“I can’t imagine looking into the eyes of the person you love, watching as he takes his last breath.”
The Morgans, including Deb, are enjoying a peaceful afternoon on Slice of Life when he gets a call: dead body. Deb’s excited to start work again and move into her new place/Dexter’s old place. Dex drops her off on his way to the crime scene, which is deep in the Everglades. Angel produces a severed arm from a dead and gutted gator. Ligature marks on the wrist point to homicide.
Christine has been almost stalking Deb, calling multiple times in hopes of getting an interview. Dexter’s doing some stalking of his own, following Trinity around Miami. You know, if it weren’t for the fact that Arthur kills innocent people, he wouldn’t be such a bad guy: he’s a loving husband and father and really cares for his family. Arthur invites Dexter to meet at his house at 6:30 the next morning.
Deb is happy to be back at work officially. While she and Dex grab their morning coffee, Christine shows up. Deb scurries and Dexter covers for her. He nicely tells Christine to back off. Quinn arrives and wants to know why Dex has an attitude. Things get tense when Dexter tells Quinn it’s none of his business (which it isn’t) and reminds him that he has dirt on him – remember the money he stole from the hotel crime scene?
Angel shares details of the owner of the arm at the morning briefing: it belonged to Estrella Carazo, a Nicaraguan teenager in the States on an expired visa. She did some modeling on the side and recently had a shoot with a photog named Jonathan Farrow. Dude’s a real freak and he has a record. Farrow comes in for questioning with his posse. Harry thinks Dexter should stop stalling and kill Trinity, but Dex still has a lot to learn from him. Farrow will be on his table next.
On the early morning outing, Arthur drives Dexter out to the middle of nowhere and offers him one of a number of sharp instruments: chainsaw, ax, saw. Trinity wants to cut down a tree. Arthur shows his first crack when he can’t get the chainsaw started. Dex starts it easily and cuts down the selected tree. Arthur is all moody he couldn’t do it. On their way out of the woods, Arthur accidentally hits a deer. It cries in pain; Dex knows it has to be put out of its misery. But Arthur crumbles and can’t kill it. Harry is skeptical about Dexter’s new role model and pushes his son to kill Trinity right then and there. He doesn’t. Damn it, Dexter!
Batista can’t get a search warrant on Farrow’s apartment; no probable cause. But there were three other models missing, all working with expired visas. Dexter knows where he’ll be later that night. After Farrow’s assistant closes the studio, Dexter breaks in to snoop. Using his UV light and spray, Dexter finds a trail of blood on the floor and wall. He discovers a fingernail embedded in the bulletin board. He easily matches it with a broken fingernail on Estrella’s hand.
Deb meets with Valerie, one of Harry’s CIs. Valerie said she had the information that Deb was looking for. Apparently, Harry had multiple girlfriends. Valerie goes into really uncomfortable detail about why she was one of his favorites. Deb fully regrets looking into Harry’s past. Dexter offers to take the files back downstairs for her, but not before destroying his mother’s file (though he saved her photo).
Dexter is all set to kill Farrow this weekend… until Rita informs him that he’s taking four boys from the Young Sailors club that Cody’s in on a camping trip. Dexter’s plan to make sure the kids were occupied so he could pursue his own habit isn’t really working. He’ll just have to kill Darrow tonight under the pretense that he’s preparing the boat for the trip.
While Dexter follows Farrow to a club, Quinn is following Dexter. He gets Farrow outside by having a waiter tell the photographer a homeless dude was vomming in the backseat of his car. As Dex turns to follow Farrow out, he spots Quinn. Too risky to kill Farrow now. Dexter slips out.
As Dexter and Cody head out for the camping trip, Deb is preparing to go to Maria with her Trinity theories – including the one that he shot her and Lundy. Unfortunately, we don’t get to hear what went down in LaGuerta’s office, but we do know that Deb switched tactics before going in and she leaves trying to hide a smile. LaGuerta gave her to go ahead to open a “limited Trinity investigation.” Deb is only going to investigate the bludgeonings, so she can investigate Trinity without LaGuerta knowing.
