Welcome to Dexter, where the rules are made up and the Code doesn’t matter!
Dexter works fervently on cutting up the body of a new victim. A door opens, and Dexter, expecting Harry, is surprised to see Miguel, golf clubs in tow. He wants to play a quick nine, and Dexter wakes up. Not to worry, because Rita’s there to comfort him. Dexter hurries off to visit Camilla before she’s moved to hospice. She gives Dexter a shoebox of pictures from his childhood and her funeral plans. Dex is still working on the Key Lime Pie Mission.
Miguel is at the station, trying to get Ramon out of the mess he made last episode. They persuade him to take early retirement in lieu of jail time. He’s lucky Maria was willing to do him a favor. Miguel stops by Dexter’s desk to invite him for a round of golf after work to blow off some steam.
The crew is still hard at work on the Skinner case. Angel wants to use Anton as bait by putting out the word that he knows where Freebo is. Deb is not willing to do this without telling Anton, but he’s going to be under surveillance. Wendell’s mom calls with information on her son’s murder and a new crime scene was just called in. Busy day for Miami Metro Homicide.
The information Wendell’s mom has is Deb’s card. It was in the pocket of the shorts he was wearing when he was killed. Mrs. Owens shoves Deb and blames her for his death. Deb barely holds back tears. The other Morgan is busy at the crime scene: a girl named Lisa Morton on her way to Harvard Business School now lies dead in the foyer of a gorgeous house, killed by a screwdriver. The killer was in his stocking feet and he tracked blood from his own injury through the house. Masuka thinks the perp is Albert Chung: he was arrested six months ago for breaking and entering and the victim named the wrong person in the line-up. Vince knows about this dude because he’s Asian, and that makes them all look bad.
During their golf sesh, Dexter asks Miguel for help bringing Chung in. But Miguel would rather take care of him another way. Still, he says, let the cops have Chung. They need to go to the root of the problem, the person who got him off the first time: his defense attorney. And guess who that was? Ellen mother fucking Wolf. Dexter says Ellen does not fit the Code (without actually calling it the Code), but Miguel persuades him to keep an open mind.
Camilla is not having a good day. The doctor gave her another month to live. She can’t take another month of excruciating pain and shitting herself. Her husband, Gene, suffered the same fate; he asked her to help him kill himself. She would have done it if she could have, but she’s Catholic. She can’t take her own life… but Dexter isn’t Catholic. She begs for his help.
Deb meets Anton and tells him that she heard a rumor that he knows where Freebo is. But wait, Anton says, no one knows about that but the cops! Exactly. She tells Anton to get out of town. His life is more important to her than his help on this case. For a second you think they’re going to kiss – but they don’t. Damn it, just make out already!
The Dynamic Duo of Syl and Rita are doing real estate things. Syl is having marital problems. Miguel goes to a dark place when they’re home alone. Rita tries to comfort her by telling her about Dexter’s “drug use” and affair. What a good friend.
Ellen stops by Maria’s office at her request. Maria finally feels she’s too close to the Prado family and wants to know all the shit Ellen is slinging at Miguel: missing evidence, intimidation, jury tampering… What a great lawyer. Miguel is on his way over right now to negotiate the terms of sock-clad Chung. Ellen is representing him again. She’s got a tough job, being a defense attorney, but truly believes everyone deserves a fair trial (she’s just like John Adams defending the British after the Boston Massacre! …sorry, I’m an historian and a nerd).
Dexter brings the blood report from the Chung murder to the briefing room. To his surprise, Miguel asks him to stay as an expert. Dexter isn’t stupid. Miguel wants him to see how “bad” Ellen Wolf really is. The blood belongs to Chung, but Ellen says she’ll insinuate to the jury that he planted the evidence. Maria defends him, thankfully. The fighting gets dirty, and Maria has to play peacekeeper. Yikes. Still, Dexter decides he’s not going to kill Ellen.
Dexter’s latest Key Lime Pie is bad news bears. Camilla apologizes for asking Dexter to end her life, especially with his past. “I know your secret, Dexter,” she said. She knows that the Ice Truck Killer was Dexter’s brother, but she will take it to her grave. She assures him that he could never be like Brian. Little does she know.
