- "I wanna be her."
- —Michaela about Annalise Keating
Michaela Pratt is one of the main characters of How to Get Away with Murder. Nobody wants to impress Professor Annalise Keating more than Michaela Pratt. In fact, she doesn’t just want to impress her... she wants to be her.
Michaela is an ambitious overachiever who was born knowing how to "lean in," and she has the stellar resume and successful fiancé to prove it. Always the first person to raise her hand in class, Michaela is exceedingly over prepared and ready to amaze any professor or person of authority.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Early Life[edit | edit source]
When Michaela was 2, her mother was shot by her father which resulted in social services taking Michaela. It is unknown whether her mother was killed or whether she was in a hostile environment which resulted in social services taking her. ("Be the Martyr", "Make Me the Enemy") She was then raised by adoptive mother Trishelle Pratt, along with a handful of other adoptive brothers and sisters. Her home life apparently wasn't great, leaving Michaela to grow up in a poor household and be left with wanting more from life. Michaela later got a job working at Ruthie's Burgers and later became a manager at one of their outlets. ("Is Someone Really Dead?", "It's Her Kid")
She eventually met and began dating Aiden Walker, the two of whom made plans to get married and have a life together, where they have children that Aiden would take care of so that Michaela could go on to be a lawyer or judge. Michaela goes on to apply for a Criminal Law 101 class that is taught by none other than Annalise Keating, a brilliant law professor and defense attorney that Michaela idolizes. ("Pilot", "Smile, or Go to Jail")
- "He doesn't love me. But I love me."
- —Michaela to Mary Walker
Michaela declares that she wants to be Annalise Keating. ("Pilot")
On her first day of law school, Michaela is first approached by Wes Gibbins, but as she's clearly not interested in striking up a conversation, she points out to him that seats are assigned. Michaela does her best to make a good first impression on Professor Annalise Keating, showing off her intelligence by answering questions that no one else is willing to. This involves robbing fellow classmate Laurel Castillo of a learning opportunity, something that doesn't go over well for Annalise. Michaela goes along with the rest of the class to meet one of Annalise's clients to learn their story firsthand. Annalise decides to hold a competition, tasking Michaela and the rest of the class with coming up with a better defense for client Gina Sadowski than the one she already has, adding that no student is allowed to present the same defense. Though Annalise deems no student has presented her with a better case than the one she's already come up with, Michaela and a select few other students are permitted to move on to the next round, allowing them inside of the courtroom during Gina Sadowski's trial. Michaela arrives late, but not without good news: she learns that Gina's coworker Linda Tanner is colorblind, thus strengthening Annalise's defense as Linda's testimony can then be thrown out. That night, Michaela attends a cocktail party with the other law students and professors where she meets Annalise's husband, Professor Sam Keating. Michaela continues to attend the court sessions where she witnesses Annalise win Gina Sadowski's case, thanks to the testimony of Nate Lahey, and back in the lecture hall Annalise finally announces the winners of her competition. Michaela is one of the winners, along with Wes, Laurel, Connor Walsh, and Asher Millstone, all of whom now hold positions within her legal firm. ("Pilot")
The part that Michaela doesn't like. ("It's All Her Fault")
Annalise takes on the case of Max St. Vincent, a man who's recently been accused of murdering his wife Marjorie, and so Michaela and the rest of the Keating 5 accompany her to hear what Max has to say about the case. They are later given access to all of the records on Max's case and when going over the records, Wes steps off to the side to speak with Annalise, leading to Michaela and the rest of the Keating 5 to wondering why Wes is even there. Asher suggests that Wes is Annalise's long lost son, something that doesn't sit well with Michaela who then accuses Asher of thinking all black people are related, and Annalise's colleague Bonnie Winterbottom intervenes, having yet to figure out why any of them are there, clearly unenthused by the work they have put in thus far. The group later watches the news where they find out that Lila Stangard's death has been ruled