Dexter waits until all the kids are asleep (9pm, wtf kind of camping trip is that?!) before stealing away on his boat to kill Farrow. The kill room is Farrow’s studio/apartment. And of course, he insists he didn’t kill anyone. But Dexter hacks off his head anyway. Dex dumps the body before returning to the campsite. As Dexter ponders the ways he is like a good sailor, we finally get to see the project Arthur needed the tree for. A freaking coffin. WHAT. We also catch up with Deb, who is crying as she sorts through Lundy’s personal belongings, and Angel and Maria, who clearly want to be together but can’t.
Dexter returns to work the next day. As he steps off the elevator Batista is escorting a Farrow’s handcuffed assistant. Too bad for Dexter, Angel’s case is airtight: film footage, DNA evidence, everything points to the assistant. Harry meets Dexter’s gaze, shocked, sad, and disappointed. Dexter just killed his first innocent person.
Dexter is having trouble wrestling with the fact that he killed an innocent man. Well, he’s not exactly innocent, but he wasn’t a murderer. Dex knows it should have been Trinity on the table instead of Farrow. Homicide thinks Brand, Farrow’s assistant, killed him because he found out that Brand had killed those girls. After the Farrow briefing, Deb shares he findings in the bludgeoning cases. As she explains the victims pointing at the ash marks, she accidentally includes a photo of one of the bathtub victims. Maria wants Deb to tell them everything. Dexter hopes that her theories sound crazy; he needs to get to Trinity first. Fortunately for Deb (but unfortunately for Dex), LaGuerta buys Deb’s theories.
Dex/Kyle pays Arthur a visit. Like a scene from a 1950s tv show, Jonah buffs his sweet wheels and Rebecca waters the plants. Dexter starts noticing small cracks in the perfect family when Arthur shows a brief flare of anger because Jonah isn’t buffing the correct way. Arthur is leaving soon for a Four Walls build in Tampa. Is the cycle already starting over again? Dexter needs to figure out a way to get to Tampa.
LaGuerta takes Deb off the Trinity case because she’s officially a victim of his crimes. Poor Deb; she’s poured so much into that case and has a huge emotional connection to it. After Deb shares her misery, Dexter convinces LaGuerta (and Rita) to send him to a meteorologist’s conference in Tampa. Dex and Trinity both prepare for their trips: Dexter packs the framing hammer and Trinity packs what little remains of his sister’s, well, remains.
Dexter catches Arthur before he leaves for Tampa and begs him for a ride. Arthur isn’t willing, but Dex insists that Arthur is the only one that can help him. After a little more persuasion, Arthur agrees to bring Dexter with him. But when Arthur tries to ask him what’s wrong, Dexter says he doesn’t want to talk about it. Arthur threatens to leave him at a rest stop, so Dexter blurts out, “I killed a man.” Arthur acts appalled and Dexter explains it was a hunting accident. Arthur feels sympathy for him. His mood changes instantly. Instead of going to the build, he has a surprise for Dexter tomorrow instead!
Dexter plans to head to the conference early, check in and establish the fact that he was there – but Arthur is already in the parking lot when he gets outside. And Arthur is so excited about Dex’s surprise, he does a little jig. While Dexter is bonding with Trinity, recently single neighbor Elliot is trying to bond a little too much with Rita. Back off!
It turns out that Arthur’s surprise is the house he grew up in. He barges in before the current residents even realize what’s happening. Arthur takes him to the bathroom. Dexter acts dumb, but he knows what happened in that bathroom. It’s where it all started. Ten year old Arthur was watching sister Vera shower, and when she spotted his reflection in the mirror, she jumped, startled, and slipped, shattering the shower door on her way down. The glass sliced her femoral artery and she died before the ambulance got there. Arthur was born in blood, just like Dexter. Arthur’s parents blamed him: his mother killed herself in grief, and his alcoholic father beat and verbally abused Arthur. Arthur never told anyone that before, but he’s telling “Kyle” because they are both responsible for the death of an innocent.
Christine confronts Deb at the coffee cart, questioning her about the DNA roadblocks popping up around the city. Deb fed the idea to Quinn to try and match the DNA they have from the Trinity killings, but she’s not going to tell Christine that. Feeling sympathy for the woman, Deb agrees to the interview Christine has been begging for the past few weeks.
