Who (Might Have) Shot Annalise On #HTGAWM [UPDATED]

In my earlier post on season two of How To Get Away With Murder I mentioned we won’t know who shot Annalise Keating until the point when the writers can’t hide it any longer, and it looks like we’re two episodes away from that point. Thinking back to last year’s two big reveals – who killed Sam and who killed Lila – we couldn’t have made a realistic guess because the writer’s held the final reveal until the very last second.

I think the same will happen here. They might even do a little misdirection like they did with Sam. So while I think it’s a fool’s errand to go predicting who will shoot Annalise, I think it is worth taking a look back at what they’ve given us in the seven episode so far this fall. Every episode begins and ends around the Hapstall mansion and recent weeks have drawn in nearly every character relevant in season two. Here is a look back at each, starting with the season premiere.

Episode 1
Characters: Wes, Annalise
Wes is seen running from the Hapstall mansion.

Episode 2 – Two Months Earlier
Characters: Wes, Michaela, Laurel
Open
Wes is running from the mansion like in episode one. He meets Michaela and Laurel, who are looking for Connor. Connor is with the bleeding Annalise telling her it’s not her fault.

Close
Connor is with Annalise as the other three run in and convince him to leave her. As they run out of the mansion they go past the dead body of Emily Sinclair, the prosecutor going after Nate.

Episode 3 – 7 Weeks Earlier
Characters: Wes, Michaela, Laurel, Connor, Nate
Open
The four students are running out the mansion’s gate. Nate is in a car, calling Annalise but she can’t get to her phone in time.

Close
The four students are running in the woods and hid from a car, which turns out to be Nate, who gives them a ride. He’s in a police cruiser.

Episode 4 – 4 Weeks Earlier
Characters: Wes, Michaela, Laurel, Connor, Nate, Caleb Hapstall
Open
Law enforcement and paramedics are at the mansion with Annalise. The four students are still in the car with Nate when Michaela gets a call.

Close
Their car pulls up to an apartment building. Nate stresses that the only way they can get in trouble is to worry about things they can’t control. Laurel interjects that killing someone can get them in trouble. Nate reassures and says to focus. He sends Michaela inside. She goes into an apartment where Caleb Hapstall is waiting. He asks how she is, she assures him she’s fine but he gives her a look.

Episode 5 – 3 Weeks Earlier
Characters: Bonnie, Asher
Open
Bonnie runs out of the mansion, past Emily’s dead body. She gets into the driver’s seat of a car with Asher waiting. She promises him it’s almost over.

Close
Bonnie pulls into a gas station where she runs into the bathroom and ditches her bloody undershirt. The blood is under her left chest, similar to where Annalise was shot. She has blood all over her arms. When she comes out the car is still there but Asher is gone, he’s at the police station and says he needs to make a statement.

Episode 6 – 2 Weeks Earlier
Characters: Frank, Catherine Hapstall
Open
Annalise is brought into the emergency room where a frantic Frank follows her until he is removed. He leaves the ER, past a security camera, then calmly walks to his car where Catherine is unconscious in the back.

Close
Frank lays Catherine’s body in the woods. A cop finds her right as she awakens with a shirt covered in blood spatter.

Episode 7 – 4 Days Earlier
Characters: Michaela, Connor
Open
At the mansion, Michaela and Connor come down a set of interior steps as he tells her she doesn’t have to come if she doesn’t want to and that there are no excuses this time. Laurel and Wes overhear them and wonder what to do. Wes says to stop them and he has a gun.

Close
Michaela and Connor are just out of the mansion, Laurel and Wes are outside on an upper level. Connor tells Michaela not to turn back. Right then Emily’s body lands in behind them. They look up to see Bonnie standing above all of them on an upper level of the mansion.

The only ones we haven’t seen at the mansion this point are Frank, the Hapstalls and Oliver (whose fate is up in the air after the most recent episode). But the timing of what they gave us in episode seven is significant.

What happened here – Michaela and Connor leaving while Laurel and Wes, with gun in hand, overhear – happened before Emily died, meaning before what we saw at the mansion in every previous episode. Emily’s body first appeared at the close of episode two as Connor, Wes, Michaela and Laurel ran past it after the later three convinced Connor to leave Annalise.

