Did Andrea's Stepfather Kill Her On 'The Night Of'? He's Definitely Hiding Something
If other police procedurals are any indication, we're probably in for at least a few red herrings on The Night Of . Although it's certainly possible that Naz killed Andrea, it seems highly unlikely despite the fact that circumstantial and even physical evidence points to him. Episodes one and two put a strong emphasis on the victim's troubled past — and, because she didn't fully close the backdoor of her brownstone after letting the cat outside, it seems likely that a person who knew her entered the building and killed her. So, that brings us to Andrea's stepfather on The Night Of — because, regardless of whether or not he's the murderer, this guy is definitely hiding something.
In the July 17 episode, viewers learned that Andrea's father died when she was very young and her mother passed away a year ago. So, when the police needed someone to ID her body, they called her closest living relative — her stepfather, Don Taylor. Detective Box showed Don close-up photos of Andrea's body and he immediately said, "it's not her." But, when Box told him they needed to look at the body itself, Don instantly changed his story and stated that it was indeed his stepdaughter in the pictures. So, why did he lie? Although family members are often in shock and denial after the death of a loved one, Don tells detectives that he wasn't close with Andrea and he displays very little emotion about her murder.
According to IMDb, Don will be in every episode for the rest of the season — so this definitely implies that he's hiding something about himself, Andrea, and their relationship. Although he appears mostly ambivalent when he's questioned about his stepdaughter, one thing stands out — there's clear resentment in his voice when he clarifies that he lives in Queens and the luxurious Upper West Side brownstone belonged solely to Andrea. The 22-year-old had never worked, so she clearly inherited a great deal of money when her mom passed away. Don seems to have been left out of the will entirely, so he probably stood to gain a large amount of money if Andrea died.
The inheritance definitely gives Don a clear motive, but it doesn't quite fit with the manner in which Andrea was killed. She was brutally stabbed multiple times all over her body, which indicates a crime of passion. It's possible that he had a creepy obsession with Andrea and she had rejected him — after all, we still don't know why she was afraid to spend the night alone. If he went to the apartment and found her with Naz, he may have flown into a rage and killed her with the closest available weapon — the knife which inconveniently has Naz's fingerprints all over it because of the game they played earlier in the evening.
Although I'm not entirely sold on the theory that Don killed his stepdaughter, I definitely think he knows way more than he told detectives — and I can't wait to find out what he's hiding.
Images: Barry Wetcher; Craig Blankenhorn/HBO