Dexter – Who framed Zach Hamilton?


I had a theory on who framed Zach for Cassie’s murder on ‘Dexter’ who wasn’t Quinn or Cassie’s boyfriend, but I’m rather sure it’s not true. But it could’ve been awesome if it was.


Let me start out by noting that, yes, this is a theory I’d had; I don’t really know who framed Zach. I do, however, love to speculate and cast theories about like I’m some sort of expert. Hey now — I’ve been right before!

Let’s get this out of the way right now: Quinn did not set up Zach. It makes no sense, based on Quinn’s questioning Cassie’s boyfriend later in the episode. It’s remotely possible he was there hoping to gather a sliver of evidence to help make his case, but that’s simply just weak. Quinn would be an easy suspect for setting up Zach if it wasn’t for this scene alone.

Quinn would be an easy suspect for setting up Zach if it wasn’t for this scene alone.

This brings up Cassie’s boyfriend. In that same scene, while Quinn is interrogating him, he has the opportunity to easily reel Zach into the trap he would have set … except he seems to have not set it. Instead, he simply and quite honestly says Zach “looks familiar” to him. This makes sense, as he did see Zach outside Dexter’s apartment quite recently! More on this part later. …

So, who set up Zach? Vogel? Nope. The real Brain Surgeon? Nope; doesn’t make sense.

It was Angel Batista.

Yeah, I know it doesn’t add up, but hear me out. And this is only an”imagine if” theory. Let me lay out the evidence for you and it will all make sense. First of all, let’s go with how the episode was shot. We have a scene where Dexter, Hannah, Zach and Vogel are discussing the Cassie case and who could be framing Zach for Cassie’s murder. Right off the note of Zach’s “why would someone [frame me]?” we cut to a rather unnecessary scene with Angel coming home to greet his sister and Harrison. The Dexter writers have done this before — they fucking love to play games like this, always trying to be clever to slide one right under our noses without us noticing. Well, that worked out pretty poorly two seasons ago. Here, they’re doing it again, with these two scenes.

Think also about Batista’s motive here. He knows Quinn has been all over Zach as being one guilty son-of-a-bitch, and he knows Matthews is very well aware of the situation as well. Matthews has done nothing but chastise Angel for the high opinion he has for Quinn, going so far as to say he has absolutely no good traits about him. To top things off, Quinn is now shacking up with Angel’s sister, which in the eyes of Angel means Quinn’s likely about to become a hell of a lot closer to the family soon, as in IN the family. So the motive here is clear: Angel wants Quinn to succeed and succeed big. So what better way for that to happen than to further set up the person he’d been publicly gunning for with another murder?

I get that it’s completely out of character for Angel, but don’t we need another “holy shit” moment on this show? It’s about time.

Here’s where I said I’d get back to. If Angel really did set up Zach … ho boy. Not only is that a huge development in the show by itself, but think about what Angel now knows. First of all, Angel knows Zach was in the apartment building visiting Dexter; he’s got to wonder what the hell that was all about. Secondly, he knows Dexter lied about the blood analysis done on the fingernails. That’s a lot for him to be holding inside now, even as he’s saving his ass from being discovered as the framer.

What will also be a shit-hitting-the-fan moment is if Cassie’s boyfriend comes back to Quinn to tell him he remembered seeing Zach with Dexter one night. If that were to happen, one way Dexter could get out of it would be to say Zach had caught him following him one night and confronted him at his apartment. It’d be flimsy, but flimsier stories have flown for Dexter before.

The question now is: would Angel really be that desperate to convince Matthews that Quinn is cut out for a bigger job? Would it really make that much of a difference for Quinn anyway? And what if it’s not Angel who killed Cassie, but it was … Angel’s sister, Jamie? She does want Quinn to do well. Now I will admit I didn’t see THAT coming.

Unfortunately, it’ll just wind up being Cassie’s boyfriend, and we’ll be left wondering why the hell he went out of his way to setup Zach, when he was just out to kill him in the first place. Unfortunately my theory will just be something akin to fan fiction, and Occam’s Razor will win once again. …

Photo Credit: Showtime

27 Comments on “Dexter – Who framed Zach Hamilton?

  1. I was thinking cassies boyfriend is the brain surgeon and its him setting him up. It’s odd he showed up right after he thought he tracked the surgeon down. I can not see Angel killing anyone but that’s just my theory. Im just anxious to see how it all plays out. Does Dexter stop killing and move off or is he caught or does the great dr kill him and she is the surgeon as so may think

  2. I just keep getting stuck on the fact that Hannah is in Miami, why would you go back to Miami where you are wanted for murder…

    At this point I just hope however this concludes ends up with Hanna at the bottom of the ocean because I really can’t stand her character.

    I keep thinking Dexter should’ve ended last season with Deb shooting Dexter then moving away from Miami with Harrison.

