And you thought your family dynamic was intense.
In tonight's new episode of How to Get Away With Murder, fans finally learned some of Connor Walsh's (Jack Falahee) history, thanks to the surprising arrival of his dad Jeff (guest star D.W. Moffett) and Jeff's husband, Ted (Jim Abele). Yes, it turned out that in the Walsh family, all the men really were born that way, only it took Jeff a little longer to figure that out that Connor, as Jeff revealed to Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) that the hunky law school dropout came out to his parents at the tender age of 12, inspiring his dad to finally admit a hard truth about himself. Which he did exactly one week later. As we witnessed throughout the episode, it was a move that's caused tension between father and son ever since. Understandably so, according to Falahee.
"Look, it's so difficult to talk about it eloquently in any way as a straight man. I can only listen and try and empathize with my friends' experiences and that's something that I definitely leaned into, and have since the beginning of the series, but especially with this particular experience for Connor," he told E! News. "I listened to their stories, and I have a few friends with queer parents, as well, that came out at different times in their own lives. I listened to their experiences and what conflicts might have arisen or might not have. I do understand, to a degree, why Connor might have these sort of combative feelings with his father's own experience because he was so sure of himself at such a young age and took such a gigantic leap of faith in coming out."
That said, the actor can empathize with Jeff, thanks, in part, to Moffett. "To have his father, who was closeted for 40 years, not necessarily be within his truth fully, I can understand why Pete was interested in exploring that space and how that can create conflict. D.W. Moffet, who plays my father, is just so incredible," Falahee said. "I think between the scene in Colliver's apartment, where he gives that beautiful speech, and even the conversation that takes place on the campus, I think that D.W. brings such a vulnerability to this character that you really do understand how an older man growing up in the Midwest, who identifies as queer, it probably was quite different for him and his experience than it was for even someone of my generation, right? So I think it's a really beautiful relationship we get to explore and I'm pretty excited about it."
Falahee is also hoping to get to meet Mama Walsh sometime soon. "I think that would be something really cool to explore and to hear her perspective on everything as well. It would only help give nuance to Connor as a character," he said. And his first choice to take on the role? Weeds alum Mary-Louise Parker. "I would kill to play her son."
Before Connor's mom can come into the picture, there's still the small matter at hand of dealing with the fallout from the seed his dad planted in his head during their heated confrontation on the Middleton campus, accusing his son of pretending to be happy with Oliver much in the same way Jeff used to pretend with his ex-wife.
"It definitely f--ks with Connor quite a bit," Falahee admitted. "He's in this fragile place because he doesn't really know what he's doing with his life, but for the first time, he does know what he wants in his personal life with Oliver. He's quite happy, I think. And to have that disrupted by his father definitely rocks the boat. As early as the next episode, I think we see Connor really reckon with that piece of advice—if you want to call it advice—from his father."
And don't expect the Colliver disruption to be resolved anytime soon. "Last night, at 1:30 in the morning, we just finished episode eight, which is our midseason finale, and we still see ramifications from that conversation playing out," the actor teased. "So brace yourselves."
What will begin to resolve itself with more expediency? Connor's aimlessness after Annalise (Viola Davis) fired the gang, prompting him to drop out of law school. "He makes some decisions pretty quickly," Falahee admitted. "He has been spinning out of control for a while now. It's been weeks. He definitely is lacking in purpose, and everyone that is around him that cares about him is sort of being supportive and try to get him to do something. I can't really give anything away. Connor definitely struggles with his joblessness and makes a pretty surprising decision, I think."
And if you're wondering where exactly Connor is in this season's flash forwards—or worried that the blood at the Caplan & Gold crime scene, the result of some depravity that Oliver was witness to, might be his—Falahee isn't at liberty to discuss. But he did have this cryptic tease about his character's whereabouts on the night in question: "This is just such psychotic territory for me to even be talking about, so I'll just say it is very surprising."
Did you expect anything less?
How to Get Away With Murder airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.