Deb is surreptitiously going over Trinity files in the bathroom when Maria comes out of a stall. Deb manages to hide the files, but drops them as Maria leaves. She grunts in pain as she picks them up and checks out her gnarly-looking wound. She has some sort of revelation and rushes to see Masuka, with a “mother shit fuck” for good measure. Her bullet wounds have a trajectory that’s totally straight, meaning her shooter had to be her height – not Trinity’s 6’4”. Then who the fuck shot her (and Lundy)?
After their long and bizarre day, Arthur and Dexter head to their respective hotel rooms. Dexter goes to work right away setting up a kill room. But when he breaks into Arthur’s room to tranq him, Arthur isn’t there. His van is in the lot, but his tools are missing. Dexter hoofs it to the Four Walls build site. Arthur is on the roof, looking down at the jutting metal rods below, while Dexter tries to sneak up behind him. He watches as Arthur dumps the rest of Vera’s ashes and toes to the edge. He’s going to jump, but the moron Dexter saves him. He wants to kill Arthur himself. Dex is about to let go of Arthur’s wrist, thinking at least it would be by his hand, when two other workers show up and help Dex hoist Arthur back up to the roof. The only reason he did all that stuff yesterday was because he knew he would be jumping the next day. The coffin he made was for himself. Arthur thanks Dexter for saving him, believing he was sent from God.
Deb goes to LaGuerta with her wounds, and Maria makes her lead investigator on the Trinity case again. Angel will take over the shootings. Deb promises Lundy that she’ll get Trinity.
Dexter and Arthur are on the way back to Miami. Dex can’t believe he killed an innocent man and saved a guilty one. Arthur asks Dexter to try and forget what happened this weekend; he’s better now. In return, Arthur will keep Dexter’s accident secret. On the way back into town, they hit one of the DNA sweep roadblocks. Dexter informs Arthur he heard they’re looking for a serial killer. Arthur decides he doesn’t want to wait in line, and they turn around to find a way home. Dexter ponders Arthur’s statement that to err is human. Remorse must be human, too. So does that make Dexter human?
It’s Thanksgiving! Well, the day before. Thanksgiving and Christmas must suck in Miami. I’m a New York gal; I love my frosty mornings and snow-filled winters. I don’t need to be sweating my proverbial balls off while I over-eat until I feel sick and then have three different kinds of pie for dessert. Dexter is preparing for the holiday by spying on the Mitchell house. Through the window, he watches as Arthur destroys Jonah’s baseball trophies, just because he quit the team. Jonah storms out and drives away, Dexter following close behind. When he catches up to the teen, he sees him smashing the car with a baseball bat. Jonah confesses that his father treats them badly and hits him. “Kyle” promises to keep his mouth shut. Jonah tells Dex he should have just let his father die. Dexter wants to help, so Jonah invites him to Thanksgiving. How is he going to juggle two dinners?
The DNA sweep didn’t bring in Trinity, but it did bring in a bunch of people on open cases. The ACLU is filing suit on the sweeps, so they’ve only got 72 hours before they’re shut down for good. Deb is going to be spending her Thanksgiving working, but Dexter begs her to come to dinner at his place. She eventually agrees and invites Masuka (who will otherwise spend the holiday alone) to be her wingman. Dexter needs his own escape plan for the day too, and tells Rita he’ll be gone a couple of hours subbing for a blood spatter analyst in another department. Good thing Elliot will be there! (GFTO ELLIOT.)
On the big day, Deb gets in a little work before heading to Dexter’s. Joey’s working too, trying to avoid Christine, who can be a little intense. The good girlfriend stops by the station to bring him Thanksgiving dinner and Deb, trying not to laugh, tells Joey he should take the day off. While he goes to get his stuff, Christine gives Deb her condolences for what happened to her: “I can’t imagine looking into the eyes of the person you love, watching as he takes his last breath.” Cheerful holiday discussion.
Dexter shows up to the Mitchells; apparently Jonah didn’t inform the fam that “Kyle” would be coming by for dinner. Meanwhile at his own house, Rita realizes that not everything will fit in the oven, so they head over to Elliot’s to use his ovens.
