Credit: ABC/Mitch Haaseth

In the wake of the reveal that someone from Annalise Keating’s inner circle would die on How to Get Away With Murder this season, fans took comfort knowing that the flash forwards each week would reveal one of their favorites was safe. But creator Pete Nowalk had a trick up his sleeve.

First off — and spoiler alert for those who have not yet watched the winter finale — Wes (Alfred Enoch) was revealed to be the victim under the sheet, dead as a result of the house fire at Annalise’s (Viola Davis) house. But a flash forward in the Nov. 3 episode featured Wes seemingly alive and apparently planning to turn against Annalise as the star witness for the D.A. Viewers were not yet aware that the scene in question took place before the house fire.

“I understand if people will be upset,” Nowalk tells EW of the bait and switch. “Part of the DNA of the show is that we’re always playing with time.”

Nowalk also points out that Connor’s (Jack Falahee) flash forward, in which he slept with Oliver’s (Conrad Ricamora) recent flame, took place before the house fire as well. “Nothing is hard and fast when you watch it,” Nowalk says. “You don’t know where it is in place and time until we tell you. To me, that’s the fun of the show, the ride of it.”

To read more on How to Get Away With Murder’s big twist, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands, or buy it here now – and subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

How to Get Away With Murder will return Thursday, Jan. 19 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC. Read our full postmortem with Nowalk here. Alfred Enoch talks about his exit here. The cast reveals their reaction to that devastating death here. And Viola Davis and Liza Weil address that surprising kiss here.

Episode Recaps

How to Get Away With Murder

Viola Davis stars as a law professor where she teaches, wait for it, how to get away with murder.

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