"He's a Bad Father" is the 56th episode of How to Get Away with Murder.
An important person in Laurel’s life comes to town to help her as private details regarding her past are revealed. Meanwhile, Annalise encounters an obstacle involving a potential plaintiff for her class action.
The show began with Laurel talking to her mom on the phone in French. “She can help us,” she told Annalise and Frank. Laurel said her mother would testify that her dad, Jorge, is a “bad father,” but Annalise thought the plan was “crazy.” She threatened to quit unless she had her mom “back off.” But Laurel promised she would help them.
Connor, Asher, Michaela and Oliver wondered why Wes was secretly in touch with Dominic. Laurel was more fixated on the hearing, where her mom thanked Annalise for “being more a mother to Laurel than me lately.” Outside court, Laurel asked her dad how her son is. He said the baby was well and would be released from the hospital soon and that Laurel could have him “if you just give me what I want.” She insisted she didn’t have the hard drive. He in turn told her, “I didn’t do it… Wes. It’s a shame you’re destroying our family because of a misunderstanding.”
On the stand, Laurel denied using cocaine during her pregnancy and Annalise disputed the positive drug test results from the hospital. Laurel defended her “devastated” reaction to finding out her father had custody of her baby. “Getting my son back is the only thing that will help me recover,” she insisted. During the lunch break, Frank was insulted Laurel’s mom didn’t seem to know who he was.
Under cross-examination, Laurel acknowledged previously doing cocaine when she had an eating disorder to suppress her appetite. She also admitted to exploring abortion, but said she just wanted to be informed of her rights. The opposing attorney, however, argued she didn’t want to have the baby and did cocaine to kill him. Annalise got the judge to end the line of questioning.
Amidst this, Connor told Annalise that one of the cases in their files was for Nate’s imprisoned father, whom they all had no idea about. Nate copped to slipping her the file, but admitted he didn’t know if he “deserves your help.” After Asher and Connor went through all of the arrest reports, Annalise concluded Nate’s dad fit the criteria for her class action suit.
He was currently serving time for murder, but had shoddy public defenders in the past amid questionable evidence. Visiting him in prison that night, Annalise and Nate learned he had been in solitary for years. Nate’s dad expressed surprise Annalise was interested in helping him. But he angrily told Nate, “You stopped being my son the moment you became a pig… a bitch for the white man.” His outburst led him to being forcibly taken back to his cell.
Asher was too worked up over the case to hook up with Michaela, who wanted a distraction from everything going on. Oliver started an online fundraiser to help Simon’s parents come to the U.S. to visit him. As his lawyer, Connor advised him that a prosecutor would see this, along with his presence at the crime scene and at the hospital, as him acting like a “guilty person.” He added, “You going to jail would literally break my heart.”
Laurel put off her mom’s questions about Frank and wasn’t interested in her protestations that her own mental health was well. Meanwhile, Bonnie started looking into Wes and Dominic’s communication, but suspected her computer was being spied on. She thought it might be Denver, prompting Asher to panic. She went to Frank for help, and he vowed “to keep us all safe… I mean it, Denver will have to kill me to get to you.” Still, he wondered if Laurel was wrong about her dad having Wes killed.
At the second day of the hearing, Annalise told Laurel’s mom she didn’t have to testify if she was “too scared.” She insisted she could do it, but Annalise warned that Laurel would lose custody “if you’re anything less than perfect.” She was insulted and took the stand anyway. Annalise questioned her mother’s poor parenting, which she blamed on mental health issues stemming from Jorge being a cheating spouse. The line of questioning led her mom to tearfully explain how Laurel as a child took care of her. “That’s how I know Laurel will be an excellent mother, because she’s always been one for me,” she said.
While going over Isaac’s testimony about mental health, Annalise realized Nate’s dad never had a psych evaluation and that solitary confinement likely damaged him. She told Nate that none of his previous attorneys explored pleading insanity and he was instead wrongly treated as competent. She begged Nate to let her make him her “face case.” So he went to see his dad again and they traded barbs, but Nate insisted his “brain is sick” thanks to “this place” and that he and Annalise could help him and others if he just signed on to the lawsuit.
