Now that the whole Lila business is behind us, we can jump right into the most nerve-wracking and uncomfortable season we’ve covered so far. Crazy will reach a whole new level in so many ways as things become tangled and insanely complicated for our favorite serial killer. How is Dexter doing nowadays, anyway?
The familiar whir of a drill brings us into season 3. Gleaming metal torturous-looking tools are laid neatly on a table. The first kill of the season? Nah, just a regular dentist appointment. Dex tells the dentist all about his summer – he’s been busy filling his new box with blood slides. He’s also settling in well to a normal world, with Rita holding everything together. Cody invites Dexter to Dad’s Day at school the next day. SO FREAKIN’ CUTE. Looks like Dexter’s adjusting well after last season’s finale.
Dex does some research about his next victim before heading into work: Fred “Freebo” Bowman. He killed two college girls and got off on some state police screw up. His death will be Harry’s birthday present. At the station, we catch up with the usual suspects. Masuka’s getting published in Forensics Quarterly and wants Dex to proofread his article. Deb is sporting a sexy new short hairstyle. She’s also given up “men, liquor, and smokes” a month ago (after Lundy left). Angel’s having some issues too – Maria notices he’s wearing the same clothes he was wearing the day before – but he gets a promotion to detective sergeant. And we meet the newest member of Homicide: a stud-muffin named Joey Quinn.
Dexter plays the role of a junkie to try to get a meeting with Freebo. His “body guard” (a young kid on a bike) lets Dex into Freebo’s pink house. Freebo is pretty much a shoe-in for Dex’s table. He sets up the kill room at a drug house raided by the police.
Deb is getting coffee when she’s approached by some creepy girl who knows a lot about her. Her name is Yuki and she’s with Internal Affairs. Yuki tells Deb that Joey Quinn started to draw IA’s attention when he was in Narcotics. She asks Deb to do a little recon for her, but Deb pretty much tells her to fuck off. But Yuki has planted a small seed of doubt in Deb’s mind.
Later that night, Dexter pulls up to Freebo’s house. He walks in on the middle a fight between Freebo and some other guy. Freebo makes a run for it and the guy runs at Dexter with a knife. They fight, resulting in Dexter losing a tooth, and Dex eventually gets the upper hand and kills his assailant. Dexter has never killed anyone whose guilt he wasn’t absolutely sure of: he did something outside the Code. Who did he just kill?
Someone called in the murder at Freebo’s house. Deb says this case is going to get her a detective’s shield. Turns out the young man that Dexter shanked in self-protection is Oscar Prado, the youngest brother of Miguel Prado, an ADA with an agenda to put away as many bad guys as he can. He’s the top prosecutor in the state, and a good friend (and former paramour) of Maria. There’s also Ramon Prado, a lieutenant with the sheriff’s department and a “law and order hard-ass.” The story is that Oscar was a coach at a youth club and came to confront Freebo, who was dealing drugs to the teens that Oscar was helping. Well, shit. Dexter surreptitiously finds his missing tooth and pockets it.
Dexter always gets to know his victims, and he’ll make no exception with Oscar. So far, there is nothing that would put him inside the Code. Deb laments that she can’t get anywhere with Freebo’s neighbor. Quinn puts her in touch with a criminal informant from his Narcotics days. He’s a good-looking musician named Anton. He’s a smooth-talker that doesn’t give Deb anything helpful on Freebo.
Miguel Prado calls Dexter and wants to meet at the crime scene right away. He wants to know the story that the blood tells. Dex does some pandering to Prado (he says the Oscar fought like a hero), but that he was overpowered. Then Miguel asks why a blood-spatter analyst would search the police database for his brother. Dexter tells him he wants to try to understand why Oscar was killed, lying by saying his death got to him. Miguel invites Dexter to Oscar’s wake.
The CI was a dead end concerning Freebo, but Anton knew a lot about Oscar. He wasn’t some community hero confronting Freebo about selling drugs to kids at the youth center: he was a junkie – which Deb shouts in a completely insensitive manner with Miguel and Maria right behind her. Oops. Girl needs to learn some tact. Maria wants to take Deb off the case, but Angel doesn’t want to jeopardize his friendship with Deb. What do?
