Here is all of the murder that went down in the winter finale, “What Did We Do?” Spoilers, of course:
Throughout Season 1 of ABC’s twisted drama How to Get Away with Murder, the show essentially set itself up as “Murder House.” Everyone in Annalise Keating’s (Viola Davis) law office was either killed, or a murderer, or an accomplice (or framed as one). Season 2 ratcheted that up even further by flashing forward to Annalise herself as the victim of a gunshot wound on the floor of the show’s second biggest murder house, the one belonging to her possibly guilty sibling clients, the Hapstalls, who maybe murdered their parents. And their aunt. And maybe A.D.A. Emily Sinclair (Sarah Burns). And maybe Annalise.
But never underestimate the murderous tendencies of Annalise’s interns. Though Connor (Jack Falahee) and Michaela (Aja Naomi King) seemed unlikely as shooters (they go along with the murders, but they don’t have a direct hand in them), they both had reasons to hate Annalise. Season 2 also built up Laurel (Karla Souza) as “the new Bonnie,” so given that the old Bonnie (Liza Weil) was also revealed as a murderer (killing Rebecca to protect Annalise), she was also a solid bet as the perpetrator (not to mention, you know, Bonnie herself).
Instead, “What Did We Do?” the show’s winter finale, circled back around to an older plot and deeper wounds to produce the gunman. Though Asher (Matt McGorry) joined the murder club in this episode by being the one who killed Sinclair (her dropping from the roof was a red herring — Asher ran her down hours earlier, and Bonnie helped him clean it all up), one murder is enough for him. And though he had as much of a reason to hate Annalise as anyone, especially in the wake of his father’s suicide, it was the puppy, Wes (Alfred Enoch) who ultimately pulled the trigger, goaded by Annalise revealing to him that his season-long search for Rebecca was in vain because she was dead all along.
So that’s a lot of bodies. And if we count Annalise assisting Nate’s (Billy Brown) wife in killing herself at the hospital, it’s not a far-fetched idea that at least one of these things would come back on her (especially since we saw in the stinger that she had something to do with Wes’ mother dying … unless she’s his mother? Still a lot of questions there …). Of course, Annalise wanted to be shot (as part of her plan to pin the Hapstall murders on Amy Okuda’s Catherine), but she wanted to be shot in the leg … not the stomach, which his where Wes decided was a better way to punish her. Be careful. Puppies can bite.
How to Get Away with Murder’s first season was fascinating and compelling not only because of its central mystery, but because of the tension inherent in a group of students getting dragged into doing something terrible, and escalating their actions with insurmountable layers of coverup. Season 2 has continued to add those layers, but it hasn’t been as successful with drawing in viewers as intensely as before. Is it because now almost everyone on the show is a murderer, and anyone in the house could be murdered at any time? And they never go to class anymore? Because of, you know, all of the death? I mean really, Season 2 has seemingly become a free-wheeling murder-fest.
Still, the idea that Wes (who has been largely sidelined this season) turned on Annalise in such a violent way sets up an interesting back half of the season, but even more so now that Asher is finally involved in the main murder plot (and has been clued in to Sam’s death). Asher is one of the show’s most interesting figures, but he’s at his best when he’s interacting with the others as the village idiot. Because of that, though, it’s hard to imagine that he’s going to be able to handle the events of “What Did We Do?” particularly well, and that fallout could be a major driving factor once the show returns.
In any case, were you surprised that Wes shot Annalise? What did you think has worked well this season so far, and what has been a disappointment? And what are your theories on the season’s main Hapstall murder, and are you glad we’ve gotten away from Murder Cases of the Week? Because seriously, there are enough just with the main cast.
How to Get Away with Murder (again and again) returns February 11th on ABC.