Asher Kevin Millstone was one of the main characters of How to Get Away with Murder and the face of white privilege of the Keating5.
Born into a world of Ivy League educations and country club memberships, he’s an entitled know-it-all. But Annalise knows something about Asher that’s bigger than just his legal DNA.
That is what becomes the most important reason he is selected to intern with her and later earns a very important place for himself in her firm.
In season 6, Asher was killed by a corrupt FBI agent, in a bid to start the chain of events that would lead to Annalise finally being tried for the countless murders she covered up.
Asher’s murder was one of the charges levelled against Annalise.
1. A Secret Murderer
Ever since the recently released season showed us a bludgeoned Asher, our innards twisted over. The question of who was behind the murder went buzzing through fan circles. Many guessed and many failed.
From his one time classmate Gabriel to Annalise’s arms, Frank and Bonnie – all the guesses of who was behind Asher’s murder fell through when the real culprit was revealed soon and it was no one anybody expected.
Gabriel turned out to be merely an innocent witness to the crime while Frank and Bonnie were saying the truth when they said they didn’t do it. Annalise believed them and so did I, honestly.
For the real culprit, however, you might want to recall that earlier this season, Murder introduced an associate of Xavier Castillo’s who pretended to be an Airbnb guest in Annalise’s building, and cut the brakes on Bonnie’s car, as she predicted back in season 4 (Soon after she threatened the DA for Keating).
This associate seemed like a background player for much of the season until we learned that she was the one behind Asher’s death. Xavier was orchestrating the whole thing, like Bonnie and Frank had theorized.
Returning to the flashbacks, we get to see what happened after Asher offered Gabriel $64,000 for his cell phone.
To save us all some time, let’s break down what really happened that night, considering the way this episode jumps around in time.
Do the Keating5 and Co ever get caught?
2. What happened That Night?
First, Gabriel does hand over his device — which seems to be a second phone that he owns — but he pauses to ask Asher if Wes killed Sam Keating all by himself.
Asher responds that he wasn’t there when Sam died, but he thinks Wes must have had help from someone.
Gabriel, meanwhile, refuses to accept Asher’s check because he thinks Asher’s high, but Asher convinces him to keep it as collateral until he gets his phone back.
When he’s back in his own apartment, Asher calls his sister (who’s partying in Atlantic City), revealing that he came clean to his friends about being the mole.
He’s also worried that the FBI won’t follow through with their deal, since Asher hasn’t given them any evidence that implicates the others; Chloe tries to calm him and calls a car to pick him up.
While he waits for his ride to arrive, Asher records a video message on Gabriel’s phone that we later learn is intended for Connor, Oliver and Michaela.
“I’m not sorry for what I did,”
“I chose my family. And maybe that makes me a schmuck or soft, but I love them. And I love you guys, too.”
He closes by imploring his three friends to do the right thing and look out for themselves — and just as he’s about to email them the video, Asher gets a knock at his door.
Initially, we don’t learn the identity of Asher’s mystery guest, but it’s revealed at the end of the hour to be Xavier’s associate, with whom Asher clearly has some kind of working relationship.
She asks Asher where he wants to go, and he replies that he’d like to go home to his mom’s house.
She agrees to take him there, and she’ll wait for him to return Gabriel’s phone first — but as soon as Asher steps out into the hallway, the woman grabs hold of the fireplace poker she’d been hiding, and she kills Asher with a couple of wicked blows.
Why was Connor Chosen for Keating Five?
3. The Hidden Witness
Meanwhile, when Asher’s murder goes down, Gabriel hears some commotion from the hallway, including a thud and Asher’s protests.
Gabriel gets on his stomach to peek through the crack between his apartment door and the floor, and he watches as Asher’s life ends — and though he doesn’t get a good look at the killer’s face, he glimpses a woman’s dark hair as she descends the stairs.
Now, at first, Gabriel believes that Laurel was the one to murder Asher, especially after learning that Laurel used to live in Asher’s apartment before he did. He’s so sure of it, in fact, that he goes to the FBI to share that Laurel is the culprit.
Upon hearing Gabriel’s theory, Agent Lanford calls in Special Agent Pollack, who was Asher’s point person at the FBI… and, as it turns out, Agent Pollack is Asher’s murderer. (It remains clear that Asher took Pollack’s FBI gig at face value, and he didn’t know that she was working with the Castillos.)
