12:00 pm EST, November 23, 2019

What does that shocking ‘HTGAWM’ mid-season finale return mean for the show?

The mid-season finale of HTGAWM season 6 featured the return of a character who nobody had expected to see again.

Okay, I say nobody, but truth be told, some fans never gave up hoping that Wes Gibbins had lived to grace the pages of an HTGAWM script once more. To those fans, your persistence and unshakeable faith has paid off. Wes Gibbins is alive and looking better than ever! He did not, as we once thought, perish in the great Keating house fire of season 3 with a broken rib.

Related: HTGAWM season 6, episode 9 review: The party gloves are off

We can’t wait to see Wes in the final episodes of How to Get Away With Murder season 6. HTGAWM showrunner Pete Nowalk confirmed that his return will definitely play a huge part in the rest of the final season.

If that’s the case, what implications does his return have for the past and future of the show? As exciting as his return is it shakes up a lot of what we thought we knew, and sheds some light on what’s to come.

Let’s start with the past. When Wes “died,” he took all of the legal heat that was on Annalise and the Keating 5 to the grave with him. They used his death, along with a conveniently worded voicemail, as an opportunity to put the responsibility for all of their crimes on his lifeless shoulders.

htgawm, wes gibbins

We can now infer that Wes pulled a page from the playbook of Snow White and the Evil Queen and faked his own death. We have absolutely no idea where the charred broken corpse came from, but we do know that it either wasn’t actually Wes, or it wasn’t actually a corpse.

There is still a lot of mystery surrounding this. For starters, why did he fake his death? Yes, he was under some hot water with the Mahoneys and the Castillos, but is there more to it than that? Did he always intend to take the fall for his friends?

If that was the case, somebody else would have to know about his plan. Otherwise, the pieces couldn’t have fallen into place like they did. My best guesses would be Annalise, Laurel, Eve, or even Frank. For Annalise or Laurel it could’ve seemed like a necessary sacrifice to protect them all. Eve would’ve been happy to help in any way that would help Annalise, and Frank definitely wouldn’t have been upset about getting Wes out of the picture for the sake of everyone’s safety and freedom.

The other question, of course, is where he’s been hiding since HTGAWM season 3. Presumably he simply sought refuge with a different identity somewhere where he wasn’t known, but there’s also the very real possibility that he’s been with Laurel and Christopher since they disappeared.

If they are together, which I’m guessing they are, since Wes was involved with the safety deposit box that Frank found, then Laurel has likely known about Wes being alive the entire time. It’s possible that she’s just been biding her time until she could join him. This either indicates that she was the one to help him escape, or she was told by the person who did.

wes gibbins, laurel castillo

As for the future of HTGAWM, there are a few things we can speculate on surrounding the return of Wes Gibbins.

We just discussed the fact that Wes’s death gave Annalise and the Keating 5 the opportunity to frame him for everyone’s crimes. Therefore, if Wes Gibbins was alive, he would be an extremely guilty man who, in the eyes of the law, deserved to be locked up in prison for many, many years.

Since he is no longer hiding, but quite confidently strutting down the aisles of Annalise’s funeral, we have to assume that he is no longer on the hook for those murders. Either that, or he’s decided to stop running and go to jail for everyone’s sake, but we can’t see that being the case. If Wes’s name has been cleared, it must mean that somebody else has gone down for the multitude of murders that Annalise and the Keating 5 are currently being investigated for!

This is likely to happen in one of two ways. Either the FBI were finally able to pin everything on Annalise in her “death,” or the team has finally, and fully, gotten away with murder. If they were able to put everything on the Castillos or the Governor, they could all walk free.

If that was the case, we can’t imagine that Annalise would still have to fake her death, so either there’s more to the story or *gasp* she’s actually dead.

Assuming she is still alive, we hope we get to see her reunite with Wes, and find out if she had a hand in helping him get away. He was always so special to her, and she deserves to know that he’s alive and well. We’re also already bracing ourselves for Annalise’s eulogy, whether it’s real or fake.

It will also be interesting to see if Laurel returns. If she’s been with Wes the whole time, it would make sense that she’d return with him. If she doesn’t know he’s alive, she’ll certainly be dying to see him again. We just want one Wes/Christopher scene before HTGAWM ends!

Whatever happens, it’s clear that Wes’s return to How to Get Away With Murder is going to shake things up in a big way. We never thought we’d see him again, but now that he’s back, we’re thrilled by all the possibilities.

Unfortunately, we have to wait until Thursday, April 2 for the show to return. In the meantime, let us know what you think about the return of Wes Gibbins in the comments.

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