a murder, and sometime after this Michaela interrupts Laurel when the Keating 5 come up with a strategy with Annalise. Michaela talks about discrediting Marjorie's friend, though she's unsure of how to do so, thus leading to Connor swooping in and handling it, thus brewing the ever-growing rivalry between him and Michaela. Max's daughter Eloise is brought in to give her testimony and it comes out that Max was accused of killing her first wife. The Keating 5 return to the room of the murder to further strategize where Michaela tosses out ideas like the Matrix defense and battered-husband syndrome, but the case is won thanks to Laurel finally being able to speak up, pointing out that Max is a hunter, meaning that he knows how to kill, which is what he did to his first wife but not his second. Max is ruled as not-guilty, and Michaela and the others are all hounded by angry civilians as they leave the courthouse, the part of winning cases that Michaela doesn't like. ("It's All Her Fault")
Michaela continues to doubt her fiancé. ("Smile, or Go to Jail")
Michaela enjoys the company of Aiden, who's recently come to town, only to be called into work on a new case. Aiden walks Michaela to the office where he's introduced to Annalise and the rest of the Keating 5, but it turns out Connor already knows him from having attended boarding school together. Michaela and the rest of the Keating 5 go with Annalise to pick up Paula Murphy, a woman arrested for having sex in a park, the charges having been dropped the conviction wiped from her record. They're all stopped, however, as Paula is then taken into custody by the FBI who are accusing her of taking part in a bombing that occurred in 1994. Michaela believes that there's no way Annalise can win this case, but she plans to pin it all on the ringleader, Gabriel Shaw. The Keating 5 later talk about Annalise's employee, Frank Delfino, wondering what his purpose is as he isn't a lawyer. Michaela points out that she never believed he was, criticizing his accent, but Laurel accuses her of being an elitist who believes anyone that didn't attend an Ivy League school is beneath her. Michaela and Bonnie accompany Annalise and Paula to visit Gabriel in prison, who agrees to help out Paula's case. As they wait for Gabriel to be transferred prisons, Michaela and the Keating 5 attend an interview for a new client: Griffin O'Reilly, accused of murdering Lila Stangard. They all later go clubbing where Michaela finds Aiden talking to Connor, who reveals that they hooked up when they were 16. This upsets Michaela as she believes Aiden lied to her, and Aiden decides to take a train home a night early. Michaela turns her focus over to Paula's case, especially after Gabriel goes back on his word in court, but once she finds something that could be useful she learns Paula has fled. Aiden returns to Michaela's apartment where it becomes clear she's worried about her future and doesn't want to be humiliated by marrying a gay man. Aiden assures Michaela that's not who he is, and after threatening to destroy his life should he mess things up for her, the two make up. However, Michaela appears to still have doubts about her fiancé. The next day in class, it's revealed that Annalise has decided to represent Rebecca Sutter rather than Griffin, but once she, Michaela, and the rest of the Keating 5 go to meet with her, they learn Rebecca's already confessed. ("Smile, or Go to Jail")
Ten days have passed, and Michaela is still upset with Laurel over stealing her engagement ring. In this time, Michaela has developed a closer friendship with Connor, unable to confide in Laurel any longer, and also an obsession over finding out the identity of the mysterious "Eggs 911". Needing to unwind from all the stress she is currently dealing with, Michaela goes to a bar where she meets a handsome man and attempts to flirt with him. To her dismay, the man turns out to be gay, a trend she continually finds herself faced with, and so she decides to get lost in her own thoughts. This leads her to sending a message to "Eggs 911". Despite all of the students being distracted due to recent events, Annalise has decided to take on the case of the Hapstall siblings, a brother and sister who are being accused of murdering their adoptive parents. Annalise grows frustrated with Michaela and the likes as she's trying to get their lives back to normal but, understanding why her students feel the way they do, she decides to take them all to a nightclub so that they may unwind and forget all of the bad things that they have done for a while. Michaela dances with Annalise and the rest of the Keating 5, but while leaving her bag unattended, she remains oblivious to the fact that there is a message on her phone from "Eggs 911". ("It's Time to Move On")
