Pete Nowalk, the creator & showrunner of ABC’s “How lớn Get Away With Murder,” at his office in Hollywood.
The final season of ABC’s “How lớn Get Away With Murder” has left fans hanging longer than expected. Its most recent episode aired five months ago — a wait that would surely have tested the patience of the show’s antiheroine Annalise Keating (Viola Davis), let alone fans. But series creator Pete Nowalk is ready khổng lồ deliver a killer ending.

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After spinning a website of mysteries & flash-forwards while tackling issues such as criminal justice reform & addiction during its run, the backdrop to the ABC drama’s swan tuy vậy is the final semester of law school for the students viewers first met in Keating’s criminal law classroom.

Since every day in recent weeks has felt like a year, you may need a refresher on what went down in its November midseason finale before its final, six-episode run begins on Thursday: Once presumed dead, Wes Gibbons (Alfred Enoch) is shown in a flash-forward at Keating’s funeral, becoming another suspect in her death. And Asher Millstone (Matt McGorry), who was revealed to lớn be an FBI informant, is killed — but who murdered him? Thursday’s episode will pick up where the fall finale left off.

“The first episode really shows the rifts between certain groups in our world,” Nowalk says. “People who have always been together & leaned on each other & at the over of the day tried not to lớn turn on each other have no other choice but khổng lồ make hard decisions & betray people they love. We start from a place of desperation & it just grows and grows the rest of the season.”

Viewers will also learn where Keating, who left Philadelphia after she learned she was under criminal investigation, wound up.


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“How to Get Away With Murder” is the first series created by Nowalk, an alumnus of the Shonda Rhimes school of TV dramas. He spent six seasons writing for “Grey’s Anatomy” và also spent time writing for its spinoff “Private Practice” and hit drama “Scandal.” Though it’s certainly left its mark, helping Davis become the first African American woman lớn win the lead drama actress Emmy in 2015, the kết thúc of “How to Get Away With Murder” leaves ABC with just two Rhimes-produced series, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Station 19.” (The megastar showrunner left ABC Studios after more than a decade & signed a hefty giảm giá with Netflix in 2017.)


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‘Annalise is Don Corleone’

I would always compare it to a mob story. That probably isn’t as fancy as comparing it khổng lồ Shakespeare, but I was like, “Oh, they’re in a mob & Annalise is Don Corleone và that is the dynamic here ....” In the writer’s room, when maybe we’d get off track, I’d be like, “OK, what feels like a mob story?” It’s very similar because they’re dealing with the FBI, they’re dealing with law enforcement. It’s delicious to lớn watch them act badly. That was sort of the thing that grounded me in the story.

‘How many bad things can happen lớn people? So many’

The hardest thing we pulled off over the show’s run, và I’m not even sure we still did pull off, but I think it’s making it go past the first season. Obviously, we did make that go off & we delved further into the characters, but I think there’s always that point on a network TV show where you’re like, “Here I go again, Season 2, và creating some new outside mystery.” & so I think I learned a lot from that, because you don’t want to lớn have too little story or you don’t want lớn always be analyzing the past. You want to move forward with the audience and give them fresh stories. That’s what was hard. I think, if they made this show now, they would be like, “Oh, this will be like one season or two seasons” và design the story without the cases of the week so it just feels more lượt thích a cable show. But I’m proud of us for eking it out. Và I watched Shonda vì that on “Grey’s Anatomy.” ... How many bad things can happen lớn people? So many, is the answer!

Every one of the characters became different than how I envisioned them at first, I think because I just envisioned them more as who they were presenting as. But the most satisfying part of this experience is that the characters revealed themselves to lớn me. There is a huge twist coming up in the back six that does tie back khổng lồ the beginning và it’s about a few of the characters and connections between them that we did not know about — I was giddy when we discovered that in the writers room. It’s such a satisfying feeling because it’s almost lượt thích your subconscious set something up & now here the result was showing itself to you và it all made everything before it makes sense, to lớn me. That’s a big build-up if the twist doesn’t work.


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‘If you don’t like it, here’s my middle finger’

I think for me the impetus to make the show very queer is because that’s my life. And I hate feeling othered. I hate feeling people putting me lớn the side, but I also don’t want khổng lồ be part of the mainstream. This season we delve more into what Annalise’s sexuality is and how she feels about it — và it even involves her mother. And those are conversations that I have had with myself.

I hold very dear to lớn my heart any of the LGBTQ content in the show. Growing up, I don’t have a memory of knowing what a gay person looked like, except my parents saw “La Cage aux Folles,” và I think I saw a picture for that on the playbill. Or there was like a suicidal gay character on some TV show. But in terms of an adult that I could grow up to be, there was nothing. So you’re thinking, “What is my future going khổng lồ look like?” It’s just a void. So if I get stressed or something, I’ll feel really proud of the fact that we put on real gay nội dung — và bold — & I love pissing people off with it. That’s when I can sleep at night. I’m like, “Oh, I did my job.” It’s like how Brenda Walsh gave a middle finger khổng lồ the world. That’s sort of lượt thích me normalizing it & also saying if you don’t like it, here’s my middle finger and I got to vì chưng that on network TV & you didn’t.

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With the sex scenes, there’d be notes like, “Cut out the side flank, cut out the thrust, they can’t say that word, cut these three frames.” We fight most of them & ultimately, we win, & I’ll say that’s a credit to lớn the executives at ABC. I just hate it when I feel like anything gay is being judged more critically than a heterosexual scene, which — we’ve seen some crazy stuff on shows. So I’m like, “You’re not telling me this is crazier. You’re just telling me it makes you more uncomfortable và the only reason it makes you more uncomfortable is because we haven’t been allowed lớn show it.”


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‘If anything’s dishonest, going to hotline me out on it’

The hardest thing for me always, và it still is about this job, is making sure I’m not underutilizing Viola. Because I’m lucky she’s here. She can vày anything. She’s very honest as a performer. So if anything’s dishonest, she’s going to điện thoại tư vấn me out on it và the audience will too.

We have this episode coming up, which is when we flash back to lớn her & Sam after they lost the baby, and I was having Annalise say something to lớn Sam in a big speech và Viola just didn’t buy it. Và she was like, “This is the wrong point of view for her.” and she said it very passionately. If she wants khổng lồ play something that’s different than what I’ve written, she’s never blowing up the story. I’m just like, “Oh, that’s going khổng lồ be just as interesting because she has passion about it.” Or there would be times where she would say, “A woman of this age would never talk like this or make a joke like this or ...” whatever.

She’s also taught me a lot about how a private scene can tell a story so much for our character. Sometimes in a writers room you’re always like, you need dialogue to lớn say what people are feeling, but she taught me you can play almost any emotional story alone, silently. I think that’s some of the best TV and movie moments and I just wasn’t thinking like that.

‘The TV shows I like are all twisted and dark’

I think my family’s really nice, where I grew up was really pretty và nice, và I wanted to go to the dark side because my life wasn’t dark. The TV shows I like are all twisted & dark. I loved books like “Lord of the Flies” growing up, stuff from John Grisham. But “Lord of the Flies” was such a pivotal book for me because as a kid reading it, you’re like, “Oh, I can move khổng lồ an island & act lượt thích an adult and do all these things that are bad & what does that mean?” My instinct as a storyteller is to lớn tell those kinds of stories.