When Pollack enters Lanford’s office, she’s a little nervous to hear that Gabriel may have laid eyes on Asher’s murderer.
But just when it seems like Gabriel is about to point the finger at Laurel, he realizes that Pollack is wearing some very distinctive earrings… and he remembers seeing those exact earrings on Asher’s killer. (Forget my disbelief that Gabriel would ever have spotted someone’s jewelry from such a far distance, while peeking through a crack in the door.)
Gabriel looks stunned as he mentally connects the dots — and though we don’t see the end of his conversation with the FBI, he does go to Connor, Michaela and Oliver later that day to share that he knows who killed Asher.
“It was the FBI,”
he reveals, leaving the three of them shocked.
Is How to Get Away with Murder worth a watch?
4. Asher, The Mole
Meanwhile, Annalise has her own problems to address. When Annalise looks through the upcoming charges against her — including the first-degree murder of Sam Keating, Annalise quickly deduces that Connor and Michaela must have taken a deal.
Because there’s no way Asher alone could have supplied the FBI with convincing evidence of Sam’s murder. Then, there was another traitor to add to Annalise’s list, Nate.
When Tegan takes a meeting with AUSA Montes, attempting to get some of Annalise’s charges dropped before trial, it us revealed that the aggravated arson charge against Annalise doesn’t refer to her campus house; it’s about the fire started at her childhood home on Peachtree Street (which we already know was started by Annalise’s mother in order to kill Annalise’s sexually abusive uncle).
They’re alleging a pattern of arson based on the fire that burnt down your childhood home, Tegan tells Annalise, who’s more concerned about how the FBI obtained the news clipping about the Peachtree fire.
That’s when it hits her: The night that Annalise took off for Mexico, Nate had handed over the files that D.A. Denver used to keep on all of them, which included the news article about the Peachtree fire.
We don’t see any flashback footage of Nate doing this, but we do know he’d spoken to the FBI before, while pursuing justice for his father.
Annalise reveals to Bonnie and Frank that Nate likely betrayed her, and Frank is ready to put Nate in a body bag but Annalise insists that Nate can’t know they’ve figured out his secret.
“They wanna come after me, call me an arsonist?”
“Well, they better get ready, ‘cause we’re gonna burn every last one of those motherf—kers down.”
(Bonnie seems pleased by that idea.) And this episode answers another big question about Annalise: The night that she went to Mexico, she had asked her VIP Results driver to stop the car so that she could go back and get Bonnie to come with her.
But when she knocked furiously on Bonnie’s door, Bonnie didn’t answer, because she’d gone to Annalise’s apartment to let her know that Asher was the mole.
At first, Annalise suspects Bonnie of killing Asher, because
“you found out what he was doing, and I know what you’ve done before.”
But Bonnie tearfully responds that it wasn’t her, and Annalise chooses to believe her. However, Asher is dead by then.
So there you go. Comment below and let me know if I covered all the important events that led to Asher’s death. However privileged a character was Asher, his death took a man who loved his family and treated even his friends like family.
However, it remained a murder of privilege at the hands of privilege. Way to go justice league!
5. About How To Get Away With Murder
This hit ABC legal drama first aired in 2014 and now premieres on Netflix. Produced under the landmark banner of Shondaland, the show is written and created by Peter Nowalk.
It centres around a criminal defense lawyer and matriarch Annalise Keating. She runs her practise out of her home, keeps a team of assistants and few select students close to help her with work, which involves defending people accused of murder.
Things go awry when Annalise begins to suspect her own husband of murdering a student at Middleton college, where she teaches. Soon after, all hell breaks loose when her husband is killed as well.
What ensues is six seasons of fast-paced drama imbued in legal jargon as unexpected murders continue to rise and we are left counting exactly how many murders can you really get away with.
The Emmy Award winning show carved a niche for itself despite being based on one of the most beaten themes in Hollywood – courtroom drama.
Headed by Viola Davis who plays a queer Black woman lawyer, the show is generous in representing color on screen and also normalising the concept of queer coitus on broadcast television long before anyone was doing it anywhere in the world.
All this above and beyond the powerful criminal law stories it told.
A must watch.