In August, after finishing her first year of law school in May, Michaela is caught drunk driving and Annalise Keating comes to her rescue. While sitting on the sidewalk, sobering up, Annalise comes over to her and informs her that she has managed to get the police to not press charges on her. Michaela doesn't care and is angry that Annalise helped her. The following month at the start of her second year, Michaela and the rest of the Keating 5 meet up in Annalise's new legal clinic. After taking their seats, the whole class notice that there is a flyer calling Annalise a killer behind Annalise as she introduced herself. Annalise dismissed it as a jealous student and continued and introduced the class to their first client; a refugee facing deportation. That night, the Keating 5 meet up at Oliver's Apartment and catch up following the summer break. After, Michaela and Asher Millstone have sex in Asher's Dormroom when another student calls Asher away. Michaela uses this time to look at Asher's notes on the case and steals one of his ideas. She then makes up an excuse and leaves where she then meets with Karim's former public defender and recorded him saying that he could have possibly given ineffective counsel to Karim at the time. After telling Annalise in court the following day, Annalise goes to the District Attorney's Office and manages to get Karim's charges reduced to a misdemeanor. She then takes the plea to the court and presented it to Judge Lorraine Huffman. Though she noted the charge was no longer criminal, because he lied under oath and said that he did commit the crime even though he didn't, she decided that it wasn't enough to dismiss the deportation charge. ("We're Good People Now")
Just before class, Connor Walsh pulls the others aside and tells them that he and Oliver have broken up. Everyone instantly assumes that he has cheated on him but he denies it. Annalise arrives and introduces their next client, Irene Crowley - who is up for parole years after killing her husband. After all the students talk with her, Irene decides that Connor should represent her in her parole hearing. The following day, Connor gives everyone their assignments - Michaela and Asher are on character witness duty but Michaela finds that all of Irene's neighbors and fellow employees are dead. Talking about something other than the case, Asher thinks that they should take their relationship public. Michaela thinks otherwise. Later, Laurel, Michaela, Asher are making a list of all of the people who could be responsible with putting the flyers calling Annalise a killer up. Connor arrives and Laurel suggests that Meggy should be on the list. Michaela and Asher later have sex in his dormroom. Asher gets distracted and brings up making their relationship public again. Michaela comes clean and tells him that she only uses Asher for sex. Later at the clinic, Michaela and Asher speculate about whether Connor has lost his case. Asher gets salty with Michaela about her using him for sex but he turns it around as he tells her that he thinks that she likes him more than she lets on. Later in the night, Connor comes knocking on Michaela's door, asking to stay the night. Michaela lets him in when he notices Asher. Michaela comes clean to him that they are screwing. Connor shrugs it off and he enters. ("There Are Worse Things Than Murder")
At the clinic, Annalise introduces their next client, Toby Solomon who is accused of manslaughter. Due to the bad press regarding the client, only Michaela shows interest in being first chair so Annalise gives it to her without a fight. After getting blindsided in court by the ADA, where she introduced a selfie of Toby and the victim while she was unconscious. After, Michaela tries to get off the case; Simon tries to take her place but Annalise refuses to allow Michaela to step down. Later, Connor shows Michaela Aiden Walker's profile which reveals that he is getting married to another girl. Later Oliver teams up with Bonnie and Michaela after finding that Toby withdrew 200k from his bank. They tell Annalise who then goes with Bonnie to see Toby. While this is happening, Michaela and Oliver stalk Aiden's new girl. When Annalise and Bonnie return with Toby, she tells them that they're off of the case. Michaela uses this as an excuse to go out and gets Oliver to call Connor. At the casino, Michaela grabs 20k out of her purse which she stole from Toby and bets it all on black to Asher's dismay. She wins and doubles her money. Though she does win 80k in total she soon loses it all and is forced to pawn off her ring in order to cover the money that she stole from Toby. She manages to get the pawnshop owner to agree to 21k and gives the extra 1k to a homeless man outside. The following morning, Michaela searches through Bonnie's desk looking for the bag with the money in it. Bonnie appears and asks for the money she stole back. Once she gives it her back, Bonnie goes in to see Annalise. ("Always Bet Black")
