‘How to Get Away with Murder’ Midseason Refresher: Where Did Things Leave Off?

     February 11, 2016


ABC’s twisty series How to Get Away with Murder returns tonight after answering one tantalizing question, but leaving so much more to be unravelled. Let’s back things up: “Who shot Annalise?” is probably the modern day “Who Shot JR?” of primetime television. Not only did Season 2 kick off with a literal bang — with our favorite villian lying on the floor in a pool of her own blood — we were also left to guess who could have done this. Who gave Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) what she probably deserved? 

We started the season with the traumatized group of murderous students trying to move past all the death and lies and the unlawful imprisonment that took place in Season 1. For instance: Rebecca (Katie Findlay) was too much of a threat, and the only way to neutralize it was to off her (thanks Bonnie!) But none of the students know that she’s dead — only Annalise, Frank (Charlie Weber) and (of course) Bonnie (Liza Weil). While everyone else seems happy to be done with Rebecca, Wes (Alfred Enoch), like a dog with a bone (or a puppy?), won’t let up, and is determined to find out what really happened to his girlfriend, even though he promised Annalise he would let it go. 


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In an effort to distract Wes and take the focus off of their own roles in covering up a murder, Annalise and company take on a high profile case: the murder of The Hapstalls, allegedly by their two ethnically diverse adopted children, Catherine (Amy Okuda) and Caleb (Kendrick Sampson). In true Shondaland style, nothing is ever just black and white. The Hapstall children — who are really adults — are now heirs to a fortune, and the DA (Emily Sinclair, played by Sarah Burns) has every intention of putting them away. But, not on Annalise’s watch! While the case seems open and shut, Annalise and her team are hard at work to poke holes in the State’s case, discrediting witnesses, and casting suspicion onto other suspects.

While all of this is going on, Sinclair is also hard at work trying to prove once and for all that her enemy Annalise plays too fast and loose with the law. Annalise is responsible not only for her husband Sam’s death and disappearance, but also euthanizing the wife of her lover, defamed cop Nate (Billy Brown). And soon … there’s more. Emily blackmails the group’s serial outsider Asher (Matt McGory) to be her mole, and eventually gets what she needs to bury Annalise. But, plans fall through once Asher cracks and mission comes to light. The pressure to bury his own secret and protect his family’s legacy becomes too much, resulting in Asher’s father committing suicide and Asher killing Sinclair in the parking garage of her office building (!) He then calls Bonnie, who in turn calls Annalise, who of course devises a plan to kill two birds with one stone: exonerate her clients and stage the death of her enemy. It’s a win/win right? Oh, but you are so wrong.


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But let’s rewind just a bit. Wes, no matter how much Annalise tries to assuage him that his girlfriend is just out living her life on the lam, continues to dig deeper, and wrangles Micheala (Aja Naomi King), Laurel (Karla Souza), and Connor (Jack Falahee) into his plot. They find out that the mysterious “Eggs” (who Micheala was hooking up with) also happened to be Rebecca’s brother, Levi (Matt Cohen), on a mission to find his sister. But, Frank throws a wrench in his plot by getting Levi arrested on drug charges. At that point, everyone turns against Wes, and instead dive deeper into solving the Hapstall case. 

Things start looking up when Connor’s boyfriend Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) discovers an internet creeper who is of great interest to the case. Turns out, the creeper and Catherine Hapstall are quite close, and Caleb reveals that he has found the murder weapon hidden in an air vent. Now all signs are pointing to Catherine as the killer. In order to win, the team must divide and concur — you know, get away with murder. This involves tossing Sinclair’s dead body off the roof of the Hapstall home (naturally), kidnapping Catherine and leaving her in the forest while pinning everything on her (of course), and making Annalise into the victim of a violent attack (who wouldn’t?)


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In a panic, as the plans starts to unravel, Annalise asks each of her pupils to take the murder weapon and use it against her, to wound her in the leg. She has finally lost it! They all bail except Wes and Laurel, who, in the course of the first half of the season, have morphed into darker and more jaded versions of themselves.The fact that they were even willing to entertain the thought speaks volumes, yet they still won’t pull the trigger. Finally, Annalise pulls her final card and admits that Rebecca is dead, and that she has known all along. Not waiting for an explanation, Wes, feeling betrayed, takes the gun, and instead of shooting to wound her, he aims for her gut and goes for the kill. WES SHOT ANNALISE!!

With rage in his eyes and Laurel in shock and disbelief, Wes takes the gun and aims again, and this time it looks like he wants to finish what he started. Then we hear a name come from Annalise’s lips. “Christophe, Christophe” and a flashback to a young Wes (Christophe?) in a police station telling the police that he found his mother dead. Behind the one-way mirror, a young Annalise stands stoically next to her girlfriend Eve (Famke Janssen), watching the interview unfold. Who is Wes to Annalise? Who is Christophe? And what exactly has Annalise done?

The midseason teaser (see below) makes no promises of immediate answers, and instead, only raise more questions. We wouldn’t have it any other way. 

How to Get Away with Murder returns Thursday, February 11th on ABC.


Image via ABC