    But for me seems the most likely conclusion is that Cassie’s BF is the brain surgeon and planted the evidence from Zach because he knows about Zach (from following Dexter) and wanted to test Dexter on his code.

    • If Cassie’s BF is the brain surgeon he knew Hamilton because she/he probably knows about all of Dr Vogal’s patient, including Dexter. By the way, starting to date the girl that lives next door to Dexter, is a good way to keep tabs on Dexter.

    • I love Hannah.. and I love the fact that two people who are supposed to be emotionless are madly in love.

  3. Batisita would need a lot more motivation than that to kill an innocent person and even though you’re probably right about Quinn being a red herring, that’s a much smaller leap knowing Quinn’s past behavior. It’s Cassie’s BF and I even think there may be a big reveal about the Police Commissioner (or whatever they call that position) at some point before the show ends. He knew about La Guerda going after Dexter, discouraged her and even warned Dexter. He would even had to been around back when Harry was meeting with Dr Vogal about young Dex.

    Only other new character with some story left to tell is Masuka’s daughter and she’s too young to have any background with other characters, probably just a gold digger on the run from trouble.

    • Is true Masuka’s daughter makes no sense in this final season unless it’s somehow tied to the whole brain surgeon thing. I mean, what’s the point of her really… wasting precious screen time on a final season that should’ve been epic but it’s been kinda lacking so far.

      And yeah, the police chief or w/e wonder if he’s vogel’s exhusband or she had an affair with him or something, he definitely was too helpful to Dexter when Laguerta was investigating last season.

  4. Louis, the game developer who was jamie’s boyfriend in a previous season?

  5. Yeah i remembered after i posted the comment.. Je suis desolee :p i lost track of dexter’s victims

    • It wasn’t Dexter who killed him, he was on Dexter’s boat and some mafia guys killed him

  6. Volgal – she’s the brain surgeon. She’s even keeping the trophies.

  7. I don’t think Vogel is the Brain Surgeon, but she is definitely the unintentional catalyst behind the surgeon. My theory is she sees all of this as one big experiment; with Dexter and company as pawns in her game. I think she is only using them for her own gains. I’m guessing BS will be revealed to be Vogel’s son. She worked up the theory of the code and Dexter and Zach are the test runs to see if it could maybe work on her own son. I think BS sees that but misinterprets her motives as favoritism, sending her the trophies to prove he is every bit as good as they are.

    • Or does the brain surgeon follow the code already?

  8. I don’t think Angel would do that to an innocent woman, neither would Quinn. – PS I think it’s awesome that Hannah is back!

  9. And it doesn’t make sense that the real brain surgeon would set up Zach just to kill him later…

  10. I have this weird theory where I think that Captain Tom Matthews is the brain surgeon and he may have framed Zach also. It might soun ridiculous, but think about it. Think about Tom’ past (30 or 40 years ago) when he worked with Harry. The Vogel thing. And now Zach. It has nothing to do with Cassie though, but this is all can’t think about. I didn’t sleep last night thinking about this.

    • It makes sense, he tried to shut Laguerta’s theory down and made sure to tell dexter his is being checked up by her so that he be more careful… Like he’s his Godfather…
      BUT. Why kill Zach ?

  11. I’m still sticking with Quinn.
    Quinn “needs” to solve the case to prove to everyone that he is a good detective.
    Quinn is “obsessed” by this case in particular and is frustrated that though his instincts are telling him Zach is the killer, he cannot catch him in the act because he cannot surveil him.
    Yes the killer has to be in Miami Metro because he knows so much about the case…. So.. Quinn, duh !
    I don’t remember the scene you’re talking about but maybe they’re showing how Angel’s decision not to name Quinn has affected – not only Quinn’s life, but also his sister’s.
    As for the question he was asking Cassie’s BF, it was prooobably to make sense of accusing Zach, an “eye witness” … Cassie’s BF may have or may have not remembered Zach outside Dex’s appartment, but Quinn “knows”. Cassie may or may have not the car door handle, but he had to think of everything…
    Accusing Angel does not make sense because Dexter isnt the type of show to offer a mindblowing twist à la SAW… Then again this season is like no other season, too many action, too many characters dying so soon that we’re not able to enjoy them… Zach for instance completed the family portrait with his “Are we there yet?” :/

  12. And maybe Cassie’s BF IS the Brain surgeon !! Zach was killed right after Quinn showed the picture to him…

  13. I think, -and it’s my opinión only- that Cassie’s boyfriend is irrelevant. It’s Dexter’s LAST season, do you really think the screenwriters would do something that unsignifiant? Maybe he framed Zach, but he is not the Brain Surgeon. I think, -returning to my Tom Matthews theory- that the Brain Surgeon is in his 60’s, because he must have had some issues with Vogel in the past. If not, why would he send the brain parts to HER? Something very important is going on. And maybe Tom isn’t the killer, but he’s the mind behind him. Anything could happen!

  14. Sigh. I know. My theory was awesome though.

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