Warning: Contains graphic content and spoilers from “How To Get Away With Murder”
I’m Selina, Awards Circuit’s queer Girl Friday for everything LGBTQIA+ on TV! Each week, I take on TV’s biggest stories through the rainbow lenses, and this week things got shockingly real on ABC’s “How To Get Away With Murder.” While Laurel’s bloody, painful delivery was the most memorable imagery from this episode (and perhaps the series), the writing of the winter finale episode also included a nod to Greek tragedy, unlucky accidents and the most LGBTQIA+ focused storylines we’ve seen this season. This entire article is a spoiler, so make sure to watch this week’s episode before diving in.
We start off the episode with the show’s disgruntled lovebirds Oliver and Connor, whose love life’s taken a hit with the reveal of Wes’ killer and the ensuring conspiracy to wreck Antares. Connor popped the question to Oliver during last week’s episode, a proposal that was quickly rescinded after Oliver revealed Laurel’s plans. The couple are once again at odds, with Connor even taking back the impromptu ring he’d given Oliver. Ouch. If the pair come out unscathed from the events of Caplan & Gold’s party, perhaps they’ll smooth things over again. If Oliver ever stops screaming about that crime scene he walks in on, that is (technically, for once, the actual maiming was accidental, though the group’s intentions were rather terrible).
Since we’re there, let’s talk about that big reveal of the show’s latest victim. Annoying law student Simon, who’s been lurking around Annalise’s posse since Season 1, burst out of the closet with a bang. Minutes before Simon takes a bullet to the skull, he tells Oliver he likes him, a bombshell that Oliver wasn’t expecting from the party of blood and hacking. Apparently, Simon’s just been jealous of Connor since he met Oliver, and decided to be petty about it. Oliver tries to convince the group to forgo the plan to frame Simon for the hack (a turn that Connor, for once, approves of).
In the end a lone wheely office chair is the true killer here, after Simon finds Laurel’s gun and accidentally shoots himself. Miraculously, the man is still alive by the end of the episode after the group calls 911 and makes up a cover story. According to Peter Nowalk, HTGAWM’s showrunner, the group now faces a moral dilemma. He told Variety:
The question for them is [that] they did not want him to die — they didn’t want any of this to happen — but do they want him to die now? What’s better now: for him to live or for him to die? That’s the moral quandary that lies ahead.
After his coming out, can the group (which has at least two out members) pin everything on Simon without remorse? Is Simon now part of the posse? And, most importantly, how does someone live through that kind of blood loss??
The episode featured yet another confrontation between Bonnie and Annalise, with Bonnie ambushing her former boss at her hotel room door. Bonnie finally expresses her love to Annalise, though its unclear if her love is romantic or familial, scaring Annalise even more. The added angle of romantic love makes the relationship messy and twisted, something Shonda Rhimes’ shows excel at, while repping sexual fluidity.
The instability of Bonnie’s desperate love for Annalise nods to the show’s focus on mothers and their children, which has been simmering away throughout Season 4 (Michaela and Tegan, Laurel and Annalise, Laurel and her own child, and Bonnie and Annalise, etc.). The pair’s relationship, which began as motherly protection and turned into full-blown worship, reminds me of the story of Oedipus, reversed and genderbent. Bonnie is the lost child who falls for her own mother, with Annalise destroying their connection rather than continue the cycle; their love, once borne out of mentorship, turns epically sour. Bonnie has killed for a mother figure she’s now stalking. Add some eye-gouging and we’ve got ourselves a modern-day femslash Greek tragedy. I’m looking forward to how their relationship will evolve after Bonnie’s declaration.
On a final note, this will be the last Queer Girl Friday for a while, as most shows are now on hiatus until January. Here’s to a great winter season, hopefully filled with rainbows and glitter and everything LGBTQIA+!