Deb is working late when Yuki stops by. She berates Deb for going to Quinn and now the case is dead. It wasn’t a personal vendetta at all. A cop is dead because Quinn took too many short cuts and Yuki was trying to get him out of the force. The next dead cop is on Deb. Meanwhile, at a dinner party at the Prados’, Dexter tells Miguel they can’t kill Ellen Wolf. Miguel loses his shit and lets slip that this is a personal thing. Dexter gets Rita and the kids out of there fast.
Deb’s all-nighter paid off. Angel and Quinn find her poring over photos and files spread all over the floor. She found a link in the cases: the trees. There were trimmed trees at the homes of all the victims; the Skinner waits for the victims in the trees and then nabs them.
Anton invites Deb over. Looks like he didn’t head to his relative’s place in Chicago. He thanks her for putting so much on the line for his safety, but he will be bait for her. And then they FINALLY make out! Meanwhile, Miguel and Dexter make up. Miguel admits Dex was right about Ellen Wolf – she was part of a trap to bring Albert Chung in. He apologizes for losing it the other night and Dexter asks him to be his Best Man.
Dexter visits the slowly dying Camilla with another pie. She’s asleep when he arrives, and he injects a death cocktail into a slice before waking her up. She knows what he’s doing, and she thanks him for it: “You finally brought me the perfect pie.” At this point I’m sobbing. Dexter holds Camilla’s hand as she closes her eyes, a smile on her lips. He tells her that he killed Brian and her last words are: “It’s good you did.” Dexter finally understands the concept of mercy. But he would only do that for a friend.
Miguel and Dexter have pizza night. Miguel shows him a video on the interwebz of a minor football player named Billy Fleeter. He had a drug and gambling problem and worked for his bookies by bashing skulls in with a baseball bat. Miguel went after him before but couldn’t get the evidence. He wants to kill Fleeter himself. Dexter doesn’t think it’s such a good idea. Ya think?
Things are well with Anton and Deb. Let’s not forget this is her first romance since Lundy left. While eating cereal out of the box, Deb finds a hidden baggie of Mary Jane. She pretends not to see it but she leaves pretty hastily. She is a cop, after all. Looks like things are going well with Angel and Barbara (the undercover prostitute) too – they kiss good-bye in the elevator and she’s going to Dexter and Rita’s wedding as Angel’s plus one.
Miguel and Dex are researching Fleeter at a casino. Miguel is impatient, but Dexter tells him this is just about learning Fleeter’s routine. Dexter accidentally mentions the Code. That’s when Harry shows up to yell at him, but Dexter ignores him.
Deb is still thinking about the drugs she found at Anton’s and asks Quinn for some background on his old case. Quinn doesn’t remember, but all that is written down somewhere. Deb calls Anton for his assigned CI number so she can file a report – he should be able to find it on his paychecks. “What checks?” Anton asks. Quinn always pays him in cash. That doesn’t sound fishy or anything. Anton is not officially a CI because Quinn never filed an arrest report on him; he did him a favor and he didn’t have to do the paperwork. Anton put his life on the line for them when he didn’t legally have to. Anton could file a giant lawsuit against the police department, and of course Deb is going to tell him about it.
Deb and Quinn interview George King, the tree trimmer that was working near the second crime scene. His foreman, Mario, found the second victim. He has a bad temper. He had to flee Nicaragua because the police thought he killed a man with a knife. George tells them where Mario will be working the next day.
Miguel and Dexter break into Fleeter’s house to do some more research. They need proof that he’s guilty. Harry tells Dexter to pretend he doesn’t find any evidence so they can’t proceed. He didn’t teach him the Code to make friends. Dexter ignores him again. Never a good idea, Dexter. Meanwhile, Rita and Syl are addressing wedding invitations. Rita’s pregnancy hormones are going berserk. She is frustrated with Dex’s apparent lack of interest in wedding planning and has been losing her patience over things like the English muffins being gone.
Dexter puts together a serial killer starter kit for Miguel before they set up a kill room in a storage room at the casino. Miguel is ready for his first kill. At the same time, Maria and Ellen are at a bar drinking after a boring police dinner. The more I see of Ellen, the more I like her. She hits on the bartender like a pro while sipping a classy scotch and soda.
