‘How To Get Away With Murder’ creator Peter Nowalk on the show's ending and what fans can expect from the Season 6 finale
In an exclusive interview with MEA World Wide the creator and executive producer of ABC’s hottest legal drama walks us through his journey of creating the show and its characters and what we could expect in the grand final season.
For five years and counting, the hit legal drama has owned a large chunk of primetime television. With the cliffhanging tension and suspense at every turn, the story has managed to keep us hooked through the last five and half seasons. The convoluted plot twists, layered characters, and intense tension makes the final season of ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ more exciting than ever. And we cannot thank its creator, Peter Nowalk enough, for pushing our expectations over the cliff every time. The show might have gone on its fall break, but we are still not over its impact. MEA World Wide recently caught up with Nowalk at the Paley Center for Media and had the opportunity to have a candid conversation on his perspective on his own creation.
When you started the show, did you know you would go through the journey the way you did and it would end the way it is going to end?
How I wish I could say yes. I had no idea how it would end. It was only during this hiatus that I realized how I wanted it to end, which happened to merge with a couple of pitches, and that’s how I found our way to the final season.
As the character driving the show, how important is Viola Davis' opinion of your story ideas?
I usually like to hit her with the unexpected. Her opinions really matter to me. I usually don’t rush to get her opinion, but this one around was something that put a smile on her face, albeit a dark, sly one, and I knew immediately that she liked the idea of the final season.
This show has been filled with ethical dilemmas of characters. How do you still manage to create the character or design their journey so they are still liked by the audience?
To be honest, I never really worry if the characters are likable. As a writer, I try to put myself in their shoes and see if I like them or not. I have made them go through some horrendous circumstances but I always try to find some real, humane reactions to it, so they don’t come across as sociopaths. But what’s great is that I have these actors who can ground the most insane, preposterous events and turn them into their emotional truth.
You had said earlier that Season 6 would end in an inevitable, fateful way. So can we assume that there will be death or prison time?
Well, yes, you can assume anything from death to prison, escape, or more. Every character’s going to have a different ending; some that they choose, and some that they don’t.
With most shows, when they end, the fans and audience usually get disappointed that it ended. Do you feel worried that your viewers are going to feel the same way about HTGAWM Season 6?
I think I will get worried when it actually ends. Of course, you want people to like what you did with the grand ending. But I will also say, that the best finales happen when people sit on it and think about it years later, and not necessarily at the moment when it ends. I would like to give people something to think about and enjoy the experience for a prolonged time.
With Nowalk’s promise to make the final season an experience to cherish, we can hope for the high-octane legal drama to end in the most unexpected ways.
Stay tuned as the second half of ‘HTGAWAM’ Season 6 returns after the holidays on April 2, 2020 at 10 pm ET, only on ABC.