8:00pm PT by Jean Bentley
'How to Get Away With Murder' Star on Wes' Killer Reveal and the Shocking Season 3 Finale
[This story contains spoilers from the season three finale of ABC's How to Get Away With Murder.]
Still reeling from the revelation of the identity of Wes' murderer on ABC's How to Get Away With Murder? Star Karla Souza was shocked too, she told The Hollywood Reporter of Thursday's two-hour season three finale.
That's no surprise, considering the killer of Laurel's baby daddy (and love of her life) was actually her own father. "Of course I was in [shock]," she told THR. "I'm like, how? What?"
At the table read, she also got a glimpse at what might happen to her character when the murderer is potentially revealed in recently announced fourth season of the Shondaland drama from showrunner Pete Nowalk. "Of course everyone turned to me, and that's probably what's going to happen to Laurel. The second anyone finds out who it is, all fingers are towards Laurel so she's going to have to do a lot of fighting," she said. "In that way it was a very surreal moment because we were all waiting to know."
For the record, Souza didn't know what was coming — but looking back, understood where creator Nowalk came up with the twist. "I thought it could be the Mahoneys; it could've been Bonnie; something like that — but I never really imagined it being [her father]. I know I twirled with it a few times with Pete about it being interesting to have my father back in the story in some way," she said. "It now makes total sense but it was definitely a shocker because I was like, 'How is Laurel even going to deal with this?'"
Toward the end of the finale, Laurel was convinced the Mahoneys killed Wes — and was just about to confront Charles Mahoney (Wilson Bethel), aka Wes' actual biological father, with a gun. But Souza told THR she didn't think Laurel was planning on actually firing the weapon.
"She would have probably used it to confront him and to get him to tell her the truth. She's desperate to hear the truth just to sort of lay it to rest," Souza explained. "She wasn't able to say goodbye to Wes' body because it was cremated so she just wants to know exactly what happened. And that's one of the very clear signs of when someone's going through grief. In that moment adrenaline is pumping, and even though she has a plan and it's just to confront him, anything could've gone wrong and she could've pulled the trigger. It was a very emotionally charged moment. She was determined to get the truth out of this guy whatever way possible."
She continued, "She sort of doesn't care about going to jail if she has to. ... The way that she handles all the stages of grief, the way she's relating to everyone else in the group, how she's becoming very angry ... we do see a different side of Laurel now that she's feeling all of that, so I don't put it past her for her to be able to have actually pulled the trigger on Charles."
Plus, running into her old friend Dominic (Nicholas Gonzalez) complicated things. "He is actually more my friend than he is my father's, and I think we'll find that out. I auditioned with Nicholas and ... we tried so many dynamics so I don't actually know what ended up in that scene," she said. "It's just full of innuendos and that's what's so great. I think that Pete takes the reaction and how he sees it all finished and then he thinks, 'OK, maybe it'll be more interesting to have their relationship be a certain way.' I don't think he has it set in stone. [Gonzalez] a great actor so I'm sure that we'll be seeing more of him but I think he's more Laurel's friend and that's what's going to make it even more bittersweet for her."
Once Laurel learned of Wes' death, her main motivation was to identify the murderer and bring that person to justice. And while the audience now knows who that is, Laurel still doesn't — which means that will remain her motivation in season four. "The fact that she's pregnant, that she's holding the last thing that she has of Wes and his presence is sort of in her," Souza said. "She's holding on to that life and I think that's the real motivation behind any of Laurel's decisions — to bring justice and to feel like she's bringing justice to the whole situation, to her friend and the love of her life."
What did you think of the How to Get Away With Murder season finale? Sound off in the comments section, below. For more on the finale, click here to read THR's interview with Nowalk.