Annalise Keating is a brilliant lawyer on How to Get Away With Murder, but she has a long way to go to become a healthy person. Could Laurel be the one to save her?
When we met Annalise Keating in How to Get Away With Murder season 1, she was an extremely powerful figure, commanding the classroom, the courtroom, and even the bedroom. Since then, however, she’s been broken down by the unbelievable circumstances that she’s been thrown into over the course of the series.
Annalise’s alcoholism was likely a problem for her before we met her in How to Get Away With Murder season 1, but the combination of her husband’s death, the revelations surrounding her lost child, and losing Wes caused her to spiral and eventually hit rock bottom.
On the bright side, at the beginning of How to Get Away With Murder season 4, it looked like Annalise was finally at a place from which she could begin to heal. After avoiding it for years, she was finally being honest about her pain and past trauma. She had given up drinking and was seeking help. She was even taking up an admirable class-action lawsuit!
Unfortunately, her therapist turned out to be an even bigger mess than Annalise or any of the other characters we’ve come to know and love, and the Keating 5 got themselves into yet another precarious situation. All signs pointed to Annalise’s progress being derailed, but that’s not what happened! At least not yet…
Instead of turning to her vices, Annalise seems more determined than ever to help Laurel and the rest of her team. We weren’t quite sure why, until Annalise said it herself.
She thinks this is the thing that can save her.
When you look at the facts, it kind of makes sense. Many of Annalise’s problems can be traced back to the loss of her baby in the tragic “accident,” caused by the Mahoneys, with Frank’s assistance. Her baby’s death not only did irreparable damage to her, but it also changed the course of her marriage to Sam.
Of course, Annalise picked herself back up and continued to be a badass lawyer and woman, but she never fully recovered. Earlier in How to Get Away With Murder season 4, she even admitted that part of the reason why she took on students was to fill that void.
One such student was Wesley Gibbons. Wes meant far more to Annalise than any student who’d come before him. It was clear from the start of How to Get Away With Murder that she had a special connection to him, but we didn’t know why until we learned about her past with his mother.
To an extent, Annalise felt responsible for Wes’ mother’s death, and she grew to feel very maternal toward him. Following his death, she went so far as to say, “He was my son,” in her therapy session.
When Annalise lost Wes, it brought back all the pain that she’d felt when she lost her own child. She definitely wasn’t in a good place before his death, but she really had to face her demons when Wes was killed.
Now, Laurel’s in a situation where her own baby has been taken from her by a wealthy, powerful man. Sure, her baby is still alive and the powerful man is her own father, but the situation still largely parallels Annalise’s own.
On top of that, the baby is Wes’. Where Annalise feels like she failed Wes, as well as her own child, she could directly make it up to him by saving his child.
If anyone can help Laurel get her baby back, it’s Annalise Keating. When she’s operating at her best, which she seems to be now, there’s nobody better. Her personal connections to the matter are only going to make her more determined to win.
The question is, will helping Laurel actually “save” Annalise?
Yes, the circumstances are similar, but at the end of the day, this baby will never be her baby or Wes…even if it is Wes’ baby. While helping to reunite Laurel with her child is certainly a great thing for Annalise to do, and she’ll definitely feel great about achieving it, ultimately, it probably won’t be the thing that fills the void in her heart.
Interestingly enough, what might actually “save” Annalise is her class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit isn’t a direct attempt to fix her problems. Instead, it’s a path forward that gives her purpose. It allows her to help people and could catapult her into a brighter future.
So far in How to Get Away With Murder we’ve mostly seen Annalise’s downward spiral, so it’s definitely time to see some upward momentum. Whether it’s Laurel or the lawsuit, we hope something in season 4 can help her to recover!