It can be surprisingly easy to forget that ABC's newest hit drama from Shondaland, How To Get Away With Murder, is about more than just one murder — it's about two! By its very nature, the killing of Professor Sam Keating is by far the more interesting of the two: it's the one the show keeps flash-forwarding to. Piecing together the events leading up to the fatal night have been like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, not to mention the fact that we know him as a character. By comparison, Lila Stangard's murder is much less exciting: it happened in the past, and we never really knew her, besides a few glimpses in flashbacks. If you, like most everyone, have been obsessed with trying to solve the mystery of "Who killed Sam?", then you might have forgotten that we don't actually know who killed Lila yet, either...
...And maybe that's exactly how her killer wants it to be. Think about it: if someone were about to catch on to the fact that you had killed a person, what better distraction to throw them off the scent than a second murder? Especially someone with ties to the original victim? The police would be so busy solving the new murder and unraveling the connection between the victims, that you would have ample time to 1) discredit the witnesses, 2) introduce a new suspect, and 3) bury the evidence. So which HTGAWM character would be smart enough to pull off such an audacious plan? Probably the one who quite literally wrote the book on getting away with murder, don't you think?
From everything we know so far, Annalise has the most motive for wanting Lila dead. The girl was sleeping with her husband, after all. A character is not exempt from suspicion simply by virtue of being the protagonist. (Just ask Agatha Christie.) Perhaps, after years of affairs with his students, Lila was the straw that broke the camel's back; Annalise snapped and — intentionally or not — killed the girl. Now, with the recent revelation that Sam had gotten Lila pregnant, Annalise would probably be more than fine with using her husband as collateral damage in her quest to get away with murder. All she would have to do would be to manipulate someone into killing Sam for her, and once the police realize that Sam and Lila are connected, they will assume that whoever killed Sam also killed Lila.
I previously ranked Annalise as my #1 suspect for Sam's murder, and I still firmly believe that, even if hers isn't the hand that kills him, she will be directly responsible for his death. Perhaps she'll subtly convince Bonnie to do it for her (what more perfect patsy than the employee who just betrayed her?), but whoever ultimately swings the sword (or the trophy, if you will), you can be sure that Annalise will have something to do with it. And if killing her unfaithful husband is the price she has to pay to get away with Lila's murder, well... I'll bet that's a price that Annalise Keating is willing to pay.
Images: Mitchell Haaseth/ABC; howtogetawaywithmurderx/tumblr