Do you hear that? That’s the sound of me tooting my own horn. As a person who is rarely right about mysteries, I have to congratulate myself on a mid-episode prediction for the winter finale of the first season of How to Get Away with Murder. We finally found out who killed Viola Davis’ nasty, philandering husband, but there was one more twist on the way. ABC couldn’t possibly allow us to go through the holidays thinking everything was wrapped up, right?
Who killed Sam?! Who killed Sam?! Who killed Sam?! This phrase was floating around for the last three weeks, and the audience was just salivating to find out who smacked Sam over the head with that trophy. The beginning of the episode picks up exactly where we left off: Annalise reveals to her husband that she called the district attorney and called for all of Lila Stangard’s professors to provide DNA. In the hunt for the baby daddy of a dead girl, one cannot leave any penis unturned.
The confrontation between Sam and Annalise might be the most explosive of the season, and that’s saying something. Surely, I am not the only one in thinking that we were going to find out who killed Sam at the very beginning, right? Annalise throws her affair with Nate in Sam’s face (finally!), he slams her up against the wall, and he delivers an acid-tongued tirade calling Annalise a “good piece of ass” and a “disgusting slut.” No one is sad to see Sam go. It’s a great opening to an already buzzed about winter finale.
Oh, you’re still wondering who killed him? Michaela shows up to turn in the trophy, but Annalise isn’t home. As she talks to a drunken Sam, he catches Rebecca trying to get upstairs to steal information from Sam’s laptop that will prove that he killed Lila. He chases after Rebecca, she locks herself in a bedroom, and a frantic Michaela calls the rest of the Keating Clan for backup. Ah, the scene is set. Right when you think everyone has calmed down, Sam lunges towards Laurel, and Michaela shoves him over the railing on the staircase. He lands with a crunching thud on the first floor, and everyone starts re-evaluating their home renovations. The students think he’s dead but, moments later, he’s alive and strangling Rebecca on the floor. And that’s when Wesley Gibbons—Captain Wait List—strikes Sam over the head with the trophy.
After Sam officially bites it, the timelines converge, and How to Get Away showcases a lot of the material we watched in the previous eight episodes. There are some new tidbits, though, that prevent this from becoming a total recap episode. Bonnie made out with a forward gentleman at a bar before she decided to call Asher for that booty call (“I’m a grown ass woman who knows what she wants when she wants it. Now get over here”), and Annalise hooked up with Nate in a scene that will be responsible for all the immaculate conceptions across the country.
What’s the twist that I called halfway through the episode? There were an abundance of theories online regarding Sam’s death. How to Get Away is the show of the fall season that blows everyone’s minds every week, so I decided to go out on a limb and predict something about the murder of Sam Keating. I texted fellow ADTV contributor in the middle of the episode and asked, “what if Annalise asked Wes to kill her husband?” At the very end of the episode (after Annalise calls her loyal students into her office to warn them that the police are going to ask them a lot of questions regarding Sam and Lila), Annalise thanks Wes, and the action flashes back to the night Sam was killed. Wes went back to the house to collect the trophy, but Annalise was sitting at her desk, her husband’s bloody body still sprawled on the floor. I’m not sure if I will be able to shake Davis’ facial expression off my face for a while. Wesley Gibbons—everyone’s least favorite character on everyone’s favorite new show—was appointed by Annalise to kill her husband. Hope he’s getting an A for the rest of the semester.
THAT’S how you leave your audience wanting more when you don’t come back for 2 months. Take note struggling shows.