It’s every man, woman and/or Keating 5 for themselves, as the past unravels the present in time for tonight’s season finale of How To Get Away With Murder!
Returning to episode 12 of How to Get Away with Murder “It’s A Trap” we learn that the case involving Wes’ mother; Rose, and Annalise, 10 years prior, revolved around the murder of the accused’s fiancee. Learning that being a lawyer is rarely ever in favour of serving justice, Annalise’s moral compass is tested even 10 years prior to the drama that brought us the show’s premise.
With the anchor that Rose’s witness testimony provides in the case, we are taken back to the cafe from the episode prior, where Rose finally learns of Annalise’s intentions.
Intercut with Mahoney Jr.’s interrogation, the cleanliness of the accused and witnesses subsequent alibi appears too good to be true in the corrupt premise of law; that the show circulates around.
Having worked for the accused, Rose claims that she was at the scene of the murder; offering Mahoney his freedom with the testimony that he was asleep. With Mahoney Jr.’s surprise at his defence, we learn that the face that gave us the charming Wade Kinsella on The CW’s Hart of Dixie, is merely a decoy in discovering a threat to both timelines in the series.
Cut to images of a young Wes playing and later, at an interrogation, we’re left questioning how something so tidy, is enough to leave Annalise maternal over Wes in years to come.
Back in present day, the Keating 5 (minus Wes) discover that their blackmailer, presumably Phillip, uses the handle, Argus – an all seeing mythological God- to send his videos. With his love for Annalise all but absent, as was his presence from the video, Annalise suspects Connor. To his own defence, he argues that her life was saved by his return to the Hapstall mansion on the night of the shooting.
Relinquishing that he needs Annalise’s help, the drama between the two is side-barred, and he – to paraphrase – remembers where his manners are, to the woman saving his ass, for the second time.
Elsewhere, Laurel is freaking out over Frank’s revelations. With what ultimately lead to Sam’s death, the validation of her hand in events is called into question alongside her shock. Upon wanting to know why he did it, she remains unaware of Sam’s orders in the assumption of Annalise’s power over Frank. Ever the more enforced as he answers Annalise’s call in th e midst of her questioning, she leaves; not returning to the Keating HQ for the rest of the episode.
Whilst Laurel seeks out Wes, Annalise concludes that Phillip is setting them up for a trap, as he emails again with a call for ransom.
With the fact that he hasn’t contacted the police and all eyes on the Keating 5, is he forcing their hand in his defence?
Speaking of such a notion, Laurel convinces Wes to accept her help in uncovering the past, as we venture back into the past.
With the worry of Annalise going into labour; aside from the dark and twisty mindset she seems to have borrowed from a pregnant Meredith Grey, Frank accompanies her to Ohio for a month; for the Mahoney trial.
Back in present day, Laurel and Wes make the same trip, to research Rose in the judicial database. With no immediate answers, the pair are stuck in Ohio as they await hard copies of the files.
Ten years prior, Annalise conducts her own research on Rose; profiling her for the trial. Drawing out her weakness, Frank highlights her son’s wellbeing as motive, for both the act of murder itself and coercion. Bringing up her immigration status, alongside her concern for Christophe, Rose insists on testifying anonymously.
Mad at the credibility of an anonymous testimony, the Mahoney family subtly threaten Christophe in Rose’s compromise over her co-operation. Seemingly indebted or threatened by the family, Mahoney Jr, seems to fade from the situation, as the series begins to align the significance of the past with the present.
Back in the present, a guilt-ridden Asher, absent of the tried and true method of covering up a murder, wants to turn himself in. Elsewhere, the team look to Caleb to raise Phillip’s ransom. Using him to seek Catherine’s help in finding Phillip, he comes up unsuccessful, as she defends him. Far from done with his time on the show (thankfully), Caleb and Michaela make up (for now).
Having learnt of the anonymity of Rose’s testimony – and the revelation that she never actually testified – Wes links Rose’s death with the trial, discerning that Annalise feels indebted to him in her failure to protect her.
Within their own relationship, Connor tries to convince Oliver to transfer to Stanford with him, as the stress of Phillip’s blackmail becomes too much; fearing for his life in his association with Annalise.
Elsewhere, Laurel seeks comfort in Wes, regretfully making out, as she compares Frank to her Father; whose character made her feel unsafe once before.
In a move taken from ABC’s counterpart channel; Freeform, the whole Phillip situation borders on Pretty Little Liars status, as the fear of ‘A’ seems unrelenting.
As he emails further videos emphasising his all-seeing eye, darkness further encompasses the past, as Wes is suspected to be his Mother’s killer in her medical report. With a flashback to almost agree with the notion, we’re left pondering whether a young Wes, standing over his dying mother, was indeed responsible; and how would this in-debt Annalise?
Entering episode 13 “Something Bad Happened”, we leave the bounds of secrecy aka. covering up a murder together, as Wes discusses his Mother with the therapist that sectioned him. Though a trophy to the head, definitely played a part in Sam’s death, the idea of our puppy dog being capable of murder is discussed. As Wes struggles with the revelation of the medical report, Annalise comes to his defence over the matter.
Unwilling to answer Laurel any further, on Wes’ behalf, Wes remains absent as he asks his therapist to help him remember the past instead of going to Annalise.
Flashing back 10 years ago, Wes and Rose are taken into custody by immigration officers. Cue Eve’s role in the past. Whilst his secret is safe, events of the past are further misled as Laurel asserts that Frank killed Rebecca also.
