by Billy Nilles | Fri., Aug. 26, 2016 1:16 PM
We've been obsessing all summer, playing armchair detectives as each new episode of The Night Of introduced yet another potential suspect in the brutal murder that jumpstarted the series and sent poor Nasir (Riz Ahmed) down a life-altering rabbit hole of drugs, bad haircuts, and even worse knuckle tattoos behind bars, but the time has come to learned exactly what happened, you know, the night of. As the addictive HBO limited series prepares to sign off with this Sunday's finale, it's got one giant question left to answer: Who killed Andrea?
Did Naz really kill her after meeting her, getting supremely wasted on booze and drugs with her, and sleeping with her? And if he didn't, who did? Before all is revealed, let's take a look at the many suspects and see who's the likeliest culprit.
As the weeks have gone on, we've learned more about the shy college kid at the center of this nightmare that's clearly meant to make our trust in his innocence falter. But think about it—would the tragic story of a good kid unfairly hardened by his time behind bars while awaiting trial just so he can make it out alive be all that tragic if, in the end, he was already a murderer? No, it wouldn't. We think the show is trying to make a point about this screwed up criminal justice system of ours and that point would be sorely undone if Naz really is our guy. Chance of guilt: 10 percent
Mr. Day, the hearse driver
Look, this guy is a major creep. He asked Andrea "You want to be my next passenger?" when he encountered her at the gas station in the first episode. He followed Naz's cab when they left. He menacingly painted the fingernails of corpses when Chandra met with him. He spouted some misogynist BS like "I saw her for the destroyer that she was, and I did not like that" during said meeting. But his behavior feels like that of a red herring and nothing more. He's a little too outside of the story to feel plausibly like our killer. But he sure is a creep. Chance of guilt: 25 percent
Outside of having the great misfortune to be named after a drug store chain, Mr. Reade (Charlie Hudson III) certainly seems like one of the more plausible candidates for the murderer. He was outside of Andrea's home with his friend when she and Naz arrived, but wasn't when the police arrived. His friend left him when he was questioned about what he saw that night. He's got a pretty extensive rap sheet. And he ran like someone with something to hide when Stone tried to talk to him. Why no one has mentioned that chase in the episodes since has us scratching our heads, but we wouldn't be surprised if Duane is the murderer. Chance of guilt: 75 percent
Don Taylor, Andrea's stepfather
Our feeling about Duane Reade aside, Don (Paul Sparks) has one heck of a motive for offing his stepdaughter, as he stood to inherit a pretty penny in the event of her death. Then there's the bizarre way he identified her corpse, first by saying it wasn't her and then by saying it was. And then there's the graveside argument he had with the accountant. Does it seem too easy to make Don the killer? Too expected? Maybe. But we're expecting it none the less. Chance of guilt: 80 percent
Yes, he was behind bars at the time of the murder, but as we've seen time and time again, Freddy (Michael Kenneth Williams) has an unbelievable amount of power both in prison and out in the free world. Why did he take a shine to Naz so quickly? Out of the goodness of his heart? Or did he orchestrate this whole thing to get himself moved to Riker's to be closer to his family? Food for thought. Chance of guilt: 20 percent
Hear us out on this one: Yes, stabbing yourself over 20 times might sound difficult to pull off, but Andrea (Sofia Black-D'Elia) was on all manner of drugs and didn't seem to even flinch with Naz accidentally stabbed her before they had sex. Could she have just lost her substance-wrecked mind and kept her stabby game going once he fell asleep? Or could she have arranged for her death at the hands of someone else? She was acting very, very weird when Naz first picked her up. Did she know she was about to die because she'd set the whole thing up? It would certainly add to the tragic way so many lives have been hardened and destroyed in the wake of her death, if it all could've been avoided if she'd just OD'd on some pills or something. And talk about a twist. Is it insane? Sure. But we wouldn't rule it out... Chance of guilt: 15 percent
Who do you think is the real killer? Share your theory in the comments below.
The Night Of concludes Sunday, Aug. 28 at 9 p.m. on HBO.
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