Laurel Castillo will not rest until she uncovers the truth behind Wes’ death on How to Get Away With Murder — even if that means destroying her own father.
Thanks to the season 3 finale, viewers know that it was Jorge Castillo (Esai Morales) who ordered the hit on Wes, and it sounds like it won’t be long before Laurel (Karla Souza) at least suspects her father played a role. How far will she go to get revenge? EW turned to Souza to get the scoop. (Read our interview with creator Pete Nowalk here.)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What can you tease of Laurel’s mindset when we pick back up with her?
KARLA SOUZA: First of all, she’s pregnant, and she’s pregnant with a guy who’s recently been killed by — she doesn’t know yet — but her father, so that’s, obviously, a huge, juicy storyline, for Laurel. How’s she going to find out that it was her father? What is she going to do to basically avenge Wes’s death? Is she going to keep the baby? Is she not going to keep the baby and all of the Dominic/father relationship, and how is she going to cope with Wes’s death, and whether she’s going to go back to school, is she going to drop out, is she going to start interning, because they’re halfway through their law school, and so this is the time where they’re starting to intern at like law firms and stuff. The story picks up where Laurel’s at, which is post-Wes’ death, a couple of months after where we left off, which was Laurel with a gun in her hand, trying to avenge Wes and Wes’s death. Laurel is not relaxed about that, so she’s going to be the motor of at least this first part of the season.
Do you think seeing Dominic in the finale gave her pause as to who is really responsible?
Yeah, I feel like it’s funny because that played out like you’re saying, and that’s the beauty of TV. I feel like she does have a moment where she clocks like the weirdness of him being there, and so I think she’s probably had enough times in her life where the apparition of Dominic means bad news, so I’m sure she has an inkling as to something’s off here. She just knows something’s off.
Does she suspect her father? How would Laurel feel if she found out her father was responsible?
She wouldn’t put it past him because she knows what a terrible human being he is. It hasn’t been shown fully, but at least Pete [Nowalk] and I have talked about the whole kidnapping and what the dad’s reaction to her being kidnapped was, and how he dealt with that, so she’s fully aware of his capacity to not care for her, and to go against her for his own needs. So, I don’t think that she would put it past him. I think just finding the motive is really what is the engine behind what wouldn’t make her really get to the bottom of it. I just feel like to have peace of mind, she owes it to Wes, she owes it to everyone, and not only that, now she’s blaming herself because now she knows that if she hadn’t been in Wes’ life, she could have saved him basically, so that’s probably the worst thing that you could find out about your boyfriend, who’s the father of your unborn baby, and it’s just so cold to even process it right now when I’m saying it. I doubt that she’s able to process it either.
Can you talk about like what lengths she will go to get revenge?
Well, she’s super cunning, so what she does is she’s always a step ahead. Somehow you think she’s behind, and then suddenly she surprises you, and she had this whole plan coming along, so we’re going to get the sense of that. We’re going to get the sense of she’s taking this road, and then suddenly it’s going to flip, and a lot of things have changed, and she’s changed, and she’s in revenge mode. She’s pregnant, so she has something to fight for, she has something to protect, but that upped the level of Laurel’s need for revenge. Now whether she decides to keep the baby or not, that’s a whole different thing, but we’re going to find that out in episode 1. It’s pretty nice how Pete does give a lot of stuff in episode one so that people can straight away have that satisfaction of knowing like, “Oh my God, this is what’s happening!” Then they can really catch on to wanting to know the rest of it. But I do know that she’s going to, once again, use a lot of deceiving to help her with whatever plan. Like at the end of season 3, she made Michaela and Asher go with her. She made Michaela stick with the Mahoney’s, and so she’s able to convince people to do what she wants. She’s going to go to much weirder, stranger lengths to get to her father and avenge Wes’ death, so that’s what’s going to be fun for people to watch. She’s the only one who’s really remembering Wes basically, so she’s the one that’s going to keep that going.
How does the K4 feel her mission of revenge this year?
