Warning: this article contains spoilers for episode seven of BBC One’s Dublin Murders, so do not read on unless you are fully up to date with the crime show…
For weeks, we have watched each episode of BBC One’s Dublin Murders with bated breath, always with one question on our lips: who killed Katy Devlin? And tonight’s episode – the show’s seventh and penultimate chapter – finally revealed the shocking truth.
Or did it? As ever, the show left us with plenty of unanswered questions as we watched Cassie Maddox groggily awaken from her cocktail of Ketamine and Rohypnol, Rob Reilly violently attack Shane Waters, Rafe unveiled as the reluctant father of Lexie (RIP)’s baby, and plenty more besides.
Here, Stylist’s digital editor Kayleigh Dray does her best to unravel everything before tomorrow night’s explosive finale. You’re welcome.
Did Damien Donnelly actually murder Katy Devlin?
All it took was a stale biscuit to kick things into motion. As Rob Reilly thoughtfully munched on his choccy digestive at the archaeological dig, he suddenly remembered that Katy Devlin’s stomach had been empty at her autopsy… save the remains of (you guessed it) a chocolate biscuit. Shocker.
“Whose biscuits are these?” he asked frantically, only to learn that the tin belonged to Damien Donnelly. As in, yes, the very same Damien Donnelly who discovered Katy’s body and cried all over it (handy for explaining away all that DNA, we guess) all those weeks ago.
It isn’t long before Rob is storming the house where Damien lives with his bedridden mother, desperate to find something, anything that will implicate the young man in Katy’s murder.
“Her clothes had been washed and dried,” he reminded his forensics team. “She’d been kept somewhere.”
Using a UV Black Light to examine for crime scene evidence, Rob soon finds what he’s looking for: bloody handprints all over the garage door, where a desperate Katy had tried her very hardest to escape. Tragically, as we all know, she never did.
It’s at this moment that Damien returns home, well and truly ready to face the music… but something seems amiss. Could he really have committed this terrible crime? And, if so, did he act alone?
With one whole episode to go, we highly doubt that this case is wrapped up and finished. In fact, we strongly suspect that Damien may reveal himself to have been working as part of a team, either with one or several others. We guess we will have to wait until tomorrow evening to find out for sure, though.
But who could he have been working with?
Well, anyone really. Shane Waters told Katy Devlin’s dad that he’s to blame for Adam/Rob’s traumatic night in the woods all those years ago, which is interesting – and Terry Andrews is the one who left those threatening messages on the Devlins’ answerphone.
Then there’s Katy’s creepy sisters, creepy mum, creepy dance teacher. And let’s not forget those creepy cultists who like to serve the old gods wine and nudity of an evening, too.
Is Rob/Adam a killer?
Rob is still high on our list of suspects, if not for Katy’s murder than for the disappearance of Peter and Jamie back in 1985. After all, this is the same guy that violently beat Shane Waters to a bloodied pulp when the former recognised him as Adam. And this is the same guy who suffers extreme amnesia about the events of that fateful night… and seemingly has selective memory around his friendship, too.
“You used to worship those kids, but they were vicious to you,” his mother tells him, after a dramatic sleepwalking incident (more on that later). “I didn’t like them because they were bad kids.”
Rob’s mam goes on to remind him that Jamie and Peter used to leave him in the woods alone, and that he would come home alone, crying, on a regular basis.
“You’re remembering it all wrong,” she insists. “You’re trapped in it.”
Hmm. Maybe Adam/Rob (or his mum) finally snapped after one bullying incident too many, eh?
What does Rob want to tell Cassie?
Rob leaves a very interesting message on Cassie’s answerphone.
“Come back,” he says. “There’s something I want to tell you.”
A confession of some sorts, surely… but a confession of love, or a confession to murder? Too bad she hurled her phone across the room in a wild rage rather than calling him back, eh?
Is Adam/Rob a changeling?
We’ve spoken a lot about this before, but here’s a reminder for those who don’t read our recaps on a regular basis: the show has dropped a number of references to a ‘fetch’, aka a supernatural double or apparition of a living person in Irish folklore.
And, in tonight’s episode, Rob’s mum tells him point-blank: “You’ve done to [Cassie] what you do to everyone. You freeze them out… I don’t know you.”
She goes on to lament the fact that her sweet little boy, so warm and loving, grew up to be a stranger. He insists that this is her fault: that being sent to boarding school forced him into a world of rage and change. But… well, he seems to have zero (useful) memories prior to being found in the forest with blood in his shoes and tears in his shirt.
Could it be that Adam was replaced with Rob that night?
Was that… was that a Will-o’-the-wisp we just saw?
THINK ABOUT IT FOR JUST A MOMENT, PLEASE! A Will-o’-the-wisp is a phantom light that hovers in the wilderness, luring travelers away from the beaten path and towards certain watery death. In the middle of the night, we see a sleep-addled Rob pursue the spirits of Jamie and Peter as they mockingly call back at him to “keep up, Adam!”
“Wait for me,” he cries. “You never wait!”
Barely conscious, Rob follows them down to the bridge and almost, almost steps off to certain death. Thankfully, his mam is there to drag him back to safety, but… Will-o’-the-wisp, right? After all, Tana French (who wrote the books upon which Dublin Murders is based) has heavily hinted that the story is a supernatural one, not a straight detective one.
“Some people hate [the book’s ending] and I don’t blame them for being annoyed with it, but I think it lies in how the book was positioned,” she said. “It was positioned as a murder mystery, which was a good call… But that means that people are expecting it to fit in with the genre conventions, which do include, if you set up a big mystery, you’re going to give us the answer. And people feel cheated if you don’t.”
So wait, who was Lexie?
Ah, the million dollar question. We still have no idea, to be honest. She was picked up on a bus by Justin (who, incidentally, would late go on to kill her) who wrongly identified her as Lexie - aka the same alias Cassie was using to investigate a previous case.
Who was she, then? For now, she remains a Jane Doe, which means that we don’t know why she a) looked so similar to Cassie, b) had the same name as Cassie’s imaginary friend, and c) mirrored the injuries and bodily changes seen in the real Cassie, seemingly by coincidence.
“You know what happens when doppelgängers meet each other?” Daniel taunts Cassie. “The world ends.”
Could it be that Lexie, as we previously suggested, was a ‘fetch’ or changeling after all? It’s as good an answer as any, at this point.
Who killed Lexie?
The book had every single person in the house involved in Lexie’s death, but the show decided to veer away from Murder on the Orient Express comparisons and stick to one perpetrator: the eternally polite Justin.
“I’m not going to abandon you,” Cassie promises him. “I’ll speak for you in court.”
Will she keep her word?
Who is responsible for the 1985 disappearance of Jamie and Peter? And is it somehow linked to Katy’s death?
Well, Damien is seemingly the culprit in the Devlin case, so we’re not sure how the two will link. However, we are still no closer to learning the truth about Jamie and Peter.
Fingers crossed that we get the answers we so desperately need tomorrow, eh?
The eight and final episode of Dublin Murders will air Tuesday 5 November, 9pm on BBC One.
Read our episode one recap here.
Image: BBC One