‘How To Get Away With Murder’ Creator Teases What’s To Come After Major Death (SPOILERS)

Elizabeth Wagmeister
Variety

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead if you have not watched the midseason finale of “How to Get Away With Murder,” titled “Who’s Dead?” which aired on Thursday, Nov. 17.

This midseason finale of “How To Get Away With Murder” finally revealed who was under the sheet: it was Wes (Alfred Enoch).

The shocking death was followed by yet another shocker — Wes was dead before the night of the house fire. (For a more detailed recap of tonight’s episode, click here.)

The bombshell about Wes’ death sets up the central mystery for the back-half of Season 3: who killed Wes?

“The mystery really is who killed Wes, and within that, there’s a lot of twists and turns,” creator Pete Nowalk tells Variety, teasing what to expect in the second half of the season, which will return on Jan. 19. While that mystery will consume the rest of Season 3, Nowalk promises that viewers will begin to get answers as soon as the show returns in 2017. “We’re going to see what happened to him right as we left him in the first episode back, so we’re going to turn over the cards pretty quickly.”

And everything will change, now that Wes is dead.

“One of the things that we’re going to watch is that it’s very emotional for all of the characters so they’re going to either kill each other or have to love each other,” he says with a laugh. (But, this is “How To Get Away With Murder,” so maybe Nowalk isn’t kidding.) “It changes the dynamic between every single relationship because Wes was such a centerpiece.”

Here, Pete Nowalk talks to Variety about the decision to kill off Wes, how much we’ll continue to see Wes in episodes going forward, plus, how will Annalise do in jail?

When did you decide Wes was the one under the sheet?

I didn’t know until [working on] episode seven, which was when we were premiering…I would go with my gut and talk about it with the writers…When we revealed that Wes was alive in that interrogation room, that’s when I knew that it should be him. But I put off the decision for as long as I could.

Why Wes?

It’s not about the shock value. It’s about the story and what puts the character though hell — honestly that’s what you look for…I wanted to see how [Annalise] would react to his, and it’s going to be really gripping. The things that Viola gets to do now, it’s just going to be really f—ed up.

Can you tease those f—ed up things Annalise (Viola Davis) will do?

Oh it’s going to be good. One of the things that Viola’s always pushing me to do is go even more rock bottom. To see how Annalise copes in prison, she’s going to have to put on a whole different mask…she’s going to have to cope in different ways. Prisons are over-crowded — she’s got some cell mates. She’s excited to play it and that’s how I always know if we’re going in the right direction because I don’t think Annalise wants to be in jail…And it’s not going to be easy to get out of this one.

How long will she be in jail for?

She’ll be in there maybe longer than people think.

Will we still see Wes in the second half of Season 3?

Yes. That was one of the things that made me feel better about the decision, and also for the audience…the Wes fans, especially. We’re going to have to reveal what happened after he walked out those doors so it’s a lovely story-telling technique that never makes me have to say goodbye to people, like we still see Sam (Tom Verica) once in a while, and I’m sure we’ll see Rebecca (Katie Findlay) one day. He’ll be in the rest of the season, basically. And who knows beyond — if we’ll have another season, or if we’ll go to prequels or something.

Have you thought about if Wes/Alfie Enoch would be a series regular in Season 4, should the show get renewed?

No. That’s the only way I know how to do the job is just to do episode-to-episode.

What was your conversation like with Alfie when you told him that he was being killed off?

He’s a dream. It’s the hardest decision I had to make in the show, but all the actors are just so professional. He smiled and told me he thought it was a good idea…Alfie is just the most gracious, professional, generous person. I think he instantly felt bad for the rest of the cast because I think they’re all so close…it was weird. I put them through a really weird experience…it was kind of like an awful reality show that we put them through. I think they were obviously really upset and that made me feel like a jerk.

Are you worried about how the fans will react to Wes being killed off?

I’m more emotionally invested in this than anything. I think the fans are going to be really mad and some will be really sad.

Do you know who killed Wes? Is that a pre-determined plan, or is it still in the works?

Honesty, I’m still thinking everything…a little bit. We only have four episodes left to write, so I have to get to where I want to go, but I’m willing to change my mind…anything is possible. It could be anyone of those knuckleheads, or it could be someone from outside, too.

Is it possible that maybe Wes killed himself?

Everything is possible.

Most people are assuming that the father of Laurel’s (Karla Souza) baby is Wes. When will we know?

We’ll find that out in the first episode back, as well. I didn’t want to do “Bridget Jones’ Baby” for too long. Laurel has a huge decision.

One of the most emotional scenes was when Meggy (Corbin Reid) and Laurel embraced each other in the hospital, as they watched the news and found out that Wes was dead. Can we expect to see more Meggy?

Meggy, she works in the hospital where Laurel will have to be for a little bit, so she’s definitely not going away. And I think the police will want to talk to her.

It was such a moment of relief when Connor (Jack Falahee) walked into the hospital because Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) assumed he was dead. Any chance they will get back together?

I think for sure. Obviously Oliver’s big question is that he knows a lot more now…I think Oliver has a lot of power now to ruin them all or to help them. Also, he’s normal, so how is he going to react to this in a way that’s normal? It’s kind of refreshing. In terms of their relationship, the drama of who slept with who, I think that’s must less important than the police after them.

#WhoKilledWes will be the central mystery of the new episodes, but what other storylines can we expect to be resolved?

There are still relationships that are fractured, like Annalise and Frank (Charlie Weber) — we still don’t know what’s going to happen with them.

Will there be new mysteries that come up, or will the back-half of the season mostly be wrapping everything else up?

If there’s a new mystery, that would be at the end of the season.

In terms of the format of the back-half of the season, will you still use the flash-forward technique?

It will change. It won’t be so consistently flash-forwards. If anything, we’ll just be doing flashbacks to the hours between when Wes left the police station and the fire. It’s basically like what the heck happened to him in those few hours?

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