‘How to Get Away With Murder’: Annalise’s Shooter Explains What Happened
Spoiler alert! Stop reading now if you haven’t yet watched Thursday’s How to Get Away With Murder.
How to get away with attempted murder? Have your boss beg you to shoot her!
The season-long mystery of who shot Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) was finally resolved in last night’s deliciously pretzel-plotted fall finale:
It was Wes (Alfred Enoch)!
The very same member of the Keating Five who, not long ago, killed Annalise’s husband, Sam. So much for being an “innocent” Puppy.
But to help explain the why, the ABC drama created by Pete Nowalk first revealed who offed ADA Sinclair: Fellow Keating Fiver Asher (Matt McGorry), who, in a fit of rage and grief over his father’s suicide, ran down the prosecutor with his car after she bad-mouthed his dad. When Asher turned to ex-girlfriend Bonnie (Liza Weil) for help, Annalise decided that the best way to cover up that crime was to pin it on her former client, Catherine Hapstall, who’d conveniently gone MIA. And to really sell Catherine’s guilt, Annalise dialed 911 to report that Ms. Hapstall had just shot her, then proceeded to try to convince several of her students to pull the trigger. While Connor (Jack Falahee) came close, Wes ultimately did the deed—but only after Annalise confessed that his girlfriend Rebecca wasn’t missing, as she’s repeatedly insisted, but in fact dead.
And with that, Wes didn’t bother aiming the gun at Annalise’s leg, as the brilliantly manipulative defense attorney had proposed, but rather delivered a far more devastating blow to the stomach. He might’ve finished her off, too, if not for a wounded Annalise’s repeated cries of “Christophe.” Which, as it was revealed in an episode-closing flashback, is Wes’ real name. The one he was called when, as a 12-year-old child, he sat in an interrogation room after the apparent suicide of his mother while a young Annalise and her on-off girlfriend Eve (Famke Janssen) looked on and wondered, “What did we do?”
We sat down with Enoch to get the scoop on that unexpected twist, why he’s not sorry his character was Annalise’s shooter and what’s in store for Wes when Murder returns for the rest of season two in February.
In last year’s fall finale, we found out that Wes killed Sam. And this time around, we learned—
That I didn’t kill Annalise! [Laughs] Asher actually killed someone. Wes just badly wounded Annalise when she wanted to be wounded.
He definitely aimed that gun a little higher than she wanted, though.
Oh yeah, he means to kill her. He wanted to finish her off.
Wes is turning out to have quite the violent streak, isn’t he?
But wouldn’t you? I mean, if someone you loved was getting strangled by someone you thought had the capacity to kill and you had something at hand, you’d hit them over the head, like Wes did [to Sam]. Then to find out that someone you work for, who’s your teacher that you have a relationship with and [despite] how manipulative she is, you think you can trust her to some degree, at least with bigger things—to find out she killed Rebecca, or at least he thinks she is responsible—it’s not a surprise he reacted that way.
So it made sense to you that Wes would be the one who’d shoot Annalise?
Oh, yeah. Absolutely. That doesn’t bother me at all. [Laughs] Just like last season, I was like, of course he hits Sam over the head to protect Rebecca!
Imagine what he’ll do when he finds out it was actually Bonnie who killed Rebecca.
AE: Yeah, that’s a big problem. I don’t know what the [writers] have got cooking up, but that will be huge. I don’t think it’s just gonna be like, ‘Well, I tried to kill Annalise, you killed Rebecca, it’s all water under the bridge.’ I can’t see that happening.
Were you happy Wes finally learned Rebecca’s fate?
Yeah, that’s huge. I’m glad he knows because I didn’t want that to be something that just gets dropped. I was like, this is the most important thing to him, finding out what happened to Rebecca, because she was the most important person in his life. Beyond the fact of how he feels about her, it was intensified and the stakes of their relationship were even higher because of what he did to protect her. After he killed Sam, it was like, ‘I killed someone for you. I’ve gotta live with that. And we’ve gotta make this relationship work.’ So all this season, I’ve wanted to respect the importance of Wes finding out what happened to her. I didn’t want it to look like he’s just parked that. Like, ‘oh, ok, I guess time will tell what happened to her!’ I think it’s cool he found out. The question for me was what he’d do when he found out, and now we know what he does about it.
The only thing that actually stopped Wes from shooting Annalise again was her calling him by his real name.
Yeah. I was really pushing for Etienne or Jean-Marc. I genuinely pitched those names, but [creator] Pete [Nowalk] didn’t go for that. He liked Christophe. I was like, oooookay. Then we were laughing at the thought of V [Viola Davis] lying there on the floor being like [adopts French accent], ‘Jean-Marc! Jean- Marc!’ [Laughs]
What did you think when you learned of the Annalise-knowing-Wes-as-a-kid twist?
It surprised me. People are always like, ‘What’s going on? Why are they so close?’ And I’m like, well it makes sense to me. They’re bound together by the circumstances which occur over the course of the first season. He walks in on her [hooking up with Nate] and that would’ve been enough in my opinion to bring them together. Not like, ‘Oh, let’s talk about it.’ But Wes represented a problem, and she needed to make sure he kept quiet about Nate because she didn’t want her husband to know. It gave her a reason to seek him out, and the relationship kind of went from there. So, for me, I wasn’t like, there needs to be something else to bind them together. But I think it’s kind of cool that there is. It’s interesting. It gives them some more backstory.
The fact that she knew Wes when his mother died raises a lot of new questions, like to what degree has she been influencing his life all along? He was waitlisted for college. Could she be the reason he made it off the waitlist and into her class?
Maybe. I don’t really know an answer to that. And I don’t really speculate that much. Pete will make the decision on that. But I mean, it’s probably dramatically interesting and useful, so why not? [Laughs]
The kid who played the young Wes/Christophe looks so much like you!
Yeah, he’s great. He walked in ‘full of beans,’ as my dad would say. Just super-enthusiastic, really confident but clearly very bright and good-humored. We just happened to be in the makeup trailer at the same time, and I said hi, and it was great because he really did look like me. He looks like I used to look. I could see a good resemblance there.
Do you have any idea what Eve was referring to in the flashback when she asked Annalise, ‘What did we do?’
I really don’t know.
You’re already filming the February premiere, so what can you tell us about what’s going on with Wes when the show returns? What frame of mind is he in?
F–ked up in the head is probably pretty accurate. I mean, he’s dealing with the fact that he just shot someone who is close to him, for better or worse, and he has a complicated relationship with. She has done things that have earned his trust, as well as things to lose it, so there’s an intimacy there. He’s dealing with all of that. And he thinks Annalise killed his girlfriend. Or had her killed. So that’s a difficult work scenario for him to return to, don’t you think? [Laughs] I’m glad we’re going to get to see where it goes, what it means for Wes and Annalise’s relationship.
What else would you like to see happen in the second half of the season?
AE: I find it quite interesting that both Wes and Asher have now lost a parent to suicide and killed someone. So, like, maybe they’ll just start rolling deep. Kickin’ it. Talk about their problems, have a therapy session with each other, and go out for drinks. Try and game some ladies. I mean, Wes has to move on after Rebecca, and Asher’s gotta move on after Bonnie, right?
I smell a spin-off.
Wes and Asher’s Road to Nowhere. That’d be great! It could be a jaunty comedy.