Tonight’s episode of How to Get Away With Murder: The Movie—seriously, it was a two-hour season finale—was a doozy. It was more layered than usual, which says a lot, so we will condense the suspenseful ride as much as we can without sparing too many details.
The episode opens with Oliver informing Connor that there’s a hearing the next day (with hopes of getting the charges against Annalise and Frank dropped) and that he should be there. Oliver also emphasizes that Connor should consider telling them. We’re not clear on what he’d be telling them, but um…you can only assume it’s going to be serious. Remember, last week’s episode ended with Connor trying to revive Wes?
Fast forward to the hearing. Atwood is on the stand admitting that she forged Nate’s signature to transfer the body. She claims she was protecting the evidence because Annalise has a history of tampering with evidence in order to manipulate cases. Bonnie points out that Wes’ body was cremated and insinuates that it was Atwood who made the order. Atwood claims she didn’t and the hearing ends for the day. Speaking of charges, Charles Mahoney was released from jail and Sylvia Mahoney announced to the media that she’s glad her son was cleared of killing her husband, but she’s not going to stop until they find the killer. At the moment, Annalise’s kids think Atwood is working with the Mahoney’s to take Annalise down. Annalise’s plan is that they have to take Atwood down because she’s the weak link in this (Nate got her WiFi password, so it’s about to be on). The camera cuts to Connor looking shady as hell and, finally, his secret comes out.
Let’s take it back to when Connor was hooking up with Oliver’s ex. He got Annalise’s voicemail asking him to come to the house, so he went, but he got there early. He went to the basement and found Wes already unconscious. He couldn’t find Wes’ pulse and he didn’t have his phone, which is why he didn’t call 911, so he tried to perform CPR, but Wes wouldn’t breathe. He kept doing the chest compressions, but then he heard Wes’ ribs crack and thinks that’s what could have killed him (that a bone punctured his lung), which is highly unlikely. This raises the point that the coroner changed her story. First, she mentioned that Wes was dead before the fire, then she said he died of asphyxiation by smoke. Why didn’t she mention the crack in his chest?
Anyway, Connor ran out of the house because he smelled gas and realized he didn’t have time to save Wes. Laurel accused Connor of killing Wes. Everyone else kind of thinks Connor didn’t do it, but they also don’t quite think he’s innocent because you know how they all do. Later on, Annalise gets Connor alone and after a heated discussion, she says she believes his story, but she needs him to believe in her, too.
While this is going on, Denver is trying to get Frank to sign a plea claiming that he killed Wes for Annalise. Frank turns it down, but then Denver claims that he’ll drag Laurel into this and say that he and Laurel killed Wes in love triangle situation. Denver adds that he has some dirt on Laurel. Frank is curious about what Denver has. Denver won’t tell, but Frank still doesn’t sign ish because he’s a g.
They can’t find anything on Atwood, but there was an unknown number they found in her files that kept popping up, but they decide not to call it—as if they’re going to really be able to hold out. They caught on to the cracked rib situation not being in the coroner’s report, so Connor thinks he should take the stand, which would prove yet another cover-up. Annalise won’t let him because then they’ll think he killed Wes, but offers Laurel as tribute.
The coroner is on the stand repeating her lie about the cause of death and then Laurel comes to to the stand. She retells Connor’s story, but saying it was her, and Denver destroys her testimony in the cross examination by implying she’s lying under oaf. He tarnishes her credibility with proof that she lied to authorities in the past. Basically, she signed a document admitting that she lied about being kidnapped, but he won’t let her explain herself. During recess, Laurel tells the crew that she really was kidnapped, but had to say she lied to protect her father. Huh? We don’t know why that is, but obviously, Laurel’s dad is a shady character too. Anyway, the case is going to trial because there’s too much evidence against Annalise despite Atwood’s blunder. Womp womp.
In the next scene, Connor visits Denver and tells him he wants Wes’ immunity deal. Denver leaves to draft the deal, Connor calls Michaela and tells her what he’s doing. He plans to tell them that Laurel lied for him. Michaela tells him this is a bad idea—duh—and that he needs to leave (and seriously work on this freak-out-under-pressure thing that he does) before Denver returns. During this same exchange, Asher cracks and calls the mystery number and guess what? The phone rings in Denver’s office. Yup. Denver had a burner phone. Connor freezes just as Denver walks in and catches him with the phone.