Dexter goes to Oscar’s wake. Miguel forgives Deb for what happened at the station. Oscar was a good man, but he wasn’t perfect. Deb waits for her brother at the bar where they celebrate Harry’s birthday every year. Angel shows up to pay his respects to Harry – and take Deb off the Prado case. The road to her shield just got longer and windier. She is desperate for Harry’s approval.
Deb is on a new case: a dead Jane Doe called in by a couple of prostitutes. The girl was strangled, but they called Dexter in because she’s missing a patch of skin from her shoulder. Whoever killed her carved a nice neat square of flesh and kept it for him/herself. Dexter recognizes her from Freebo’s house – it’s Teegan, his girlfriend.
Angel and the gang head out for a night of celebrating. As Deb heads into the bar, Yuki approaches her on the street. Deb tells her to back off, because the people she works with are her family. Yuki tells Deb that helping IA could mean getting her shield sooner, but Deb walks away.
Rita is listening to some sappy music and making chocolate pudding while reading a pamphlet for work. Dexter comes home from work and asks playfully: “This music again? Chocolate pudding again?” Rita stops mid-stir, a look of horror on her face. She’s done this routine before – when she was pregnant. SERIAL KILLER BABIES EVERYWHERE!
Dexter waits anxiously while Rita gets checked out at her OB-GYN. YUP, she’s knocked up. They’ll talk later about what to do. Dexter heads off to work. He could help Deb and Angel by telling them that Freebo and the murdered Jane Doe are connected, but he needs a head start on Freebo. Miguel is freaking out in Maria’s office about his brother’s case. He is way out of line when he brings up the fact that the team working on his brother’s murder also worked with the Bay Harbor Butcher. Ouch. As Dex is leaving the station to go rifle through Teegan’s apartment, Miguel stops him and invites him to dinner.
Deb is pounding the pavement, trying to find something about the Jane Doe. She heads to a club where sexy Anton is playing with his band. He doesn’t want to help her with the case, and Deb pleads for help – he’s her last-ditch effort. Anton doesn’t know the girl, but agrees to ask around for her.
Later that night, Rita and Dexter head to the Prados’ house for dinner. Syl Prado serves Rita a mojito, and she accidentally lets slip that she can’t drink. Syl is sweet and comforts Rita’s uncertainty. In Miguel’s study, he asks Dexter about the Freebo case. It turns out that Ramon has a lead on Freebo: he found Freebo’s mother’s cell phone. It’s a race against the clock for Dex now. As soon as dinner is done, he speeds to Teegan’s. She was a sorority girl, and it turns out her sisters are throwing a huge kegger. Dexter grabs a red Solo cup and tries to blend in while he snoops. He trades some non-existent drugs for the address to Teegan’s “ho pad.”
Angel and Joey pay a visit to a Zach, a parolee who was busted with Freebo two years back. When they discover Zach’s girlfriend trying to dump pills down the toilet, they cuff both of them. Zach offers them a deal, though: he has info on Chickie Hines, a guy that was convicted of a car jacking and murder. Zach says Hines didn’t do it and he has an alibi and the name of the real criminal. The Hines case was a big conviction, and guess who did all the work on that case? Yup, Miguel Prado. Not only does Homicide have nothing new on Freebo, but also the conviction is being called into question.
Angel is feeling the pressure of his new position. Dexter meets him in the bathroom and lets slip that Rita’s pregnant. Angel is ecstatic for him. He tells Dexter that his daughter is the best thing that’s happened to him. In a daydream, Dexter watches Cody, Astor, his nameless son, and Rita play tag in a park. Harry’s there too. He’s always wanted to be a grandfather. Dexter says they’re better off without him and the sadness in Harry’s face just kills me. Harry never believed Dex could have a beautiful family. The nice dream changes to a nightmare when Astor is suddenly missing and Dex’s son is wearing his trademark kill outfit and holding a bloody wire.
Deb meets Anton at the apartment of a new lead. He’s a young new pimp/dealer named Javier who likes white girls; chances are he tried to recruit the Jane Doe. Javier is a skeezy piece of shit and tries to recruit Deb. He doesn’t remember the Jane Doe, but Javier’s current main squeeze does. He fucked her. Javier tries to cover his ass and tells Deb he passed her onto “some white guy named Freebo.” This case just got a shitload more interesting for Deb.
