"Stay Strong, Mama" is the 51st episode of How to Get Away with Murder.
A former colleague helps Annalise with her class action lawsuit; Laurel continues to investigate her father's company; Asher confronts Michaela about her odd behavior; details about Isaac's past are revealed.
Annalise is back in therapy, and Isaac is violating doctor-patient confidentiality by telling her about Bonnie and her duplicity. He wants to get her onto the subject of her lost child, so he advises her to deal with her loss by writing a letter to Sam, hoping that will provoke her to open up about the other death he learned about from Bonnie. It turns out that he did all this because his own therapist advised him to do so. Now he argues with his therapist — she thinks he should tell Annalise to get a new therapist because she is triggering him, but he thinks those triggers make him the right person for Annalise. Meanwhile, there’s more trouble in class action lawsuit. Connor is waiting for Annalise with news that the DA’s office is threatening their client Claudia with the seizure of her family home if she proceeds. At the prison, Annalise reassures Claudia it’s just a scare tactic on the DA’s part, and Connor promises Claudia and her son Tyrone they’ll fix it. Annalise goes to a judge to get him to file an injunction against the house seizure, but he demurs and questions whether or not she’s the right person for this lawsuit because of her shaky standing with the bar and the public scrutiny involved.
Back in the DA’s office, Denver is trotting out Bonnie before the entire office to congratulate her on the work she did on Cross’ old cases. But the celebration is short-lived because soon Isaac is in Bonnie’s office, urging her to get a new therapist because she was making good progress with him. She reluctantly assures him she will. Soon Bonnie and Annalise are facing off again, as Annalise storms into the DA’s office with Connor and makes an impassioned speech before the entire staff. She tells them they should be ashamed of themselves for hurting innocent people and stealing homes from people who have nothing. Nate silently takes the words to heart, and soon Bonnie is going into the men’s restroom to read him the riot act for telling his old department on the police force to move her requests to the bottom of their list. They confront each other about the lies they’ve told, and he tells her this isn’t about Annalise but the people she’s trying to help. Later, Bonnie goes to the DA and warns him that his poll numbers are down in low-income districts, advising him against his tactics to take down Annalise’s class action suit. He shuts Bonnie down and takes her off the case despite the fact that it only exists because of her.
At Caplan & Gold, Oliver is still freaking out that he and Michaela are going to get caught when Tegan storms in with news that Antares Technologies has called an emergency boardroom meeting. Michaela tries to ask if she should sit in, but it’s partners only, and the office is in a frenzy because Jorge Castillo is here for the meeting. Meanwhile, Laurel is having an ultrasound with her doctor to make sure that everything is alright with the baby. She also asks the doctor when she is able to do a paternity test for the baby. As the doctor goes to look for information for Laurel, she gets a call from Michaela to tell her that her dad is in town. Oliver is panicked this is a sign Mr. Castillo knows about the security breach, but shortly Laurel’s dad calls Laurel on the other line to invite her to dinner. Asher is still freaking out about Michaela possibly lying to him, so he visits Frank at Bonnie's House, who is very busy working out, and asks for advice. Asher is worried Michaela is cheating on him with Laurel. Frank tells him to just ask them straight out, so Asher goes to Caplan and Gold during Michaela’s work day and cracks terrible jokes in front of Tegan. He confronts Michaela about seeing her with Laurel, and she lies and says Laurel has asked her to be her birthing partner.
Later, Laurel goes to meet her dad for dinner, but not before trying on sweaters via FaceTime with Michaela to try to hide her pregnancy as she told her father that she had an abortion. Oliver joins the conversation to freak out about the fact that the Head of I.T. has said they’re replacing all of Antares’ security badges. Laurel has to go because Asher is at the door with a teddy bear, giving her a whole speech about being there for her for whatever she needs. This causes Laurel to become slightly emotional. Connor also calls Oliver to recount the story of Annalise's speech in the DA’s office and likens her to Diana Prince. Oliver is thrilled Connor is happy again, but he’s also nervously watching new equipment be installed at Caplan & Gold. When they hang up, Annalise and Connor split a carton of ice cream at her hotel room while he talks about his relationship. He reveals what his father said about Oliver, and she counters with the suggestion that his father is the one who’s not right for him. Annalise opens up too, saying the judge thinks she’s wrong for the case, but Connor says she’s the best one for the fight because she was wrongfully imprisoned.
Meanwhile, Tegan and Michaela are sharing a celebratory drink over the Antares meeting in her office – which is Michaela’s way of liquoring up her boss to get information out of her. This includes them talking about not taking Asher for granted and Tegan revealing she chose her job over the “best sex of her life”. Elsewhere, Laurel is at dinner with her father, to which he announces to her that Antares is going public. That’s why he met with the lawyers, and he needs Laurel to sign paperwork transferring shares prior to the sale so that she can share the profits of the business. He wants to toast to the family being ridiculously wealthy and assures her he’s taken care of any problems after she expresses concern about shady business dealings hurting her career. Back at Caplan and Gold, Tegan is revealing the same news to Michaela, adding that any bad press could kill the deal and cost the company billions. But if it goes right, she can open her own firm and hire Michaela.
