Have you been in Annalise Keating withdrawal since the end of November? Were there many sleepless nights, tossing and turning, contemplating who (if anyone) is going down for killing Sam and wondering what Annalise knows about Sam's murder? Not to fret: How To Get Away With Murder returns on Thursday night from its inappropriately long hiatus, and will hopefully answer our burning questions (while adding a few more). So where did it leave off? We’ve known for the entirety of the first half of the season that Sam Keating meets his maker, but only in the winter finale did we learn who got him there. First Michaela, who knocked him off the Keatings' landing when Sam lunged to attack Rebecca after he found her from stealing something from his computer. Then Wes, who whacked Sam in the head with the treasured justice trophy when Sam, in true end-of-a-horror-movie fashion, got up from falling eight feet onto his head and again attacked Rebecca. It was satisfying and a little gruesome, but mostly satisfying.
Soon after, Connor, Laurel, Wes, Michaela, and Rebecca are freaking out and trying to figure out just what to do with Sam’s body, until Wes returns to the scene of the crime to pick up the trophy — the one piece of evidence that could tie all of the law students to the crime scene. As he tells Sam’s body he’s sorry (which, I wouldn’t be, since Sam has proven himself to be a grade-A jerk, but more on that later), Annalise, who is in her office like the badass she is, says, “Don’t be.” Boom. You’ve been Keating-ed.
Why is Annalise not so remorseful about her husband lying in a bloody, lifeless heap on her nice hardwood floors (I would personally be more worried about the floors — blood stains, you know)? In her quest to get other-side-of-the-tracks Rebecca off the hook for co-ed Lila Stangard’s murder, Annalise has found out a few unsightly things.
The first is that Sam, a professor, was giving Lila more than extra credit, if you know what I’m saying (read: they were doin’ it). And not just doin’ it, basically having a full-on affair: texting naughty pics, banging in his office, and oh, getting Lila pregnant. Yep, Lila was with child at the time of her death, which Annalise’s detective boyfriend, Nate Leahy, thinks Sam had something to do with. That’s a lot for anyone to handle, let alone Annalise Keating, who already had kind of a lot to deal with.
So what happens now? Right before Wes came back to retrieve the trophy, Annalise was on the phone, leaving a loving, “hey-baby-let’s-work-this-out” type message on Sam’s phone. Is it because she loves her husband and really wants to work through it? Or is it because she knew something bad was going to happen to Sam and she wanted to cover her tracks lest she be accused of orchestrating it?
While I recognize this is a Shonda Rhimes show, thus the realm of possibilities is greatly expanded, I don’t think Annalise had anything to do with Sam’s death. Was she mad at him? Totally. Did she think she didn’t know him after he admitted to his affair? Yep. But she definitely didn’t set anything up. It’s also not plausible that Wes and Annalise were in cahoots about Sam’s death, either — his face looks pretty surprised to see her when he comes back to the crime scene.
She may not have orchestrated it, but Annalise definitely doesn't seem mad that Sam’s dead. I think she’ll use Sam’s disappearance (remember, the law students were burning the body the night of the bonfire to destroy the evidence. Without a body, it will likely be treated as a missing person case) to boost Rebecca’s case and get her off. With her husband out of the way, Annalise should be ready for her next challenge and the rest of How To Get Away with Murder's explosive first season.