Flash back to the night of the murder.
Laurel walks into the house, and it turns out the unidentified person she noticed running from the house was Connor after discovering the gas line situation. After Connor runs out, we then see a shady character sitting in a car, in front of the house, on the phone saying, “It’s me, we have a problem, things got messy.” Then we go back even further back to Wes and Nate’s confrontation at Annalise’s house. Relax, Nate’s not the killer, but after their exchange, Wes makes a call to Annalise, leaves a voice message, and then a shadowy figure ambushes him.
Back in the present, Connor is missing. Annalise’s crew freaks out because they don’t know whether Connor ran away or got kidnapped and it turns out that Denver is the plug. He has been the puppet master trying to set up Annalise this entire time. He’s holding Connor hostage and demands he sign an immunity deal and testify against Annalise. Denver had Wes’s phone the entire time. He threatens to frame Connor if he doesn’t sign the deal.
At the same time we find Annalise sitting down with Mrs. Sylvia Mahoney for lunch. Annalise tries to call a truce. Sylvia refuses. Their conversation gets heated and then the bomb drops that Wes was actually Charles’ son (Charles raped Wes’ mom). This conversation doesn’t end on a friendly note, but we get enough clarity to know that the Mahoney’s are no longer implicated.
Nate confronts Denver and demands to know where Connor is. He also reveals he has been working for a while to take him down, and that he has evidence of Civil Rights violations, etc against him. Denver remains unbothered because at this moment, Connor is being arrested for the murder. The deal is off, but Connor claims he has something that can put Annalise away. Relax, Connor isn’t really selling her out. Basically. He tells them about Oliver’s copy of Annalise’s phone that contains Wes’ message, saying that they found Sam and Rebecca’s bodies, and that he doesn’t want her to go down for what he did. Annalise deleted the message because she wanted to protect Wes. That is why she told Oliver to erase her phone, but this evidence will actually save Annalise and company.
Annalise suggests they just pin it all on Wes to save them. Laurel is pissed about this, and it sucks, but this is the only way.
Annalise pays Denver a visit and starts from the beginning—like from the moment Wes killed Sam in defense of Rebecca. In another flash we’re back at the night of Wes’ murder. The shadowy figure injects Wes with something. Wes knocked the guy out, then crawled toward the door shouting for help as he begins fading. The perpetrator catches up with Wes and suffocates him. Back in the present, Annalise finisher her story, saying that Wes killed himself. Denver refuses to drop the charges, but Annalise informs him that Connor found the burner phone, so he better take her story and drop the charges or she will come for his entire life, including all the people he paid off in this conspiracy. Denver is obviously a smart man. He convinces the judge to drop the charges and his karma is getting destroyed by the press. He’s lucky that that’s all he got.
Michaela, Laurel and Asher are in New York trying to set up Charles, because they think he killed Wes, so they don’t get the news, which means they’re only going to make things worse.
The plan is for Michaela to seduce Charles and get close to him. It works, but iIn a series of events, we see Michaela and Asher having a change of heart, in the midst of exchanging “I love yous,” as Charles waits for Michaela to accompany him home. Laurel gets upset at them and storms after Charles, preparing to shoot him. That’s when Dominic, the man who killed Wes [GASP] steps up to say hello to Laurel because ermahgahd, what a coincidence!
It turns out, Dominic is Laurel’s family friend whose “coincidental” appearance keeps her from killing Charles (y’all know he was stalking them). Asher and Michaela catch up to Laurel and Dominic and are relieved. That’s when we cut back to Dominic in the car on the night of Wes’ murder. He was actually on the phone with Laurel’s father (and not Denver), explaining that “it got messy.” Yup. Dominic killed Wes.
The episode ends with Annalise still in her meeting, finally breaking down in tears—the one moment of normalcy, but like, we have questions. What was Atwood’s involvement? Are Denver and Laurel’s dad in kahootz? Why would Laurel’s dad want Wes dead? Isn’t that a bit excessive? What does Laurel really know? There’s more, but none of our questions will be answered until the fall. Sigh…