled threat to Annalise. "This woman holds our son's life completely in her hands," Dad Mahoney explains. "As a parent, I'm sure she can understand how... concerned we are for his fate. Please remind her of that."

If that doesn't let you know you're supposed to dislike Mahoney Sr., his later comment that Annalise shouldn't "give your people a bad name" puts him straight in the "such a dick" category.

Speaking of parents, past-Annalise is still very pregnant and conflicted about her impending motherhood. Present Annalise is fighting with her surrogate children and openly acknowledging them as such.

Still, when Connor comes back to the firm, Annalise is slow to embrace him. "You all said some very hurtful things," she chides. "Yeah, and you made us shoot you." Spot on response, Wes.

Aujourd'hui, Maman Est Morte

Alright, time for the big reveal. (Or, more likely, diversion tactic.) As Wes and Laurel are looking through the records from the Mahoney case, they find out that Rose never testified and died soon after. Wes thinks she was murdered.

But then, the two find Rose's medical reports. Written on top of them, probably by Annalise, is this: "Potential homicide. Primary suspect -- Victim's 12-year-old son."

The show ends with footage of a young Wes stabbing his mother to death.

The Argusnauts

A quick post-script: throughout the episode, Philip has been emailing the gang with videos from the night of A.D.A. Sinclair's murder. He's writing under the pseudonym of "Argus Panoptes," a mythological "all seeing" Greek monster, and demanding a $1 million payout.

Oh, and he possibly snogged his sister, Catherine Hapstall, who tells her twin that Phillip was "the brother who'd actually love me the way I always wanted." That's just the sort of twist to the Hapscest trio we were looking for.

We love you, How to Get Away With Murder.

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