When the hearing resumed, Annalise was surprised when Jorge’s lawyer declined to cross-examine Laurel’s mom. So Isaac took the stand and testified that Laurel showed no sign of drug use or depression, and insisted she was fit to care for her baby. The opposing attorney brought up Isaac’s own past addiction, as well as his daughter’s death, to question his credibility when it comes to young women’s health. The lawyer then suggested his daughter didn’t die of suicide but of murder by Isaac himself, and said that the D.A.’s office was reopening the case. His status as a “suspect in an active homicide investigation” made his testimony inadmissible, he successfully argued.
Annalise was convinced Denver was framing him, but Bonnie told her the evidence “looks real.” The judge said that with Isaac’s testimony excluded, she had no expert to corroborate Laurel’s camp’s insistence that she was well, so she was extending Jorge’s custody order. Laurel, of course, was crushed. She later asked her mom, “What if I’m wrong about dad? What if he didn’t hurt Wes?” Her mother said Jorge just wanted her to “doubt” herself and assured her the baby would come home “soon.”
Nate got his dad to sign on to the case and wanted to thank Annalise by taking her to dinner. They instead started to hook up, but Annalise told him, “We can’t.” In the final minutes, Nate’s dad frantically searched his cell for something and finally found the childhood photo he had of his son. Asher, Connor and Oliver celebrated having a “face case”… until Michaela told them Laurel lost the hearing. Annalise went to Isaac’s office, but he refused to show himself. The episode ended with Bonnie showing Frank a surveillance photo of Wes meeting with Laurel’s mom.
Notes and Trivia Edit
- This episode takes place on or around May 3, 2016, which is the date of Laurel's custody hearing which was revealed in "Everything We Did Was For Nothing".
- It is revealed that Laurel Castillo's mother, Sandrine Castillo, is French, meaning that she is of French descent and that she speaks the language.
- Jorge Castillo's attorney, Mr. Dean mentions that Laurel considered aborting her baby; this happens during "He Made a Terrible Mistake".
- The paternity test which Laurel requested is also mentioned by Mr. Dean in court. This happened in "Nobody Roots for Goliath".
- Annalise Keating jokes that there is no trophy involved in the case, a reference to the first season.
- Nate Lahey tells his father that he was in prison. This is a reference to "She's a Murderer" when he is arrested for the murder of Sam Keating.
- Nate's father mentioned that he was a boxer and practiced with Nate before he was arrested. In "Everything We Did Was For Nothing", Nate is shown to be boxing, a skill Nate obviously continued even after his father went out of the picture.
- Annalise mentions that she will take her class action to court the following week. This happens in "Ask Him About Stella".
- This episode marks the first appearance of Sandrine Castillo, though she was mentioned multiple times across the series, starting from "Best Christmas Ever".
- Wes was revealed to have met with Sandrine Castillo the day before he died.
- The judge grants Jorge Castillo prolonged custody of Laurel's Son.
- Nate Lahey, Sr. agrees to take part in Annalise's class action of which Annalise plans to make him the "face" of.
- Bonnie realizes that she is being spied on at the D.A.'s Office.
- When Laurel was talking to Annalise and Frank after she answered her mother's call to Dominick's phone, she told them that her mother's going to testify at the custody hearing to get Laurel's son back. Frank asks Laurel on what her mother's going to say on the stand about her father, Jorge, which is when Laurel replies, "That he's a bad father. That she saw it firsthand when they raised me."
- He's a Bad Father - Laurel Castillo
|"Waiting For The World To End"||Dark Waves||Connor asks for Oliver to consider how his actions towards Simon will look to the police; Laurel apologizes to her mother for hiding things from her, then suggests they get take-out.|
|"Don't Be So Serious"||Low Roar||Annalise stops by Isaac's to check in on him, but he sits in his office in tears; Bonnie meets with Frank, she informs him that Wes meet up with Sandrine the day of his death; Sandrine caresses Laurel.|