How to Get Away With Murder finale recap: 'Nobody Else Is Dying'
It’s the season finale of How to Get Away With Murder, and it’s a doozy. Not because it’s full of drama, though of course it is, but because for once our characters get a happy ending. To be honest, “Nobody Else Is Dying” felt a bit like a series finale precisely for that reason. Usually these characters aren’t granted nearly this much closure and peace.
We open on the car crash that ended the last episode. The coroner is going over the body in the morgue, while Annalise meets with Nate in the parking garage and Frank continues to track down Laurel. It turns out the victim of the car crash is not Bonnie, as last week led us to believe, but District Attorney Denver. Gasp!
Michaela and Asher are still hashing out their breakup as Asher packs his things and prepares to move out. Asher doesn’t believe Michaela regrets cheating on him and calls her evil. The prosecutor Bonnie previously tried to flirt with to get the DA’s office to dismiss Isaac’s case is now in charge of the DA’s office. He’s visibly shaken and urges them all to give full cooperation to the FBI, and he takes a moment to honor Denver.
Back at the hotel, Annalise has gathered the Keating Four to plan next steps. Oliver worries that they should all be in hiding, not to mention Simon won’t stop texting him about his whistleblower deal because he wants to hear from Annalise. But first, Annalise lays down an ultimatum: “No one else is dying. All we have is each other, and so we have to work to protect each other. That’s what we’re going to do.” Oh Annalise, how can you still be so naïve about these things?
Laurel gets a call from her father — he wants to know where her mother is, and Laurel was the last person to be seen with her. Jorge is with Christopher, using the baby as collateral. He’s convinced his daughter did something to hurt her mother. Laurel thinks her mom is probably passed out on a plane back to Paris. But the remaining Keating Four worry that she may not be telling them everything, since she was the one to bring a loaded gun to an office party — not exactly stable behavior. Laurel admits to Annalise and Frank that she told her mother she should kill herself. Her father wants them to doubt her, and his plan is working. But first, the FBI want to talk to her because she’s also the last person who was seen with Denver alive (this is not a good habit to have, Laurel).
Frank heads off to New York to look for Mrs. Castillo, while Michaela and Oliver go to visit Simon and Annalise accompanies Laurel to the FBI. Meanwhile, the prosecutor in charge of the DA’s office asks Bonnie why the FBI is meeting with her intern and makes a sexist joke about pregnant women and hormones. He then apologies for being a “frat boy” (LOL) and buries the hatchet with Bonnie. Simon keeps demanding to see Annalise, but Michaela stalls by saying Annalise is busy finalizing his deal with the feds. Simon also wants Oliver to leave, which he does.
Nate is doing his own sleuthing and finds a decades-old case listed as active in Denver’s database. He tells the police that they’re looking into old cases to find people with grudges against Denver and goes to an old evidence locker. There is something in the locker, despite the case being supposedly closed for decades.
Laurel and Annalise grill the FBI about her being brought in for questioning, but Laurel lies and says she thought the meeting with Denver was about her maternity leave, but that Denver just wanted to talk about her father. She tells the FBI she was surprised they knew each other and says she hasn’t spoken with her father recently. LIES. ALL LIES.
Back at Keating central, Laurel says she told the FBI enough to make them investigate her father and lay the groundwork for Simon to play whistleblower. Nate arrives and reveals Denver’s secret locker. He found Dominic’s phone in there — the one Laurel gave him at their last meeting. But he also found the hard drive. Now comes the hard part — finding the illegal files on it. And only Oliver can search for them because only his computer is encrypted. (Seriously, Keating Four, after all the illegal stuff you’ve done, you don’t have like quadruple-encrypted computers at this point?!!) Connor is still afraid this is going to end with them all in jail, which will nullify the hard work they did with the class action and make it impossible to help all the clients re-try their cases. Annalise dismisses his fears and urges him to re-apply to law school — that’s why she gave him a shout-out on the steps of the Supreme Court. Oh, also, she knows what really happened. Which is…what, exactly? (Recap continues on page 2)
While Oliver comes up short searching the files, Michaela is still watching over Simon. She tells him she’s visibly upset because of her breakup, but he sees through her and realizes they don’t have the files. He wants proof of them or he will go to the police and tell them the truth. Michaela threateningly tells him that would be a mistake. Back at the hotel, Oliver continues to find nothing particularly interesting (except Laurel’s name on some bank accounts in the Cayman Islands). They need help to find the proof they need in a timely manner.