Asher Millstone is first chair for the clinic's next client, Tristan Fullerton who is being charged for credit card fraud. Connor and the others sit at the back of the courtroom and cringe at Asher's attempt at being a lawyer. During Asher's opening speech, the ADA on the case informs the court that Annalise has had her license revoked due to misconduct with one of her clients. Bonnie takes over for her. Later, Michaela notices Connor using a dating app more and more, even in front of Oliver which results in Michaela reminding him to be more sensitive around Oliver. Later, Michaela helps Oliver personally try and get over Connor by finding him guys on Humper. Though Micheala shows him many possible guys for him, Oliver dismisses all of them. Later, Meggy Travers, Wes' girlfriend contacts the gang and asks them to be a part of her surprise party for Wes. At her apartment, they all wait in the dark until Wes shows up and they all yell surprise. At the party, there is food and alcohol which Michaela helps herself to. Asher even pulls her away to the dancefloor where they then dance. This also encourages Meggy to ask Wes to dance. ("Don't Tell Annalise")
At the clinic, Wes tells the others that he is having dinner with Meggy's father that night. Simon offers his copy of the outline for the test in exchange for theirs. Connor eagerly accepts but when he looks inside he realizes that he's been pranked. Later, Simon reads out an email he received from the university stating that Annalise has resigned and that they have a new professor. Wes wonders whether the university is actually allowed to fire her but Laurel says that she probably pushed too hard. Later, Simon accuses the Keating 5 of stealing it. He pays particular focus on Michaela who's having none of it and kicks off calling Simon a "spineless, tiny-balled, winey excuse of a man" which forces him to walk away embarrassed and humiliated. That night at Michaela's Apartment, Connor, Laurel, Michaela, and Asher are revising for their upcoming exam. Asher jokes to Michaela about her dark side which came out when she was shouting at Simon. Oliver later arrives with Simon's laptop. Michaela reveals that she stole it for the outline he promised. Oliver shows the others what he found: a copy of the flyer which has been plaguing Annalise. They then show Annalise the following morning who tells them not to worry, that Simon being the culprit behind the flyers is the best outcome they could have hoped for. Annalise later confronts Simon which results in him giving the others his outline at the clinic later. ("It's About Frank")
At her apartment, Michaela is trying to study for her exam. Asher dances to 'Cotten Eyed Joe' Michaela stops him and the two talk about their relationship. The following day, after the exam, Annalise is back to work and introduces their next client, Daniela Alvodar. After, everyone is gathered in the Keating House where Annalise tells them that the police are after Wes for Mahoney's murder and that Mahoney is Wes' father. Laurel knew all of this and the others aren't happy that she kept it from them. In court the following day, Laurel tries to sit next to them but the others won't allow it. Michaela later gets a call from Daniela's ex telling her that she made the story up that she's been telling everyone and Michaela tells Annalise. Later at the clinic, Michaela and the others are helping Oliver pick a place to have his date with Thomas. Connor arrives after talking to Wes and Asher brags about getting a date. Simon who was first chair arrives and accuses Michaela of sabotaging his case. The following day, Annalise manages to get Daniela off on a misdemeanor after court. That night, Connor and Michaela are eating ice cream when Asher arrives after he claims to have been on the date. Michaela doesn't believe him and Asher finally gets her to admit that she likes him and the two have sex. Connor later interrupts them and shows them a news report which suggests that Wes turned himself into the police. After watching the entire thing, it becomes clear that Charles Mahoney was the son that the news was talking about. ("Is Someone Really Dead?")
