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7 Things to Know About How to Get Away with Murder's Return


Joyce Eng

When How to Get Away with Murder returns Thursday (10/9c, ABC) with the first of six remaining episodes this season, it will be all about the curious case of Christophe.

Christophe, of course, is Wes' (Alfred Enoch) real name, uttered by Annalise (Viola Davis) after he shot her -- or more specifically, tried to kill her after she confessed that Rebecca is actually dead. Compounding the mystery, a flashback to lil' Christophe being interrogated about his mother's death revealed Annalise and Eve (Famke Janssen) behind a two-way mirror, with Eve asking, " "Good God, Annalise. What did we do?"

What did they do? Who is Christophe? Creator and executive producer Peter Nowalk gives us the scoop.

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1. #WhoIsChristophe: Picking up two weeks later, the midseason premiere will find Annalise returning home from her hospital stay, during which she had no contact at all with Wes. "It's kind of the question for both of them. Who makes the first move, and do they want to make the first move? It's a little bit of avoidance and severe depression," Nowalk says. "Obviously their fates are linked. They can't just run away without all their secrets coming out. They're tied together in this way that, I think, they both find fills them with resentment." Their first interaction, he adds, "will be really surprising and as grounded in the emotions."

For Annalise, the emotional scars of Christophe are far more damaging than the physical ones. "We introduce something that happened to her that is huge," Nowalk says. "It really impacts why Annalise is the way she is right now when we've met her in the show and also why she feels so tied to Wes. So the scar of Christophe and whatever her relationship was with Christophe all those years ago is now very present. She had pushed down that trauma before and the shooting, and her saying 'Christophe' to Wes have made it extremely present. That will be the thing that pulsates through our entire back half of the season until we find out exactly what happened."

As for Wes, "it's gonna weigh too heavily on his two shoulders," Nowalk says, adding that he won't be as focused on Rebecca anymore, despite learning that she is dead. "I can't wait for everyone to see Alfie's performance because he's really transformed in line with the character. He's definitely not a puppy anymore. When you watch it, he's a haggard old dog at this point. He's been through so much for one 28-year-old person."

2. So... what did Eve and Annalise do? Naturally, Nowalk won't dish, but he promises that will be revealed by the end of the season. As for our theory that Christophe's mother's death is the case Eve said earlier in the season that she and Annalise had consulted on years ago, Nowalk says, "I'm going to continue to be cagey. I told you that was a very smart theory. I like that you were thinking actively about the show, but I don't want to reveal it exactly. How we tell the story is important and how we reveal things and where they come is important."

3. Flashbacks: Get ready for lots of Christophe -- and his mom, pre-death. "We're very excited about those," Nowalk says. "We've done flash-forwards and we've done flashbacks too, but it's really fun to flash back to 10 years ago and tell the audience exactly why Annalise has been protecting Wes all this time. ... Yes, you will see Christophe's mom alive. We're basically gonna be leading up in our flashbacks to her death. [His father] is not really the focus. What we've established is he had a single mother, so we're really delving into that more."

4. Flash-forwards: There were a handful of flash-forwards that the show didn't catch up to on Murder Night 2, including Asher (Matt McGorry) preparing to make a statement at the police station, Michaela (Aja Naomi King) coming home to Caleb (Kendrick Sampson), and Nate (Billy Brown) picking up the Keating 4 after Annalise has been shot. "We'll see all of those in Episode 10," Nowalk says. "We will go back to all those moments again and reveal how those scenes continue or why things happened the way they did, like Nate picking up the kids in the police car. We'll find out more exactly why those things happened. We'll see exactly what happened after Annalise said, 'Christophe.'"

Speaking of Nate, Nowalk says he will be a suspect in Sinclair's (Sarah Burns) death, but Annalise will have more tricks up her sleeve. "That was one of Annalise's many goals in fixing that night -- to pin it on Catherine -- and we'll see very quickly whether that plan is working or not."

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5. Poor Asher: Asher is, sadly, one of "them" now, having run over Sinclair, and suffice it to say, he's not coping that well with being a murderer. "He's in a much darker place. He's a raw person. Bonnie [Liza Weil] obviously helped him so much on Murder Night, so it's gonna muddy the waters of their relationship. Whether that means there's any hope for them again romantically will be something we delve into. The rest of the kids have been through this once before," Nowalk says. "I'm really excited for the new relationships to develop between the students, like who takes care of who, how people are helping each other get through this -- versus the last time, where I feel like they all kind of tried to deal with it alone. They're leaning on each other more in a way I find really appealing. Asher is the newbie of the group and they all want to help him in terms of helping him keep the secret."

But is the rest of the Keating 5 helping Asher out of genuine concern or just to cover their own butts? "That's the question I want you guys to be asking as you're watching it and that's what Asher will be asking too," Nowalk says.

6. How to get away with another case: Though the Hapstall case and now Sinclair's murder are still outstanding, the show will introduce another case in the remaining six episodes. Wilson Bethel, Adam Arkin and Roxanne Hart will recur as the Mahoneys, a wealthy family involved in a murder case. "We'll introduce the Mahoneys in a different way than how we've done a case before," Nowalk says. "In [Episode] 10, you'll start to understand a little bit more and then in 11, you'll really find out more about what happened in that case and what Annalise's involvement is."

7. Oh, baby: The biggest WTF moment in the show's cryptic teaser is that glimpse of Annalise holding a cherubic baby. Is it a flashback? Is it a fantasy sequence? Keen observers will note that Annalise is wearing the same pajamas as in this clip of her talking to Bonnie at home. "The baby is one of the best actors I've ever encountered. That baby has got lots of talent. It's an Emmy-winning performance," Nowalk quips. "Obviously that's a big mystery in the first episode. I'm never really sure what they're gonna show [in the promos] and it was like, 'Whoa! OK, they showed that.' It is actually an idea that Viola had pitched me at the beginning of the season, as to where this story line would stem from. I think it's excellent and very emotional. It reveals things about Annalise in a very interesting way."

How to Get Away with Murder airs Thursdays at 10/9c on ABC. Watch the trailer below.