HTGAWM spoilers: New cast additions could hold the key to Annalise’s past

After How to Get Away with Murder‘s shocking midseason finale — when it was revealed who shot Annalise — audiences have been anxiously theorizing about what could possibly be in store for the second half of Season 2. A clue may have been revealed yesterday, when it was announced that several new cast members will be joining the remainder of the season, likely shaking things up for Annalise and the Keating Five.

More: HTGAWM: [Spoiler] shot Annalise — is she their mom, too?

When HTGAWM returns to ABC on Feb. 11, viewers will be introduced to the Mahoney family: matriarch Sylvia (Roxanne Hart), patriarch Wallace (Adam Arkin), and son Charles (Wilson Bethel). The Mahoneys are a privileged bunch. Sylvia’s a socialite, Wallace is Warren Buffett-eqsue, and Charles is an Ivy League grad. And, according to showrunner Pete Nowalk, the family will play a critical role going forward.

“The Mahoney family plays a really big part in a legal case in our last six episodes,” Nowalk told TVLine yesterday. “They’re very wealthy people. It’s a murder case, and it involves Annalise in a big way.” Nowalk also added that the Mahoneys aren’t affiliated with any of Annalise Keating’s former clients, nor are they connected to anyone in her inner circle.

This news also suggests that Annalise is likely to make a quick recovery from her gunshot wounds. Indeed, earlier this week Viola Davis told Entertainment Tonight that “Annalise is fine… Annalise is working it out like we are all working it out.”

Davis added that “after what [Wes] did to [Annalise]” in the midseason finale, fans should expect that the protective relationship that the two characters previously shared “may be in question.”

More: 11 Predictions for How to Get Away With Murder Season 2

Another hint revealed to ET: The remainder of Season 2 will be heavily focused on character backstories and flashbacks, which will ultimately unite the group in a new, powerful way.

“It’s just a lot of us trying to hold it together,” Aja Naomi King (aka, Michaela Pratt) told ET this week. “I think you’re gonna see us come a lot closer in the latter half of this season, which is also really nice.”

So even if the Mahoneys have no direct, prior relationship with Annalise or her students, it seems likely that they may hold the keys to the mysteries of their pasts. And, naturally, the biggest mystery on everyone’s mind is the connection between Annalise and Wes’s mother. The midseason finale revealed that Annalise knows Wes’s real name, Christophe, and that she’s known him since he was (at least) 12 years old, when his mother committed suicide — or so he’s been told.

In November, SheKnows contributor Julie Sprankles addressed the popular theory that Annalise is Wes’s biological mother, ultimately concluding that the evidence presented in the midseason finale contradicts that notion. She did posit, however, that Wes’s mother might have been one of Annalise’s early clients. That’s the theory that makes the most sense to me right now — it would explain why Annalise still feels the urge to protect Wes after all these years — and it provides an entry point for the Mahoneys. We know that the Mahoneys aren’t previous clients of Annalise, nor are they closely connected to any of her former clients — but could they still have information about the case that Wes’s mother was involved in? Could they have indirectly played a role in her death?

More: How to Get Away With Murder: 6 New clues from Season 2 trailer

Or perhaps we’re looking at this from the wrong angle entirely. Maybe it’s not Annalise’s past to which the Mahoneys are connected. Did they perhaps know Emily Sinclair, the now-deceased prosecutor, whose backstory and murder is likely to play a role throughout the remainder of Season 2?

Luckily, we won’t have to speculate for long. New episodes of HTGAWM begin in four weeks, so soon these mysteries will be resolved — surely with new ones around the corner.

Are you ready for the return of HTGAWM on Feb. 11? What are your Season 2 predictions?