Whoa, mama. Last week's episode of How To Get Away With Murder teed us up for an explosive custody hearing, but no one could have expected exactly how this one would shake out. After all, who would have ever predicted that Wes (Alfred Enoch) would have a surprising connection to — well, I'm getting ahead of myself.
Laurel (Karla Souza) invites her mother (Lolita Davidovich) to speak at the trial, after learning that Mama Castillo is afraid that Jorge (Esai Morales) straight-up murdered poor Dominic (Nicholas Gonzalez). We all know that isn't true — because Frank (Charlie Weber) was the one who snapped his neck. Still, Laurel's mother shows up in all her glory to make sure that Jorge doesn't retain custody. Given Jorge's history with her, Laurel thinks she can only help — but her history with mental illness gives Annalise (Viola Davis) some pause.
Speaking of Laurel's dad, he may be an innocent man — at least when it comes to Wes. He tells Laurel that no, he didn't murder Laurel's baby daddy, as she (and everyone watching the show) basically takes as fact. Is he lying? At this point, it's hard to say why he would.
Laurel takes the stand and testifies against her father, insisting the baby would be better off with a stranger than her diabolical daddy. Yet her father's lawyer counters that Laurel endangered the baby by using drugs during her pregnancy. Annalise looks to shut down that bogus evidence, but things are complicated when Laurel admits to previous drug use in her teens.
Bonnie (Liza Weil), a card-carrying member of Team Annalise ("For now," Frank reminds a confused Michaela) realises while investigating the Wes/Dominic connection that someone is mirroring her computer. Naturally, she calls Oliver (Conrad Ricamora), who agrees to help, even though he's busy organising a fundraiser for Simon's (Behzad Dabu) parents to come to the United States. Connor (Jack Falahee) tells Oliver that what he's doing with Simon is exactly what a guilty person would do — and Connor doesn't want Oliver to go to jail. That would break his heart.
Annalise finally finds her perfect victim for her civil case — Nate's dad, the other Nate Lahey (Billy Brown). Annalise tries to convince her ex-boyfriend to encourage his father, who was convicted on drug charges and violation of parole, to work with her. However, Big Nate (who spent time in solitary confinement) behaves erratically when Annalise and Nate go to visit him.
Nate eventually admits to Annalise that he was the one who put his father's file in the mail, but realised it was a mistake — some people, like his dad, can't be helped. But Annalise disagrees, because none of Big Nate's public defenders used an insanity plea: Considering his mental illness, it seems like it could be a perfect fit for Annalise's civil case. Nate goes back to prison and talks to his dad. He convinces him that other people need his help — and it finally gets through to him.
Nate brings the official sign-on papers to Annalise, which ends in a romantic reunion for between the couple. It's short-lived, as Annalise insists they can't go back there, but still — it's nice that we had it at all, right?
When it's time for Mama Castillo to take the stand in Laurel's hearing, Annalise has a new strategy. After bringing up Mrs. Castillo's history with mental illness (which includes a time when she dragged Laurel out of bed to paint the pool house in the middle of the night), Mama Castillo admits it was Laurel who mothered her. That's exactly what Annalise needed her to say: It's proof that Laurel can take care of the baby.
Things are looking up for Laurel. Then, Isaac (Jimmy Smits) takes the stand to defend Laurel's mental health. The hearing go terribly wrong when Jorge's lawyer digs up disturbing evidence against Isaac about Isaac's daughter's own suicide — if that's what it really was. Did Isaac actually kill her? We don't know, but his testimony gets scrapped due to the fact that he's an active suspect in a homicide investigation. Bonnie informs Annalise, convinced of Isaac's innocence, that, unfortunately, the evidence against Isaac looks real. Yikes.
Ultimately the judge rules that Laurel is unfit to parent her son. It devastates Michaela (Aja Naomi King) so much that she can't even enjoy an impromptu dance party with Asher (Matt McGorry), Connor, and Oliver, who are celebrating getting Nate's dad onboard the civil case.
At Laurel's apartment, Laurel expresses doubt (or is it hope?) that her father was the one who killed Wes. Mama Castillo shuts that down right away. Instead, she comforts her by saying that Wes — err, baby Wes — will come home soon.
And speaking of Wes, that photo Laurel showed her mom in this episode wasn't the first time she laid eyes on The Puppy. Bonnie meets up with Frank in a parking garage to deliver some much-needed Wes intel, and Bonnie reveals she found street cam footage of Wes meeting with none other than Mama Castillo herself.
Excuse me while I go scream.
So, was Wes in cahoots with Mrs. Castillo over something? Is she the person we should be worried about, or did she just fail to save Wes from her maniacal ex-husband? I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Wes is actually walking around out there — and that, like Mama Castillo said, he'll come home soon.