For years Viola Davis' character Annalise Keating has been one of an internet sensation. She is the lead star of the ABC show How to Get Away With Murder, which finally ended after six years on air. The show is infamous for, of course, murder and always showing shocking twists.
Being an avid fan since the beginning, I've had to keep mental note of who killed who - and no, I'm not exaggerating. So it was truly felt full circle when the series finale aired and Annalise was on trial for everything. The prosecutors would list of the murders Annalise would be accused of and in my head I would respond with who actually committed them.
Sure, the series finale did a lot of nice fan service. They kept together Connor and Oliver, depicting them growing old together, Michaela eventually becoming a judge and having a family, and Laurel's son Christopher ends up becoming a law professor under the guidance of Annalise herself. But there's just something more that the series finale did that left me proud and fulfilled.
In an action that seems very on brand for Annalise Keating, she ends up acting as her own lawyer and would have to present a closing argument that would personally convince the jury that she was not guilty of these crimes. But during her closing statement, she gives an incredibly bold speech, one that Viola Davis should absolute win awards over.
Throughout the course of six seasons, we've embraced the fact that despite not being a murderer, Annalise isn't perfect. She actually tells a jury that she's manipulated witnesses and jurors before during court cases, she's an alcoholic and she uses people. She admits that she has done bad things.
Many struggle with the concept of a strong woman of color. It may appear threatening or unnatural. I myself have had classes before where I find others shocked that I am where I am: a first-generation Latina in STEM. Annalise knows that is a strong factor to why she gets so much grief from other people.
Annalise was never scared to call people out for their misdeeds. Despite her mother distraught about it, Annalise calls out her uncle for sexually abusing her. She shouts to the rooftops that the justice system is messed up and the level of corruption is more than can even be imagined.
So much was thrown at Annalise and it tore my heart apart for six years watching her get knocked down time and time again. But How to Get Away with Murder wasn't scared to show Annalise in her low. Annalise doesn't just get sad for a single episode, smile through, and keep going. No. She gets depressed, she drinks, she runs away, she does everything that a person naturally would when the weight of the entire world is on their shoulders.
The show ends with Annalise getting a happy ending. This really wasn't a cheesy "yay, everybody's happy!" type of ending as we saw beloved characters die over the years and our beloved Keating five go about their separate ways in the end. The creators did this just right because the happy ending doesn't discredit the six years of mayhem that we went through.
I shed a tear realizing that Annalise mentored Christopher in law and lost it when he nicknamed his law class "How to Get Away with Murder" just like Annalise did in the first episode.
I'm grateful for a show to be loud and proud of displaying strong women of color. It'd be amazing if we had a real-life Annalise Keating fighting the great battle for justice.