Warning: The following contains spoilers from last night's season finale of How to Get Away With Murder. Proceed with caution.
Still nursing that How to Get Away With Murder season finale hangover? You're in good company.
We're still reeling from all the major twists and turns, including Frank's (Charlie Weber) involvement in Annalise's (Viola Davis) car accident ten years ago, Oliver's (Conrad Ricamora) duplicitous deleting of Connor's (Jack Falahee) Stanford acceptance letter, and Wallace's (Adam Arkin) shocking shot the head—mere feet from Wes' (Alfred Enoch) face. And that's not even mentioning the heartbreaking burial scene between Annalise and her mom (Cecily Tyson) or the reveal of the real killer in the Hapstall case. It was more story than most shows dare to take on in a season—and it all happened in one hour.
You're hopefully already read part one of our wide-ranging chat with How to Get Away With Murder creator Pete Nowalk, where he shed some light on Annalise's trip home and Frank's shocking betrayal. What follows is the second half of that conversation.
I want to talk a little about Wes and what he's been going through this season, learning all about his past and how involved Annalise truly was in it. How fractured is Annalise and Wes' relationship going into season three? How will Wes handle everything he's learned, and, of course, obviously what he sees in the final moments, too?
To me, I feel like Annalise telling him a version—you know, parts of it are true. She just left out a lot of it, like, for example, that she was there when his mother died. [Laughs] I think there's a real chance for them to reconcile. Whether he wants to stay in her life is up to him. But he doesn't have anybody, and here is a chance to decide whether he wants to throw his lot in with Annalise because she has been trying to protect him and trying to take care of him—and in so many ways, she has. So, I think he's going to be really torn about that, but, again, I don't know who else he has, especially now with what happened to Wallace. All we've seen of Wallace is that he's a really bad guy, and he's a really rich, bad guy. Who else is going to help Wes get through that but Annalise?
You've got me worried about Coliver with the moves that Oliver pulled in the end with that acceptance letter. What is Oliver going to go when he finds out?
Very good question. I think Connor, all season, has been really holding on tight to this relationship, even when Oliver's been acting a little crazy with the hacking and wanting to be in Annalise's circle so hard. I think there's going to be some real come to Jesus moments for the both of them of whether they've moved too fast. Whether they haven't really dealt with everything that's going on in the relationship. One, that Connor's basically having a year-long PTSD reaction to all the murder and he's been keeping secrets from Oliver. I think Oliver probably really hasn't come to terms with who he's dating and also that he's positive. I think they're both just sort of getting to know each other, which is exciting for me. I think they have a real connection and I love them together, but I think they've both been burying their real selves in each other.
With the nature of the show being what is it, there's so much fan speculation with people debating what's actually happening. How do you block it out and not let it influence your story? How do you pay attention to it, or not, when the chatter is so loud?
It is loud. [Laughs] It's always my goal to not listen too much because there's no consensus. I love that people are interested. That keeps me going, honestly, because it does feel like you're just making something in a vacuum, and the fact that people care enough to speculate enough is the best compliment ever. It really keeps me and the writers going. But, ultimately, it can't get into my head because then you make really safe TV and you're afraid to make a decision and it's just going to be boring. I hate to tell everyone that. I love that people are so invested in some of the romantic relationships, but we're on a long journey here. We're not here to say, "Look, all these couples will match up and live happily ever after." I really don't think anyone would watch that show. It's hard, and everyone's dealing with it now, showrunners. I want to take the constructive criticism, but I don't also want to be overly influenced because, I'll say it, I know the characters better than anyone else. [Laughs] So, I really have to with them what I believe. Not what other people want me to do.
We've got to talk about that gunshot at the end of the episode. Do you know who the killer is? Or is that something you've still got to figure out?
I always start with a basic idea, but knowing that we could throw it out. We honestly don't start talking about season three until May, so I'm going to take the break to just let my mind breathe and hopefully come up with something better than what I have right now. [Laughs]
Looking back on the season, knowing that you have a season three and have a chance to adjust something in a storyline, is there something that you look back on and think, "Oh, I wish I'd done more of that. Now that we have time, I will"?
Yes. I think that really, for me, is mostly the character stuff. Michaela (Aja Naomi King) is one character that we don't know where she's come from. All we know is that she's been adopted. So, it's really just wanting to write all of the characters more. What's Laurel's (Karla Souza) family like? And showing you guys that there's so much more to these people than we've seen so far. And that's the biggest relief, just trying to make it more of a character-driven show, for me, is what's exciting.
How to Get Away With Murder returns for season three this fall on ABC.