Tonight we bid farewell to ABC’s thrilling legal drama How to Get Away With Murder. After the success of Shonda Rhimes’ Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, Shondaland and Pete Nowalk laced Thursday evenings with their boldest series to date.
Starring Viola Davis as defense attorney and professor Annalise Keating, HTGAWM spent six seasons winning cases, sharing beds, and accumulating a body count only rivaled by John Wick. But beneath its whodunit theatrics, the show delved into hard-hitting topics of the human condition. From substance misuse, mental health, to childhood trauma and sexuality. It was must-see TV and a showcase for marginalized voices.
At 10 p.m. the final episode of the landmark show will begin, signifying the end of an era. Let’s look back at some memorable moments from Annalise and the Keating Five.
SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER WATCHED
- #WhoKilledSam – From the pilot, we knew Sam Keating’s demise. Tom Verico’s philandering psychiatrist had it coming. The majority of the season followed his death in reverse, to eventually reveal his murderer. In season one’s winter finale entitled “Kill Me, Kill Me, Kill Me,” viewers finally saw what happened that cold, fateful night.
2. Wig. Snatched. – Another gem from season one came in a defining moment for Davis. With the disappearance of Sam’s student Lila flooding the news, Annalise found herself questioning her husband’s involvement. In a vulnerable scene, our fearless leader strips away physical and figurative layers in front of her mirror. It was a glimpse into the imperfect picture Annalise was keeping hidden. After this stunning sequence, she turns to her husband and asks a very, specific question.
3. Some. One. Will. Die. – When shows preview the death of a major character, they like to play possum. Modern Family was going to kill someone — it turned out to be Shelley Long’s cameo character. And the infamous “death” of Patrick Duffy on Dallas was retconned with “it was all a dream.” That’s why season 4’s decision to kill Wes Gibbins was equally devastating and satisfying. It changed the series forever, and viewers felt the loss. I appreciated the writers being committed to their promise, and not rehearsing the same tired narrative device.
4. Nate Sr.’s Murder – Season five introduced a host of new characters and plots. The major arc was Annalise’s search for redemption. In the biggest case of her life, she took on Detective Lahey’s father’s life sentence for murder. She’d argue his conviction was another case in a series of racially bias and unjust sentencing from an unequal justice system. Lahey Sr. played by Glynn Turman was incredible as the father Nate always admonished. This was their chance to rekindle their relationship. Keating, who never loses a case, was granted Nate Sr.’s release. But a conspiracy based on jealousy and vengeance dashed all hope in a disturbing twist.
5. Crossover. HANDLED. – The characters of TGIT series rarely collided. The doctors of Seattle Grace never flew further East than Colorado. And the Grey’s spinoff Private Practice was long gone before the arrival of D.C.’s fixer and Middleton’s professor. We assumed they were in their own universes, separate from each other. That was until Scandal’s final season.
With Olivia Pope “done” with politics, she ventured into academia. Teaching crisis management she is surprised to receive a request from a random law student from Pennsylvania. She asked to assist in a new case. An unprecedented undertaking against the Supreme Court. This law student is none other than Michaela Pratt. And the rest is TGIT history.
I’m still upset at the rollout of this crossover event. It would have slapped harder if we had no knowledge of what was happening until this epic cliffhanger.
What are your favorite moments? List them in the comments below. And tune in this evening at 10 p.m. for the killer series finale only on ABC.