Post Mortems

HTGAWM Stars on the Arrival of Sam's [Spoiler], Future of The Keating 5: 'There's a Teeter-Totter of Trust'

HTGAWM Midseason Premiere

This week’s episode of How to Get Away With Murder is brought to you by the letters “O,” “M” and “G”.

Even though the ABC drama’s midseason premiere picked up after the events of Murder Night — meaning there were no blood-spattered faces, no ominous choruses of “Jingle Bells” and no shots of Michaela sobbing in the fetal position — Thursday’s hour didn’t let up on the drama.

In one corner, there was Rebecca’s court case, as Annalise tried to get the charges against her dropped. It wasn’t easy, but after evidence against Sam mounted — DNA results that revealed he was the father of Lila’s baby; an abortion clinic security video that indicated he wanted Lila to terminate her pregnancy against her wishes; laptop data that proved Sam was indeed at the sorority house the night Lila was murdered — Annalise was successful in clearing Rebecca’s name.

In the other corner, there was an intricate web of relationships, romantic (Asher and Bonnie are not on the same page about their bedroom rendezvous) and otherwise (Annalise spills the murderous beans to Frank, but makes him promise that Bonnie will never know).

Keating Five (or Four, given Asher’s utter oblivion to what went down on Murder Night), it didn’t take long for them to start turning on each other, as Laurel, Michaela and Connor made plans to turn themselves into the police — plans that were squashed by Annalise, who promised she would get them out of their sticky situation. That will be a lot easier said than done, given the arrival of Sam’s sister, Hannah Keating (played by Marcia Gay Harden), who has a number of bones to pick with the professor.

And those are just the highlights of what went down this week.

TVLine chatted with the cast of HTGAWM on set to discuss the jam-packed hour and what awaits each character in the second half of the season.

HTGAWM Midseason PremiereSISTER IN LAW | Viola Davis promised that Hannah’s presence will reveal much about Annalise’s past. “The dots will start connecting in terms of how she and Sam met, what my connection was with his family,” Davis said. “You’ll start to see why Annalise is the way she is.” Added Karla Souza: “We start seeing how Mommy is put in her place by someone else.”

But Hannah will also have an interesting influence on someone with whom Annalise is very close: Bonnie. “She may help Bonnie in realizing that things are probably not as they seem,” Liza Weil said of her in-the-dark character, who still believes Sam has “gone rogue” and is merely missing. “[Hannah is] going to be a catalyst for Bonnie wanting to piece it together for herself.”

MOMMIE DEAREST One major question continues to loom, now that Annalise is aware of Sam’s murder: Why is she helping The Keating Four, especially Wes? “That’s really difficult for Wes to understand, and it’s one of the obstacles in the way of their relationship,” Alfred Enoch said. “Maybe she respects him. When you enter a complicated sphere, it’s hard to cleave to your principles in that way. Maybe she feels for him.” For Davis, the answer is much simpler: “She feels responsible [for the murder],” she shared. “She feels like she was complicit in it, and it’s her demented way of being maternal.”

Speaking of the mother-son relationship between Wes and Annalise, which has often bordered on sexual, Davis confirmed that “it’s just a maternal relationship. But I don’t think she’s great at it. She’s awkward. You would probably feel uncomfortable around her. I wanted her to have a weird sense of boundaries.”

BOILING POINTS | The other woman in Wes’ life, Rebecca, will also begin to pose problems, especially after expressing concern that Wes wasn’t acting jittery enough in Thursday’s episode. “They’re actually faced with the mechanics of being together now,” Katie Findlay said of the pair’s upcoming relationship woes. “They boil in this apartment. They do love each other, but what could possibly develop properly in that environment? Watching them try to explore what they’ve built — because they built it in such a hurry — is heartbreaking in the next couple of episodes.”

TRUST ISSUES | As for the Keating Four, who are trying to return to their normal, pre-murder lives, the shifting alliances that began in this week’s premiere are just the tip of the iceberg, according to Jack Falahee. “It’s definitely going to be a teeter-totter of trust between them for the next couple of episodes,” he said.

“What’s funny is, at the beginning of the show, Connor and Michaela are the ones who you would think would be in control. But they’re the kids now,” Souza added of Laurel’s classmates, who were the first to crack under the pressure of police questioning. “You have no idea what they’re capable of. The person you least expect it from is going to be the one that does it.”

What did you think of How to Get Away With Murder‘s midseason premiere? Grade the episode via our poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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25 Comments
  1. madhatter360 says:

    I don’t get why Shonda shows keep trying to hype the mystery of who actors are being brought in to play. There was no reason to not just say Marcia Gay Harden would be playing Sam’s sister. Of course someone’s sister is going to arrive if her brother goes missing.
    Similarly on Scandal, when they made a big thing about keeping Portia de Rossi’s character under wraps. If they had just said she was playing the head of the RNC, it still wouldn’t have told us anything about her plot. Of course a Republican president might sometimes meet with the head of the RNC.
    It feels like they’re building unneeded behind the scenes drama, and I don’t like it.