At court, the clinic students are shown a video of Edith Duvall who has been poisoned and accuses her children. The three children are the defendants, Nelson, Karen, and Jared. The students prep the siblings for their upcoming deposition. Michaela and Asher interview Jared. After Annalise tells the students to find a new suspect and in return, Annalise will give the student an 'A' in her midterm. At the clinic, everyone is searching for potential suspects. Michaela asks Oliver for help with a background check. Oliver shows her a picture Thomas sent to him but she is underwhelmed when it turns out not to be a dick pic. The following day at the deposition, Edith is also there. Jared is up and he loses it when his mother jokes about his failing sex life. That night, Connor calls Wes, telling him that Charles has an alibi. Over at the Keating House, Wes catches Annalise in another lie. The others then take it in turns to tell Annalise how they really feel about her. Michaela feels like she pushed her to screwing Caleb not long after the Aiden ordeal. At the clinic later, Annalise gives the 'A' to Laurel for helping her win the case. To celebrate, Laurel offers to but drinks for everyone at the clinic at the bar. After getting back from the bar with Asher later, the two find Connor and Oliver together. Asher if overjoyed that the two have made up and Michaela instantly knows that the two have had sex in her bed. ("Call It Mother's Intuition")
In her apartment, her adoptive mother finds a ringing phone in her couch. She answers it and its Oliver calling Connor's phone. Michaela quickly grabs the phone from her mother and asks him what he wants. He asks whether she has heard what has been going on but Michaela hasn't. Oliver explains that Annalise's house is on fire, someone has died and Laurel is in the hospital while pregnant. ("It's About Frank")
Michaela and the others waiting for Laurel to arrive. ("I'm Going Away")
Around the time of the start of the second semester of law school, Michaela and Asher go shopping for beds at the store. The two decided to test one of the mattresses out when Michaela got a text from Annalise inviting her and the rest of the Keating 4 and Bonnie to a dinner the following evening. That night, Laurel was later late to the dinner, where envelopes awaited each person. Annalise said the letters couldn’t be opened until after dinner. She revealed that she had a hearing about whether she would retain her license to practice law and that she won. Laurel said she couldn’t drink to celebrate because she was having the baby and is due in five months. Annalise then said the envelopes held recommendation letters, as she was cutting them from her team. “We’ve been given a second chance. We don’t need each other anymore. So it’s time to go our separate ways,” she told them, pointing out Wes’ absence. “I ruined him, but I’m not going to ruin all of you.” When an upset Laurel left, Michaela blasted Annalise for her unilateral decision and then stormed off, too, saying, “Have a terrible rest of your life.” Asher followed, saying, “Maybe next time, don’t invite people to a fancy dinner to dump them.” Connor was the least bothered and actually thanked Annalise. While back at her apartment, Michaela read her letter and vowed that she would be better without Annalise. Asher also read his letter and wanted to see what Annalise wrote about Michaela, however, she didn't want to as she just wanted to put it all behind her and move on with her life. ("I'm Going Away")
After Annalise lost the class action lawsuit, It was Michaela who convinced her to seek the help of Olivia Pope.
Dwight Alpern is not the birth father of Michaela. Oliver ends hating Michaela. She ends up out of the circle and does not attend Annalise's funeral.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
- Aiden Walker: At first, Michaela and Aiden are happily engaged. However later, when Aiden meets Connor the two embrace in a warm welcome with the two revealed to have attended boarding school together. Before leaving, Connor implies that there is something more to them. When Connor mentions that they Aiden and Connor hooked up in boarding school. Michaela tells him to go home and leave her alone after finding this out. After they talk he confirms that he is not gay and it was a one-time thing. She threatens him that she doesn't want to be left at the altar and if he marries her and has a relationship with another man, she will divorce him and take everything he has. After the murder of Sam Keating, Her behaviour changes dramatically with her stressing about the engagement. She also had a fight with his mother Mary as she refused to sign a prenuptial agreement and as a result was more determined to marry Aiden. It is also revealed to not completely be over him being gay as she yells at one of Aiden's work friend asking if they were in a relationship as she was drunk. This causes Aiden to break off the engagement. Mary tries to win Michaela back for Aiden in order to bury suspicions on Aiden's sexuality but Michaela doesn't want Aiden back because she understands that he is gay. Michaela in the following episode states that she didn't love Aiden, She loved the idea of Aiden as he was going to have a political career and his family being rich.
