As one of the Keating 5, Asher Millstone was a core character in the ABC drama How to Get Away with Murder before he was brutally murdered.
We were first introduced to Asher in the series premiere. He was shown to be a privileged young law student hailing from a background of Ivy Leagues and country clubs, with a chip on his shoulder.
Despite his airs, Asher was extremely intelligent, resourceful, and ambitious, as was obvious from his fierce efforts to secure a spot in Annalise Keating’s firm from the very beginning. Earn his place in Annalise’s firm, he did—Annalise saw something in Asher beyond his privileged background, and this something became an integral part of the reason she brought him onboard.
Asher Millstone ultimately dies in the final season (six) of How to Get Away with Murder. He’s killed by the corrupt FBI officer, Agent Pollack, as a part of Pollack’s scheme to frame and convict Annalise Keating for countless murders.
1. A Secret Murderer
The most recent season showed us a horribly bludgeoned Asher, which made our innards twist over, to say the least. There was, as expected, a ton of buzz in fan forums about who the murderer was, and most people failed to guess correctly.
From Asher’s one-time classmate Gabriel to Annalise’s arms, Frank and Bonnie, all the guesses as to the identity of Asher’s murderer fell through when the real culprit was revealed to be someone nobody expected.
Gabriel turned out to be merely an innocent witness to Asher’s murder, while Frank and Bonnie were telling the truth when they said they had nothing to do with it. Annalise believed them, and honestly, so did I.
Earlier in season 6, we were introduced to an associate of Xavier Castillo’s who pretended to be an Airbnb guest in Annalise’s building. This person cut the brakes on Bonnie’s car and almost got her killed, just as she’d 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, just 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 arrange what happened that night in chronological order, considering the way this episode jumps around in time.
2. What Happened That Night?
First, Gabriel does hand over his device to Asher—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 else.
Gabriel, meanwhile, refuses to accept Asher’s check because he thinks Asher is high. Despite this, Asher convinces Gabriel 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), and tells her that he came clean to his friends about being the mole.
Asher is also worried that the FBI won’t follow through with their deal since Asher hasn’t given them any evidence that implicates the others. His sister tries to calm him and calls a car to pick him up.
While he waits for his ride to arrive, Asher records a video confession on Gabriel’s phone. We later find out that this message is intended for Connor, Oliver, and Michaela, the remaining members of the Keating Five.
“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.”Asher Millstone
Asher finishes his message by imploring his three friends to do the right thing and look out for themselves. Just as he’s about to email them the video, someone knocks on Asher’s door.
Initially, we don’t learn the identity of Asher’s mystery guest, but it’s revealed at the end of the hour that it was Xavier’s associate, with whom Asher clearly had some kind of working relationship.
The associate 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 says she’ll wait for him to return Gabriel’s phone first. However, the moment Asher steps out into the hallway, the woman uses the fireplace poker she’d been hiding, and bludgeons Asher to death with it.
3. The Hidden Witness
As Asher’s murder takes place, Gabriel hears some commotion from the hallway, including a thud and Asher’s protests.
Gabriel drops to the floor and peeks through the crack between Asher’s apartment door and the floor, and he watches as Asher dies. Although Gabriel doesn’t manage to get a good look at the killer’s face, he catches a glimpse of a woman’s dark hair as she descends the stairs.
At first, Gabriel believes Laurel to be Asher’s assailant, especially after learning that Laurel used to live in Asher’s apartment before him. He’s so sure of it, in fact, that he goes to the FBI to tell them that Laurel is the culprit.
Upon hearing Gabriel’s theory, Agent Lanford calls in Special Agent Pollack, who was Asher’s point of contact at the FBI. At this point, Gabriel realizes that Agent Pollack is Asher’s murderer. Asher, when working with Pollack, naively took her FBI gig at face value, and didn’t suspect that she could be 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—the very same ones Gabriel caught a glimpse of on Asher’s murderer.
At this point, I did feel skeptical that Gabriel had spotted something as small as earrings from such a large distance through such a small crack. However, I decided to suspend my disbelief and go along with the story since it meant Asher’s murderer finally being revealed—much earlier than I’d anticipated, no less.
Gabriel looks stunned as he mentally connects the dots. Although 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 to his three stunned friends.
4. Asher, the Mole
Meanwhile, Annalise has her own problems to address. When she looks through the charges about to be leveled against her—including the first-degree murder of her husband, Sam Keating—Annalise quickly deduces that Connor and Michaela must have taken a deal.
Since there’s no way Asher alone could have supplied the FBI with convincing evidence of Sam’s murder, there had to be another traitor—Nate.
When Tegan takes a meeting with A.U.S.A. Montes, attempting to get some of Annalise’s charges dropped before trial, it is revealed that the aggravated arson charge against Annalise doesn’t refer to her campus house. Rather, it’s about the fire 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.
The prosecution is alleging a pattern of arson based on the fire that burnt down her 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 actually see any footage of Nate doing this, but we do know he had spoken to the FBI before while pursuing justice for his father.
Annalise tells Bonnie and Frank that Nate likely betrayed her. 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****ers down.”Annalise Keating
This episode also answers another big question about Annalise. The night 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, saying, “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.
However privileged a man Asher may have been, his death took a man who loved his family and treated his friends like family.
At the end of the day, though, it was 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. It centers around a criminal defense lawyer and matriarch Annalise Keating.
She runs her practice out of her home, and keeps a team of assistants and a 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 wondering: exactly how many murders can you really get away with?