"How to Get Away with Murder" returns from its two-month winter hiatus Thursday night, and we could not be more psyched. But before we delve into the fast-paced, hectic, twisty world of Annalise Keating, let's take a look back at the first half of the season and remember just how we got here:
Obvious "HTGAWM" spoilers if you are not caught up.
Liat Kornowski: Hey Lauren! Are you super excited? Granted, Viola Davis got robbed at the Golden Globes (though she nailed it with her People's Choice Award acceptance speech, not to mention the SAGs!) but OMG, "HTGAWM" is baaaack! Do you remember how CRAZY things got in that last episode?
We need to discuss.
Lauren Weber: Well for starters, I live in constant awe of Viola's strength and poise (THOSE SPEECHES) and truly it has been soul-crushing to be deprived of our favorite new fall show. But yes -- let's talk the finale.
We left off with finding out how the Keating Five killed Sam (oh Wes, so much for those puppy-eyes) and then discovered Annalise pretty much dictated how they would all get away with murder. But of course the group deviated from the plan -- don't they know you always incinerate the body? -- and Michaela's ring is missing. Basically there are a zillion ways they could get caught, AND they still have to go to law school acting like they didn't murder their mentor-professor's husband.
This is gonna be one rough spring semester.
LK: Seriously, talk about academic pressure!
You know what though, I hope the show doesn't go down the Sam rabbit hole so far that it forgets the Lila plot line because I need to know who killed Lila, for my own peace of mind. No way it's Sam, too easy. Especially now that we know what Annalise is capable of, and that phone call she placed right before Sam was killed asking to look into the people in Lila's life? Phew!
It may seem like Annalise is in control of all the potentially loose ends, but where's the fun in that?! I give Shonda more credit.
LW: This wouldn't be a Shondaland show if Annalise were actually in control of ALL the loose ends. Where would we get the heart-stopping, jaw-dropping, gazillion twists required per episode?
Back to Lila's killer, though, my money's on Bonnie. Girl was jealous as all hell and had some weird stuff to hide in the finale by getting with the dental equipment salesmen. Could she be trying to cover up some sort of bite marks she has to hide? Or figuring out how to match someone else's canines? Or ... is she protecting Annalise?
LK: Side note, I've been binge watching "Gilmore Girls" on Netflix while waiting for "HTGAWM" to return and it boggles the mind how far Paris Geller has come. From Yale to murder-ville in the blink of an eye!
Honestly, I wouldn't put it past Paris, er, Bonnie to orchestrate a murder but why would she let the blame fall on Sam? Seeing as how she is in love with, or at least was. Is she the nebulous titular entity getting away with murder? Is Annalise? Is everyone? Who isn't?!
Which brings me to Nate. Poor, poor Nate. Seems like he's the only well-intentioned, truth-seeking character around (albeit a cheater). On the one hand, I love that a man is being strung along for once. Hollywood is so good at creating the female sap, never the gullible guy -- and never this handsome. So if we are getting what we're seeing, it would appear as if Annalise is in perfect control of the situation, using Nate as a puppet for her alibi.
But on the other, you never know with Shonda and the gang. What if Nate knows exactly what Annalise is hiding, or rather, the reason she came over that night. What if he's just waiting for the right moment to play that card? That would seem a likelier move for that show. What do you think of Nate, a gorgeous chump or a conniving genius like the rest of 'em?
LW: Well hold on -- I think we should give a bit more pause for that dear, incredibly hot, supposedly noble Nate. He is cheating on his wife who is dying of cancer. So, completely innocent he is not. Furthermore, I think you could be on to something about his dark side -- he inadvertently set the murder of Sam in motion by giving Rebecca the flash drive to tap Sam's computer. And he effectively lied to Annalise all season about the findings of his investigation into Sam.
What about this crazy idea -- Nate killed Lila and framed Sam to save Annalise from her own cheating husband? Is that too twisty even for Shonda? Could we bear the fabulous Nate to be that much of a conniving genius?
LK: MIND. BLOWN.
Umm, after picking my jaw off the floor ... what are we hoping happens now? Do we want to further explore the Annalise/Wes relationship in light of this ginormous secret they're keeping from the world? Are we hoping the Annalise/Nate story unravels? That he betrays her? That she further betrays him? Do we think there's more to that Rebecca/Lila storyline?
My vote's on Annalise/Wes and a not-so-surprising second surprise. I think they both think they're the only ones in on it, the only two who know Annalise knows. But they're not.
LW: When it comes to the Rebecca/Lila drama, I can only imagine. With all the twists and turns, you forget that Rebecca is still on trial for Lila's murder! And Annalise is defending her! So. Much. Craziness.
But as for Annalise and Wes, that relationship was already such a twisted power dynamic that I cannot wait to see what a wrench his murder of HER HUSBAND and her orchestrating of the disposal of his body throws into it.
And you're so right -- my money's on Laurel figuring out that Annalise is pulling the strings. That girl has gotten so much more authoritative in the face of this crisis and became the secondary ringleader behind Wes out in the woods. She's by far my favorite student on the show, and I look forward to seeing her break even further out of her shell in the second half of the season.
LK: Ooh, solid point. Laurel really did rise to the occasion, which is weird, being that the occasion is a murder-coverup. I can't wait for this new episode, I hope my nerves are strong enough for this!
LW: See you on the other side!
"How to Get Away with Murder" airs Thursdays at 10:00 p.m. ET on ABC.
Previously on HuffPost:
• "How to Get Away with Murder" Recap: Don't Be
• "How to Get Away with Murder" Recap: Cheaters Never Prosper
• "How to Get Away with Murder" Recap: The Big Bang
• "How to Get Away with Murder" Recap: The Keating Five
• "How to Get Away with Murder" Recap: What Would Annalise Keating Do?
• "How to Get Away with Murder" Recap: Pushing Boundaries
• "How to Get Away with Murder" Recap: Nobody's Happy
• "How to Get Away with Murder" Recap: Everybody Lies
• "How to Get Away with Murder" Recap: The Body Count Starts At 2
• Who Is Getting Away with Murder on "How to Get Away with Murder"?
• Are You Suffering from TGIT Withdrawal?