How is it that Shonda Rhimes seems to be able to hit the ball out of the park with every single one of her American television series? From Grey’s Anatomy to How to Get Away with Murder, her shows are the perfect cocktail of mystery, romance, and thrill. When How to Get Away with Murder debuted in 2014, fans audiences were already enticed by its massive cast lineup including Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis and Harry Potter‘s Alfred Enoch.
What audiences couldn’t have imagined is how sickeningly dark and twisted this series would be. As Annalise Keating teaches her law students how to be adequate defense lawyers, she is simultaneously covering up their murders. Each student has their own backstory that gets an equal share of the spotlight, which helps add to the suspense as you never know what Rhimes will dream up next. The show itself is still gaining traction and maintains high scores on websites like IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes. And it’s five years, here is How to Get Away with Murder's 10 biggest twists ranked.
10 Bonnie's Childhood
Bonnie Winterbottom is annoyingly reserved and dangerously obsessive. She is constantly at Annalise‘s beck and call, despite having obvious feelings for her boss' husband during the first season. Later on, we learn exactly why Bonnie is so quietly frightening. Her past is one that, while to be expected given her demeanor, is way more harsh than imaginable. Bonnie grew up getting molested by her father who sells these promiscuous tapes in order to make money. She became pregnant at the age of 15, had the baby, only to be forced to give it up. It’s no wonder she so desperately messed up as an adult.
9 Analise and Wes' History
Wes Gibbons comes into Annalise Keating‘s Criminal Law 101 course at Middleton University with little expectations other than to pursue his career as a lawyer. However, as it turns out, he and his professor's lives are more entwined then he knew. When he was a boy, Wes's mother, Rose, worked as a maid for a family called the Mahoney‘s. When Wallace Mahoney asks Rose to come forward as a witness and to lie on the stand concerning the murder of his son’s fiancé, Rose becomes frightened.
That is when the Mahoney's hire Annalise to represent Charles who is the lead suspect and his fiancé's murder. Annalise is sent to reason with Rose, but ultimately Rose decides to flee. This is the wrong choice and presumably, the Mahoney’s have her killed. Annalise finds her and has to be the one to take Wes to the police. Annalise even tries to adopt Wes purely out of guilt and because of her own recent child’s death.
8 Wes Meeting His Grandfather
After Wes finds out about his mother's untimely murder (which he formally believed to be a suicide), he goes on the hunt to find the full story. He becomes engrossed with the truth and relentlessly spends his time investigating his mother's murder. He eventually finds out that Charles Mahoney is his father, which is why he thinks the Mahoney's killed his mother. This eventually leads him to catch up to Wallace Mahoney outside of a hotel. He is there to confront him, but never fully gets the chance as Wallace is unexpectedly shot in a drive-by.
7 Wes Shooting Analise
As with every season, the second one opens up with a foreshadowing detail that shows Annalise's undeniable fate. She has been shot and there is no telling if she’ll survive the wound. Of course, audiences have to wait throughout the entire season before they find out who has shot her, and the big twist is that it’s Wes. Despite their differences and their history, Wes and Annalise are somewhat dependent on one another and it seems like after everything, there is little that Annalise could have done to warrant Wes to shoot her. As it turns out, he does this as a cover-up method with no real intentions of hurting her. Still, the situation is pretty jarring.
6 Asher's Murder
Asher is the most innocent of all of Annalise's interns. For quite some time, he doesn’t even know about the murder of Annalise’s husband, Sam. He is the comic relief, the light at the end of the tunnel where everyone else is grieving in their own loneliness. By the end of the second season, however, Asher reveals that he too is capable of just about anything.
After the death of his father, Asher is wrestling with unsurpassable rage. He puts the blame on prosecutor Emily Sinclair. So when he sees her in the parking lot, he reverses his car and hits her, ultimately killing her. It just adds another murder on to the group's docket, but now Asher is just as guilty as the rest of them.
5 Laurel's Delivery
Later in the series, after Laurel and Wes's ill-fated relationship, Laurel discovers that she is pregnant with Wes’s child. Cold hearted and isolated, it seems like Laurel is the least likely of the crew who would rejoice about having a child. But she is pleasantly surprised, much to the chagrin of her parents. Laurel gets through the pregnancy, all the while still trying to atone for her wrongdoings.
It all comes to a head when she suddenly goes into premature labor while in an elevator at Annalise's residence. The elevator gets stuck in between floors, and Laurel is left writhing in pain with blood pooling at her feet. She has no way out and no way to reach anyone. Thankfully, Annalise comes to her rescue although Laurel is passed out at this point. She has to hand deliver Laurel’s baby who isn’t breathing. As if tensions aren't already high enough, Annalise then has to give the baby CPR at the instructions of a 911 operator.
4 Sam's Affair
Sam is Annalise's husband. He seems to be the ideal partner, supporting Annalise any which way she turns while having a stable career of his own. However, when Wes finds out about Sam's affair and the fact that his former mistress had been found murdered, Wes and his girlfriend Rebecca start to investigate him. As if his infidelity weren’t shocking enough, it is later revealed that Sam actually did kill the young girl who served as his mistress, and all because she had gotten pregnant.
3 Sam's Murder
Naturally, all of this amateur detective work gets Annalie's team of students into some trouble. Wes‘s girlfriend at the time, Rebecca, goes to Annalise‘s house to pull the trigger on Sam‘s infidelity and suspected killings. Wes and his friends follow in order to stop her, only to find her at a stalemate with Sam himself. He has her cornered at the top of the stairs where she has a hard drive from his computer as evidence of his wrongdoing.
Sam asks them to leave, but not before attacking them to get the evidence out of their hands. Michaela pushes him and Sam falls down over a banister, which kills him on impact. It’s the first murder the group has on their hands, and they decided that what is best is to cover up the murder. The fact that Annalise is willing to help is truly shocking but it sets the pace for the rest of the series.
2 Frank's Secret
Before her days teaching at Middleton University to her current group of allies, Annalise had been pregnant. This is around the time that she is working on the Mahoney case where she first meets Wes as a child. However, the baby dies as the result of a tremendous hit-and-run that Annalise is involved in. It is then revealed that the car accident is premeditated by the Mahoney‘s. The Mahoney‘s use Frank, Annalise‘s current right-hand man, in order to solidify the hit against her. This is eventually revealed in season three, and Annalise rightfully holds Frank responsible for the death of her child.
1 Wes's Death
The beginning of season three starts off with the climax of the season. It shows Annalise's home and central headquarters burning to the ground. What’s even more terrifying about this incident, is that a body has been found on the inside. To maintain the suspense, audiences have to wait until the end of the season in order to find out just whose body has been discovered in her house. Audiences are shocked to the core to find out that it is Wes, who up until that point, had been the prominent lead on the show. It just goes to show that nobody in Rhimes' universe is safe, and with the sixth season of How to Get Away with Murder upon us, it will certainly be exhilarating to find out who the next victim is.