Naturally, that leads Annalise to approach Tegan at Caplan & Gold and admit that they have the files. She wants Tegan to tell her where the illegal files are and even reminds her she could be charged as a co-conspirator on any of Jorge’s current illegal dealings. Annalise tells Tegan that Jorge killed the district attorney, but Tegan kicks her out of the office.
Michaela intercepts Annalise in the parking lot (god bless my not having to write those words again until next fall). She wants to call ICE and get Simon deported. Annalise tells her that’s not who they are, but Michaela insists it is, so Annalise lays into her for trying to be like her and warns, “The path you’re on nearly got me killed, and you’re not me.” Nate admits to Bonnie that in Denver’s locker, he also found files Denver was keeping on all of them — which are all helpfully color coded. He tells her he already destroyed them. Sure, because I believe that.
Frank admits to Laurel that he went to the hotel and could find no trace of her mother. He wants her to tell him if she did something, but she lashes out and reminds him he’s the sociopath in the relationship. Asher is swiping on a dating app and whining, so Frank tells him he should just forgive Michaela. It’s obvious he wants to but thinks he’s not allowed to because it wouldn’t be manly or whatever. Michaela lied, yes, but they all lie. Connor then tells the entire group that surprise! He’s also been lying this whole time. He didn’t drop out of law school, he flunked out. He was ashamed to tell them the truth, which earns him a hug from Oliver. Annalise arrives and calls Jorge — she has an ultimatum for him and tells him they have the hard drive.
Annalise meets Jorge and brings him the drive. She tells him they don’t have copies, and he can have it in exchange for signing a paper that recants his testimony against Laurel, thereby granting her full custody of Christopher. Jorge doesn’t want to do it because he’s still convinced Laurel did something to her mother — or if not Laurel, then Frank or Bonnie. This is Annalise’s offer — a truce: “Sign the contract or go to prison for the rest of your life.” Jorge appears reluctant to agree, however, because Annalise stole Laurel from him and turned her against him. But Annalise comes right back with the reminder that he took Wes from her, from both of them. He can’t be the great father he claims to be and kill the love of his daughter’s life and lock her in a psych ward. Fair argument, Annalise. Annalise tells him it’s too late; he’s lost Laurel (mostly because of Wes) and should just sign the paper and let her go.
Laurel is at the hospital waiting to take Christopher home. Jorge, who’s also there, is very emotional — he wants to say goodbye, but Laurel denies his request. Laurel is overcome to see her baby but also overwhelmed by the instructions from the nurse, and she looks to Frank for reassurance. Social services will make a home visit for the baby in a month to make sure everything is aboveboard. Before Laurel goes, Jorge tries to ask once again where her mother is. She says she doesn’t know and doesn’t care — both Jorge and Sandrine are dead to her. Frank calls Annalise to let her know they have the baby, and she advises that they get out of there.
Why? Because it was all a set-up. As Jorge is leaving the hospital, he is intercepted and arrested by the FBI. They tell Tegan that he’s in custody, because now that we flash back to her meeting with Annalise, we see the continuation of their convo. While ordering Annalise to get out and reading off legal code citations, Tegan also wrote on a piece of paper, “I’m in.” She turned whistleblower to the FBI in exchange for full immunity and is listed as Jane Doe in the case paperwork, so she can go back to Caplan & Gold and her colleagues will be none the wiser.
