Quinn is a Homicide Detective with the Miami Metro Police Department, having previously worked in the Narcotics Division.
He makes his debut appearance in Season Three, instantly becoming a major part of the group (following the departure of Sergeant James Doakes). He is later nearly promoted to Sergeant, however, Angel is forced to choose differently.
Detective Quinn tends to have an extroverted personality. Occasionally, when stressed or annoyed, his anger level increases, rendering him sarcastic, foul mouthed, or painfully blunt.
If Vince Masuka is the perverted comedian of the series, then Joey Quinn is the wise-cracking, smart-ass of the group who does not shy away from sexual puns. Quinn also enjoys dancing and partying. In Season Six, he persuades Angel to smoke the joint he found in Angel's car and they get high on the job.
Much like Debra Morgan, Quinn has a natural instinct when it comes to solving cases. However, his emotions interfere in his work when he begins to suspect Dexter for being involved in Rita's murder, while dating Dexter's sister.
- Christine Hill - Reporter who pressed Quinn for details about news stories
- Debra Morgan - Until Season Five, they were primarily just co-workers but then, in a moment of passion, they had sex in Rita and Dexter's House. Debra had regrets, while Quinn could not let it go. Ultimately, she started to fall for him. A year later, Debra was basically living with Quinn in his apartment. Quinn wanted to take it further and he proposed to her, only to be turned down. He dealt with his heartache by having sex with random women and drinking heavily. In Season Eight, Debra discovered that Quinn never returned her engagement ring and kept it in his desk. She admitted she still had feelings for him and they reunited after he broke up with Jamie
- Carissa Porter - One-night stand while he was in Tallahassee
- Nadia - Stripper Quinn was dating but she left him after he retrieved her passport
- Jamie Batista - Angel's sister who wanted a long term relationship, but Quinn realized he was still in love with Debra and eventually broke it off
- Quinn's Date - Sexy blonde that Quinn slept with after Debra broke up with him
- Cindy - Girl he met in a bar and brought to Deb's housewarming party (unknown if they slept together)
- Connie - One-night stand while he was drunk
- Several other one-night stands
As Narcotics Officer
Quinn was originally a Narcotics cop, like Stan Liddy. During his time in Narcotics, Quinn helped Anton Briggs out of a drug bust in exchange for making him his personal CI. (However, unknown to Anton, Quinn never made it official.)
During Quinn's time in Narcotics, he partnered for with Yuki Amado (later, Internal Affairs Sergeant). After Quinn's neglect contributed to the death of another partner, Detective Stewart, Yuki tried to bring him down in Season Three.
Also, while in Narcotics, Quinn took bribes from George Novikov, a member of the Koshka Brotherhood. This was likely how he afforded his expensive car and nice apartment, although he claimed to have received an inheritance from a relative.
For the most part, Quinn is a self-serving individual, While not above taking bribes, he is not an outright villain, either.
During the case of Oscar Prado, Quinn lets Debra talk to Anton Briggs, his confidential informant. Debra discovers that Anton is not an official CI and Quinn is paying him off the books. When Anton finds out about Quinn's deception, he angrily punches him in front of other officers.
Quinn's past is called into question when Debra is pressured by Internal Affairs Sergeant Yuki Amado to investigate him. Eventually, Debra tells Quinn about Yuki, and he claims that it is a "personal vendetta" on her part. Quinn easily has the Internal Affairs case dropped. He later confesses to Debra that the source of the investigation was the death of a former partner, Detective Stewart, who had a crystal meth addiction. Quinn knew about Stewart's addiction, but tried to offer private help instead of informing his superiors.
In the finale, he is seen at Dexter's wedding, despite the fact that Debra recommended to Dexter that he should not invite Quinn.
Quinn bears a grudge against Dexter for botching a case he worked on; however, after Dexter sees Quinn taking money from a crime scene, he tries to establish a friendship with Dexter by buying him expensive football tickets.