She keeps it close to herself, so she’s very good at not disclosing too much information. In season 3, only when they came to her house she’s like, “Dammit, they found out that I had a detective!” She won’t disclose the information until — and the same thing happens this season, like straight away, after a few episodes, she’s caught in one of the biggest things. She’s changed her life and her style of life, and she’s caught by one of the K4, and that’s what makes her have to disclose more and more information, but if it was up to her, she would just basically not tell them anything. But because she needs one of them, you’re going to find out she needs one of them, and she’s going to play chess with one of them to get to that final revenge. She needs to convince that person, and she goes to great lengths, and she’s really savvy in how she does it, and she doesn’t emotionally manipulate — she can cry whenever she needs something, she can pretend something’s hurting her when it’s not, she’s basically a mastermind at that. They really liked that aspect of Laurel, so they really upped that this season.
What kind of help does she get from Annalise in that sense? What does that relationship look like this season?
Because Annalise is trying to find redemption this season, I feel like there’s this maternal aspect that comes from her dealing with Laurel and there’s this unspoken love, understanding, and pain that they both share, and that made their relationship a lot stronger. Laurel is banking on that, but then when stuff happens, basically what’s interesting about this season is we’re all going to be spread out a lot more, each with our situations, so we’re going to see how the K4 handle not having her super close all the time, the leash is a little bit looser this season.
What does her relationship with her dad look like? Is it a bit of a cat and mouse game?
Yeah, she’s playing poker face, for sure. Jorge is coming back really strong this season. You see him from episode 1, and you’re going to find out a lot more of our family business, of our history there. Laurel, however, keeps her enemies closer, so she’s not going to make it obvious that she’s going after him until there’s no question that that’s what she’s doing.
Murder always kicks off with a big revelation or flash forward. Pete Nowalk says this season that has to do with “where.”
I see what he’s saying. If you think about it, season 1 was like what happened, who killed Sam, how did it go down. Then season 2 was like who shot Annalise, and then who’s dead. At this point, there’s a very important aspect that is missing, that’s all I’m going to say, basically, and it’s a very, very strong character, I guess, in the story, that we need to find out where it went, where it is, what happened to it. Yeah, in the first episode, you’re going to find out, but it’s definitely one of the most chilling because it’s more on the emotional side. It does take an emotional toll on a lot of the characters.
How is Laurel handling the question of whether she’s going to keep the baby?
They even toyed with me because what Laurel says to one person isn’t necessarily what she’s doing, or what her plan is, so they toy with us a lot, especially in the first episode. She’s done a lot of thinking, she’s done a lot of planning and researching, but in the two months since we last saw her, she’s not showing anyway, so it doesn’t really make a visual difference yet, but we’ll find out what she decides to do with that. It’s funny because different people want different things. Bonnie said in season 3, “I’ll help you get rid of it,” and Laurel basically gave her a lot of shade for that, but we don’t know what she’s really thinking. We don’t know whether emotionally she can take care of a baby without the father, without any support, so it’s just a good subject to have for this season for Laurel.
What does Laurel’s relationship with Frank look like in the wake of Wes’ death?
There’s such a tumultuous relationship there. It’s push-pull, and I feel like Wes not being there almost has left a vacuum. I mean, it’s either the people she knows or making new acquaintances, and Laurel does not make new acquaintances in that way, so she’s going to keep the people that she knows close, not too close, but she’s definitely going to use them. She’s not very good at vulnerability or intimacy, at that point, but she will definitely have some sort of relationship with Frank, even though Frank has been ostracized from the group. He’s trying relentlessly to amend the things he’s done, and so Laurel sees that, and also, again, uses him for what she needs. But it’s going to be a fun relationship.
The takeaway from this interview is, basically, don’t trust Laurel this season.
Yeah. Pretty much. Every episode I’m like, “All right, I guess, we’re doing this now.” It’s crazy because it’s season 4, and they’re still strong with all of these plot twists and turns.
How to Get Away With Murder returns Thursday at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.