That's one reason why Dylan Maxwell (Jimmy Tatro), the student initially accused of the vandalism, buckles under the image that's been heaved onto his shoulders. After being exonerated, he hits an unexpected low point and tags a penis on his least favorite teacher's driveway.
"You watch him go from the highest point he's been in the whole show to then realizing how people actually view him," Tatro explains. "[Dylan] thought that proving his innocence would change the overall perception of him, but once he realizes that it's still kind of the same, I think that really hits him hard -- like it would for a high school kid who's been accused of something they didn't do." There's nothing Dylan can do to change his image, so he falls into it.
It's a curveball that hits you in the gut, and with the original vandal left free, it might even irk you. All of Alvarez's friends and family pestered him to see who really hit the cars. Same with Tatro's. Though you can probably connect the dots, identifying the culprit isn't what's important. "We really wanted to make sure that this was Dylan's story," Perrault says. "If you had a finale that was entirely about a new person it would detract from Dylan's story, which is really what we sought out to tell."