It was a heavy week for TV when we learned on How To Get Away With Murder that Bonnie's father molested her as a child. To talk Asher out of turning Bonnie in (for a murder she didn't even commit BTW), Annalise shares a video of a young girl in a room with her dad who says he wants to "play a game" that involves taking all their clothes off. It's a disturbing moment, and it also explains a lot about Bonnie and about Annalise and Bonnie's relationship. This season we've seen a darker side of Bonnie. One that seemed to stem from trauma in her past. She claimed that Annalise saved her from something, and Annalise said she thought of her as her own child. Well, now we know why they're so close, and why Bonnie said she's had a rough past.
I feel for Bonnie. I really do. That's a beyond-horrible thing to have to experience as a child. I can't even imagine. But, I am disappointed that as someone who suffered sexual assault as a child, she would later lie about another assault to Asher. To keep him from testifying that Annalise killed Sam, Bonnie said she did it (hoping his love for her would lead him to keep his mouth shut). And, Bonnie said that it was Sam's attempted rape of her, that made her kill him out of self defense. Of course, this is a total lie. I mean, I guess I can't say that Sam never tried to rape her. He was a pretty gross guy. But, Bonnie didn't kill him, so she is seemingly inventing a rape to justify her (made up) actions.
It's all rather confusing, and any time someone cries a false rape, I cringe. It's so hard for rape victims to get people to believe them as it is. We don't need people lying about assaults for their own personal motivations. But, if Annalise was the one who "saved" Bonnie from her childhood trauma, it makes sense to me that Bonnie would do anything to protect her. And, she likely didn't have to think very hard to call up those feelings of being assaulted. The story she told Asher was convincing, and I'm betting some of it was rooted in reality — even if it wasn't Sam who was the rapist.
It's clear it made an impact on her character and altered what she views as OK to do for the people she loves, so it'll be interesting to see how Bonnie acts the rest of the season, especially now that her past is out there to Asher. HTGAWM tackled several heavy topics this episode, but without a doubt seeing that tape of young Bonnie was the darkest its descended. Bonnie may be a fictional character, but that kind of stuff is scarily real, and I hope HTGAWM treats the topic respectfully as the season progresses.
Images: Mitch Haaseth/ABC (2)