  2. laurelnev says:

    Who else thinks WesBecca are hiding something from Annalise? Maybe Sam DIDN’T really kill Lila?

    • Angela says:

      With the way everything is so obviously pointing at Sam being the likely murderer, you know, I honestly won’t be surprised if it DOES turn out she was killed by someone else. People kept assuming Annalise was a likely suspect in murdering Sam last fall, after all, because of all the obvious evidence and reasons she’d have to do so. And yet… I think Wes and Rebecca’s relationship is going to lead them even further to some really weird places, and Wes and Annalise probably aren’t going to be buddy-buddy forever.
      And between the long-running tension with Bonnie and now Sam’s sister showing up, I’m going to be quite interested to see which of the two Annalise has the bigger explosions with.
      On a lighter note, I’m coming to really like the interaction between Connor and Michaela, and I’m all for them having more scenes together. They could make for really good allies.

      • Rook says:

        Right, I would probably more surprised if Sam did kill her instead of having a twist where the killer is someone else.
        I still think it’s Bonnie, she did it because of her crush of Sam or her loyalty to Annalise.

        • dan says:

          I have never bought into the theory that Sam killed Lila. I’ve always maintained that Bonnie did it. And on a technical note, Rebecca wasn’t completely cleared. The prosecutor dropped the charges based on the evidence that Annaliese raised to the Judge. There is no finding that Rebecca is innocent and/or not responsible for Lila’s death. The prosecutor could charge her again after further investigation. Just one of those legal issues that shows like this ignore.

          • TigerLIL says:

            Good point Dan I said when she first got arrested that I thought she was involved in the murder because Rebecca told Nate she wanted to be acquitted( never to be retried) she never said she was innocent of the crime. If Sam did kill her it was quick fast and in a hurry he was only at the location 20 minutes and he had to have meant to go there to flat-line her. I mean really it only takes about 4 minutes to choke someone to death you could incapacitate them in a matter of three minutes cutting off the air but I’m not convinced that one person put her in that water tank unless it was superman on some kryptonite. That’s a haul with a hundred pounds and no way to strap her to the back..Shall see

      • Deb says:

        I think Bonnie killed Lila. She and Sam were “tight” and the time Lila came banging on Annalise’s door looking for her and Bonnie turned her away caused Bonnie to feel Lila was a threat to her own relationship with Sam. For whatever reason (probably triggered by a phone call to come) Sam arrived to see Lila but Bonnie had already killed her and was setting Sam up. Likewise, I think Annalise is setting Bonnie up for Sam’s mirder . . . And that Annalise did not tell Frank exactly what happened. I think she twisted it to suit her plan.

    • TigerLIL says:

      I just can’t believe Sam killed the girl although he certainly had motive. The bigger question is how in the hell did he get her in that tank by herself? I think if Sam killed Lyla Rebecca and the football player put her in the tank we shall see….

  3. Sean says:

    I’m suprised Marcia is playing Sam’s sister and not his first wife.

  4. N says:

    It was ok tonight…

  5. Jasper says:

    Great episode. I still think Annalise killed Lila. It’s called HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER!

  6. Steven says:

    But only 4 episodes left in the season? This isn’t HBO. Don’t we deserve 20-24 episodes before another wild cliffhanger & several months waiting till we forget what happened

  7. Hopeful says:

    Do we actually know that Annalise told Frank what happened? I just assumed that she made up some more lies.

    • H.Houston says:

      Frank is her fix it man. I can see Annalise telling him what is going on so that he can be watching as well. But that makes things super messy for Frank and Laurel – the scene where he blasts her about lying.

  8. herman1959 says:

    I agree that there is more going on than we have been shown. We don’t exactly know what Frank was told, and I’ll bet that Sam didn’t kill Lila (too easy). I liked the way that Laurel was previously dismissed as a lightweight, but she ended up being the one that kept her head.

    • herman1959 says:

      I was also glad that they finally introduced Marcia Gay Hardens character; now she has a full 4 episodes to sink her teeth into. I’m looking forward to it.

  9. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    Marcia Gay Harden playing Sam’s sister who is described as a ”Trouble maker” fits her. She always plays bitchy type characters. Can’t wait for next wks. episode to see those 2 come face to face. Also there’s still some theories of killed Lila but i’m sticking w/Annalise but maybe I think probably Bonnie OR Frank? She could’ve had one them do it. just saying…..

  10. TigerLIL says:

    hmmm loved the episode too many panicking people for me though. The less people know the better things go… this is going to be an outrageous mess and somebody else gonna wind up flat lined. Hey it was suppose to be 15 episodes why they cut it by two what’s up with that Viola must got to many offers going on right now and they are going to have to do some revamping to make the show better I guess….