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‘How to Get Away with Murder’ Recap: “Who’s Dead?”

Nora Dominick ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Executive Stage Editor

Spoilers ahead! Read if you dare!

No you aren’t hallucinating. Yes, going through two boxes of tissues is totally acceptable because How to Get Away with Murder just killed a main character in the most shocking fashion. Following a season of wondering “Who’s Under the Sheet?” How to Get Away with Murder finally reveals the victim and it’s someone no one thought it would be. Let’s recap the mid-season finale “Who’s Dead?”

To start, How to Get Away with Murder didn’t begin with a bang. That “bang” being Frank (Charlie Weber) pulling the trigger on the gun held to his head. Bonnie (Liza Weil) manages to ease the gun out of his hand before he does something destructive. Meanwhile, Annalise (Viola Davis) continues to shout for him to pull the trigger. Frank apologizes over and over for all the pain he’s caused. We know he’s a little crazy, but we would totally just hug Frank for hours.

After this we finally catch up to present day and we see how all the events played out that led to Keating & Associates blowing up and what exactly lands Annalise in jail. After giving, in our opinion, a very simple mid-term exam, Annalise gifts the students with the rest of the day off and champagne. Of course, this leads to everyone getting into compromising positions. Laurel (Karla Souza) and Wes (Alfred Enoch) get into a fight over Frank; Asher (Matt McGorry) lets slip to Michaela (Aja Naomi King) that he accidentally invited her estranged mother to town and Connor (Jack Falahee) sort of lets slip he had something to do with Sam’s death to Oliver (Conrad Ricamora).

As they all celebrate, Annalise hangs with Mary J. Blige at the hair salon once again. Annalise breaks down to her admitting she feels very defeated. This is one of the first time we see Annalise in such a depressed state, in public. Mary J. Blige comforts Annalise and tells her she’s welcome to come and cry with her anytime she wants. Before Annalise leaves, she learns that ADA Atwood came snooping in the salon looking for news on Annalise. We never liked her and still don’t.

Liza Weil and Charlie Weber in the How to Get Away with Murder episode "Who's Dead?" Photo Credit: ABC/Nicole Wilder
Liza Weil and Charlie Weber in the How to Get Away with Murder episode “Who’s Dead?” Photo Credit: ABC/Nicole Wilder

We like to think we would do the same thing Annalise does next. She storms down to Atwood’s office. She makes it seem like she’s there to play nice, but she’s actually there to ask Atwood why she’s been following her. Of course, Atwood denies snooping around Annalise and demands she leaves her office. To make the visit even more uncomfortable, Annalise runs into Nate (Billy Brown) in the parking garage. She asks Nate if he’s helping Atwood investigate her. We have to give it to Nate, we would probably crumble to the floor and cry if we had to put up with Annalise yelling at us as much as he does. He, once again, takes it like a champ and tells Annalise he isn’t involved.

At this point in How to Get Away with Murder we see Annalise at her weakest point ever. She’s pretty certain she’ll be going to jail soon, so she decides to live it up. After downing an entire bottle of vodka, she throws several old court documents into her fireplace and bashes her laptop with the odl trophy. You know? The one that killed Sam. Annalise then makes her way to Bonnie’s place to tell her they could all be looking at prison time. Instead of freaking out, Bonnie feeds Annalise soup and tucks her into bed. Oh and they share a kiss. Honestly, a moment we were simultaneous surprised by and saw coming.

Elsewhere, Michaela is dealing with her crazy mom showing up at her apartment. Her mother decided to leave her father and needs a place to stay. Of course, they argue about Michaela’s upbringing while Asher deals with a very drunk Laurel and Connor. At this time, Bonnie also tells Frank about the DA investigating Annalise and she suggests he “fix it.” Frank begins to worry that Bonnie doesn’t actually care for him and just wants him to go down for everyone.

Meanwhile, Wes goes down to the police station for more questions, we assume it’s for the Mahoney case. Once he gets there, he learns they want information on Annalise. How to Get Away with Murder also does a massive callback to season one when the police inform Wes they found Rebecca’s body in the woods. They are trying to connect it to Annalise. Wes’ lawyer thinks it’s in his best interest to turn Annalise in. Of course being the loyal student that he is, he fires his lawyer.

Annalise eventually wakes up from her drunken state and is somehow functional to make calls and start to sort this out. She first calls Wes, who doesn’t answer, she tells him to meet at her house. She then calls Oliver, who’s at the university, and Annalise tells him to stay there and she’s coming. Lastly, she calls Laurel and tells her to round everyone up and meet at Keating & Associates.

