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How to Get Away with Murder star on Michaela's fractured relationship with mom

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ABC/Richard Cartwright

Michaela’s past is about to come to light.

During the flash forward on last week’s How to Get Away with Murder, it was revealed that Michaela’s (Aja Naomi King) adoptive mother, Trishelle Pratt (Brett Butler), has come to town for a little surprise relating to her daughter, according to executive producer Pete Nowalk. But the real surprise is just how much these two women do not get along.

“We start to understand why Michaela admires Annalise [Viola Davis] so much when you see where she comes from and the kind of woman her mother is and the kind of woman Michaela then aspires to be,” King tells EW. “You’re going to immediately get a sense that this is a kind of family that they’re family because they’ve been put in a situation to be familial, but there’s no sense of love there.”

“It’s very fractured, this relationship,” King continues. “It’s the kind of thing that’s born out of a long-standing history of disappointment after disappointment after disappointment. It’s interesting to me, especially being that Michaela is adopted, what that must be like to grow up with a family that you know isn’t your biological family, but is the family that chose you, and when you question the reasons of them choosing you in the first place.”

Check out a sneak peek from Thursday’s episode above. How to Get Away with Murder airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.