Meanwhile, Quinn starts a relationship with Christine Hill, a reporter who flirtatiously grills him for police information. After a confidential police lead ends up in one of Hill's articles, Lieutenant Maria LaGuerta warns Quinn to be wary of any reporter who squeezes him for confidential information over pillow talk. Nonetheless, Quinn tells Hill of police reports (supposedly "off the record"), and she uses this information to report that Frank Lundy has returned to Miami. Quinn breaks up with Hill after she publishes the article about Lundy, but the two soon return to a relationship. Although more careful about what he says around her, Quinn still defends Hill when Dexter orders her to leave Debra alone, as Hill wanted to do a piece on her about the shooting. All of this leads to Quinn developing a confrontational relationship with Dexter. Quinn denounces Hill after it is revealed that she is The Trinity Killer's daughter and had been manipulating him to keep her father from being arrested. After Hill shoots herself, however, Quinn is clearly distraught.
Quinn further develops his interest in Debra Morgan after the two of them engage in sex at Rita and Dexter's house where Rita was brutally murdered. While Debra instantly regrets it, Quinn persists that the two have a relationship in the works, although he does not overdo it. Debra eventually returns Quinn's advances (whom she otherwise treats as a coworker).
Apart from Debra, Quinn is heavily focused on Dexter himself. Following Rita's murder, he grows suspicious due to Dexter's seemingly unemotional reaction to Rita's death, his tone-deaf 9-1-1 call, and the inconsistency of Rita's death with Trinity's M.O. He grows more suspicious after learning that Rita kissed her neighbor, Elliot Larson, and Dexter knew about it. He thus (incorrectly) forms a hypothesis that it was, in fact, Dexter who murdered Rita for kissing Elliot, and set up Trinity. Since Dexter had worked on Trinity's murders, he could have easily replicated Trinity's M.O. of killing a woman in a bathtub
Quinn views a sketch of a man associated with Trinity named "Kyle Butler" (Dexter's alias), and believes it resembles Dexter. The mystery deepens when it's brought up that a man with the same name was murdered before Rita's death. Quinn gets close to the truth when he follows an FBI agent to the safe house holding Trinity's family. Soon after, he confronts Jonah in a convenience store and shows Jonah a photo of Dexter. However, before Jonah can say whether Dexter is, in fact, Kyle Butler, Quinn is busted by the FBI. LaGuerta places him on suspension for breaching witness-protection protocol, as well as to keep Quinn's suspicions off the official record and avoid a scandal.
Undeterred, Quinn contacts his old friend from Narcotics, the recently busted Detective Stan Liddy, and hires him to investigate Dexter Morgan. Liddy discovers that Dexter is squeaky clean, so clean, in fact, that his records are most likely fake. It's not long before Liddy comes up with photographic evidence (later videos) against Dexter. When Quinn wishes to discontinue investigating Dexter because of his romantic feelings for Debra, Liddy begins to harass Quinn.
In the meantime, Quinn and Debra, finally admit to one another that they want to be together. They both are present at Club Mayan during a standoff with the Fuentes Brothers. Carlos is shot and killed by Deb, but Marco escapes. Later, Debra discovers that Quinn was suspended by LaGuerta for investigating Dexter, and lied to her about taking vacation days.
Stan Liddy kidnaps Dexter and tries to blackmail him, but is killed by Dexter. Quinn is the main suspect because there is blood on his shoe and numerous calls on his phone between him and Liddy. Notably, Quinn refuses to reveal to anyone the reason why he was working with Liddy, not even to Debra.
Quinn immediately suspects Dexter of Liddy's murder, but keeps quiet. For Debra's sake, Dexter makes the blood evidence on Quinn's shoe go away and Quinn is once again a free man. Quinn thanks Dexter who plays dumb and says, "For what? Just doing my job." Quinn finally backs off, and is willing to put their past history aside.
Quinn and Debra have been living together for about a year. One morning, he proposes marriage to her, but she says no because she doesn't wants their relationship to change. As a result, the two break up. Quinn resents her concurrent promotion to Lieutenant, believing that she values her work greater than her feelings for him. Due to this, he begins to have random one-night stands and drink heavily. He even turns up at Debra's housewarming party with a girl he flippantly refers to as a "chick from a bar," and then hits on Batista's sister. Before he leaves, Quinn asks Debra if she ever truly loved him and, when she doesn't answer, he believes that she never did.
A particular one-night stand causes a big problem when he sleeps with a former assistant of Professor James Gellar (a chief suspect) before he realizes that she is an important material witness. During another one-night stand, when Quinn is drinking heavily, he loses his gun and phone, causing Angel to help retrieve the items. However, this leads to a fist fight between them, with Angel telling Quinn that he needs to grow up and move on.
