After two years of wondering just how the Keating Five have been surviving law school when they spend more time embroiled in murder cover-ups, How to Get Away With Murder finally provided an answer: they're not. They're all at the bottom of their class, merely scraping by because of their connection to Annalise. But Annalise isn't doing too well at the school either; after being tinged by scandal and labelled a murderer, she had a class taken away from her. As she works to rehabilitate her image, things may begin to improve for her after all, but she's got a potential roadblock in the form of President Hargrove. What is President Hargrove up to on HTGAWM?
In the premiere of Season 3, brand new university president Soraya Hargrove gets on Annalise's bad side almost immediately. For reasons that have as much to do with Annalise's personal life as the Keating Five's poor academic performance, Hargrove wants Annalise out of the public eye. She first tries to get Annalise to take on a research position instead of teaching, then tries and fails to suspend Annalise for her own safety after she becomes a target on campus due to her murderous rep. It seems like Hargrove just has the school's best interests at heart, but there may be more going on there than meets the eye.
Actress Lauren Luna Vélez, who plays the university president, says that though Hargrove has a picture perfect persona, she has skeletons in her closet and they'll be coming out as the season unfolds. She didn't give any hints as to just what those skeletons might be, but on a show full of characters with secrets, they're going to have to be pretty dark to stand out from the crowd. "Soraya believes that you can draw more bees with honey than with vinegar. She's a consummate politician," Vélez told Remezcla, before adding that "as the show progresses, we find out her deep, dark secrets [...]."
Annalise's involvement with the higher ups at the university is a new addition to the series that shows some of consequences of the main characters' actions. Though right now relations between Annalise and the administration are cordial on the surface, it doesn't seem like they'll be improving any time soon. Hargrove wants Annalise to stop generating so much bad publicity, but when Annalise does the opposite (working up a media firestorm over a divisive case that ends up painting her as a hero), Hargrove isn't pleased either.
Hargrove has good intentions, or so it seems: she just wants the school she's responsible for to not be known as Murder University. She's looking to lock down a Scream Queens Season 1 kind of situation. However, getting in Annalise's way is bound to lead to negative consequences. So far most of the people who come up against her don't make it out of the season alive.