Back to her role as a teacher, Annalise emphasises the necessity of lying to clients for their own good; as she decides Phillip’s second video must be hidden from Nate and Caleb. As another video arrives, Asher offers to help as he is the only one who has never met Phillip. Whilst the offer is yet to be taken up on, it does make you wonder if Asher will finally become neck deep in the fold of murderous cover-ups, or whether he will turn himself in. With this idea in mind, Annalise takes the computer to the ADA, at a loss as to how to protect her students. Bargaining for immunity in the Sinclair case, she propositions the videos as evidence against Phillip; the Hapstall killer.
Back in the past, learning the immigration arrest was a tactic of Annalise’s, Eve meets with her, only to have her cooperation threatened by the news Annalise is pregnant.
As Wes’ therapist brings up Annalise’s maternal nature, he leaves as she starts to suspect his criminal history; which she is legally bound to report.
In other legal tactics, Annalise’s immunity deal is threatened as Nate gives her a heads up that the ADA has ordered her house to be searched. Fooling the police into thinking a Judge has signed the warrant when he has yet to do so, the search begins. Upon the discovery that the search is illegal, the evidence becomes inadmissible. In a moment of power, it would seem Annalise has secured herself and her students a string-free immunity deal.
As Wes continues to investigate the Mahoney trial, that appears to have been lost by Annalise, Laurel urges him to help with Phillip. Arguing in Annalise’s defence, he angrily kicks her out; refusing any further help from her.
Left alone to continue his investigation, the rest of the Keating 5 join Oliver for a slumber party; fearing their safety. Elsewhere, Bonnie and Frank discuss Laurel and Asher. Deciding that they had lives before they met them, the pair refuse to acknowledge their wrongdoings seem to be established in the past; in their closeness with Sam.
As Rose convinces Eve to let her testify as soon as possible, she utilises her freedom from custody to try and escape with Christophe – who would be left behind should she be deported.
Left victim to Phillip, Wes enters an empty Keating house, as Annalise seeks safety at Nate’s. Finding the police report implicating him, he remembers standing over his Mother’s body. With his therapist’s advice, we begin towards the idea that the flashback, is false as his memory, and misleading in its directive towards us, the audience. With this revelation, the past reveals that Wes found his dying Mother, as Annalise fled the building. In a chronicling of events, we learn that the Mahoneys were aware of Rose’s attempt to flee, and return to her apartment. Further threatening Christophe, Annalise races to Rose’s. Learning that her son may be threatened, implicating a secret between herself and the Mahoney’s, Rose takes her own life.
Choosing not to call 911, we return to present day as Annalise lets herself into Wes’ apartment. Receiving a call from Eve, who reveals Wes is with her in New York, she panics at the presence of someone else in the room. Concluding the episode, Annalise is attacked by Phillip.
Following on into last week’s episode, “There’s my baby”, the mystery of Rose’s death and ties to the present are revealed. As Eve tells Wes to call 911, as she overhears Annalise’s attack; she is able to escape. Meeting at the station we flashback 10 years as Annalise lies to Eve, about her whereabouts during Rose’s death. Eve, questioning why Rose would kill herself, causes Annalise to come to Wes’ defence. Whilst ultimately not suspecting him, detectives suspect the Mahoneys’ role in events.
Back in present day, Eve asks Annalise why she gave Wes the file if she had no intention of telling the truth. Confirming that he is not her child, she tries to convince her to look after herself and follow her to New York. As Caleb goes missing, Michaela blames Annalise for not protecting him; by letting him know the truth about Phillip’s return.
Back in the past, Annalise wants to know why Mahoney Senior thought Rose would lie for him; disinterested in winning the trial.
Elsewhere in present day, the ADA tries to bait the Keating team into testifying their role in the events of the shooting. Apparently mastering their interrogations, a nervous Frank blames Asher. Coming to his defence, Bonnie barters with her knowledge that Frank killed Lyla; instead blaming him for it all. With Laurel’s suggestion that it was at the request of Annalise, the team begins to crumble in the fear for their lives.
Threatening her own disbarment, Annalise abandons her trial with the Mahoney’s; choosing to protect Wes instead. Using Eve to convict them, Annalise impending motherhood is threatened in her maternal pursuit of saving Wes. As Eve refuses to help, Annalise sets out at her own peril, only to be prevented as a car crashes into her.
Sadly, her own child pays the price of her activism.
Back in present day, Asher’s interview with the ADA, adds to the loss of an optimistic tone, as his and Sinclair’s whereabouts are connected on the day of her death.
With everything up the air, Annalise encourages her students to carpe diem the hell out of their -potential – last night of freedom; barring Wes, who she wants to speak to (finally).
With the relief provided by drunk dancing in a bar, we learn that Oliver has quit his job. Whilst I’m optimistic that he’ll join the team; save for the loss of his happy personality, I can’t help but fear he could be murdered for a lead into season 3.
Blaming herself for the events of 10 years ago, Annalise tells Wes about the case, omitting the death of her child. In disbelief, Wes demands to know what she is holding back. Instead of delving into her own personal trauma, we’re left shocked. In her conversation with Mahoney Senior 10 years prior, we learn that Wes is the child of rape between Mahoney and Rose, who was manipulated through her trauma.
Elsewhere, having being dumped, and Caleb missing, Asher and Michaela hook up, and Wes googles his dad. Crying over a photo of Sam and her child, Annalise is confronted by Laurel who unknowingly reveals Frank’s role in Lyla’s death.
Far from resolution, the revelation of events leaves the present unravelled as Annalise escapes to visit her Mother.
Known to be a door to the essence that makes Annalise, what will Ophelia Harkness have to offer to events in tonight’s season finale? Entitled ‘Anna Mae’ will we be taken back to a time before Annalise found herself locked in the battle between her moral compass and her role as a lawyer?
How To Get Away With Murder airs tonight at 10|9c on ABC!
[Featured Image Courtesy of ABC/Nicole Wilder; Source Content for Gifs: How to Get Away with Murder ABC, 2016 ]