This ‘HTGAWM’ Evidence Overwhelmingly Debunks A Popular Gabriel Fan Theory

Mitch Haaseth/ABC

ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder wrapped up its season finale with a major and majorly confusing cliffhanger. A handsome new character named Gabriel Maddox (Rome Flynn) was introduced at the very end of Season 4 as a rising Middleton Law School student. Frank Delfino saw him and made a mysterious phone call, informing an anonymous person of his presence. The identity of How To Get Away With Murder's Gabriel will be a major storyline if the show gets renewed for a fifth season. And though some fans think Annalise Keating is the mysterious “her” Frank references on the phone, there are other clues that indicate that Annalise is not Gabriel Maddox’s mother.

Right now, Annalise is living her best life. She won her Lahey v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania case when it went to the Supreme Court and she is finally getting a chance to shower a baby with love. Years ago, Annalise was pregnant with a baby boy, but he was killed after she was in a car accident caused by Frank.

A much earlier episode featured a heartbreaking scene in the hospital, as Annalise and Sam Keating held their deceased son. Now, Annalise is bonding with Wes and Laurel’s son Christopher and has come to terms with her own loss. But, the mysterious events around the staged car accident and Gabriel’s sudden appearance have fans wondering if her baby really died. What if the baby was taken and grew up to be Gabriel? It would be an interesting twist, but there are a few reasons why this theory probably won't be proven true.

The Timeline Is WAY Off

In Season 2 episode “What Happened to You Annalise?” a very pregnant Annalise talked to Wes’ mother in a park. The show specifically noted that the flashback took place 10 years ago, which checked out because Wes was a young boy at the time. If Annalise’s son were alive, he would only be 10-12 years old at the most. How To Get Away With Murder executive producer Pete Nowalk confirmed in a TV Guide interview that Gabriel is in his mid-20s like the other students. This makes Gabriel way too old to be Annalise’s biological child.

But Bonnie's Timeline Fits
Byron Cohen/ABC

Gabriel may be too old to be Annalise’s son, but what about Bonnie? Previous episodes revealed that Bonnie was sexually abused by her father, who also trafficked her out to men. She became pregnant at 15 and passed out during labor. When she woke up, she said her father told her that the baby died. But, detective Nate Lahey found a file about her case with a handwritten note reading “Child Alive?” This sparked speculation that the baby could have survived labor. Bonnie is presumably in her early 40s in the show's present, which means her child would be near Gabriel’s age. Frank’s phone call could have been made to Nate to warn him that their peace was going to be interrupted.

The connection seems a little too on the nose, but Nowalk’s Entertainment Weekly interview suggests there will be an unexpected twist coming even if this theory is true. When asked how Bonnie will react if Gabriel is her son, the showrunner replied:

“If it’s Bonnie, the question is: Does she know? Or does she not know? I think her reaction will come from there. But all of these questions are things I want people to think about, and just ponder of the hiatus.”

Bonnie has always been a woman with many secrets. She may have kept her son in the shadows to protect him from her father. Or, she may discover her past coming back to haunt her in a major way.

Fans Have (Sort of) Seen This Drama Before

Fans spent a lot of time speculating that Wes could be Annalise's child. So to rehash that storyline with another seemingly nice and unassuming college student with dark secrets would be, frankly, a little lazy. Because Gabriel offers the chance to bring in a new female character to shake up next season’s drama. Or, he could have a connection to another existing character who's not Annalise or Bonnie. Perhaps he is related to Michaela or even associated with Nate's file discovery in some other way. In the previously mentioned Entertainment Weekly interview, Nowalk mentioned that Nate has a lot of files about other character’s pasts.

Hopefully, How To Get Away With Murder will return to peel back the layers on Gabriel Maddox. Is he at Middleton by chance or for a more sinister purpose? And, how will he fit into the ever-present drama brewing for Annalise and her comrades? Only time will tell.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.