SEASON PREMIERE THURSDAY SEPT 28 10|9c

The Road from Anna Mae Harkness to Annalise Keating

By Marisa Dabney | Apr 27th, 2016

Annalise Keating wouldn't be the same powerful woman she is today without the help of her mother.  Annalise and her mother may not be in constant contact but Annalise knows she will always have a safe and comfortable home to run to when times get tough (when she found out Frank was the one who killed Lila Stangard).

How to Get Away with Murder’s Annalise Keating is a tough, smart and sexy lawyer who can handle anything…right? She could handle her cheating husband, her own affair and also her guilty clients. Her actions over the course of the past two seasons have taught us a lot about her, but it was not until she hit rock bottom that we got to meet the real Annalise — whose name happens to be Anna Mae Harkness. Let’s take a look at what we learned from Mama’s Here Now!

A VIP Visitor
Annalise is grieving. Not only is her husband dead, but her lover Nate has been falsely imprisoned for his murder thanks to her. That’s enough to push anyone over the edge! Although Annalise is not one to share her emotions, she is unable to hold it together any longer. Like most of us in times of despair, Annalise just needs her Mama. Enter Annalise’s tough talking, no-nonsense mother, Ophelia Harkness, played by the legendary Cicely Tyson!

Cicely Tyson's Murder Debut!|Annalise's mama comes to town.|Annalise's mama, Ophelia Harkness (guest star Cicely Tyson), blows into the Keating home like a cyclone. She gives a full recap of what’s been going on in her daughter’s life these past few months. When her motivational attempt to get Annalise out of bed falls flat, Ophelia gives her a little TLC. Watch this scene from How to Get Away with Murder Season 1, Episode 13: Mama's Here Now.

What’s in a Name?
It’s quickly apparent that Ophelia isn’t going to simply comfort her daughter during this trip to Philadelphia. Annalise is not pleased when her mother starts to clean out Sam’s closet. It causes a major argument and they discuss Annalise’s childhood, which gives us so much information about the usually very private character! Ophelia reminds her daughter that before she was Annalise Keating, she was Anna Mae Harkness. Wait… what?!

What's In a Name?|How Anna Mae became Annalise Keating.|Annalise is not pleased when her mother (guest star Cicely Tyson) starts to clean out Sam’s closet. It causes a major argument and they discuss Annalise’s childhood. Ophelia reminds her daughter that before she was Annalise Keating, she was Anna Mae Harkness. Watch this scene from How to Get Away with Murder Season 1, Episode 13: Mama's Here Now.

Men Take Things
Anna Mae faced very difficult times growing up, which may be a big reason Annalise is so closed off emotionally and rarely speaks about her personal life. Even in her private relationships, she keeps herself emotionally distant. When she finally confronts her mother about her past, we discover a lot about Professor Keating – and Annalise learns just as much about the woman who raised her. Watch this powerful moment to see the truth about Annalise’s past revealed.

You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do
Now that you’ve seen that scene, you know that though Annalise and Ophelia may be connected by blood, their outlook on life couldn’t be more different. Mama Harkness states women nurture others, but Uncle Clyde’s despicable actions changed Anna Mae forever. She saw herself as damaged goods and someone who could never be capable of nurturing another soul. Anna Mae was put in a hand-me-down box and Annalise was born. Little did Annalise know that she has more in common with her mother than she thought. Watch the shocking moment below to see what we mean.

Annalise's Mom: The Shocking Revelation|Sometimes you got to do what you got to do.|Ophelia (guest star Cicely Tyson) recalls the time first she realized what Annalise's uncle had done to her. The she informs a shocked Annalise about what really happened after that. Ophelia lets her daughter know that sometimes you got to do what you got to do. Annalise takes hold of her mother's arm and pulls her close. Watch this scene from How to Get Away with Murder Season 1, Episode 13: Mama's Here Now.

Annalise called her mother for help even though she was still harboring a grudge as against Ophelia for not doing anything about Uncle Clyde. What will change now that she knows the truth? Time will tell. One thing’s for sure: Mom always know best…even how to get away with murder.

Watch the 2 Hour Season Finale of How to Get Away with Murder THURSDAY 9|8c!

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