Maria meets Miguel to talk about the Hines case. The new evidence checks out – he didn’t do it. Miguel’s frustrated and upset, but happy that Maria told him straight. I like this Prado guy.
Deb shares her lead with the team. Dexter overhears – they don’t have a name yet – but his window for finding Freebo is closing. Quinn is pissed that Deb used Anton for that info. She asks if there’s some other reason Quinn doesn’t want her to talk to Anton, and he’s silent. Yuki is still pressuring her to help out IA.
Dexter finally gets to Teegan’s “ho-pad” and breaks in. He hears some noise from the back room. It’s a naked Freebo watching some Internet porn. What a classy guy. Freebo doesn’t hear or see Dexter as he heads into the bathroom. Dex has no syringe or kill tools. He hurries home to get his stuff. While he’s packing his bag, Rita knocks on the door. She needs to have a decision on the baby now. Rita has been weighing the pros and cons and all she can come up with are cons. Dexter is thinking the same thing. But Rita is keeping it. She will honor Dexter’s choice about what role he’ll play in the baby’s life.
Dexter is back at Teegan’s place and gets Freebo on the table in the garage as a storm rages. Freebo says he didn’t kill Teegan. He was out getting high with some other girl. While Dexter goes through his whole routine, Miguel Prado is sitting outside of Teegan’s house in his car. He knows someone is there; the lights are on and the music is blasting. Holy balls. Miguel searches the house with his gun at the ready. Dexter finishes the job, but Miguel finds signs of Dex’s struggle with Freebo in the kitchen and heads outside. Dexter hears him and heads him off. He tells Miguel that Freebo is in there and shows him the bloody knife, claiming it was self-defense. Dex lies his way through it, saying he found a forensics lead and wanted to check it out before wasting anyone’s time. He didn’t expect Freebo to be there and the scumbag jumped him. Miguel hugs Dexter and reveals that he had come to kill Freebo. Prado wants to help him get rid of the evidence, but Dexter convinces him to leave in the guise of saving him from being implicated. The camera pans back as Miguel thanks Dexter: there is a huge Freebo bloodstain on his shirt.
Dexter, Rita, and the kids are grocery shopping. Astor and Cody are having fun going through the store and getting things off of Dexter’s list. Astor is supposed to be getting mayonnaise, but Dex turns the corner and sees her talking to a grown man. He approaches and stares the guy down. Astor was just telling him where the Cheerios were. As they put the groceries into the car, Dex sees the Creeper getting into his own vehicle and writes down his plate number, just in case.
Homicide still has nothing on Freebo or the Jane Doe. They try to look busy as Miguel stops by. Dex doesn’t understand why Miguel keeps trying to be his friend. Prado is there to try and stop the investigation, claiming the rule of the “first 48” (if the suspect isn’t caught within that time frame, it’s likely they won’t be), but Maria assures him they will find Freebo. On his way out, Miguel invites Dexter out after work. Syl already talked to Rita, and she’d love to go! Angel asks Maria when Prado is going to question the new witness about the Hines case. She’s surprised he hasn’t done it yet, but knows he will soon. Just then they get a call about a new murder victim: a body dumped in the park, a slice of skin missing, just like Teegan. But it can’t be Freebo. So who is it?
The victim is Javier Garza, the pimp that helped Deb connect the Jane Doe case to Freebo. He’s missing a huge sheet of skin from his chest. They’re convinced it’s Freebo. Deb questions the tree trimmer that called in the body. His name is George Washington King. Mario found the body, but didn’t see anything. After she’s done, Deb asks Dexter to come over for a beer, but he says he has too much to do: Rita’s pregnant. Deb is excited and happy for them. But Dexter is still on the fence about what role he’s going to play in the baby’s life.