After at Wes' Apartment, Michaela and Oliver are relieved the Antares meeting had nothing to do with their snooping, but Laurel insists this is more reason to go after her dad. She realizes that the prospect of Antares going public is why Wes was killed. When Wes threatened to turn on Annalise and implicate all of the Keating 5 in Sam and Rebecca’s murders, Mr. Castillo had him murdered to protect Laurel and the company’s reputation. Oliver grimly admits this makes sense and agrees to help leak the files. That night in her hotel room, Annalise tries to write her letter to Sam but keeps tearing it up. Instead, she visits Isaac and finally opens up about the loss of her baby by showing him the picture of her, Sam and her stillborn baby while also telling him that she tried to kill herself after the accident, feeling guilty and wanting to die with her son. Sam never knew; Bonnie found her after she took sleeping pills and took her to the hospital.
Meanwhile, Isaac is still relaying all of this to his therapist. She insists this is yet another trigger for Isaac, warning him that he’s on the edge. He tells her she’s the only one who can help, but she says she knows the warning signs and wants him to make changes. As it turns out, Isaac’s therapist is actually his ex-wife, Jacqueline, and Annalise is a trigger for him because he also lost a child — his teenage daughter, Stella. Connor gets the idea for Tyrone, Claudia’s son, to write a letter to the newspaper, but Annalise takes a page out of Connor’s millennial playbook and decides they need to go viral. She organizes a press conference at the courthouse where Tyrone makes a statement to the governor about how losing his home would send him into foster care and tear apart his family. Annalise also appears on the air, speaking out about her class action lawsuit and the DA’s attempt to shut it down. She calls out the judge to sign the injunction on air, leaving him no choice but to sign it later on when she visited him. While the broadcast is airing, Claudia, Nate and the District Attorney's Office all watch in anticipation. Following, Annalise tells Claudia at the prison that she understands if she wants to bow out of the class action suit — but Claudia says she has hope now and wants to stick with it.
Back at Wes' Apartment, Oliver comes over to reveal that he got the head of I.T., Lazlo, to show him the new Antares security room by geeking out about the technology. Only the partners on the case will have a security badge for the room, which of course includes Tegan — but now Michaela doesn’t want to risk sabotaging her boss’ career because she’s been so good to her. Laurel pleads with her to reconsider. And Asher is watching all of this because it turns out the teddy bear he brought over earlier has a camera for an eye. Once the gang is gone, Frank comes to Laurel to tell her he got a high score (170) on the LSAT and he worked hard to get a good score for her and the baby. He will be a good father because he loves her and will wait for her. After his impassioned declaration, he kisses her and leaves to give her time to think.
When Michaela gets home, Asher is packing his things. He plays the video for her and demands to know the truth. She finally tells Asher that Laurel’s dad killed Wes because he thought Wes was going to rat them all out to Denver. She tells him she’s been helping Laurel try to take her dad down. But this isn’t good enough for Asher, and he walks out – despite Michaela telling him she loves him. He goes to Bonnie's House in search of Frank but instead ends up comforting Bonnie herself, who cries about messing everything up. Back at Isaac's Psychiatric Office, he’s crying his eyes out watching a video of his daughter in a graduation gown, his ex-wife confronts Annalise at her hotel, revealing she’s his ex. Then, we flash forward to one week later. We hear Isaac’s angry voicemail again, saying “Where the hell are you? She’s awake,” and then cut to a shower with blood-filled water running down the drain and Annalise sitting under the water looking distraught.
Notes and TriviaEdit
- The letter from the District Attorney's Office to Claudia Gelvin saying that her house had been seized was dated March 19, 2016 meaning that the episode takes place around then and approximately 6 days after the events of "I Love Her".
- The title is said by Tyrone Gelvin when he is talking to the press about D.A. Todd Denver taking away his home, which would result in his entire family becoming homeless just because his mother Claudia Gelvin is taking part in Annalise's class action lawsuit. "Dear Goverment Birkhead, I live with my brother and grandmother. The house we live in isn't big or new but it's the only home we own. If the District Attorney's office takes our house, my brother and I could be forced to go into care. So it's not just our house we would lose but our family too. The only reason the District Attorney's office wants to take our house, is because my mother joined a class action lawsuit suing the state for denying her constitutional right to an effective attorney. Well, now she finally has one and the D.A. is punishing her for it. That's wrong and we need the public's help to fix it. Until then, stay strong, Mama."
- Stay Strong, Mama - Tyrone Gelvin
|"Nobody Knows (feat. Wynne)"||Autograf||Annalise and Connor talk over ice cream; Michaela brings Tegan gin, they begin to talk relationships and sex; Connor compliments Annalise on her courage to fight; Jorge and Tegan both tell Laurel and Michaela that Antares is going public.|
|"Veka"||Zola Jesus||Oliver strips for Connor; Michaela tells Asher the truth; Frank makes a lovelorn plea to Laurel; Asher comforts Bonnie; Isaac watches a video of his daughter; Jacqueline introduces herself to Annalise.|