[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers about Thursday's episode of How to Get Away with Murder. Read at your own risk.]
You gain one, you lose one.
Wes (Alfred Enoch) was revealed to be Annalise's (Viola Davis) traitor — and also alive! — in the future timeline on Thursday's How to Get Away with Murder. Yup, Wes, whose name Laurel (Karla Souza) scrawls on a pad after waking up, was the one who snitched on Annalise in exchange for immunity — and it's full immunity he wants, he tells the detectives at the end, while Annalise faces arson and first-degree murder charges. But has he really turned on her though? Or is this part of one of Annalise's convoluted plans?
If Wes has truly betrayed her, perhaps Annalise can turn to her new friend for help? In the past timeline, Middleton University President Soraya Hargrove (Luna [Lauren] Velez) reveals the tragic history and effects of her alcoholism in their AA class: She lost custody of her kids after a drunken driving incident. By the end of the episode, Annalise extends an olive branch to her boss, giving her the name of a family attorney.
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Is this the beginning of a beautiful friendship? Doubtful. But it's nice to see Annalise connect with someone on her level, rather than covering the Keating 5's asses, reprimanding Bonnie (Liza Weil) around and trying to destroy Frank (Charlie Weber) — who returns home, but is promptly kicked out by Bonnie and then overhears Laurel tells Wes over the phone that she loves him.
TVGuide.com caught up with Velez to see what's next for Annalise and President Hargrove — and if the latter plays any part in that house fire.
How much did Pete [Nowalk, the creator] tell you about Hargrove when you got the part?
Luna Velez: Well, I was so thrilled about doing this and exploring this woman, who's the president of a university. There's not a lot of female presidents. ... Whatever it takes for a woman to become the president of a university is fascinating. But he actually told me that she and Annalise don't have a backstory, so far anyway. This is a very fresh, new relationship, so I think it surprises Annalise too.
It was such a big moment for both of them to see each other exposed in this way [in the AA meeting]. I have to say Pete was really brilliant about Soraya's speech. We spoke about it at length. He did such a great job at telling the story. It's such a wonderful surprise to see this woman, who presents this picture of perfection, has this flaw. I think it's a great story point and it's incredibly courageous of her to do it. It's a deep, dark secret of hers she's been keeping inside and she's finally able to stand up [in the meeting] and talk about it. Beyond this, I don't know what happens. I can only imagine.
Does she contact the attorney Annalise gives her?
Velez: She does contact the attorney. That's as far as it got for now.
Do you think Annalise feels kinship toward Hargrove now that she knows she also lost her children — albeit just custody.
Velez: I feel that. It's such a different thing reading [the script] and seeing how the pieces fit together. There's so much going on obviously. What I'm noticing about Annalise's character is there's a real unraveling happening and I think that she has this woman in front of her. Someone therein is redemption for both of them. What that looks like, I don't know, but I think that's going to be a key component of Soraya's storyline.
Is her concern for Annalise genuine?
Velez: Absolutely. That's the thing about any kind of addict — when you see it, you know it. And you also recognize the way that people will self-destruct and just wreak havoc on not only their lives, but people who are in their lives. She's treading very cautiously, but really making sure that Annalise knows that Soraya is there for her, because she knows this person. She recognizes it. It's a very, very genuine thing. She wants Annalise to know that she gets it, she's there for her and she's an ally through this.
So there's no resentment toward Annalise even though she threatened Soraya with a lawsuit if she didn't lift her suspension?
Velez: I'm sure there's something underneath there, but that's just not the way Soraya operates. So far, she's reached this level that she's reached ... with honey, then with vinegar. She's really a good girl and someone who's always had an enormous amount of pressure to be perfect. She recognizes that in Annalise, so I think she's very genuine in her concern for her. Does she resent these things? Sure, she's a human being. But I don't know if that's going to come back and rear its ugly head. I hope Soraya doesn't fall off the wagon! [Laughs] That wouldn't be good. But she's struggling with her addiction the same way Annalise, so anything can happen.
What — if anything — does Soraya think is going on between Wes and Annalise and the Mahoney case? She's asked about Wes a couple times already.
Velez: She's so peripheral as far as the Mahoney case and Wes right now, but what I think it's pretty much what everyone on campus thinks: There's just something going on in between Annalise and her students that she can't quite put her finger on what the nature of the relationship is. Obviously it's very deep, but she's not sure what it's rooted in. So she's suspicious like anyone else: What's going on with the Keating 5? There's some weird alliance there that goes deeper than being her students.
Is she going to pursue anything herself? Most of her interactions right now are solely with Annalise.
Velez: So far, it's mostly Annalise. If it starts to affect Soraya in a personal way, she would pursue it. Being the president of the university, it's not personal at the moment. But now that she realizes that Annalise also has a [drinking] problem, it's a little more personal. I think the thing with Annalise potentially threatening her job might take it in a different direction.
That'd be enough for her turn on Annalise too, like Wes did.
Velez: I think, maybe. A lot could happen between [now and the night of the house fire]. Your guess is as good as mine! [Laughs]
We haven't seen her in the future timeline yet. Does she play any part in the house fire or Annalise's arrest?
Velez: I wish I knew! [Laughs] I'm really excited to find out because there's so much that happens this night and I've had multiple conversations with people who are asking me, "Who's under that sheet?" I don't know. I keep looking at it like, "OK, based on her reaction, it's someone really close to her, someone from her inner circle." But I don't even know what Soraya Hargrove is doing that night, so I'm just watching it like the rest of you.
Is it a relief to know you're not dead since it's a guy? I guess you can still die that night in another way.
Velez: [Laughs] Yeah, who knows! Who knows how that fire started and what happened. But it's kind of exciting, isn't it? I'm not putting this on — I really don't know. Anything can crop up at any moment. It's probably the most exciting TV I've ever done.
How will we see Annalise and Hargrove's relationship develop going forward?
Velez: I think you're going to expect Annalise to do something for Soraya that is very unexpected.
More than just the name of the family attorney?
Velez: Correct. They're definitely moving in that direction of [being friends]. Annalise needs a friend who is not part of this incestuous circle. It's almost like a new beginning in some ways, telling your story to somebody who you're just getting to know, so you see yourself with fresh eyes.
Even though she's her boss, she's Annalise's equal, unlike everyone in her inner circle.
Velez: Absolutely. There's a lot of freedom in that, in finding someone who is your equal. I think that's going to be a really good thing, and whatever Soraya brings with her. Because we don't know her whole situation other than she's the president, but as you find out in this episode, that whole background — the drinking, the blackouts, the losing her kids — is really juicy stuff.
How to Get Away with Murder airs Thursdays at 10/9c on ABC.