Some people intentionally apply to Elsewhere University to hide; in a classroom where every name is a deflection, there is no risk of anyone looking someone up on facebook and finding things better left hidden. Not dangerous secrets, like spies and conspiracies, but a past made public in ways that hurt:
Old amber alert groups, nevermind that the missing children, if recovered, have to live with being tagged as ‘missing, lost, if found please call-’ for the rest of their lives, no matter how settled they get;
Links to news articles about court cases that include candid pictures and eager descriptions that prove how low humanity can get, lower than the Gentry in many ways, and how a crime does not just mean a criminal but a victim;
Private photographs, shared carefully but not carefully enough, and even if justice is found the fallout is never finished in a world where names are forever attached to faces and their bodies;
Parents dead and a fortune inherited and it is nothing like the stories and everything like a minefield– who wants fortune, who wants favour, who wants everything but the one left behind?
It is easy to spot those who are here to hide, if you know what to look for; the first days of freshman orientation, a blur of information traded back and forth as the new and uninformed are quite thoroughly informed to the point of feeling old, there is always the point where an introduction is formally made with one instruction: any name but your own, and not a diminutive of your own.
The ones hiding, they have consciously avoided mentioning any names to begin with and are now ready to choose their placeholder and hold it like a shield– or a sword– before them. They answer swiftly and surely, a fierce, concentrated joy in their words if not their faces.
They are aware of the dangers of Elsewhere University perhaps a bit more than their other freshman peers, but not in the otherworldly way of those already Touched or Sighted or otherwise Favoured. Their world has already proved to be treacherous and dangerous to navigate, and it is an entirely earthly caution that puts iron around their necks and salt in their pockets as if it had been born there, alongside pepperspray and keychain shanks hanging with their student IDs (blessedly free of last names that carry too much weight).
They major in Criminal Justice or Law or Philosophy or Sociology or Psychology, all of them seeking to understand the people that intentionally hurt them as well as those who, after, unintentionally hurt them.
Some of them find themselves driven by desperation and lingering damage to make deals, looking into the inhuman dark for answers about their all-too-human dark.
Some of them quietly swear to never, ever make a deal with anyone, Gentry or human, again, having already lost everything (save their lives, perhaps left hanging by mere threads) to bad deals before even arriving at Elsewhere University.
Some of them find a rare and precious sliver of safety in the halls of Elsewhere, and they aren’t so foolish as to wash the salt out of their clothes but when it comes time to go home for the summer, they have a list of exactingly precise reasons as to why they cannot go home that just barely qualify them for the summer boarding program and they never leave Elsewhere University again.
They are scarred and marked by their time before attending Elsewhere University, and often Otherness finds an opening in these scars, slipping into strengthen blood and bone with unnatural grace and strength; it is not a favour granted by any of the Gentry, but a slow creep of the very fabric of the space that makes Elsewhere University Elsewhere, reaching tendrils out into the world through those who fell or were pushed through its cracks.
When they graduate, those who are able to leave, do.
They stand in courtrooms and behind curtains or in safehouses, putting themselves between the scum of the earth and the vulnerable. For the vulnerable who are no longer just vulnerable but shattered open, a quiet word and a glowing (literally) letter of recommendation sees them safe in the halls of Elsewhere University, breathing deep and sharp and confidently answering to a name- or names- that were never theirs to start with.
“Ship why do you wear an Eye of Providence necklace?”
WELL. As we determined last year, kids fucking love the Illuminati. Turns out that wearing an all-seeing eye necklace grabs their attention a hell of a lot better than any variation of “Hi kids! Welcome to camp!” As soon as they notice it, I tuck it into my shirt and pretend I don’t know what they’re talking about. Then their eyes are on me for the rest of week because they’re hoping I’ll slip up and reveal dangerous Illuminati secrets.
Storylines and plot points better than killing Wes off (an incomplete list)
Wes investigates the fire at the Keating residence.
With Rebecca’s body found, Wes dives back into investigating her disappearance. Bonnie and Annalise get increasingly nervous the closer he gets to the truth.
Wes confronts Bonnie, Annalise and Frank when he does find out the truth.
The rest of the Keating Five get involved, feeling betrayed at yet another dangerous secret having been kept from them.
Wes gets caught in a complex dance with the DA’s office and trying to keep them off Annalise’ tail
Wes faces off with Frank and the latter’s continuing fixation on Laurel
Wes gets embroiled in conflict with Laurel’s father.
Wes comes to terms with being Wallace Mahoney’s son.
As revenge for his mother’s death, Wes reveals his existence to the public in a push to gain his inheritance. The case is highly publicized.There’s a big legal battle. Wes intends to put the money to good use (like helping undocumented immigrants)
The remaining Mahoneys blame Wes for the patriarch’s death. There’s a target on his head.
Michaela and Laurel, who know what its like to come from people you despise, empathize and further bond with Wes
Wes gets deeply involved in the lives of the undocumented immigrants he works with at his internship. He gets tasked with working an incredibly complex, popular case. The rest of the Keating Five inevitably get involved.
Wes continues to deal with his remaining mental health issues/PTSD. We continue to see him go to therapy and work toward building a healthier life.
Perhaps he and Connor finally find common ground, as Connor is also struggling with the idea of being “messed up” and needing help
Wes and Laurel struggle with what to do about their baby.
Michaela and Wes give perspective as adoptee/former foster kids
Does Annalise become a potential candidate for adoptive mother? She’s always wanted a kid, after all. But again, her life is dangerous as hell.
Or do they keep the baby and learn how to juggle law school and parenthood?
Like, there were so many options RIGHT AT THEIR FINGERTIPS and the writers were like “nope. Death sounds good.” -_-