After Dexter and Rita’s play date with the Prados, Dexter can finally research the plate number of the Creeper from the supermarket. His name is Nathan Marten, and he’s a registered sex offender. Dex is interrupted by Miguel. He wants to apologize about the way Ramon was rude to Dexter earlier that night and he brought some rum, too. Dexter wonders if this is what friends do, or if Miguel is just creepy. Just like Dexter, Miguel has father issues. Turns out they relate on a deeper level than Dexter thought. Miguel wants to dump Freebo’s body, call Ramon, tell him he got an anonymous tip, and let the cops find it. Dex says that it’s not possible. He realizes Miguel needs to see the body in order to believe that Freebo is really dead. They agree to go see it tomorrow.
Deb tracks Anton down to a restaurant and tries to get information about Javier. Anton wants no part of it. After a shouting match, he pulls out a joint and lights it. Deb arrests him. Meanwhile, Dexter takes Miguel to Freebo’s final resting place. It’s a cemetery. The graves are dug the night before, so all Dex had to do was find an available plot and cover his body with a foot of dirt. Miguel wants to get an exhumation order and Dexter urges him not to: he doesn’t know what kind of evidence he left on Freebo because he’s never killed anyone before! Miguel agrees.
Dexter, Rita, and the kids are at the beach. As they’re getting ready to leave for Rita’s pre-natal yoga class, Dexter spots Nathan Martin shooting photos of Astor with a long range lens. Astor recognizes him, too, but Dex assures Rita that he’s nothing to worry about. Yoga is hilarious and Dexter is humiliated.
At the courthouse, Miguel gives an interview to the press saying he was satisfied with Chickie Hines’ second conviction. Maria asks why Miguel didn’t talk to the new witness; Miguel says his statement didn’t add up, so he didn’t bother. Hines’ lawyer, a sassy and awesome woman, tells the reporter that Prado just sent an innocent man to prison for twenty hears and he should be ashamed of himself.
Nathan is hanging out on near the water with his camera, watching some young girls play, when Dexter sits down at his table. Dexter tells him to stay the fuck away from his kids. He knows who Nathan is – what Nathan is. Nathan says he’s changed, but Dexter says it’s impossible: “We are what we are.” Nathan has never killed anyone, so he doesn’t fit the Code. Still, need to keep an eye on him.
In an effort to get Miguel to leave him alone, Dexter prints out dozens of photos of Teegan with the words “Call if you’ve seen Teegan Campbell” and hangs them up all over, making extra sure that one is visible on the community bulletin board at the park where he meets up with Deb. Dexter admits to Deb that he doesn’t know if he’s going to be a father to the baby. Deb whacks him in the arm and tells him yes, he is going to be a GREAT father – it’s not about him, anyway. It’s about the baby. Smart woman, that Debra. Then she finally spots the poster and rushes back to the station.
The lead that Dexter fed to Deb leads to an alibi for Freebo at the time of Teegan’s murder. He’s off the hook for that and the murder of Javier. Maria is frustrated that she has to give Miguel more bad news. Dexter calls Miguel to give him the good news, but Miguel wants to meet Dexter under some bridge. Uh… weird. Miguel is happy that Dex got the police off Freebo’s case, but Dexter said he didn’t do that. Miguel has a gift for Dexter. It’s his blood stained shirt from the night of Freebo’s death. It implicates Miguel in his death. But he gives it to Dexter because he trusts him, and he wants Dexter’s trust in return.
Deb goes to the club where Anton plays and apologizes to him. They patch things up, and Anton said he wrote a song about her. It’s not done yet, but he’ll play it. The lyrics are pretty hilarious if you speak Spanish (and I am an expert with my five years of middle and high school Spanish and my flawless Peggy Hill Spanish accent): “La puta flaca mala,” or “the skinny mean bitch.” Deb tells a girl next to her the song is about her, and the girl laughs before translating for her. Deb looks like she’s about ready to punch Anton in the mouth, but she shrugs it off and continues to dance anyway. Anton smiles and appreciates her good sense of humor.
Dexter returns to Nathan’s house, even though he doesn’t fit the Code. But maybe there’s another code that will work. Nathan is working at his computer when Dexter sneaks in behind him. He sees the photos of Astor at the beach up on the screen. His rage is taken to a whole new level and he chokes Nathan to death. Then he takes the milk from Nathan’s fridge and brings it to Rita’s house because she asked him to get some on his way there.
Rita is putting away dishes when Dexter arrives. He puts his hand on Rita’s belly: he’s going to be a father.
Dexter body count: 3