How to Get Away With Murder is finally back and if you were hoping the show had some little bit of magic up its sleeve to make Wes not actually dead, we've got some bad news for you. Waitlist received no such resurrection during tonight's midseason premiere.
But Alfred Enoch hadn't gone anywhere yet. Though deceased, Wes was still very much front and center, albeit this time in a series of flashbacks with Annalise (Viola Davis) and the rest of the Keating 5 that broke our hearts not because they were especially tragic, but because they showed us that, amid all the murder and mayhem that's befallen these people since they set foot on Middleton, they still had moments of normalcy and, stranger yet, happiness.
"That was just a selfish instinct on my part of wanting to keep writing for Alfie and wanting to see Wes happy," executive producer Pete Nowalk told E! News about the decision to shine a light on Wes' lighter moments. "Obviously, the writing has put him through hell. He's always going through one horrible thing after another. Clearly, we just didn't take the chance to see him in these more kind of normal, every day kind of conversations, so it was very therapeutic for me. I don't know if it'll be like that for the audience…but that's how I write. If it's the thing I'm feeling and that's what I want to see, that's what I write. So, it was actually very helpful."
The flashbacks were hardly the only attraction in tonight's premiere, however. There's also the little matter of figuring out just who killed Wes to frame Annalise—and when. The official cause of death may have been ruled asphyxiation due to smoke inhalation, but the fact that the medical examiner clearly changed her report at the insistence of someone after revealing to Nate (Billy Brown) she believed Wes was already dead at the time of the fire seems to have pulled Annalise's beleaguered boy toy back into her realm just after telling her he was done helping her. But is it out a sense of duty to Wes or to Annalise?
"I can't say specifically, but I think both things you just said are probably in his mind," Nowalk admitted. "I think he's a truth-seeker and I think he probably has the best moral compass on our show in terms of what's right and wrong. He just wants to get to the truth for many reasons that you will see over the course of the back half of the season."
The twists and revelations just kept coming as the wore on, with Laurel (Karla Souza) admitting that Wes is her baby daddy, Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) catching wise to what really happened in season one with Sam's death and returning to the backup file of Annalise's phone that he didn't dispose of as fully as he'd led his boss to believe, and Frank (Charlie Weber) trying to save Annalise to make up for all the misery he's caused her by falling on his sword and confessing to Wes' murder.
"Well, there's a version where he's telling the truth and he basically just wants to be done with it all," Nowalk said of Frank's big move. "And I think, still, the thing that's really been pushing him all season and probably should've pushed him earlier was that he feels responsible for killing Annalise's baby, so that guilt is driving him to try to fix a lot of problems in probably the not cleanest of ways."
Which twist shocked you the most? And which flashback broke your heart the hardest? Let us know in the comments below.
How to Get Away With Murder airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.