How to Get Away with Murder star Charlie Weber on heartbreaking Frank twist
Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the season 2 finale of How to Get Away with Murder. Read at your own risk!
So that’s the favor Frank owed Sam!
Frank’s (Charlie Weber) past came back to haunt him in the How to Get Away with Murder season finale as flashbacks revealed he betrayed Annalise (Viola Davis) in a deadly way. In exchange for a suitcase full of money, Frank planted a bug in Annalise’s hotel room, which tipped Wallace Mahoney (Adam Arkin) off that Annalise was going to the police. Mahoney basically then put a hit out on her, leading to the car accident that claimed the life of Annalise’s unborn child. Frank came clean to Sam (Tom Verica), who said it would crush Annalise to know the truth, so he kept it a secret… until he called in a favor — which is why Frank had to kill Lila for Sam last season.
Devastated that Annalise discovered the truth in the present, Frank decided to skip town with the money, though he may not have gotten far. Frank seemed incensed when he discovered that Wes (Alfred Enoch) was the child of Wallace Mahoney, who was shot by an unknown assailant in the closing moments of the finale. Could Frank be to blame? EW caught up with Weber to find out. (Stay tuned for our full recap and read our postmortem with executive producer Pete Nowalk, who teases what’s in store for season 3 here.)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First and foremost, do you think Frank killed Mahoney?
CHARLIE WEBER: In my perfect version of the show, I believe so. With Frank, he’s already thinking about how he can make this OK. With his skill set, that would fall into that category. I have no idea what’s going to happen, but I certainly have my vision and I can see that being something that Frank would do to begin his journey back to Annalise.
Frank seemed somewhat angry when he learned that Wes is the son of Wallace Mahoney. What’s going on in his head when he discovers that?
It’s just all very complicated. It is more confusion. He’s trying to put the pieces together. As he was an integral part of what happened 10 years ago, he doesn’t understand how this is all coming together, why he’s here or what Annalise is trying to do. Part of his whole reason for leaving is that he needs to figure some things out. He needs to take a step back and examine this before he can move forward. Frank’s a thinker, and he really likes to gauge a situation before he goes forward. He’s very premeditated, let’s say. He needs to step away and figure out what’s going on.
Let’s go back, when did you learn that’s the favor Frank owed Sam?
It wasn’t like when I killed Lila. It wasn’t something that was told to me later in the game. This was something that Pete and I had been talking about. With big things, I always like to get as much time with something so I can have Frank wrap his brain around it. Like telling Laurel (Karla Souza) that he killed Lila, I needed some time to process that, because that’s insane. I love how it played out. That’s his version of “I love you.” That makes a lot of sense to me. We found that over the course of time. The same with Frank being responsible. With the way he feels about Annalise, we wanted to do something that really had a lot of weight. It was something we talked about since the first part of the season in some meetings that we had that Frank would be responsible for the death of her child, which we knew was going to be a storyline. I had a lot of time with this one.
There was a mention that Sam pulled Frank off the street. Do you hope we explore that?
There are rumors about that. It’s going to be interesting to see what we do about season 3, and if we want to keep going back or move forward with these people. It would be very interesting to find out what all that means. Frank is a very different person now than he was. He was no angel, but certainly not the monster that we know today. Being responsible for the death of their child is what destroyed him. Now that’s why he is who he is today. It would be very interesting to me. I’m so spoiled in that we got to look back 10 years ago, because I’ve been bothering Pete [Nowalk] about that since the beginning of the show. I’m not going to push too hard. If he wants to go there, I’d love to, but I’m so happy with what we’ve been allowed to do that I’m not going to push it.
Could Annalise ever trust Frank again?
Yeah, possibly. You’ve got to think about what level of trust this was. These are two people who have so much dirt on each other. They’re bound for life no matter what, whether they love or hate each other. Trust is an interesting word on our show. Do any of us really trust others? It’s a lot to ask. But we really are bound together. That scene was very, very important to me that I had with Frank and Sam. That was a real joy, but a horrible, horrible experience in that I wanted to break Frank down and have him just be absolutely devastated and destroyed. This was not planned. This was the worst thing he could ever imagine. He never came back from that. It’s why he’s so blindly loyal to her.