The Keating Four watch the news at Bonnie’s house — Jorge has been arrested for wire-tapping, bribery, tax evasion, and first-degree murder (sadly, of Denver, not Wes). They worry Simon will see this news, but Annalise assures them the DA is dropping all charges against him. Except it’s too late; Michaela already took care of him. Just like she suggested, she called ICE and made an anonymous tip. Simon was carted off to a new facility managed by the Department of Homeland Security. Michaela tells Annalise she was the only who had the “balls” to step up and keep them safe because Simon would’ve held this over their heads. Annalise once again accuses her of trying to become like her, and she insists, no, “I’ve become me.” Man, I reaalllly don’t like this version of Michaela.
Annalise gets a call from Nate, and he’s surprised her phone isn’t blowing up, because guess what else is on the news? The Supreme Court has ruled in Lahey v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Annalise won. This is a huge victory for her, the Keating Four, and the reformation of the criminal justice system. The whole gang gets emotional on Bonnie’s couch as the news declares Annalise “a legal powerhouse on a national level.” (Recap continues on page 3)
Laurel is sleeping on Bonnie’s couch, having nightmares about her last conversation with her mother and her father’s accusations. She wakes up to hear the baby crying, but Bonnie is tending to him. She tells Laurel she can stay there as long as she wants. Frank is in a button-down to go to the grocery store — or so he claims.
Now, the final moments are all underscored by a terrific monologue from Annalise, who’s appearing on a public radio show talking about her class action victory. It’s a rousing speech about good guys and bad guys and how “being a convict doesn’t mean you’re bad.” She talks about second chances and how even the most vilified can turn their lives around. Without a chance to get better, you rob people of their families, their futures, and their hope. She hopes the case makes everyone work harder to see the good inside of people. And as for what’s next? She doesn’t know.
All of this plays over the following (and, in true perfect Shondaland fashion, perfectly accentuates each moment with the metaphorical meaning of her words): Frank wasn’t going to the store. He’s going to a prospective student tour at Middleton — seemingly trying to get one of those second chances Annalise mentioned. Connor is also seeking a second chance, filling out an application for law school and writing of how his work on the class action reminded him why he wanted to be a lawyer. Michaela shows up, worried Connor also thinks she’s evil, but he astutely states that they’re all evil sometimes. She helps him with his application.
Asher is moving in to Wes’ old place now that Laurel has upgraded her digs for social services. He’s deciding how to make it more cheery and promises to pay Oliver back for helping with the move-in deposits. Oliver puts the cherry on top of this feel-good moment by asking Asher to be his best man. Bonnie is also finding new hope, swiping on a dating app at work and matching with the prosecutor who’s taken over for Denver. He looks at their match in his pocket, and they smile knowing smiles at each other.
Nate still has the files he said he destroyed (I knew it!) and begins to look through them. He looks at Bonnie’s criminal record and finds a tantalizing note. “Child alive?” it reads. Then, we see a new character, a boy named Gabriel Maddox, also joining the Middleton prospective student tour. Frank recognizes the name, it seems. We see Jorge looking devastated behind bars, while Annalise tells Laurel to go take a shower while she watches Christopher. Laurel has deep scratches and cuts across her arms — so there’s definitely more to her meeting with her mother than she’s been telling everyone. Annalise sings to Christopher, while Frank makes a phone call to an unknown party. “Good times didn’t last too long,” he says. “Her kid is here.”
And that’s where we end. A relatively rosy outlook for all, particularly Annalise, after going through hell and back this season. Now we have the rest of the spring and all summer to debate whether Laurel killed her mother and guess who the kid, Gabriel Maddox, belongs to. We are clearly meant to believe it’s the child mentioned in Bonnie’s files, but I’m still not convinced Annalise’s baby didn’t secretly survive and this is him. What do you think? Were you satisfied with this finale? Comment below.
Viola Davis stars as a law professor where she teaches, wait for it, how to get away with murder.