‘HTGAWM’ Premiere: Rebecca’s Killer Revealed; Annalise’s Shocking Cliffhanger

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead if you have not seen the season 2 premiere episode of “How To Get Away With Murder.”

How To Get Away With Murder” returned with season 2 Thursday night, and went out with a bang.

Bonnie (Liza Weil) was revealed to be the one who killed Rebecca (Katie Findlay) at the end of season 1 by putting a bag over her head and suffocating her, but even with that mystery solved, there are more questions surrounding Keating’s crew than ever before — not to mention, the audience knows more than the Keating Five, who doesn’t even know that Rebecca is dead.

Still, Wes (Alfred Enoch) is quite suspicious of Rebecca’s whereabouts, and “Eggs 911” has also become more suspicious with another anonymous text, this time to Michaela (Aja Naomi King). Aside from Rebecca, Famke Jannsen’s character is introduced and revealed to be the woman behind the phone number that Annalise (Viola Davis) gave Nate (Billy Brown) after she framed him for killing her husband Sam (Tom Verica) last season. She also kissed Prof. Keating in an unexpected moment, but that was hardly the most shocking moment of the season premiere.

It turns out that not even an Emmy win can save Viola Davis in the world of “HTGAWM.” At episode’s end, Annalise is found in her client’s mansion shot in the gut, barely blinking and appearing to be on her last breath. While it’s unclear if she’s dead, it’s more unclear who shot her, though Wes was spotted running away from the house. One thing is certain, however: this round of “Murder” will be the season of “Who shot Annalise?”

Here, Liza Weil tells Variety why Bonnie killed Rebecca, what’s going on with Bonnie and Asher (Matt McGorry) and what those final moments with a slain Annalise mean for this season.

What was your reaction when you found out you were the killer?
I was actually kind of relieved. I had sort of been hoping over the hiatus that is was going to go that way, mainly because I feel like last season we laid a lot of groundwork with this bond between Annalise and Bonnie and this loyalty that Bonnie has with her, and I was very happy that there was now a very active event that really backs that up, and gives great insight into more of who she is.

How did you tap into being a cold-blooded murderer?
It goes in the top five strangest things I’ve ever had to pretend to do. I think it’s probably a scene that’s hard to watch and I don’t think that people are used to seeing how simple murder can be, but it can just be placing a bag over somebody’s head and walking away. It’s not violent in the way that people are used to seeing. I tried to approach it in a way that Bonnie is operating believing that is the right thing to do and the necessary thing to do to protect everyone.

So was that Bonnie’s motive in killing Rebecca — protecting everyone?
I think she is really operating from a place of, “This person is problem and can take us all down and can cause trouble.”

How much more of Bonnie’s background will we learn this season?
A great deal, and something that I’m really excited about is that they’re really diving into backstories about how all these people came together so all those stories are forthcoming.

Wes is definitely catching onto Rebecca — he knows that something is up besides her just being “missing.” Will he find out that you killed her?
I think Wes’ character is very much driven in finding out what happened that night and that’s going to be something that runs over the course of the season.

When will the others find out about Rebecca being dead?
I’m not sure of the timeline of when everyone else is going to find out everything from that night. The different structure of the season is that the audience has so much more information than the characters.

How will you having killed Rebecca change the relationship between Annalise and Bonnie?
It’s really interesting. The thing that’s so great about our writers is that so many of these relationships can shift from episode to episode, so I think that Annalise has a very intense reaction. The relationship between Annalise and Bonnie is going to sort of re-evaluated over the course of the season, but also, there’s a great element that Bonnie so desperately wanted to be back in the fold because last season with Frank really being her primary person and Bonnie so desperately wants to be primary, so she’s sort of doing everything she can to prove herself, but it’s going to go back forth and their relationship will be re-evaluated over the season.

Annalise’s immediate reaction to finding out that you killed Rebecca is not good. Will she now always have that against Bonnie?
Her immediate reaction is not good, but I think there’s sort of an underlying element that Annalise operates from a place that you believe you are doing the right thing, and I think that’s something that she can really understand. I think that it is reparable and that she’s going to realize that it did come from a place of trying to preserve the good of what they had all had. So yeah, it is maybe reparable, but there are definitely going to be other things that will come up in their relationship.

What’s going on between Bonnie and Asher?
I think we know that Asher is now in the fold with A.D.A. Sinclair and she’s putting a lot of pressure on him. Asher is coming from a place that he’s very conflicted. He’s feeling guilty of getting into the fold with Claire, and his initial reaction to not wanting to be with Bonnie is he feels that if he’s going to be with her, he may disclose everything that’s going on. But there are many, more things that are going to go very, very deep in terms of their relationship so it’s complicated — that’s for sure. It’s going to get really complicated.

Michaela got a text from Eggs 911. When will we find out who that is?
Eggs 911 is still a mystery. But basically every thread that was left hanging in the finale is answered. They’re all covered and answered — we’re leaving room for the new murder night.

I gasped at the end when Annalise was shot. What was your reaction, along with the cast, at the table read?
I think we were pretty blown away. The fact that she’s going to be the new mystery that’s going to unfold over the season, it’s really exciting because the stakes are very, very high. It also is big in how the season is going to be set up. I think everybody in that house over the course of the season will have a motivation to kill her.

So everyone is a suspect?
Everybody in the show can be a suspect. You never know.

How is season 2 different than season 1?
Exponentially bigger and crazier. We just finished shooting episode 5 and it’s like a season finale. The idea that we have 10 more episodes to go is terrifying. What we’re doing emotionally and story-wise, the bar is raised in a way that is pretty remarkable. It’s game-on this season for sure. I don’t think they can even compare in terms of how bananas this is.

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