Aja Naomi King, Conrad Ricamora and Matt McGorry in the How to Get Away with Murder episode "Who's Dead?" Photo Credit: ABC/Nicole Wilder
Aja Naomi King, Conrad Ricamora and Matt McGorry in the How to Get Away with Murder episode “Who’s Dead?” Photo Credit: ABC/Nicole Wilder

Unfortunately, this is the point in How to Get Away with Murder’s mid-season finale where we know almost everyone’s outcomes. Laurel is the only one to show up at Keating & Associates. Connor is in bed with Tom. Asher is way too drunk to deal with anything and Michaela is dealing with her mother. We also learn Nate’s whereabouts. He arrives at Keating & Associates right before Laurel and sees the mess that Annalise has left behind.

After Laurel steps foot in the house, there’s a loud explosion and you know the rest. We then fast-forward through the scenes we’ve been seeing throughout the season. Oliver destroys Annalise’s phone Annalise gets taken by the police; Meggie recognizes Laurel in the hospital; Oliver calls Connor’s phone, which Michaela answer; Bonnie’s in jail with Annalise talking about the “unnamed source” and Laurel asks Meggie where Wes is. The new addition to this montage is we learn Frank calls Bonnie while she’s at the hospital.

In one of the most heartbreaking, gut wrenching moments on How to Get Away with Murder (even this TV season), a coroner stands over the dead body. She’s describing the corpse as an African American man. Suddenly, a figure walks in and this is when we essentially drop to our knees and ask the ShondaLand gods what we did to deserve this. Nate enters and we learn that the corpse is Wes! A shock to the system and the How to Get Away with Murder universe altogether.

At this point, the devastating news of Wes’ death has hit the local news and Laurel catches it. Laurel, Meggie, Asher, Michaela, Oliver and Connor are completely devastated by the loss, much like us. How could this happen you ask? A little How to Get Away with Murder slight of hand that’s how. Although they revealed earlier this season that Wes is the one that gives up Annalise, it turns out this happens earlier in the day prior to the fire. He sneaks out of the police station on his own. If this isn’t bad enough, in the final minutes we learn that Wes “was dead before the fire.” This marks the heartbreaking end to How to Get Away with Murder’s mid-season finale.

Although the “Who’s Under the Sheet?” mystery is solved, How to Get Away with Murder leaves us with even more questions. Who killed Wes? Is Laurel still pregnant? Did Wes actually give up Annalise? Who blew up Keating & Associates? Who was trying to kill Annalise?

All of these questions will have to wait until the hit drama returns in 2017 and we can’t wait until then! The one good thing about the back half of season three is we will continue to see Enoch. We will no doubt be piecing together the moments leading up to Wes’ final moments. While this won’t make saying goodbye any easier, it will be a good way to ease us into Enoch’s bittersweet departure from How to Get Away with Murder.

MVPs So Far This Season: Alfred Enoch and Karla Souza

Karla Souza and Alfred Enoch in the How to Get Away with Murder episode "Who's Dead?" Photo Credit: ABC/Nicole Wilder
Karla Souza and Alfred Enoch in the How to Get Away with Murder episode “Who’s Dead?” Photo Credit: ABC/Nicole Wilder

From day one Enoch has brought his A-game. Being the leading man on How to Get Away with Murder has allowed him to blossom into a brilliant actor. Wes’ character has undergone some great changes as he’s come to the end of his time on How to Get Away with Murder. He began the show as “Waitlist,” a young man who didn’t know his family history and simply admired the girl from afar. In the last two seasons, he’s learned about his family and finally got the girl this season. Sadly, Enoch has stepped into his own this season in particular. This doesn’t make saying goodbye any easier. We will miss you Wes Gibbins/Alfred Enoch!

Karla Souza is the breakout actress of How to Get Away with Murder. She has honed her craft and brought Laurel on a beautiful journey in just three seasons. In this season, she’s stepped up as one of Annalise’s trusted confidants and it’s a great arc to witness. Souza assumes the role of a leading female with grace as Laurel becomes a bigger part of the series. Her work opposite Davis, Enoch, Weber and Weil this season has elevated episode after episode to new heights. We are so proud to be witnessing Souza’s growth as an actress first hand. We can’t wait to see where she takes Laurel in the back half of season three. (Also, maybe she should chat with Lauren Cohan? Their characters are eerily dealing with similar things…)

How to Get Away with Murder returns with brand-new episodes on January 19, 2017 at 10/9c

Overall Grade: A

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