[Trust us, you don't want to read ahead unless you've watched the mid-season premiere of How to Get Away with Murder. Seriously!]
Was that a rollercoaster we were just on or the midseason premiere of ABC's How to Get Away with Murder? The latter, of course!
Given the midseason finale set up a lot of story lines that needed to be taken care of—the fate of Laurel's baby, the fate of Laurel, the fate of Asher in jail, the fate of Oliver and Michaela post-Simon's death to name but a few fates—and the drama returned in full force.
Plus, a new photo from the episode is out!
Luckily, TV Insider talked to creator/showrunner Pete Nowalk about everything that went down in the episode—and got some excellent teases about what's to come. Let's dive in:
She started the fourth season by letting her team of students free but we all knew they'd be back together in no time. And while it's easy to guess what Annalise's (Viola Davis) connection is to Laurel (Karla Souza) and her baby, Nowalk offered his take.
"I think there's a basic human connection to the baby," Nowalk said. "But I think there's a deeper psychological emotional underpinning of the fact that she lost a baby. I think there's also a big thing about this being the baby that she thinks is Wes's so his spirit can move on. I don't think Annalise is thinking any of that in those moments. I think she's just acting on instinct. But obviously, that's all there and it's churning up a lot of her past."
Is Laurel truly cray cray?
Annalise saw possibly doctored documents stating Laurel's mental past, being bi-polar and cocaine use. But remember when we saw that flashback where Laurel tells Michaela (Aja Naomi King) she's off her anti-depressants due to her pregnancy...so, is Laurel's state of mind compromised?
"That is intentionally unclear," Nowalk stated. "Some of those things will be true and some of them won't be true and that will become clear in the next few episodes. I think what's great about the question you're asking is some of the characters are asking that, too. Obviously, Isaac asks that of Annalise in the episode. She chooses to believe Laurel. But in the clear light of day, everyone might start to wonder if they really know Laurel."
Why did Frank really kill Dominic?
We've seen Frank (Charlie Weber) kill many times before and we know he'll do anything for those he cares about/feels indebted to. But since Dominic (Nicholas Gonzalez) was actually trying to warn Laurel about her father, why did he beat him to a pulp and then snap his neck?
"Frank has a very violent, sick bloodlust inside of him that can come out at any moment, especially if he's pushed or not thinking straight," Nowalk said. "This was one of those moments, and I think it must have felt really good to kill the guy that killed Wes. Wes died in such a brutal, painful way that I think Frank was just giving Dominic what he deserved."
Will Frank and Laurel get back together?
Okay, there's a lot going on and while romance might not be at the forefront, it's clear Frank still loves Laurel very much. Is there a future for them as a couple or is their relationship truly in the past?
"I would say be patient about that," said Nowalk. "Obviously they're connected. They both have told each other they loved each other at certain points. Right now, they're about taking care of each other. They're in a survivalist mentality and not at all thinking about romance. Be patient."
Annalise + Isaac
Another compelling relationships has been that of Annalise and her shrink, Isaac (Jimmy Smits), who we found out has some issues of his own. What does the future hold for them since he's definitely been pulled even more into her crazy world?
"Their relationship has clearly segued outside of a doctor-patient relationship," Nowalk said. "I do not think their relationship can go back to that therapist office in any sort of professional manner. We left Annalise saying probably the most horrible thing you can say to Issac, which is "You drove your daughter to commit suicide. I will say they're not done. Luckily, we have Jimmy Smith for a lot more episodes." He added, "I think they both need each other and that allows them to get deeper with each other. And, of course, we're gonna find out more about Isaac and his daughter in particular."
Simon says...or not
So maybe poor Simon (Behzad Dabu), after professing his love to Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) and accidentally shooting himself in the head, is hanging on by a thread but, come on, in the land of HTGAWM, if someone isn't dead, there's probably a reason why, right?
"He was shot in the head so I think that his memory is incomplete," said Nowalk, "but unless someone is dead, they're not done on this show. And even if they're dead, things always come back to haunt our people."
Who has the hard drive?
Nowalk explains, "I'm just going to put it very clearly, it's the thing that could get Laurel her baby back. That's what they think. Laurel's dad probably doesn't want the baby, he wants to not be taken down. So if they can get that hard drive, Laurel thinks she can get her baby back. We will discover who has it by the end of the season."
More Wes to come?
It was a bittersweet jolt to see Alfred Enoch (right) again in the show and since Wes's death plays a lot into what our gang has gotten themselves into this season. Will we see him again before the season wraps up?
"I will say yes, we will see him more," Nowalk said. "I won't tell you in what context. Why Wes was killed is the main question of this season so we have to answer that. We will be talking about Wes and the characters will be talking about him, and we will see him again."
The show has been as strong as ever this season but there hasn't been a renewal yet. Is one coming? "You know as much about Season 5 as I do at this point," Nowalk said. "Obviously, my hope is that we get to make a season five. Fingers crossed. ABC has been very good to us. Viola still wants to do it. I still want to do it. Once we get the final pickup, then I'll actually start thinking about it in a real way. Obviously, I have ideas but I don't like to jinx anything until we get our pickup."
How to Get Away with Murder, Thursdays, 10/9c, ABC