If you haven’t watched the winter finale of “How to Get Away with Murder,” turn away now because some major spoilers are coming your way.
We’ve got a bit of a bone to pick with “How to Get Away with Murder” now that we know Wes (Alfred Enoch) was under the sheet, even though the flash forward to the night of the fire seemed to indicate that he was alive and well — and signing an immunity deal to testify against Annalise (Viola Davis).
“It was a gut decision,” showrunner Pete Nowalk says. “It was like the worst decision to have to make, and I think for me it was just how central he is to the show… I pushed it to the last minute… Not until the seventh episode, where we revealed Wes in the interrogation room at the end, did I make a decision.”
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So why the need to give the audience a red herring reveal that Wes was safe when he was actually slated for death? Nowalk says that tricking the audience was mostly an attempt to keep the stakes high for everyone instead of just whittling the list of possible victims down week by week.
“When we started, I didn’t know we were going to do that, but a few episodes into the season, I was like, ‘Oh, we’re going to be left with two people, and that’s not that fun,’” Nowalk says. “I think we’ve always done that with the show. We’ve always played with time and gone back and forth. To me it was just in the DNA of it. I’m sure some people will be really angry, but I’m like, ‘You know what you’re signing up for.’”
We’re willing to forgive the show for that particular trick, mostly because we agree that it would have been anti-climactic if either Nate (Billy Brown) or Frank (Charlie Weber) had ended up dead.
As for Alfred Enoch, he says there are no hard feelings about the decision to kill off Wes.
“I was sad for me because this show is a real pleasure to make in so many ways,” Enoch says. “That was kind of like my first thought, but then I felt bad for Wes. Like, how much has this poor guy suffered? And it ends unhappily after everything? It’s just like, goodness! In a way they put him out of his misery, so that’s something.”
If you’re still inconsolable about Wes’ death, never fear — he’ll be a big part of the second half of the season.
“He’s still here, he’s still in the show,” Nowalk says. “Nate said he was dead before the fire, so I think the assumption is that it’s murder. The question for the rest of the season is who killed him? We will get bits of pieces of those few hours throughout the back half of the season.”
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You can also look forward to some uplifting flashbacks, to give us a few last memories of Wes before he goes.
“We have to flashback to a lot of things. I think the first episode back, we flashback to a lot of moments we never saw that are kind of happy. We never got to see him very happy,” Nowalk says.
We’re keeping our fingers crossed for at least one final Keating 5 moment. Those kids might have only grown close because they were all in the same murder club, but the relationships there always felt like something close to a family. Hopefully we can flashback to one last happy study session or dance party before all is said and done, and Wes is gone for good.
“How to Get Away with Murder” returns January 19, 2017 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.