The Season 5 premiere of How to Get Away with Murder is nearly upon us, and despite the amount of loose ends that got tied up in last season's finale, there are still quite a few balls up in the air for Annalise (Viola Davis) and the Keating Five — Four... that's never going to stop hurting, is it?
This year, the mystery of Gabriel Maddox (Rome Flynn), including who the heck he is and what's he's doing at Middleton, will take center stage, as will Bonnie's (Liza Weil) questionable background and Laurel's (Karla Souza) potential murder of her own mother. You know, typical third year law school stuff!
Here to help us sort through all the bumps and turns in the road headed our way in Season 5 is How to Get Away with Murder creator and showrunner Pete Nowalk.
Who is Gabriel Maddox is definitely a mystery this year, but is it the mystery?
Pete Nowalk: I would call it the mystery, sure. We always have a bunch of other mysteries as well, but as far as I can tell you know, yes, he will be a centerpiece of this season, especially the first half of the season as we move towards finding out who he is. Rome Flynn who plays Gabriel is now a series regular, so he'll be a centerpiece of the show and everyone's reaction to him will be a centerpiece of the show.
How soon can we expect to find out who Frank (Charlie Weber) made that phone call to and who's son Gabriel is?
Nowalk: We'll find out in the first half of the season, but we will be finding out some pieces as we go.
Gabriel seems like a pretty charming guy, what else can you tell us about his background and personality?
Nowalk: Gabriel is extremely confident, he's very passionate about his beliefs - we'll find out what those are in the first episode. He's very cool, he's athletic, he's a little bit fly and a little bit dangerous. It's a really fun character to write and a really fun energy to add to the show.
I was pleased to see Frank looking into law school in last year's finale, is that kind of a path to legitimacy for him?
Nowalk: Yes, I think the question when we start the season is, "Did Frank get into law school? Is he going to be joining all of them on the campus? And why does he want to do that?" Annalise will actually ask him about that. I think a lot of it is for Laurel and for Christopher and wanting to be the best man he can be, and I think there's also — he wants to be close to Gabriel because of course Frank knows who he is.
Annalise is definitely back at law school, so is this kind of a fresh start for her?
Nowalk: It's really fun because she kind of has a fresh skin on her because she achieved this great thing and now she gets to kind of do whatever she wants. We're going to watch her work through that in our premiere in a really fun way. She's come back into power and we're going to really show how she's going to wield that power. She's in a lighter place, she's working really hard at trying not to get into trouble and working really hard on continuing the work of her class action. Again, she wants to do good to make up for all the bad. She's still very much on that path.
What can you tease about Denver's files and how those will come into play this season?
Nowalk: Nate (Billy Brown) found Denver's files at the end of last season, and he's keeping them a secret. But Bonnie's file is of particular interest to him and we'll find out why as we sort of find out what happened to that child. Is it still alive? Or did it die when it was born as Bonnie said last season? There's a mystery of what Bonnie knows and what Bonnie doesn't know, so I don't want to spoil that, but we will be finding out a lot more about Bonnie's child and also about Bonnie herself.
What about Laurel's mother? How focused will Laurel be on her apparent disappearance?
Nowalk: We'll be answering that question somewhat in our premiere when Laurel receives something in the mail, I'll say that. But Laurel's focus right now is on Christopher, her child with Wes (Alfred Enoch), who she finally gets to be with. She's also really throwing herself back into law school and trying to be not the source of any drama this year. She's working really hard at being a good mom and a good student and she wants to raise him to be the best person he can be. I think that goes for all of the characters. What's really fun about having Christopher on the show this season is they all find a source of hope and lightness in him, and I think they all want him to grow up to be someone very different than all of them. They want him to just grow up and be a good person, so that's where Laurel's focus is. Whether her mom comes back into play and what happens to her and her family, that will be a question for later.
It looks like we might finally get that Coliver wedding, what can we expect from that event?
Nowalk: I am not a wedding fan myself, but I think it's really fun that we could do a wedding on the show, and you'll see whether they do or not very early on. Like "What's the Murder version of a wedding?" It will be juicy.
Where do Michaela (Aja Naomi King) and Asher (Matt McGorry) stand this year? And might we see Marcus Walker (Cornelius Smith Jr.) again?
Nowalk: Michaela and Asher are still broken up. I think Asher is still very angry at her and still having fun in being angry at her. Michaela is still thinking about Marcus, so we're going to see what she does about that in the premiere and if there's a chance he comes back or not. You'll see, basically.
Michaela was on a pretty dark path last year, turning Simon in, but is she still on that path in Season 5?
Nowalk: I think it might seem like a really dark move she made, but for her it was an empowering move. It was dark but it was also saving them all and doing what she think Annalise should have done. And she's definitely going to be coming into that power and butting heads with Annalise because of that, and that's a really fun dynamic to watch. We'll see Michaela just growing up really fast.
How to Get Away with Murder premieres Thursday, Sept. 27 at 10/9c on ABC.