Oh. My. God. I am actually speechless. HTGAWM’s winter finale was one of the most drama-packed episodes I have ever seen. Every flashback has led up to this episode. Everything comes together. So before you read any further, just know that spoilers are to come. You will find out how Sam was killed, how Bonnie and Asher get together, etc. So read at your own risk.
Firstly, there are no flashbacks. We are in the present day. The day Sam dies… The day everything changes for these law students.
It’s the night of the bonfire. Rebecca is trying to sneak into the Keating residence to steal all of Sam’s old phone records. She knows he killed Lila and wants to prove it. Michaela is there however, returning the trophy – trying to get herself out of the final exam (typical). Sam catches Rebecca and gets very aggressive, banging on the door she has locked herself behind. Michaela calls Wes in a panic, so Wes, Laurel, and Connor head on over. This is where everything gets messy. Rebecca finally comes out of the bathroom, pretending like she did not find anything. And for a brief moment, it seems she will get away with it… Until Sam lunges at her. He knocks her down and the two start fighting. Laurel and Wes jump in to try and save her. Michaela grabs the hard drive (what they need to prove that Sam is guilty) and when Sam comes at her, she pushes him over the edge of the staircase. He hits his head and plummets to the ground. So, he’s dead right? Not yet.
As the students are figuring out what to do, Sam wakes up and begins to strangle Rebecca. She almost dies until Wes hits Sam over the head with the trophy, making it the murder weapon. Sam’s blood sprays all over Rebecca’s face and the poor girl is petrified. Now, Samuel Keating is dead. And the students don’t know what to do next. Do they call the police and say it was self-defense? Do they run and leave the body? Should they try and cover their tracks? How will they Get Away With Murder?
You might be wondering where Asher is. Poor Asher never seems to get in on the fun. Well after trying to find his friends, Bonnie calls him. She wants to come over. And you know Asher… So the two of them get together. It’s kind of awkward, but also pretty intense. It will be interesting to see where this leaves the pair for next season. Annalise calls Bonnie in a panic (because Sam has not returned home) so she leaves Asher. Even though Annalise fired her, Bonnie still cares about her.
So the law students. After washing off blood and fingerprints, Wes brings Rebecca to a motel for her to stay in until everything is taken care of. She cannot risk being associated with this because it would link her more to the Lila Stanguard case. Now remember when the students flipped a coin to decide whether or not to leave the body where it is? Heads they move it, tails they leave it. It landed on tails, but Wes said it was heads. Why did he do that? You’ll find out.
So the students went back to the home to retrieve Sam’s body. They wrapped it in a rug and dragged it through the forest. The bonfire would be their alibi. They lit the body on fire, and beat it so that they could easily pick up the remains. Warning: these scenes are pretty gruesome. And here’s the sad part. This show always makes use of intense cross-cutting between the courtroom and the classroom. Well, it used that technique to elicit emotion this time around. While the students are burning the corpse, Annalise is calling her husband to apologize for their large fight. At the beginning of the episode, Annalise was accusing Sam of murdering Lila because he knew she was pregnant. He had his hands around her neck in a very murderous way, as well. He said that she was just some piece of ass he picked up one night. Just some slut. So she stormed out.
And where did she go? Nate’s house, obviously. Though both are married, they keep coming back to each other.
Anyways, the cross-cutting. While Annalise gives a heartfelt confession of love to her husband, the students getting rid of his remains. It is a very beautiful juxtaposition. But guess what? You’ll never guess…
At the end of the episode, the morning after, Annalise calls all of the students to her home. She says that there will be police coming by to ask them questions about Sam.
Never underestimate Annalise Keating. After a quick cut to the night of the murder, the most shocking secret comes out. After Sam died, the students fled the house. Wes remembered that they had forgotten to clean the murder weapon (which they needed to return to Asher’s apartment), so he went back to get it. In the middle of the episode we saw him retrieve it quickly, tell Sam’s dead body that he was so sorry, and leave. However, we get a few extra seconds at the end of the episode.
After he says he is so sorry for what has happened, an off-camera Annalise says “it’s okay.” WHAT? SHE WAS THERE? SHE KNEW SAM DIED? I know, I couldn’t believe it either. Quick cut to the morning after, with the students sitting in her living room worried about what is to come. She and Wes exchange a look, and Wes nods his head ever so slightly. The two are working together to cover this up. So Annalise’s phone call was after she knew Sam had died, and was most likely made so she could cover her tracks (and Wes’s).
I KNOW. BOOM.
How To Get Away With Murder returns to ABC on January 29, 2015
– The lighting was the same throughout the episode. The darkness that was used to portray the present day when we were living in flashbacks was constant. It made the episode very ominous and spooky, which added to the overall plot.
– The two fires, the bonfire and the fire burning Sam Keating, were juxtaposed very nicely. While one represents school pride, happiness, and spirit, the other represents the covering of secrets, lies, and murder. Smiles at one bonfire, fear at the other. This juxtaposition gave the fire burning Sam Keating a more dramatic tone. It made it seem like everything was ending, while the other made us feel optimistic about the future.
– Michaela’s lost engagement ring is most likely going to tie the students to Sam’s death in the next season. This was a clever prop choice because her diamond is so clean, so beautiful, and so symbolic of the beginning of the rest of her life. But it now is the only thing tying her to this murder, something so evil and dirty.