Just when you think you know where How to Get Away with Murder is headed, the Season 6 midseason finale pulls a fast one that literally no one saw coming. Not only did we find out who was murdered by that fire poker, but we also discovered a dearly departed character was actually alive and well!
Fans received the shock of a lifetime during the hour's final moments when the episode flashed-forward to Annalise's (Viola Davis) funeral. As the officiant welcomed a guest to say a few words about Annalise, who should be weaving through the crowd? None other than Wes Gibbons (Alfred Enoch)! Seriously? On top of that jaw-dropper, the episode also revealed that poor Asher Millstone (Matt McGorry), who turned out to be the FBI's secret mole on Operation Bonfire for the past few weeks, turned out to be the victim of the fire poker murder, though the circumstances of his death are still shrouded in mystery, much like Laurel's whereabouts.
There are so many questions we need answered when the show returns in 2020. Has Wes been working with the FBI all this time? Was he in protective custody after faking his death? Or is this an evil twin situation? Not to mention, is poor Asher really dead? And if so, how much time is missing between when he showed up at Bonnie's and when he wound up bleeding to death in his stairwell?
Matt McGorry was kind enough to shed a little light on a few of those questions when TV Guide spoke to him about this episode.
My first question is, obviously, is Asher really dead?
Matt McGorry: Asher is dead, he's really dead. He has ceased to be alive.
How much story is there left to tell with him in the back half of the season?
McGorry: There's definitely more to tell about Asher. We just went back to filming after a little two-week break from filming after filming the midseason finale. So I've been back and working on Episode 10 in flashbacks the way that we do on the show very often, filling in different points in the storylines from the missing pieces to provide more and more context.
How do you feel about this being Asher's fate?
McGorry: It was a mix of feelings. Creatively, the choice made sense to me, and I support that decision given just who Asher is and the situation that he's been in. I think it could have been, frankly, any of them at various points. They all have a very strong leverage point against Asher that I think really made him evaluate his relationships in all sorts of areas of his life. Also, you know, there's something about Asher and his sort of joyous way of being that is sort of sad to extinguish, including playing the part where he is dying. It felt very sad because it was literally and quite viscerally - it was the embodiment of this moment of having played this character for six years, despite disliking him in some ways I definitely have an affinity towards him. Being able to play that moment where I move from him being full of life to being dead was a powerful moment.
How will Asher's death affect all his friends given all the revelations we got in this episode?
McGorry: I think it will likely impact them pretty greatly. They've relied on each other in many ways for whatever semblance of emotional support they could offer one another, but also just to hold together the fabric of lies, basically... over their time at law school. I think the stakes, in general, are rising. The water level is climbing and people can feel that it's getting to a point where there's no turning back.
The other shock of the episode is that Wes is somehow back! What, if anything, can you tell us about that return?
McGorry: I can't tease pretty much anything about that, but it's nice to have Alfie back in Los Angeles given that he lives in the U.K. To have him in our presence again was really wonderful because he brings such a beautiful energy with him everyone he goes
When did you guys find out that he'd be coming back and what was your reaction?
McGorry: We started hearing rumblings of it a few months ago. I was excited but not surprised necessarily because I have learned to expect that anything is possible in the world of our show. But definitely a happy surprise.
What do you think were the main motivations behind Asher's decisions to be a mole for the FBI?
McGorry: I think fear. Fear [was] a large driving force, and fear at times can make us contract and really then basically prioritize what we deem as family, whether or not we chose that family or that family is good for us or not. I liken it in some ways to this idea of family being country, where many people feel that disagreeing or criticizing aspects of one's family or one's country is breaking what should be a rigid devotion. I personally don't agree with that. I think it's important and healthy and necessary. I think that Asher sort of was also regressing a bit — it's understandable given the many layers of trauma he's faced and not dealt with — into a sort of fear-based mode. And they also had a really strong leverage point on Asher with threatening to put his mom in prison.
As you head towards filming these final few episodes, what has it been like on set knowing it's all coming to an end?
McGorry: It's been nice to be able to, first of all, know that we're ending and not just be canceled is really nice. And then to really be able to take the time to be in the moment. When I'm filming different scenes, thinking back and reflecting and allowing myself to feel the nostalgia in the moment for what I recognize will be in the past at some point. By February the Sunset Gower Studios where we've been for the last six years will not, mostly likely, be where I'm filming my next TV gig. Places that I've sat even on the lot or the experiences that I've had, phone calls that I've gotten or news I've gotten, various life experiences that have been really transformative over the last six years — to just really take the time and sit with that. So often filming TV shows can very long hours and very emotionally taxing scenes can be taxing outside of that, so to really be in the moment and be present and step outside the grind of "get it all done" has been nice.
How to Get Away with Murder airs Thursdays at 10/9c on ABC.