So in the latest episode of Dexter (8x8, "Are We There Yet?"), there's a moment that screams "significant" where Dex and his happy family of killers puzzle over who could've killed Cassie. There's a lot of fan suspicion around Oliver, Cassie's boyfriend-or-whatever, but I think the writers have a better twist in mind. Assuming Zach is innocent, someone clearly tried to pin the murder on him. So who would do that? Who benefits?
The most obvious answer -- so obvious I'm surprised Dex didn't say it -- is Quinn. He's been trying to put Zach away for a while now, and not only were his methods not working, Angel told him to stop. He'd be the big hero if Zach became a prime suspect again. He even told Dex to look for Zach's DNA. But aside from it being wildly out of character, there's pretty good evidence that Quinn didn't do it. He wouldn't have wasted so much time stalking Zach if he'd been willing to go this far; more important, he wouldn't have set up a meeting with Oliver just to show him a picture he knew he wouldn't recognize.
So Quinn's out, but he's still the one who benefits. The question becomes... who would want him to? And that has two very obvious answers: Jamie and Deb.
My money's on Jamie. Here's the evidence:
- She was mad that Quinn didn't get that promotion. She wants him to succeed, and since he told her about Zach, she knows whom to set up.
- Cassie knew her attacker. She didn't know Quinn or Zach, but she sure knew Jamie.
- Jamie would normally have heard the murder, but she was conveniently absent at the time.
- As far as Jamie could tell, Cassie had rejected Dexter. Jamie was really set on pairing them up. She worships Dex, so she would blame Cassie.
Against that, we have her character. Jamie has never acted or seemed remotely evil. But we also don't know much about her -- she just became major cast this season. Why do that if they didn't have big plans? I have a feeling "The innocent babysitter is secretly a psychopath" is the kind of plot twist these writers would love.
And then there's Deb. This one is less likely, but I would find it very satisfying. Here's the evidence:
- Deb has now seen twice that she can get away with murder. In their infinite wisdom, Dex and Vogel have even helped her feel less guilty about it.
- She's going crazy at the moment over Dex and Hannah. It's heavily implied that she's still hung up on him. If she's going to lash out, why not at another love interest of his?
- Cassie knew Deb too, though they only met once. Unlike Jamie, Deb knew Cassie really was attracted to Dexter, and she tried to discourage her.
- Like Jamie, Deb wants Quinn to succeed. If she's killing someone anyway, why not pin it on Zach to help Quinn out?
The flaw in this theory is that it involves Deb knowing all about Zach's first murder. She certainly could, but we haven't seen evidence of it. In character terms, however, I love this idea. Dexter said himself that he'd destroyed Deb, but he clearly didn't believe it. He thought the problem was the guilt she felt, and if she stopped feeling it -- problem solved. He's wrong. Deb is more screwed up now than ever, it's just under the surface. A regular, non-psychopathic person can't just stop feeling guilty and learn to live with murder. Deb will snap again, and I want to see it, so now is a good time.
This ties into my hopes for the finale in general. There's no real question that Dexter will be incarcerated or killed -- they can't possibly end the show with him free after all he's done. But that's not enough. He's long since accepted the fact that he'll be caught someday. I want him to finally get it, to feel the weight of what he's done. He's come close a few times (late in S2 with Doakes; the time he killed an innocent man; Rita's death; early this season with Deb), but he's always bounced back. It's clear now that the only way Dexter will ever change is if he loses Deb in a permanent way. She's his only weak point, and I want him punched in it.
I hope that can happen without Deb actually dying. But after what she's done, it would no longer bother me much.