When Annalise said Frank has to go, did she just mean leave the firm or did she want Bonnie (Liza Weil) to kill him?
I think part of her, in that knee-jerk reaction: “She probably would want me dead.” Being responsible for that and her learning that, she’s already upset about the Lila thing, it’s a lot. It’s up to one’s own interpretation, but clearly this is not okay, and there’s going to be some stuff.
Where do you think Frank has gone? And do you think he considered asking Laurel to run with him?
No. The short answer is no. I think he’s hiding, and I think he’s alone. If he does have a lifeline, I don’t think it’s Laurel.
Do you think it’s Bonnie?
We’ll see how it all shakes out, but there are certain people that he trusts more than others, and he certainly doesn’t trust Laurel.
How did Frank feel when he learned about Wes and Laurel? Was there jealousy there?
That’s not… no. That’s the funny thing. I’m breaking hearts in the world of “Flaurel” fans, but we as actors find these things: When we did the scene where she broke up with me, she was very honest and very direct, and I think that landed. I think there was something very finite about that conversation. On a romantic level, and as I said, we’re all bound by our sins, but I think that relationship has seen it’s time. She’s moved on, and he accepted that. Then the scene where she comes to my apartment and we speak so generally and casually was very telling toward that relationship as well.
Do you think the love between them is gone?
I don’t know. Once two people have been in that situation, nothing goes away completely. There will always be something there. With Frank, he’s so concerned with the Annalise thing that he’s not dealing with the Laurel thing right now. He’s so consumed with what this means with Annalise that it’s his soul purpose.
Frank seems to know about Laurel’s father. Do you think whoever he is is what attracted Frank to Laurel?
I don’t know Frank to Laurel, but I think Laurel to Frank. Frank just thought she was cute, and then those feelings grew and grew, and he found himself being very confused by the feelings he was having. He’s not a man who was quick to fall in love, or maybe even knows what that is. He’s really not one to let his guard down. He let her behind the curtain and had some real feelings for her. That’s why it was so hard for her love not to be reciprocated. I think that shut him down a little with that relationship as far as pursuing it further.
Who is Frank if he’s not working for Annalise? She always seemed to keep him somewhat legitimate. Do you see him falling off the wagon in a sense?
I see him completely falling down. I think he’ll be consumed with getting back in her good graces, because that’s his purpose. Ever since that happened 10 years ago, his only purpose in life is to serve her. He has his fun, too, but without her, he doesn’t have much.
Bonnie and Frank are both killers! What do you think that discovery does to their relationship?
Oddly enough, I think it strengthens it. I think it goes even deeper. It’s really interesting. All the people who have been killed on the show, and everyone who is responsible, and the thing with Annalise, all these things are accidents. Of all the bodies, there are only two premeditated, first-degree murders, and those were committed by Bonnie and Frank. It’s a bonding thing.
Who do you think will fill the role now left by Frank?
I don’t think any of them want the job. It’s going to be a matter of tension in the house that there’s no Frank. I don’t know what Annalise will do. I don’t know what the house will become without that looming threat walking around in a three piece suit.
What surprised you most about this season?
How the relationships really took hold, how deep they go, and how you can see them on screen. It was great work last year, but this year we were able to step back a little bit, certainly in the second half of the season, and look at our characters, examine those people and why they are who they are. I think the show has really benefited from it.
What’s your hope for next season when it comes to Frank?
That we keep going down this path, and we kind of let him fall down, and we let him become whatever it is he needs to become for the sake of trying to get back into the life of Annalise Keating.
Do you ultimately think he’s redeemable?
I do. I really do. He’s a complicated guy, but there’s a heart in there. He really does love Annalise. He really does feel he belongs to her, in a lot of ways.
How to Get Away with Murder is expected to return in the fall. Stay tuned for our full recap and read our postmortem with executive producer Pete Nowalk, who teases what’s in store for season 3 here.
Viola Davis stars as a law professor where she teaches, wait for it, how to get away with murder.