Debra calls Quinn in to her office to reconcile their issues. He later apologizes to Debra for his actions and tries to rekindle their relationship, only to be turned down again.
When Quinn is arriving late on the morning of The Wormwood, Debra informs him of Angel's disappearance. He races to Angel's location, while angrily blaming himself due to his drinking problem. He arrives just in time to save Angel from a fire and deeply apologizes to him. Angel says that he appreciates Quinn saving his life, but he can't have an untrustworthy partner and he will request a transfer for Quinn. Quinn, though, is not transferred and states that he is really trying to get his act together.
Mike Anderson is shot and killed by Viktor Baskov, a member of the Koshka Brotherhood, a Ukrainian criminal organization. In the car of the killer, the body of a stripper named Kaja Soroka is found, leading the Miami Metro Homicide Department to The Fox Hole strip club managed by George Novikov, another Koshka member. Sergeant Angel Batista, Quinn, and other police offers enter the club to interrogate the staff about the murder of Mike Anderson. When Batista asks George for a list of all employees, Joey starts a conversation with Nadia while offering her a drink.
Nadia begins asking Quinn for rides home from work while her car is in the shop. She also asks him to pay for the repairs since she is losing pay due to all the police shut downs of The Fox Hole.
Quinn finds Nadia waiting at his desk. She inquires about the bracelet Kaja Soroka was wearing on the night she was killed, but it is not listed as evidence. They make plans to have dinner at her apartment. They soon develop a romantic relationship, which George and Isaak Sirko use to their advantage. Nadia admits to Quinn that she was ordered to get close to him to find out about the Viktor Baskov investigation. Quinn offers to give her information in return for what she may learn about the Mike Anderson murder.
George Novikov tries to bribe Quinn, something he used to when the latter worked in the Narcotics Division. Quinn pretends that he doesn't know what he's talking about.
Angel discusses Quinn's relationship with Nadia, and he says that he is jealous.
After Quinn leaves The Fox Hole, he finds that Jurg left a bag holding $10,000 in his car. He immediately hides the cash inside his glove compartment.
After Nadia finds the money, Quinn walks into George's office at The Fox Hole and returns it, saying that he is not for sale.
When Isaak Sirko is imprisoned for murdering three Colombians in Mateo's Bar, he tasks George with forcing Quinn to steal the blood evidence, allowing Sirko's release. When Quinn arrives at a restaurant for a dinner with Nadia, he finds George waiting for him instead. George tells Quinn to get rid of the blood evidence that links Isaak Sirko to the Colombian murders. If he does not comply, Nadia will be transferred to a sex club in Dubai where she most likely will be horribly treated. Quinn reluctantly accepts in return for Nadia's freedom, to which George Novikov agrees. When George leaves, he gives Quinn back the bag of cash.
At the Miami Metro Police Department, Quinn enters the evidence storage unit and takes from the freezer the blood sample of Isaak Sirko and smuggles it out of the station, although with signs of guilt.
Angel questions Quinn about the missing blood evidence, saying that he is listed as a visitor to the evidence lockup room during the last 72 hours. Quinn lies, explaining that he was checking on another case.
When Quinn finds out that George lied about giving Nadia her passport and freedom, he storms into George's office and tells George not to fuck with him. George coldly states that Quinn has no ground to stand on and he would like to maintain their cooperation. George mentions that Quinn would be fired and imprisoned if Miami Metro finds out that he stole evidence.
George tells Quinn that he is unable to get Nadia's passport due to the "guys in Kiev." He wants Quinn's help on a job, but Quinn refuses. He warns George not to take it out on Nadia or he will have ICE check on the immigration status of all his employees.
Later, while Quinn is at Nadia's apartment, George appears and shows him a recording of their conversation at the restaurant. Realizing that George has leverage to make him do his bidding, Quinn agrees to keep watch during a drug transaction that night.
Quinn shows up at The Fox Hole to see Nadia and learns that George forced her to have sex with him. He enters George's office and, after an argument, Quinn pushes George through a glass panel and beats him up before walking out with Nadia.
