10:30am PT by Amber Dowling
'How to Get Away With Murder': 11 Theories on Who Shot Annalise Keating
How to Get Away With Murder's Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) isn’t exactly short on enemies right now, so it’s no wonder that in September's season two premiere a flash-forward revealed she’d been shot and supposedly left for dead. Between framing her lover Nate (Billy Brown), having a part in Rebecca’s (Katie Findlay) murder and ruining the lives of the Keating Five with her constant “protection,” there are plenty of suspects who could have pulled the trigger.
After weeks of waiting, viewers will finally learn who shot Annalise during Thursday's midseason finale. Naturally, it will all lead into a new mystery setting up the second half of season two, which returns in February.
Here, The Hollywood Reporter examines some of the theories about who could have shot Annalise — and why.
Catherine (Amy Okuda) and Philip (Jefferson White)
As was revealed in last week’s “Hi, I’m Philip” episode, there’s something more to the relationship between these two. In a season that has so far included incest, multiple murders, cover-ups and secret relationships, we wouldn’t be surprised if the duo plotted to kill the lawyer and cover it up by drugging Catherine to make it look as though she were a victim too. Perhaps that's what Philip meant by "protecting her..."
Bonnie (Liza Weil)
This would be obvious, perhaps, given Bonnie’s slow mental decline over the past few episodes. If anyone has motive to kill Annalise, though, it’s her: she has a proven track record of murder and her former mentor ruined her life by dredging up her abusive past in that awful reveal to Asher (Matt McGorry).
Connor (Jack Falahee)
The most emotionally closed-off student has come a far way in season two, what with his relationship with Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) and pure disdain for everything Annalise. Could his emotions have finally gotten the best of him and led him to pull that trigger? He was the last one seen standing over her body, after all …
Emily (Sarah Burns)
Emily Sinclair and Annalise have been enemies all season long, and as viewers know, Emily is dead and gone, having jumped (or been pushed?) off that ledge. Perhaps after losing the case Emily had a complete meltdown (courtesy of the mystery person she was seen arguing on the phone with last week?). As a result, she could have shot Annalise in a moment of blame before committing suicide.
Nate (Billy Brown)
It’s always the husband … er, lover. Nate and Annalise have a rich history, one marred by the fact that she framed him for her husband Sam’s murder. Not to mention the fact that Nate’s wife was dying of cancer while he was stuck behind bars. They seem to have made up for now, but was it all a front? Given the way Nate has come to the Keating Five’s rescue post-shooting, it could be clear that not all is forgiven.
Laurel (Karla Souza)
Annalise’s new star student (or The New Bonnie, as of last week), is definitely smart. Maybe too smart. If anyone would know how to pull off the proper murder it would be her. She does, after all, know how to keep control of a situation.
Michaela (Aja Naomi King)
Sure, she’s the sweet, innocent one. Except now that she’s had a roll or two in the sack with her boy toys, that’s all off the table. She is a willing participant of whatever is going on, as witnessed by the fact that she was last seen assuring Caleb (Kendrick Sampson) that “she” was fine. She who? Catherine? Annalise?
Asher (Matt McGorry)
It’s doubtful that sweet, naïve Asher actually pulled the trigger on anyone … unless Bonnie somehow convinced him that it was the right thing to do. The guy did look plenty shell shocked before fleeing Bonnie’s car on that fateful night.
Frank (Charlie Weber)
We hate to point to dear old Frank, after all — he’s come a long way with the ladies this season. Unfortunately, he also has a track record of brutality against women — and Annalise hasn’t exactly shied away from pointing out his shortcomings lately. Perhaps he finally had enough and snapped.
Wes (Alfred Enouch)
Annalise’s favorite student has gone off the books ever since girlfriend Rebecca went missing. He has suspected that his teacher was responsible for her death all season long, and carried a serious chip on his shoulder. If he finds the proof he needs, that could be the perfect excuse to finish her off. The only problem? As far as we know, he’s already given his gun over to Bonnie. Besides, he was revealed to have been the killer in the first half of season one, which would make his hand in Annalise’s shooting here redundant.
Annalise (Viola Davis)
Everyone has seen the lengths that the professor will go to in order to protect her students, namely Wes. If Sinclair was onto them and all their murderous ways, it would make sense that she would shoot herself in a bid to save them all and frame the prosecutor. And because it’s Annalise, she would shoot herself in exactly the right spot to ensure that she’d be all right in the end. Oh, and Davis could secure herself another Emmy nom in the process.
Who do you think shot Annalise? Sound off in the comments below. How To Get Away With Murder’s winter finale airs Thursday at 10 p.m. on ABC. Stay tuned to THR's The Live Feed on Friday for an interview with showrunner Pete Nowalk.