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How to Get Away With Murder, Viola Davis

ABC

Get ready to see a very different Annalise Keating when How to Get Away With Murder finally returns from its long winter break.

Not only will the law professor (played to Emmy-winning perfection by Viola Davis) be in deep mourning over the murder of her favorite student and surrogate son Wes (Alfred Enoch), but she'll be forced to rock a look she probably never thought she'd wear: Prison red.

"I think we're going to see Annalise unlike we've ever seen her before. She's never been in jail and she's really struggling to navigate that world, as any of us would," executive producer Pete Nowalk told E! News. "That was the exciting part for me. And, really, Viola was the one who encouraged me to do it. She was like, ‘That sounds fun!' to watch Annalise try to make deals in prison and survive, really."

While Annalise struggles to survive and prove her innocence, the show will begin to slowly unravel the mystery of what exactly happened to poor Wes before he got burned to a crisp in the overwhelmingly unlucky Keating home. "What's very clear is we're answering the question of who killed Wes in our time jump in the back half of the season. We're going to be showing all the things that happened to Wes from when he left the police station up until when he died," Nowalk explained. "We're going to be showing a different part of that each episode, and I think you'll be left cliff-hung."

Of course, that means that while Waitlist Wes may be deceased, the actor who plays him isn't going anywhere just yet. "That was really important to me because it allowed me to not have to grieve and also be in denial that I had made that decision," Nowalk said. "I'm still in denial about it…I think I've had a slow sort of process where I've accepted that I did."

Writing this second half of the season, where everything Wes-related remained in the HTGAWM world's past, proved to be a strange experience, Nowalk admitted. "It was weird, honestly. When someone in real life dies, it's sudden and it's shocking. And this—nobody died. Alfie is still here, but it's definitely weird. He was a pivotal part of the show, that's why so many of the storylines centered around him. And it still does," he added. "The back half of the season is really about Wes and everyone's emotional involvement in his death...It's scary because you don't ever want to have to kill a character and you don't know what the show's going to be like after. So, we'll see."

Are you ready to say goodbye to Wes for good? Let us know in the comments below.

How to Get Away With Murder returns on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 10 p.m. on ABC.