Here are the questions that leaves:

  • Connor has to go back into the mansion at some point. Why?
  • Wes had to be separated from Michaela and Laurel at some point. How? What do those two do that gets them outside the mansion?
  • Wes didn’t have the gun when we first saw him running from the mansion. Where did it go? Is it the same gun he gets from Rebecca’s brother? Is it the gun used to shoot Annalise?
  • Is this why Bonnie was running out of the mansion?

We’ll get the answers to these questions, and probably others we don’t even know to ask, in the next two weeks.

 

UPDATE

And the latest from episode 8 – three days earlier.

Characters: Connor, Wes, Laurel, Michaela, Bonnie

Open

The four come running back into the house with Laurel saying “You seriously thought we wouldn’t notice?” and they are arguing. Connor says, “How are you both okay with this?” Bonnie comes down the stairs and meets them. She tells Connor there was no decision here and to agree or he’s the next dead body out there. Bonnie then asks for and gets the gun from Wes. She goes walking away.

There was no closing mansion scene. Instead the episode ending with the shocker that it may have been Katherine who shot her parents in tandem with her inbred brother. Caleb took Michaela to a heating vent where he found the gun hidden a week ago. Wes noticed one of Katherine’s paintings in the background of a photo of Philip (the inbred brother) playing video games.

So do we need to add Katherine and Philip to our suspect list? Annalise was exceptionally harsh toward him tonight, but he proved himself by bribing a lab assistant to run a DNA test that helped avoid Katherine taking a plea deal.

I still believe there’s something as yet unrevealed that we will need to know before we can reasonably guess who shoots Annalise. We’ll learn in 7 days.

 

 

 

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How How To Get Away With Murder Gets Away With Everything

When they kept playing the promo clip of Annalise Keating writing on her chalkboard and drawing out the phrase “Howww to get aaawaaaay with muuurrrderrr” last fall I couldn’t get over how truly awful that show sounded. I’ve not been a big Scandal fan – tried the pilot, thought it was pretty lame – so the Shonda Rhimes connection didn’t do it for me either.

For some reason I watched the HTGAWM pilot.

I…loved it! Instantly hooked. Viola Davis was dynamite, oozing control and power in every scene. Spectacular. It made the show all the more impactful when they started to peel back the layers of Annalise’s invulnerability, and that was when HTGAWM shined. When Annalise took off her wig for the first time. When she confronted Sam. “Why’s your penis on a dead girl’s phone.” Bam!

Annalise is essentially a female anti-hero in the mold of all the male roles we (or I, at least) have grown tired of. But we see so few female characters in that role it’s not tired when Viola Davis does it. Keating is a brilliant lawyer who almost always wins and loves saving the underdog; she’s also a controlling, at times belligerent, figure who stops at nothing to portray and protect her power over everyone around her. The people who should hate her can’t hate her because she made them. Her control is absolute.

The best example came toward the end of season one when Bonnie dropped to her knees at Annalise’s feet to beg for continued acceptance. That’s why it was no shock to see Bonnie suffocate Rebecca in the basement. She knows Annalise is keeping at least one, probably two, killers in her circle. And they’re closer to Annalise than anyone. Bonnie wants to be that close. That’s the Annalise character in full glory.

Annalise is morally flawed in countless ways, as is every character on the show. It embraces and flaunts their shortcomings so freely that everything that happened in season one was completely believable. No one flinched when Frank emerged as Lila’s killer because it’s not a leap to believe knowing the way he uses his position to get in bed with Annalise’s students. It’s essential we see and believe their moral flaws in order for the show to create suspense. Everyone has to be a potential killer in order for someone to be.

I saw a note from a TV critic on Twitter that ABC didn’t send out the usual screeners for the season two premier. The critic speculated this happens when something big is going down, and she was right. If you’re going to end the episode with Annalise gasping for breath in a pool of blood you don’t want it being leaked.

So that’s our storyline for season two. Two months in the future, someone will shoot Annalise in the mansion of two children suspected of knife murdering their adopted parents. Just before the cliffhanger we hear the gunshot and see Wes running from the house. Did he do it? Last season would instruct us that there is much we don’t yet know, and won’t know until the moment when the writers can no longer hide it.