Smile, or Go to Jail
October 9, 2014
10.81 million
Production code
Flash sideways
Centric characters
Centric character
Also Starring
Special Guest Star
Archive footage

"Smile, or Go to Jail" is the 3rd episode of How to Get Away with Murder.


Annalise helps Paula Murphy, a suburban soccer mom, get released from jail after she was arrested for a misdemeanor, but just as she's about to walk free, she's arrested again by the FBI in connection for felony murder. Annalise and her students are tasked with proving her innocence which will depend on the testimony from another suspect in the case. Meanwhile, the Middleton University president asks Annalise to represent Griffin O'Reilly, the star quarterback who has also been linked to Lila's disappearance but she's unable to make a decision until she knows that Sam wasn't involved in the case. In flash forwards, more clues are revealed and we discover someone else was also there besides the students during the night of the murder.


In a flash forward, we see that Michaela is a wreck just after the murder occurred. Two months earlier, she was enjoying a passionate lovemaking session with her fiancé, Aiden. She has no time to bask in the afterglow. Duty calls. Connor knows Aiden from his boarding school days. He suggests to Michaela that they have more in common than he initially thought. Annalise is pressured by the higher-ups at the university to represent Griffin O'Reilly. She doesn't want to do anything until she's sure Sam isn't involved in the death of Lila Stangard. Nate discovers that her hubby never showed for his lecture at Yale which was his alibi. Sam's car was MIA from the garage during one of the night's he was in New Haven. As for Griffin O'Reilly, he claims the victim's DNA was under his nails because Lila attacked him when she saw him making love to Rebecca, who set him up to be caught. He's putting all the blame on her for the murder.

Annalise represents Paula Murphy, a friend of a friend, who was busted for having sex in a park. Only Paula Murphy isn't the name the feds use when they arrest her just after bail is posted. They say she's a woman named Elena Aguilar, a fugitive tied to a deadly bombing in 1994. Paula was young and manipulated. She turned her life around and has a family now. Annalise thinks they can win the case even though Paula's prints were found on part of the pipe bomb. They plan to pin everything on the bombing ringleader, Gabriel Shaw.

Wes realizes the phone Rebecca hid in his apartment belongs to Lila Stangard. In a flash forward, we see the argument the students have about what to do with the body. Michaela is freaking out until Laurel suggests that the big campus bonfire should serve as their alibi. Connor orders Michaela to "smile or go to jail" as he takes a selfie of the two of them amongst the partying crowd. Two months back, Wes creates a fake lawyer ID card so he can meet with Rebecca. He poses as a public defender. He wants to know what was on Lila's phone. Rebecca isn't talking. She exposes Wes as a law student.

While out at a bar, Michaela learns that Connor and her fiancé were intimate with each other when they were teens. This leads to a big fight. Back inside the club, Frank shows up. He's disappointed to see Laurel flirting with someone. Elsewhere, Annalise picks up Wes at the police station. She's ticked that he never mentioned that he personally knows one of the suspects in Lila Stangard's murder. Annalise suggests they focus on their actual client, Paula Murphy.

An imprisoned Gabriel Shaw still has great affection for Paula//Elena. He promises to testify that the bombing was all his idea. Paula/Elena also still has affection for Shaw. He excites her. That's not something she wants her family to know. In court, the prosecution calls Gabriel Shaw as their witness. He testifies that Paula is the one who suggested they plant the bomb. He's getting early release for his testimony. Annalise tells the team they have three hours to mount their defense.

Michaela ignores incoming calls from Aiden to work the case. She realizes that the reason Shaw switched is story is so he could, indeed, get released from prison. This way he could run away with Paula/Elena, who manages to disappear from the courthouse. A bench warrant is issued for the fugitive's arrest. Paula's husband is devastated. This has Annalise warning Michaela to choose her husband carefully. Later, Nate tells Annalise that Sam's alibi is solid for the night Lila was murdered. That's a lie. Annalise tries to tell Nate that she's missed him. Her attempt at showing him affection is ultimately rejected.

In a flash forward, Michaela realizes that she lost her engagement ring while they were working to dispose of the body. Two months ago, Aiden swears that he is not gay. What happened with Connor was just something stupid he did as a kid. Michaela makes him promise that’s the truth or she'll ruin him. Elsewhere, Annalise makes a decision as to what she's doing regarding the Lila Stangard case. She will, indeed, be representing one of the suspects in the case. Perhaps the passion new trophy holder Wes showed at the police station convinced her to defend Rebecca. She'll have her work cut out for her, as her new client just confessed to murder.


This is a gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.