'How to Get Away with Murder' Creator on Thursday's Big Reveal: 'Catherine Looks Very Guilty Right Now'

Pete Nowalk also teases next week's midseason finale

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Over the course of its 1.5 seasons, fans of TV’s How to Get Away with Murder know to expect the unexpected when it comes to the show’s plot twists and turns. Thursday night’s episode was no exception.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Thursday’s episode of How to Get Away with Murder

We learned a startling fact about Annalise’s (Viola Davis)’ presumed innocent/falsely accused client Catherin Hapstall (Amy Okuda): She has a gun hidden away in her room and she has a relationship with mystery “secret baby” character Philip Hapstall (Jefferson White).

What does this all mean leading into next week’s big winter finale? PEOPLE caught up with show creator and executive producer Peter Nowalk to find out.

“Catherine looks very guilty right now,” Nowalk says of the episode’s big reveals. “She has a gun in her room and she knows this pretty spooky guy who clearly has a lot of motive to want those parents dead, so the question is, ‘Did they work together?’ ”

Nowalk, careful not to reveal too much detail to avoid spoiling what’s in store the winter finale, promises that there are plenty of surprises in store next week, particularly regarding Catherine and Philip.

“What that means for their relationship and that they’ve met before, it leaves a lot to the imagination for the next episode,” he says. “That launches us into the drama where Annalise will get shot at that mansion. A lot happens in the next episode.”

Going back to Philip, one of this season’s more mysterious new characters, Nowalk said they came up with the idea very early on in planning the second season.

“We started with the murder of the Hapsdall parents and we knew that these two children were going to be accused of it so I think it came up pretty early,” recalls Nowalk. “We thought, who else would have motive but the genetic child, the secret baby basically. We made a joke about it in the show, ‘Everyone loves a secret baby.’ We knew that person was out there, we wanted a scary figure but we thought we’d change it and make the maid have done it or something.”

But the creative team stuck to their original plan.

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“We just stuck with our guns there and found this amazing actor in Jefferson. You know when you write, ‘Scary, spooky guy,’ and that could be a lot of different versions of a person and what I love about his performance is he’s definitely spooky but he’s also really interesting.”

How to Get Away with Murder‘ airs Thursdays (10 p.m.) on ABC.

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