The question on everyone's mind after that insane How to Get Away with Murder finale is "Who the hell is Gabriel Maddox?"
This finale wrapped up a lot of storylines, some very nicely, others not so nicely. Laurel (Karla Souza) finally got her baby back and her father went to prison for a whole host of crimes. Bonnie (Liza Weil) wasn't the one in that horrific crash, Denver (Benito Martinez) was, so he's out of the way. And the group's Simon (Behzad Dabu) troubles are over since Michaela (Aja Naomi King) had him deported.
On the other hand, Laurel might have actually killed her mother if those scratches on her arm are any indication, and a new mystery character, Gabriel Maddox (Rome Flynn), is hoping to enroll in law school at Middleton.
Here to help us explain all the twists and turns is showrunner Pete Nowalk.
How soon are we going to find out who Gabriel Maddox is?
Pete Nowalk: My instinct right now is it's going to be a little bit of a mystery. Won't be too long, but I think, you know, Frank (Charlie Weber) seems to know who he is. But I don't know who else does on the show. And I think it's going to be really fun to slowly — I want people to get to know Gabriel before we know his origins.
Do we know how old he is? Since he's going to law school?
Nowalk: We have not said. He's, say, mid-20s. He's our classic law student age.
The one thing we have, though, is that Frank said, "her kid," right?
Nowalk: He said, "Her kid's here." We really like to play with the pronouns here. Obviously, Gabriel has a mother, and Frank knows of that mother or knows the mother. So that is a huge mystery, and we're going to be giving hints about it all next season.
Is there any reason that was juxtaposed with Annalise (Viola Davis) holding Laurel's baby and singing?
Nowalk: I think a lot of the show is actually about being a parent. In a weird way, I think Annalise has been forced into parenting the Keating 5. One of her wounds is the fact that she lost her own child. And now, here's Wes's baby. So it's really since the pilot we've been hitting on this theme. And what I loved about Annalise's arc for this season is, you know, she went home and needed to be parented by her mother and then also really take a parenting role with her mom. And where they sing that song, "Shoot Turkey," in the premiere. And now she's joined to this baby. So that works all on its own, to me, as a real journey of growth for Annalise. And she kind of rose from the ashes this season. You know, the placement of Frank and Gabriel and all that stuff is obviously to make you ask the questions. So I think they're good questions to ask.
In Denver's file on Bonnie, there was a note that said, "Kid Alive?" with a matched DNA test. What can you tease about that storyline next season?
Nowalk: I can't really tease too much about that. Just to know that it was a test. That was a genetic test for Bonnie and this child. So it's all related, basically. And all we know is Bonnie said in Episode 5 that she was told her child is dead. [Either] she's lying, [or] someone else is lying to Bonnie. It's all possible.
If he does turn out to be her child, should we expect her to be surprised by that turn of events?Nowalk: I would expect you to be surprised by the turn of events, but I can't say whether Bonnie will be.
Laurel says she doesn't know what happened to her mother, but then she gets in the shower at the end and she has those scratches. What's up with that?
Nowalk: Laurel's a great mystery box, of course. I do think Laurel has obviously grown up around some pretty horrible people, and the whole premise of the show is, we don't know what we're capable of until we're in an emotional moment or locked in a room. So, I do think something clearly happened. The scratches aren't from a cat we haven't seen. Just what happened, we don't know. I think that's something we'll probably find out sooner than later next season.
Frank very plainly kind of said, "I love you no matter what, but did you kill your mom?" Is that truth? Would he care very much if she had killed her mom?
Nowalk: If anyone can forgive someone for killing someone, it's him. He always knows more than he's let on, and I think no matter what, Frank really believes he loves Laurel... He sees the best in himself when he's with her. I think he doesn't want to lose her, so I think he accepts her doing anything, which is not good. They're a little Bonnie and Clyde.
Can you speak to where Annalise is going next after her big Supreme Court win?
Nowalk: I haven't made any specific decisions. But what I do love for Annalise is right now she's really doing well with her sobriety and she shed a lot of her own self-hate. I think the Isaac therapy actually really helped her. And I think she's in a good place, because she can see hope, finally... So what I do love is this idea that the class action and being a different type of defense attorney will really drive her. I don't think, you know, we started the show with her trying to take on outlandish, wild, tabloid cases for the power and the money. And I think there's something in her that maybe wants to counterbalance all the bad stuff she does with maybe doing more good work for people and taking on more criminal justice reform cases.
When she has that clash with Michaela, did she see some of her old self in what Michaela was saying?
Nowalk: I think so. And I think Viola's so great, because you see a million things on her face when Michaela leaves that room. I think she sees her old self. But I also think she's like, you know, she can't control these kids, and they have minds of their own. And even though she wants to maybe be on this path toward good, they might not. And she can't extricate herself from that. I think it's just a push-pull for her.
It seems like everyone else thinks Michaela might have crossed a line, but does she truly believe what she did was best for everyone?
Nowalk: Yeah, and it's up for debate whether she did the right thing or not. I mean, obviously, Annalise has done a lot of bad things. She put Nate in jail way back when in Season 1, and Michaela was horrified by that. But I think that part of becoming an adult is to realize you can't always do the right thing and protect yourself at the same time. So that's exciting to me... the student becomes a teacher. And how does the teacher handle that? And what was fun when I told Aja [about Michaela turning Simon in] she's like, "Oh, of course I deported Simon. That's just smart. He's terrible." And I'm like, "You got it." So I think you can debate either side.
Is there the potential to see a Coliver wedding next season?
Nowalk: Yes... I will say, I personally kind of hate weddings, and I hate the trope of it, so we're going to do it in our own fun way. Obviously, this [Connor and Oliver] wedding, we've been setting up forever. I didn't want to do it in the finale because I didn't want to do something that just felt rushed. So when it comes, it will be good.
Could there be a time jump when Season 5 picks up?
Nowalk: I'm always open to skipping time. They could be dropouts, graduates, who knows next season.
How to Get Away with Murder has not yet been renewed for Season 5.