Quinn and Angel Batista return to The Fox Hole to retrieve Nadia's passport. Quinn tells Batista to wait in the club before he enters George's office. George immediately points a gun at Quinn, who asks where Nadia is. George drags Nadia by her hair into his office, and asks her which one of them she "belongs" to. She replies by hitting him in the face, but George hits her back. Quinn draws his gun on George and warns him to not hit her again. George thinks Quinn is just bluffing and smacks her again. Quinn promptly shoots George in the chest, killing him instantly.
To stage an act of self-defense, Quinn has Nadia shoot him in his arm with George's gun still in the corpse's hand. Batista rushes into the office, and Quinn says that George shot him first. Quinn orders Nadia to get her money and passport from the safe and leave. Batista intervenes as she is a witness, to which Quinn replies that she cannot be a witness because the Koshkas' will kill her and she is illegally in the United States.
The rest of Miami Metro Homicide arrives, including Debra Morgan and Vince Masuka, and Quinn is asked what happened. Quinn claims that he was there for personal matters and George shot him, so he returned fire in self-defense. After Debra leaves, Angel notes a problem with the time lag between both shots, to which Quinn makes up a story that he entered the office, George shot him, beat up Nadia, and was about to finish Quinn, before the latter took him out. He also asks Angel to leave Nadia out of the report.
Quinn later tries to visit Nadia at work due to her not answering his calls and discovers that she moved to Las Vegas for a fresh start. She left a note with a friend for Quinn, stating that she's grateful for everything and will never forget him. This leaves Quinn hurt by her departure.
While having sex with Jamie Batista at her place, her brother comes home and unknowingly interrupts them (Quinn sneaks out while Jamie distracts Angel).
Quinn receives a call from Deb - who asks him to look up an "El Sapo" for her. Later, Quinn bumps into Dexter at the station and tells him about looking into "El Sapo" for Deb, as well as Briggs' tangle with the mob. That night, Quinn tries to enjoy some one-on-one time with Jamie Batista at his apartment when they are interrupted again - this time by Dexter, who stops by to ask him about Deb's whereabouts.
Angel reveals his awareness of Quinn's relationship with Jamie and says that if Quinn wants Angel's acceptance of their relationship, he must man up and take the Sergeant's Test.
Before a date with Jamie, Quinn gets into a heated argument with her over her resentment of him always mentioning Debra and the pressure put on him by Angel over the Sergeant's Test.
At Miami Metro, Quinn questions Debra and takes notice of her panicking when she is shown pictures of the "El Sapo" crime scene. Dexter manages to interrupt the session before anything further happens.
That night, Quinn tells Angel at a party that he has changed his mind and decided to take the test. Quinn notices Debra who is parked in a car outside, but then drives away without joining the group.
Debra is arrested for DUI after being found drunk in her car. Quinn picks her up from the police station, managing to get her released. He drops Debra off at work the next day, after admitting that his drinking spree was due to her refusing his marriage proposal. When Jamie finds out that he helped Debra again, she is furious.
Debra shows up at the police station, intoxicated and bent on confessing to Maria LaGuerta's murder. A confused Quinn takes her into an interrogation room and makes a call to Dexter. Bringing Evelyn Vogel with him, Dexter hurries to the station. Debra is then injected with M99 by Dexter and taken to Debra's Beach House. He leaves her there, unconscious and handcuffed, in Vogel's care.
In the series finale, Quinn is visibly devastated when Debra is declared brain-dead.
Attempted to Kill Joey
- Debra Morgan
- Angel Batista
- Yuki Amado
- Stan Liddy
- The Fox Hole
- Lucky Gentlemen's Club
- Koshka Brotherhood
- Miami Metro Homicide
- Quinn's desk is in exactly the same location as the desk used by James Doakes, except his nameplate is facing towards the main office while Doakes's plate was facing the main entrance and elevators.
- Quinn killed only one person, George Novikov.
- Quinn's hair styles differ from Season to Season, much like Debra Morgan's and his weight has even changed. Season Four saw him at his heaviest, while the others saw him as a more lean individual.
- The difference between Doakes and Quinn's pursuit of Dexter was in their methods. Rarely did Quinn directly confront Dexter, but he often tested Dexter's temper.
- While Sergeant Doakes' death abated his pursuit of Dexter, Quinn's love for Dexter's sister, Debra Morgan, forced Quinn to reconsider for her sake.
- Episode 501 and 502 of Season 5 in DEXTER