[Warning: This article contains spoilers for the series finale of How to Get Away with Murder. Read at your own risk!]
Update 5/14/20: In the series finale episode of How to Get Away with Murder, it was revealed that the person at Annalise's funeral wasn't actually Wes Gibbins at all. Alfred Enoch returned to play Wes and Laurel's son, Christopher, all grown up. The final moments of the finale skipped ahead to decades after Annalise won her trial when she died after a long, happy, complicated life. Christopher was there to pay tribute to his mentor, Annalise, and to escort an elderly Laurel to the funeral.
After six years of killing off beloved characters, How to Get Away with Murder Season 6 delivered the shock of the century by seemingly bringing one of them back to life! Wes Gibbins' (Alfred Enoch) return in the midseason finale still yet to be explained on the eve of the series finale. We'll have all our answers soon, but that hasn't stopped us from speculating about how in the world he could be alive and well at Annalise's (Viola Davis) funeral.
Wes died in Season 3 of the show when Dominick (Nicholas Gonzalez) killed him on the orders of Laurel's (Karla Souza) father. Wes was planning to confess a whole litany of crimes to the police, which would have implicated Laurel and by extension her family's illicit dealings, so Jorge Castillo had him murdered to silence him. Dominick even set fire to Annalise's house to burn the body and destroy the evidence. It's just too bad no one knew Laurel was pregnant with Wes's baby by that point.
The tricky part of this whole thing is... we saw Wes's body. His charred corpse was shown to Annalise and multiple other characters in the wake of his death, and that's usually a pretty conclusive way to tell a character is dead for real. So how in the world is he alive and kicking all these seasons later?
There are a couple of theories that could explain it.
The first and most popular is that he's been in league with the FBI this whole time. If he'd contacted the FBI with the evidence he had on all the murders he and the Keating Five had been part of, who's to say this hasn't all been a complex witness protection program thing? Considering how Annalise's minions always jump to murder the second exposure becomes a risk, Wes wouldn't have had a hard time swinging a deal to fake his death so he could be protected until the FBI was finished building their case against Annalise. This also tracks with Laurel and baby Christopher's mysterious disappearance last season. If she'd found out Wes was alive and in hiding, she absolutely would have taken the same deal in order to be with him and their child.
The catch here is Dominick would have had to be in on the plan for this to work. Everyone's allegiance is questionable on a show like this, but it seems unlikely Dominick would have turned on the family he'd been loyal to his whole life. Though frankly, we already know the FBI had a Castillo mole inside it, so who's to say the FBI didn't have one of their own in the Castillo ranks?
Now, some people believe that Wes did make a deal to fake his own death, but that that deal was actually with the Castillo family instead of the FBI. If Jorge Castillo had known Laurel and Wes were expecting, he could have interceded to save Wes's life instead of taking it. One option is they faked Wes's death and kidnapped him so he couldn't testify, but the other is that he was a willing participant who helped Dominick fake the murder.
Some convincing burn prosthetics, a dose of tetrodotoxin to mimic death, and one bribed coroner later, Wes's death could have been extremely believable to anyone who wasn't looking too closely.
The final theory about the scene where Wes returns has nothing to do with faked deaths and everything to do with real ones.
We've all been assuming that Annalise would fake her death and get the hell out of dodge at some point, but she's technically already tried to run. She made it all the way to Mexico before deciding to turn around and face the music. It would be very out of character for Annalise to up and decide to run again after deciding to stay and fight. This woman absolutely does not give up once she's committed to a course of action! Plus, after her little escape attempt, the FBI would be crazy to assume she was dead without a body to prove it.
On the off chance that Annalise does die in the series finale, the funeral scene where Wes first appeared could actually be heaven. It sounds bleak, but a crowd of people mourning her death instead of baying for her blood would seem pretty heavenly to Annalise at this point. Plus, a reunion with Wes in the afterlife? That wouldn't be the worst way to end the series in our books.
How to Get Away with Murder airs Thursdays at 10/9c on ABC.