Um, was that the way you saw this story going?
Sam Keating’s backstory was explored during How to Get Away with Murder Season 6 Episode 13, but it was mainly through exposition. And if we’re honest, it felt like a few years too late.
Sam has always been the evil specter looming over the show since the very beginning. But with only two episodes left, we suddenly learned there was much more to Sam than meets the eye.
It’s hard to categorize the big reveal about Sam this hour, because we, and the show, have spent season after season villainizing the man, and then suddenly it’s all supposed to come into focus as to why he was the way he was.
I’m not sure the series as a whole works better if we learned all this information about Sam and Hannah earlier in the series run, but I know it doesn’t land all the way here.
It’s hard for the characters to wrap their heads around Sam not being wholly evil, and I imagine the audience will also have a hard time reconciling all they’ve known and changing their opinion so quickly.
But it may not be about completing changing your opinion entirely but instead allowing it to evolve.
Sam and Hannah were emotionally neglected, and in a search for acceptance and love, they turned to each other. It’s unclear how long the relationship went on, but it’s made apparent that it, along with Sam’s childhood overall, had a tremendous effect on the man he became.
Sam had a savior complex, and he met these impressionable women who he could help emotionally, and then basically imprinted on them.
Look and him and Vivian. After everything he’d done to her, all it took was some positive affirmation, and some up-close heavy breathing, to get her back to wanting and needing him again.
Sam never seemed to know what or who he wanted. And that’s probably rooted in a childhood of also not feeling wanted by the people who were meant to want him.
The flashbacks work in the sense of showing Sam’s vulnerabilities in a way that made him slightly more sympathetic, but man, it’s hard to erase all those jarring memories of Sam that are burned into our brains.
Bonnie: None of this makes what he did okay.
Annalise: I know. I know. But it makes me see him. And I don't know what to do with that.
Annalise had the perfect response, though, as she pieced together the new knowledge with her twisted recollections of the years she spent married to a man she never really knew.
Is Sam absolved of all his sins? That’s not for us to decide, but we can recognize that life is more complicated than simply assigning blame on the surface level and failing to dig deeper.
Aside from a lot of time spent with Sam, there was also some Frank and Bonnie time in the flashbacks. And it revealed a lot about their relationship we didn’t know before.
One of the reasons the Frank and Bonnie "situationship" thing has felt a bit forced is because since we met Frank, he’s been obsessed with Laurel. For all we knew, he never truly cared about anyone romantically outside Laurel, and it was always going to be Laurel.
So, for that to dissipate, and he suddenly act as if he’s been Team Bonnie forever hasn’t felt authentic. But now we got to see there was a point in the past where things were going well between the pair, and the relationship was real.
Who’s to say it would have lasted forever or even for much longer, but they were never able to find out because once Sam made it clear that there would be no Bonank (I know that’s a horrendous ship name, but what are the other options?), Frank broke Bonnie’s heart.
Now fast forward to the present day, and Frank and Bonnie have finally found their way back to each other, and it feels genuine and nice. They appear to be in love, and maybe after helping Annalise, they could run away to Oregon and not kill people.
Yeah, not so fast. In true How To Get Away With Murder fashion, a bombshell dropped in the final seconds, and everything got thrown into chaos.
Frank being the son of Sam and Hannah was a mind-blowing reveal. There are so many questions to consider here, namely, being did Sam even know?
Hannah knew that. She was the one who pushed Sam to help Frank get out of jail back in the day and seemingly sent him to live with a family she knew. But how much did Sam know about their connection, if he knew anything at all?
Sam wanted to be a father if the circumstances were right, that is. He screwed things up royally with Vivian, and by lying to Annalise, but he could have been a better father to Gabriel from the get-go if that was what he wanted.
It’s hard to imagine he knew about Frank just because he simply never seemed to like Frank. And after the Mahoney case and the death of his son, he could barely stand to be around Frank.
So, what happens now? Does this new information help Annalise’s case?
And talk about putting Bonnie in a bind. There’s no way Annalise will want to tell Frank this information because it’s Frank. He’s liable to kill someone just for the sake of killing.
But Bonnie’s finally let her guard down, told the man she was in love, and now shes has to keep the biggest secret in the world from him.
Not an ideal way to go into a relationship.
Elsewhere, we’ve still got Connor and Michaela working with the FBI and Nate playing rogue, vigilante justice warrior.
Connor lying to Michaela about taking the deal doesn’t quite land because you have to imagine that Michaela probably did the same.
Lanford backed them into a corner, yet again, and there was very little they could do to protect themselves outside of toeing the line.
As we inch closer to an actual trial, it’ll be interesting to see the two of them get on the stand and back up their claims, which we know are going to be lies.
You want to be Frank, but you're not. You're just destroying yourself.Bonnie [to Nate]
Nate is just a man with a vendetta. He’s doing any and everything he can to bring the governor down. And hey, I hope he succeeds.
But let’s say the governor falls and goes to jail and Nate “wins,” what then?
With such little time left, it’s hard to see anyone walking away from things with even the semblance of a happy ending.
Everything Else You Need To Know
- WHERE IS WES? We need the answer to this more than anything else.
- I guess Gabriel is gone now. He may pop up in the finale, but his final scene with Vivian felt like a goodbye. The Gabriel mystery as a whole had its entertaining moments, so his character wasn’t a total bust.
- Frank and Bonnie’s wigs have always been tragic, but they were extra bad during these flashbacks.
Sam is a polarizing character, to say the least, and I’m interested to hear what you guys thought about learning more about who he was, as well as THAT ending.
With the trial upcoming, there’s guaranteed to be a lot of drama packed into the final hours.
By my count, there are still many questions to answer, so drop a comment down below with the answers you’re most hoping to get.
Make sure you watch How to Get Away with Murder online so you can stay up to date on all the drama.
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.