An original How to Get Away With Murder cast member is stepping away as the ABC drama nears the finish line.
Sources confirm to TVLine exclusively that Karla Souza — who played OG Keating 5 member Laurel Castillo — will not be back as a series regular for the current sixth and final season. The character of Laurel went missing in the Season 5 finale, and Thursday’s Season 6 opener (read recap) — which notably did not feature Souza’s name in the opening credits — offered few clues about her whereabouts.
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Despite the status change, it seems likely that Souza will at the very least make a guest appearance or two (or three) before the series ends. In a recent interview with TVLine, showrunner Peter Nowalk called the plot surrounding Laurel’s disappearance one of “the biggest mysteries this season,” adding, “We’ll try to be giving you answers as quickly as possible [as to] where Laurel and [son] Christopher are… Laurel’s done some shady things in the past, so the possibility of her disappearing herself is very real. Or, because her family is so crazy, they could have taken her. Or someone else could have taken her. All of these questions are on the characters’ minds and the audience’s mind, so we’ll be trying to provide them with clues as to what really happened.”
ABC announced in July that HTGAWM‘s sixth season would be its last. “Deciding to end this series was a brutal decision, but ultimately the story tells you what to do — as it did here,” Nowalk said at the time. “For me, Annalise Keating’s journey has always had a clear ending. Knowing I have 15 episodes left to finish her story, and the chance to give all the characters their own killer endings, is a gift rarely given to a series creator.” (With reporting by Rebecca Iannucci)