HTGAWM creator Peter Nowalk dishes on the ABC whodunnit's midseason finale

By Kara Warner
Updated November 19, 2015 03:00 PM
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Who shot Annalise?

That question has been at the center of How to Get Away with Murder‘s second season, and show creator Pete Nowalk promises fans will finally get some answers in Thursday’s winter finale.

In an an exclusive sneak peek at the episode, Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) is heated and rightfully so, because Michaela (Aja Naomi King) and Caleb (Kendrick Sampson) have tampered with the key piece of evidence – the murder weapon – forcing Annalise to find a way to get around this latest challenge.

In the meantime, everyone is waiting to find out who is responsible for Annalise’s potentially fatal gunshot wound. PEOPLE caught up with Nowalk for a few more details about the scene in question – and whether his history-making star enjoys lying on the floor in a pool of fake blood.

“I have never asked her actually,” Nowalk tells PEOPLE regarding the latter question. “What always floors me about her is I’m like, ‘Ugh, she has to lie on the floor, how interesting is that for this Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated, Tony Award-winning actress?’ But then you watch how she does it and it’s so different than I imagined, it feels so real. It’s like she has been shot and she knows exactly how it is. Every moment, even when I’m making Viola Davis lie on the floor and bleed, like, ‘Gah, she’s going to hate me,’ she just goes and owns it and makes it feel so epic. You would have to ask her. I’m sure there’s been better acting opportunities for her, but hopefully we balance them out.”

Speaking of balance, Nowalk teases a dramatic winter finale that will both satisfy fans’ burning questions and keep them guessing.

“It’s very exciting,” he promises. “I never like to say that because I feel, ‘Oh people are going to hate it,’ but I’m very proud of it. I’m proud of all the writers, the actors are amazing in it and it’s like an opera.”

Nowalk also notes that, while several big questions will be answered, a few new ones will arise.

“I think it’s probably 80 to 90 percent answers and then there will be a new questions raised here or there,” he says. “To me it’s totally in the formula of the show, this new question – and it’s one people have been dying to find out about. What we like to say is within our questions we give answers. So people are not totally annoyed. Watch [the finale] if you want to know exactly what happened that night.”

RELATED VIDEO: HTGAWM Star Viola Davis Had a Strange Fan Encounter in a Restroom

How to Get Away with Murder

airs Thursdays (10 p.m. ET) on ABC.