How to Get Away with Murder Series Finale: Who Gets Away with Murder — and Who Dies?

Annalise and the remaining Keating Five learned their legal fate in Thursday's HTGAWM series finale

Photo: Raymond Liu/ ABC

After six seasons, many murders and countless lies, How to Get Away with Murder came to an end on Thursday night — and viewers learned whether Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) and her colleagues did actually get away with it in the end.

The finale opens with a quick flash-forward to a courthouse shooting where Annalise’s mom (Cicely Tyson) and sister are hurdled together after hearing gunshots and worrying about Annalise’s well-being.

Three days earlier, Annalise stands in her apartment lecturing Bonnie (Liza Weil) and Tegan (Amirah Vann) about the death of her late husband Sam’s sister, Hannah Keating (Marcia Gay Harden). Annalise worries that Frank (Charlie Weber) killed Hannah after learning she was his mom — and Sam (Tom Verica) was his dad. The siblings had Frank when they were teenagers and that’s why Sam rescued Frank from jail all those years ago. Authorities, however, think Hannah died by suicide.

As Annalise's trial continues, Tegan tells her that the opposition landed a surprise witness they plan to bring to the stand. Annalise thinks they got ahold of Wes’ (Alfred Enoch) confession letter, in which he admitted to killing Sam before his own death.

Frank has something else for Annalise: a flash drive he received from the agent covering Hannah’s murder after threatening said agent at gunpoint. When Annalise cross-examines Governor Birkhead (Laura Innes) — since she’s representing herself in the trial — the former law professor plays the audio from the drive, which features Hannah claiming to the late Xavier Castillo (Gerardo Celasco) that the governor killed Nate Lahey Sr. (Glynn Turman). Hannah also admits in the audio that she wanted Annalise to go down for Sam’s murder.

Speaking of Nate Sr., his living son Nate (Billy Brown) receives an offer of $20 million in his dad's wrongful death suit due to Xavier's death. Frank, meanwhile, comes up with $87,000 to offer Gabriel (Rome Flynn) in order to persuade him not to testify against Annalise as the suspected secret witness. The bribe works, and Gabriel never takes the stand.

RELATED VIDEO: Viola Davis Says She’ll Miss Annalise When ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ Ends

Connor (Jack Falahee) begins to feel uneasy about lying under oath and wants to serve his five years in prison in an attempt to make good on everything, but Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) doesn't want his husband going to jail. So Oliver pretends he went to the law school library to research a way to get Connor a deal that involves no jail time like the agreement Michaela (Aja Naomi King) made with the FBI. When Connor receives such deal, he learns that it came as the result of Oliver offering to testify against Annalise. Connor doesn’t want the spiral of lies to continue and feels guilty for bringing Oliver into the whole mess from the beginning, so he tells Oliver he wants a divorce.

Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) and Connor (Jack Falahee). Eric McCandless/ ABC

“I refuse the deal, I go to prison as soon as the trial’s over and I’m not gonna ruin your life that entire time,” Connor tells Oliver, adding, “I turned you into a criminal.” Oliver refuses to believe Connor no longer loves him, but Connor passively assures him he doesn’t.

Back in the courtroom, Nate testifies and lies that Hannah set him up in order “to connect Annalise to Sam’s murder.” Nate claims to Annalise while talking at her apartment afterward that he defended her in order to move on from their relationship and the drama it caused. Then Nate hands Annalise Wes’ confession that he found on Xavier before killing Laurel’s (Karla Souza) brother. Nate leaves, only for Annalise to then receive a knock on her door from her mom and sister, who want to be there to support Annalise in court. Ophelia reminds her daughter just how strong she is, telling Annalise, “You know damn well how to show up when it counts.”

The next day, Annalise gives her final impassioned closing argument to the jury.

“I stand before you, mask off. To tell you God’s honest: I have done many a bad thing. I’ve coerced witnesses, got clients to lie on the stand, bullied students to tears, manipulated jurors like you, but those are not the crimes I’m being tried for. It’s murder. And I am no murderer. What I am is a survivor. I survived getting taunted by the N-word when I was in grade school. I survived a sexual abuse by my uncle when I was 11. I survived losing my first love Eve because I was scared to be gay. Then the death of my son in a car accident, the murder of my husband, then alcoholism, depression, grief. And every death to leading up to this trial. But today you decide, am I a bad person? Well, the mask is off, so I’m gonna say yes. But am I the mastermind criminal who pulled of a series of violent murders? Hell no. Who I am is a 53-year-old woman from Memphis, Tennessee, named Anna May Hartness. I’m ambitious, black, bisexual, angry, sad, strong, sensitive, scared, fierce, talented, exhausted," says Annalise. "And I am at your mercy.”

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The powerful monologue causes Tegan to declare her love for Annalise once they recess to their chambers. “I’ve tried to fight it but I’m taking my mask off too,” she says. “I cannot not have you in my life because I love you.” Annalise doesn’t think she can reciprocate Tegan’s feelings but she doesn’t have time to process because Bonnie barges in to announce that the jury reached a decision.

The verdict: Not guilty. On all charges.

Annalise turns to give hugs to her mom, sister, Tegan and Bonnie as the judge’s voice fades away listing off the murder charges that Annalise has been cleared of. On the courthouse steps, Annalise — who just got away with so many murders! — tells the press she feels “grateful that the jury did the right thing despite some pressure from some very powerful people.”

Tegan and Bonnie at the courthouse. Raymond Liu/ ABC

Inside, a bailiff cuffs Connor, ready to take him to jail as Michaela walks free. Oliver insists he won’t sign the divorce papers, but Connor hands him his wedding ring. “Thank you,” he tells Oliver before walking off. “Now I know how to love.”

As Annalise continues speaking to reporters outside the courthouse with Bonnie and Tegan at her side, Bonnie notices Frank lurking in the crowd. Bonnie discreetly walks towards Frank, who approaches Governor Birkhead and opens fire on the politician as she descends the stairs alongside the press conference. Hysteria quickly ensues.

The governor lays bleeding out on the stairs and Bonnie hovers over a bloody Frank, who was shot amid the mayhem. Laurel gets in the car with her son Christopher, who she conceived with Wes before his death, and directs the driver to speed away. In his final breaths, Frank mumbles to Bonnie that he wanted to make things right. Annalise finds Bonnie and Frank and notices that Bonnie has been shot too.

In a final flash-forward, an elderly Eve (Famke Janssen) is giving a eulogy at Annalise’s funeral decades later. While Eve speaks about Annalise’s life, scenes play of Annalise attending her own mother’s funeral, Annalise dancing carefree with Tegan, Nate opening The Lahey Justice Center, and a gray-haired Michaela being sworn in as a lawyer after years of legal troubles.

Laurel stands in the crowd at Annalise’s funeral with her grown son Christopher, played by Enoch (this is why it looked like Wes came back from the dead in earlier teasers of this moment from throughout the season). Connor and Oliver are also at the service — together.

After the funeral, Christopher follows in his parents’ footsteps and heads to Middletown Law School, but not as a student. “I’m Professor Christopher Castillo,” he tells the class with an accent he picked up from his mom’s side of the family. “This is Criminal Law 100, or as my mentor liked to call it, How to Get Away with Murder.”

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