Things are tense at Arthur’s. Dinner isn’t going to be as quick as Dexter had hoped, and Arthur is in a crappy mood. Jonah is hiding out at a friend’s and Rebecca has been locked in her room for… some reason? Arthur calls her his perfect child and they’re all smiles so I have no idea what that’s all about. Jonah finally shows up with the busted car. He says it happened while the car was parked and has no idea what happened. It seems Dexter’s presence helped, because Arthur doesn’t react with anger.
Deb can’t believe how Rita keeps kids occupied when school is out: summer break, spring break, Christmas… it hits her. Those are all the months when Trinity kills. He’s in the school system. Deb calls Quinn and begs him to go into work, but he says it’s nothing doing: they can’t do anything without a warrant.
Dexter excuses himself from the football game to see if he can help Sally in the kitchen and does some snooping along the way. There’s a padlock on the window in Rebecca’s room: to keep someone out or in? Oh look, a bolt lock on the outside of the door. She gets locked in there. Dexter offers to help Rebecca pick some roses for a centerpiece and he asks her about the locks. Rebecca explains she ran away once and she begs for Dexter’s help by creepily hitting on him. Sally interrupts them and apologizes and begs Dexter not to mention it to Arthur. Meanwhile, Arthur and Jonah high five after a touch down and Arthur breaks Jonah’s finger as punishment. Talk about the holiday from hell.
Rita calls and wants to know how far away Dexter is and oh, by the way, Cody climbed onto the roof of the shed hiding your serial killer stuff and fell through the skylight. Thankfully they didn’t push in the AC to get him out – Elliot just busted through the door. Dexter needs to get home now. But Jonah’s broken finger stops him. He needs to make sure these kids are okay.
At Elliot’s place, Rita burns herself taking the sweet potatoes out of the oven. Elliot ices her hand with some frozen peas because he likes taking care of her. He kisses her and Rita KISSES HIM BACK, but stops him after the first kiss. Elliot apologizes, but he thinks they have this connection and it’s not just because they’re both lonely. Rita is all like WTF I’m not lonely and Elliot points out that Dexter is never home. Rita runs out. Masuka, who was just about to enter to use the oven, saw the whole thing. He tries to bail, but he decides to stay to support Deb. So they start drinking.
Arthur makes everyone go around the table and say what they’re thankful for (I’m finding this isn’t a tradition unique to my family). No one said they were thankful for him and that makes him mad! Jonah is NOT thankful for his father, and when Sally tries to keep everything copacetic, Arthur calls her the C-word. Rebecca pipes in with her thankfulness for her father, and Arthur calls her Vera. That’s when Jonah loses it. He throws his father’s plaques. Arthur pushes Rebecca to the ground to get to Jonah, who has picked up Vera’s urn – he smashes it against the wall. Arthur pins him to a chair and starts to choke him when Dexter steps in with a belt around Trinity’s neck. He drags him to the kitchen and pulls a knife, regretting not killing him when he had the chance. For some bizarre reason, Sally and Rebecca run to protect him and Dexter bounces.
He is completely pissed. Harry knows Trinity will see Dexter coming now because he saw the monster within him. Arthur’s family is his cover. Rita and the kids are so much more than that to Dexter now. His family is nothing like that. After returning home, Dexter makes sure everything in his shed is safe. He needs to find an alternative. Inside, Cody and Deb set the table. Cody asks to see Deb’s scars and asks if she saw “that guy” die. As Deb recounts Lundy’s final moments to Cody, she has another major realization: Christine knew she watched Lundy take his last breath… but how would she know that? She calls Quinn to ask how much Christine knew about the shooting. Quinn promises he never even took the files out of the station – there’s no way she could’ve seen them. Rita calls everyone to the table and Deb hangs up. Rita wants everyone to say what they’re thankful for and Dexter says NO! Cody is thankful for Dexter. D’AWWW. Not like Arthur’s family at all.
Quinn says good night to Christine and heads home. As soon as he leaves, there’s a knock at the door – she’s hopeful he’s changed his mind about spending the night. It’s not Quinn. It’s fucking Trinity. Christine looks surprised, but greets him: “Hi, Dad.”
Dexter kill count: 1