- Levi Wescott: He meets Connor and Michaela in the court building one day, asking if he can borrow one of their phones, and when they realize he's hitting on Michaela, Connor tells her to go for it while Michaela insists that she isn't interested. He is more of an exploration for Michaela. He unlocks Michaela's sexual side getting her to call him Daddy. They continue their physical relationship until she discovers that he is Eggs 911. Then he gets arrested and the relationship pretty much ends there.
- Caleb Hapstall: Michaela and Wes are both assigned to prep the Hapstall children. Wes gets Catherine while Michaela gets Caleb. While prepping Caleb she learns about the struggles that he is going through. Catherine, later on, asks if she likes Caleb. Annalise catches Michaela staring at Caleb and she tells her "I told you to use your boobs not your heart". They share a sentimental moment. After discovering the truth about Levi, Michaela decides to pursue a relationship with Caleb. Once Annalise Keating wins the Hapstall trial, Caleb decides to sleep with Michaela. After sex, Caleb shows Michaela a gun that he found in Catherine's studio. Catherine runs away ad Michaela calls Annalise. They tell her everything in front of the Keating 5. Annalise tells Caleb and Michaela that they should leave. They start to and Caleb rethinks it and decides its better for him to stay. Michaela offers to stay and says that she will call him with updates. After Annalise gets shot, Caleb and Michaela break up. Caleb believes that Michaela is just as shady as Annalise. He also believes that they framed her sister. Later on, he claims that he missed Michaela and tries to sleep with her again. Caleb turns on the Keating 5, and becomes an informant. Ratting them out on all of the illegal things they do. Let's just say that Michaela has the worst taste in guys.
- Asher Millstone: In Season 2, Asher and Michaela get very drunk and have sex. The next day Asher apologizes for his behavior and explains that he did enjoy the sex. He also tells Michaela that he thinks she is amazing. They start to have sex again but Michaela backs off and say "We are not these people." In the first half of Season 3, after several sexual trysts, they clarify to each other that they do indeed 'like each other' and become an official couple. Following Michaela's one-night stand with Marcus Walker, Asher found out and couldn't get over the fact that she cheated on him even though she explicitly stated that she regretted what she did. Asher then broke up with her and moved out of her apartment and into Wes' Apartment.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- During Aja Naomi King's audition, she didn’t have a proper connection for her Skype audition and it kept freezing up during the interview. Despite that, she was given the role of Michaela almost immediately.
- On the ABC website, Michaela's bio states that "nobody wants to impress Professor Annalise Keating more than Michaela Pratt. In fact, she doesn't just want to impress her... she wants to be her. Michaela is an ambitious overachiever who was born knowing how to "lean in," and she has the stellar resume and successful fiancé to prove it. Always the first person to raise her hand in class, Michaela is exceedingly over-prepared and ready to amaze any professor or person of authority. But Annalise Keating? That will prove more difficult."
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Gallery[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Michaela Pratt/Gallery
Promotional Photos[edit | edit source]
Season 1[edit | edit source]
Season 2[edit | edit source]
Season 3[edit | edit source]
Season 4[edit | edit source]
Season 6[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Including her appearance on Scandal.
- "I Hate the World"
- "Make Me the Enemy"
- "We're All Gonna Die"
- "Smile, or Go to Jail", Michaela tells Aiden that she has a gay cousin.
- "Lahey v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania"
- "Nobody Else Is Dying"