It's not about who shot Annalise, but why they shot her...
Whilst the tension between our two main protagonists in How To Get Away With Murder was always been a bit uncomfortable; fans towed the line on whether it was sexual or, as it seems to be shaping up; parental.
With a focus on adoption and more lately, Parental death in season 2, like Bonnie; is Wes the result of a relationship between Annalise and, her uncle/abuser? - as mentioned in season 1, episode 13.
Whilst the argument between Bonnie and Annalise in last week’s episode seemed to be over the revelation of Bonnie’s past to Asher, Bonnie reveals that it is something she deals with every day, to which Annalise responds ‘So do I’. Is it possible that she was referring to more than just her protectiveness over Bonnie? Despite her attitude towards Annalise since the death of Sam, are their shared histories something that will bond the two forever? In covering up Rebecca’s murder, Is Annalise protecting Bonnie; a symbol of what she could have become, and her biological son Wes from more loss?
With seeds planted in season 1 taking a bigger focus with season two’s theme of adoption; throughout a drawn out legal case, Asher’s joke regarding this same theory in season 1 episode 2, and the revelation that Wes was adopted, was met with a dismissal that served as a red herring for audience members. It is only until last week’s episode that this misdirect became apparent, as fans had previously continued to wonder about Annalise’s obsession with Wes; especially following an uncomfortable nightclub scene.
Who other than Annalise would be capable of covering up a child? With the moral path Annalise is on, as she takes on different court cases; often defending the guilty, it is Wes’ pain that has her revealing to ex-love Eve; played by Famke Janssen, that “it’s him”.
With the season’s mission to unveil who shot Annalise in a flash forward, the present meets the future, with one episode to go before we found out who shot Annalise and, why. What seems like a personal vendetta in the present, is beginning to look like an elaborate set up in our flash forwards.
Whilst Bonnie, whose obsession with Sam, and current tension with Annalise lends itself to a growing oedipal complex for the woman that has nurtured her career; it seems that her hatred is anchored in the past; only wishing Annalise dead only to undo what she has done.
As last week’s episode revealed Bonnie to be at the site of ADA Sinclair’s death; is Bonnie loyal to Annalise, or hiding her witnesses?
Instead, it is Frank who has me leaning towards the idea of a setup. In a flash forward that has Frank giving an unguarded, emotional plea to Annalise’s doctors, it is revealed to be of false concern as he gives a knowing look towards security cameras.
It is only with last week’s episode that I begin to doubt this theory; as Frank’s growing relationship with Laurel, and invitation of Oliver into the Keating 5, has his associations falling outside of his loyalty to the Keatings'. With the plurality of this, we are reminded that Frank was loyal to Sam in murdering Lila on his behalf.
With Frank introducing Laurel to his vibrant family; his loyalty may be to the woman who he let in. Another Red Herring appears when Annalise tells him to kill Emily Sinclair in last week’s episode; it would be too neat and tidy; and disappointing, to have Frank be a killer twice.
Also leaning towards a setup, and clearing Nate of motive is Eve. Whilst she warns that contact between Annalise and Nate is crazy; it may have inspired an idea that leant Nate to the protection of the Keating 5 after Annalise is shot. Whilst the season tried to shape Wes’ and Nate’s relationship as a conspiracy against Annalise, Annalise’s emotional honesty with Nate, may protect her. With Nate’s manipulation of his dead wife’s nurse, will she be roped in to keep Annalise alive? To quote Eve; “Nate knows the plan, that’s all you need to know”.
Also non-suspect is Asher; whilst an initiation to murder, may speed up his closeness to the team, his goal is to act on the Trotter Lake incident. Assuming he does so in the next 2 episodes, we have a clear motive for Bonnie killing Sinclair; who seemed relentless against Asher’s father when he clears himself of her grip.
In last week’s episode, we also saw Wes holding a gun at the Hapstall’s residence where Annalise is shot. It is revealed in the episode that he finds the gun, only to place it back, where Levi stashed it; meaning that there are only 2 suspects that accessorize our shooter. Whether or not Levi escaped from jail, or Wes continues his vendetta and shoots Annalise is yet to be determined.
With such a giveaway before the big reveal, I find it unlikely that Wes shoots Annalise; unless she is in on it. More so, it seems that Levi; or Levi WEScott, served as the ‘ghost of murder’s future’; to warn Wes of the instability of hate. With Levi away in jail, he seems to have fulfilled his role; and Wes’ vendetta seems to have calmed somewhat since.
With parallels set up to Mother Teresa last week; Annalise is reinforced as the protector of her vulnerable children…or students.
With another red herring, making the idea of a shooting anything else but a set up, seems to be Philip Jessup/Hapstall; who is suspected of murder due to white man rage. Upon kidnapping Oliver, it is likely that Philip wants his named cleared. With more references to season 1, it is possible that Catherine Hapstall is being framed as a sleepwalking killer. As Frank dumps her sleeping body in the woods; to be found by police; does Annalise’s shooting serve as supportive evidence to clearing the twins (of premeditated murder at least)?
Whilst I initially feared for Oliver’s life, I believe he will come out either more entwined with the team than ever; having acquired Philip’s DNA to clear the twins, or wanting out; as his character was never meant to be permanent.
Another suspect is Michaela, whose implication in the shooting is implied when Connor says it’s all her fault, it’s always her fault; referencing Sam. Whilst Caleb and Catherine are to remain unaware of Philip, it is likely that Michaela; now romantically linked to Caleb, tells him and in turn brings events to the Hapstall residence on the night of the shooting.
Alternatively, Levi; also linked romantically to Michaela, may end up being the shooter after all.
Still a mystery is a man, Laurel bumped into last week when she was calling Annalise. With no evidence as to who he is, the moment would be disappointedly redundant. if it turns out not to have a purpose to the plot.
What started out as Wes’ mission to find Rebecca, has since shifted towards the tensions within the group. Will Rebecca rise up again to trigger the events of the Winter finale? Will her body be discovered alongside Catherine Hapstall in the woods? or, will her story be dragged out for the rest of the season?
How To Get Away With Murder season 2 continues tonight at 9|8c!