ABC’s hit drama How to Get Away With Murder is entering its sophomore season soon, and there are many questions fans want answered from the jaw-dropping season finale. Showrunner Pete Nowalk talked to The Hollywood Reporter about what viewers can expect from the upcoming season – including its timeline, new characters, Connor and Oliver’s HIV storyline and the biggest question of all: Who killed Rebecca?
Regarding the show’s timeline and the class itself, Nowalk says:
This introduction to criminal law class goes a year for our students. In our seasons, we haven’t decided yet. The first season was like a semester and a half. We’re in February in our show. Annalise is a professor but that’s not all she does. These kids are now involved in her life in a way that is way past them being her students. Is there an element of the show that you have to have? No. I hope not.
Season 1 of HTGAWM dealt mostly with the murders of Annalise’s (Emmy-nominated Viola Davis) husband, Sam, and sorority girl Lila Stangard. We found out the culprits for both – Alfie Enoch’s sweet but troubled Wes for the first and Charlie Weber’s hirable hitman Frank for the second. But in the season finale, we found Wes’s girlfriend (and Lila’s friend) Rebecca dead in a basement, with Annalise and Frank standing over her body. Both swear they had nothing to do with her death, but Nowalk says we’ll find out pretty immediately who did, and that it will have a lasting impact on the rest of the season.
[Rebecca’s murder] doesn’t go away. Just like anything in our show, I don’t want anything to be forgotten. Just like Sam’s murder, Lila’s murder — yes they’re dead, but the consequences of that continue to reverberate. The same is going to happen with Rebecca. Some people will know she’s dead; some people will know who killed her; some people will think she’s missing. She plays a big part in season two, even though she’s dead.
And finally, Nowalk confronts one of the biggest bombshells dropped in the show’s first season: the fact that the show’s resident romantic Connor Walsh’s sweet boyfriend Oliver finds out he is HIV-positive.
It’s a story I’m very excited about because it isn’t being told right now. There’s a whole community of people who aren’t represented on TV, and Shondaland is a place where everyone belongs. We’ll continue to see more of Connor and Oliver — I won’t say in what way — but it’s a story we’re excited to tell because it feels fresh and like something I want to see on TV… I don’t want to say because a lot of the show is surprising people’s expectations with how we deal with things. Hopefully it will feel real to the characters since it can’t represent everyone.