By Chelsea Hensley
So who killed Lila Stangard?
Maybe it’s Rebecca, generally shady and messed up. She did give a guy a drug overdose and force a mental breakdown so that looks suspicious. Or maybe it’s Bonnie, who killed Lila in some sort of jealous rage? Or maybe she killed Lila to protect Annalise? Or maybe it was Annalise who stumbles upon Sam and Lila and snaps? Or maybe it really was Griffin, who we all forgot about?
HTGAWM is best when its got its mind on one storyline at a time. The first hour is slowed down by a case of the week involving a priest who killed a pedophile, and the resolution is especially forgettable (seriously, I can’t remember how it ended) which takes time away from the more pressing concern of who killed Lila? Even Nate’s courtroom saga, which stretches across both hours and includes Annalise arranging for him to be attacked in prison and concocting an elaborate story about Nate and Sam getting into a physical altercation at her house, pales in comparison to resolving the season long mystery of who killed Lila. And watching Wes and Laurel go back and forth about Rebecca’s guilt is as boring as it is repetitive, and things don’t pick up until the rest of the Murder Quad is brought in on the action and confronts her.
Wes and Rebecca’s relationship still isn’t as interesting as it should be, but the two of them going back and forth pretending they don’t know that the other is up to something adds a layer of tension that the pairing hasn’t had before. It doesn’t do much to make me care about them as a couple, since they still have negative chemistry and all their I-love-yous feel forced. But Wes’ obsession with proving how possible it is only makes Rebecca appear less and less guilty from a dramatic angle, and by the time she’s tied up and being held captive by Annalise and the Murder Quad, it’s certain that she didn’t kill Lila.
Back at Annalise’s office, Annalise resolves to have a trial of their own. The Murder Quad will prove Rebecca’s guilt, and she’ll decide if it’s enough. It’s a ridiculous conceit, especially when all they have to work with are transcripts and video of Rebecca and Sam’s psych consult. Annalise later takes them to task for creating arguments based purely on speculation, but I’m not sure what she expected them to produce. Rebecca’s not being forthcoming about what happened that night, and they’ve got nothing else to use. The conversation angle is a much more satisfying one, and once Wes stops staring sadly at the floorboards he finally gets something out of Rebecca: she was wet when she returned home that night because she was in the water tank, with Lila’s already dead body, but only because she was hiding from smoking sorority girls who would implicate her in Lila’s murder. And she gave Rudy drugs that accidentally sent him into a mental breakdown trying to make him less credible as a witness.
Lila’s last night is illuminated via flashbacks, and much of it is things already seen or heard about. A fight between Lila and Rebecca leads Rebecca to prove how crappy Griffin is by having sex with him and setting it up so Lila will come in and see. So Lila turns to comfort from Sam, who tells her how much he loves her and how he’s going to break things off with Annalise while Rebecca goes looking for her at the sorority house.
So who killed Lila? Rebecca? Sam? Bonnie? Annalise?
None of the above. It was Frank.
It’s a nice way to go. Lila’s killer couldn’t be someone we didn’t know because then why would we care, and Frank flew under the radar for much of the season, up until he started doing all of Annalise’s dirty work. What he owed Sam for is still a mystery (and LOL at him taking offense at Laurel suggesting he’s a hit man), but Frank kills Lila on his behalf. It adds a new dimension to Frank’s character, even after we’ve begun to suspect that he’s more dangerous than he seems, planting evidence and arranging for Nate to be attacked in jail. But how does this gel with Frank’s loyalty to Annalise exactly? Someone has to find out that Frank did it, right, so who’s it gonna be?
And just to add to the insanity, the finale ends with another murder mystery, a nice bit of symmetry for the show, though this one has a more familiar suspect pool. Annalise announces that Rebecca’s fled, having been released by someone, but that’s another lie. After a distraught Wes has left, she returns to the basement where Frank is waiting and asks if he did “it.” Then the camera pans down to reveal Rebecca’s dead body.
So who killed Rebecca? It’s probably not Wes, who’s already struggling with killing Sam and wouldn’t kill her after defending her to the others. Connor nearly had a breakdown the last time he was involved in a murder. Maybe Bonnie would, so angry about the potential for danger coming to Annalise if Rebecca went to the cops. Or perhaps Laurel or Michaela, looking to keep Rebecca quiet?
There’s no telling until HTGAWM returns next season, but until then….Thanks for reading and watching along with me!
- The important thing is no one should feel bad about having killed Sam.
- Laurel hid Michaela’s ring so she wouldn’t go to the police. Interesting.
- Also interesting is Michaela deciding she doesn’t want to be married to Aiden anyway and that she loves herself more than him. That’s great and all, but Michaela was just blaming Rebecca for the break up so when did she change her mind?
- Oliver tested HIV positive. It’s a weird little shock at the end of the episode, since the testing storyline seems to be dropped amid the first hour, but that will certainly add a wrinkle to their relationship. Also, Oliver crying makes me sad.
- So who did Rebecca text and why didn’t they come help her? Or maybe they’re the one who killed her?
- We couldn’t end the season without another semi-sexual, sort of maternal moment between Wes and Annalise. Annalise comforts him on the stairs, his head in her lap stroking his hair, and I really thought the big surprise at the episode’s end would be them making out. Maybe next season.