‘How To Get Away With Murder’ finale recap: Out with a bang


“How To Get Away With Murder” went out with several huge bangs Thursday night.

The six-season ABC series gave viewers a sense of closure in wrapping up the labyrinthian, twisty —  and often nonsensical — tale of morally ambiguous lawyer Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) and the law-school minions who followed her down a dark, murderous rabbit hole.

In true “Murder” fashion, the final season began with Annalise’s funeral, spurring strong speculation that she would die in the series finale. Fans should’ve known better, since the series pulled these bait-and-switch plot contrivances during its long run — which began with the murder of Annalise’s husband, Sam Keating (Tom Verica).

His creepy ghost loomed large over everything that happened thereafter, including Thursday night’s finale, which opened with a series of gunshots fired on the steps of a Philadelphia courthouse. That’s where Annalise was on trial for murder (it’s complicated), with former students Connor (Jack Falahee), Michaela (Aja Naomi King) and Laurel (Karla Souza) testifying, along with her ex-boyfriend Nate (Billy Brown). Her former students Asher (Matt McGorry) and Wes (Alfred Enoch) would’ve been there, too — had they not been disposed of in previous seasons. Hey, it happens.

After all was said and done — and the dirty laundry of Annalise and her cohorts was laid bare — she was … wait for it … acquitted on all charges, while Connor went off to serve his five-year sentence, hoping his husband, Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) would divorce him and all the bad karma surrounding him. Laurel, meanwhile, sped away with baby Christopher, and Michaela went free but friendless — collateral damage from her no-jail plea deal.

Then came the double whammy: the gunshots on the steps and the finale’s most shocking moment.

Annalise’s go-to guy/killer Frank Delfino (Charlie Weber), having discovered his real parentage — he was the result of an incestuous affair between Sam and his sister, Hannah (Marcia Gay Harden) — went berserk and, armed with a gun, climbed the courthouse steps during Annalise’s post-trial victory lap and gunned down evil Governor Birkhead (Laura Innes), much to the relief of the show’s loyal fans.

But Frank was also shot in the melee and died a bloody death cradled in the arms of his girlfriend, Bonnie (Liza Weil). She, too, was shot, and as Annalise begged her loyal friend to hold on, she died alongside Frank, the two lovers reunited in death.

Since this is “How To Get Away With Murder,” there was a final coda.

Annalise’s funeral, shown in the season opener, did, in fact, take place — but it was years in the future, with gray-haired Laurel, Connor and Oliver (still together) all present — along with the now-adult Christopher, the product of Laurel’s romance with Wes, who died in Season 3. That wasn’t shocking — what was weird was that Christopher was played by Enoch, adapting a light Spanish accent (Christopher grew up in Laurel’s native Mexico). They couldn’t find another actor who wasn’t a DNA-perfect carbon copy of Enoch?

As Christopher spoke, viewers got glimpses of Annalise’s life (à la the finale of “Six Feet Under”) as she aged into a senior citizen and (literally) walked into the sunset — finally at peace with herself and closing the book on this eventful series.

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