Warning: HUGE SPOILER ALERTS AHEAD!
Anyone else glued to their seat during the midseason finale of How to Get Away With Murder? I thought so.
After I finished the episode, I was suddenly very stressed, because my life was in shambles! I was involved in a murder plot! Oh wait, I’m just a college student, and I have a paper due on Monday. Suddenly, my life and its problems seem so petty. That’s how much the show drew me in.
Quick recount: Wes killed Sam! Bonnie and Asher have sex for the first time, and Asher is also left out of the loop of the entire murder thing (as far as we know). Michaela signs Aiden’s (mother’s) prenuptial agreement, Annalise and Nate have sex for the umpteenth time, and Laurel enlists Frank’s help to hide the murder weapon, but Frank doesn’t know it! And finally, in the very last few seconds of the episode, we find out that Annalise knows about Sam’s death. In fact, she was sitting silently at her desk staring at his body when Wes walked back in to retrieve the trophy. What?!
Every single plot twist revealed in this finale was justified by the nature of this TV show, in which episodes convey two different timelines.
Wes grabs the nearest item he can find to protect Rebecca out of his feelings for her. How metaphoric, that it’s the trophy that they are all vying for throughout the season, that something they’d literally put on a pedestal becomes a murder weapon.
In this episode, we see every single member of the Keating Five plus Rebecca minus Asher get pushed to the brink, and we observe their physical and mental activity when put under great stress.
Rebecca gets up close and personal with Sam as he attempts to strangle her, before being splattered by his bloody brain guts when Wes strikes the back of his head. It ends up all over her, and like Lady Macbeth, she can’t seem to recover from the blood on her body, even after Wes cleans her up. She’s left lifeless, speechless from the murder on her conscience.
And the rest? Well, they carried the body, burned it, hacked it up, and buried it. Connor laughs maniacally as he hacks away at Sam’s tibia – or is it his fibula?
We also see fantastic rage expressed by both Annalise (Viola Davis) and Sam (Tom Verica), in their horrific fight. Annalise comes clean about her affair with Nate, and in retaliation, Sam calls her a hypocrite and a slut. He grabs her by the neck, and she whispers at him to kill her, which startles him. He lets go, and she storms out of the house.
At least 75% of the episode takes place in super dim lighting, whether it be in the Keating household, where no lights are turned on, or in the woods, where the moon barely illuminates the characters’ face, casting shadows in every direction. This lighting (or lack thereof) draws attention to the dark nature of this episode, filled with murder, corruption, and lies.
But while many of our burning questions were finally answered, just as many new ones were generated:
Why did Annalise call and leave a message for Sam? Did she know that he was dead at the time?
Who knows that Annalise knows? Does Frank? Does Bonnie? Do any of the Keating Five besides Wes? It’s revealed that Wes and Annalise are eye-to-eye on the issue as they exchange knowing glances before the police arrive.
Where is Michaela’s wedding ring? Is it buried with Sam’s remains? Was it left in the garbage bags on their way to the dump? If so, will the murder evidence resurface with it anytime?
What are the students going to tell the police? They didn’t get any time to discuss or match stories, let alone consider what Asher might reveal about seeing Connor’s car in front of the Keating household the night before.
Did Sam really kill Lila? It’s what every character seems to think, but the only certain evidence was smashed to bits by Wes.
Smart thinking on Wes’ part; he can’t have any evidence that placed the Keating Five + Rebecca at the scene of the crime. Who knew that Wes would be so surprisingly calm and levelheaded under stress? It’s not what you’d expect from the runt of the litter, someone whose nickname is “Waitlist”. The pressure’s probably building inside of him though; when’s he gonna blow?
Many loose ends have been left hanging to be tied in the rest of the season, which is set to resume on January 29. We can hardly wait.
How to Get Away With Murder was nominated for a People’s Choice Award, as was Viola Davis’ individual performance as Professor Keating.