Miguel shows up to his first kill wearing a baseball cap and aviators. Real inconspicuous, Miguel. As soon as Fleeter leaves the bar, they follow him – but a random patron recognized Miguel and Dexter wants to call it off. The next day, Dexter reads a newspaper article about a man found bludgeoned to death. The suspect was witnessed fleeing the scene with a baseball bat. Fleeter killed again.
Deb and Anton are supposed to have a breakfast date, but he doesn’t show up. Deb tries calling him. She assumes he got high and passed out, but she still looks more worried than angry. Deb tries calling Anton again later, wondering if he was only sleeping with her because he had to work with her, and now that he doesn’t, he bolts.
While Quinn and Deb wait in the car for Mario, Quinn explains his past to Deb. Yuki had been his partner in Narcotics. They had a third partner, a cop who made a bad call and shot an unarmed drug dealer, paralyzing him. The cop ended up killing himself. He also had a crystal meth problem, and Quinn tried to protect him rather than bust him. When Mario shows up, they try to arrest him, but of course he runs. Joey tackles him like an NFL linebacker.
Dexter meets Miguel and calls off the kill. Miguel calls Dexter out on his lie that Freebo was his first murder. He doesn’t understand why Dexter won’t help him and calls the Code bullshit. Dexter accidentally mentions his darkness. Miguel reveals how he kicked the shit out of his abusive father and pushed him down a flight of stairs and he liked it. He felt in control for the first time in his life, and he understands Dexter’s darkness.
Mario insists he didn’t kill anybody. He stabbed the cab driver in Nicaragua because he touched his sister, but the cabbie survived. Immigration is on their way and Mario will be on a plane to Nicaragua soon. When he finds out that King put the police on his trail, he looks petrified. Quinn threatens to tell King that Mario called him a liar and he freaks out, begging him not to do that. Deb asks what he’s so afraid of. Mario begs to be sent back to Nicaragua, even if it means leaving his US-born son in the States. Quinn and Deb put the word out for King.
Deb goes to the club where Anton plays. A girl tells him that his band never played because Anton never showed up. He hasn’t been answering his phone, either. Deb rushes to his apartment, but no one answers. The door is unlocked. And the trees outside his apartment had recently been trimmed. Oh shit.
Dexter decides to help Miguel with Fleeter’s death. Miguel thanks Dexter for everything. He hands the knife over to Miguel. Can he go through with it? Yup. And he loved every second of it. Dexter looks mildly concerned, but feels like they have bonded in a new way. Harry tells Dexter that everything Miguel does from now on is connected to Dexter. It’s a heavy burden and was too much for him to bear. He hopes Dex is a stronger man.
Instead of going home, Miguel makes one more stop. He rings a doorbell. Ellen Wolf answers. She looks frightened as Miguel lets himself in.
Rita and Dexter are looking at table linens for the wedding when there’s a knock on the front door. It’s Sylvia. Miguel was out very late last night. He said he was with Dexter. Was he? Dexter confirms that he was, and Rita backs him up, telling Syl that Dexter didn’t get in until almost midnight. Sylvia looks crushed. Miguel returned home only an hour ago. She’s convinced he’s having an affair. Dexter leaves for work, but first, Miguel’s.
Miguel is in a fantastic mood. He feels real for the first time in his life. Miguel said he went to Jack’s Hideaway and didn’t realize he was out so late. He has to go though – he has a motion this morning that he doesn’t want to miss. Dex knows Jack’s Hideaway closes at 2am. Did Miguel just lie? UM YES DEXTER HE DID.
Anton’s apartment is buzzing with police activity. He was taking out his garbage when the Skinner attacked. Blood on the wall indicates he whacked his head. There’s an uncomfortable moment when Angel asks why a CI didn’t have protective detail, but Quinn and Deb keep their mouths shut. We find Anton sitting shirtless, two huge rectangles of back skin gone. George King cleans his knife as Anton insists he was bait for the cops and has no idea where Freebo is, but he can give him the money. King says it’s not about money. It’s about respect.
Dexter overhears a message Maria is leaving on Ellen’s answering machine. She missed the hearing for Chickie Hines that morning, which works in Miguel’s favor. Harry reminds Dexter that Miguel was missing last night and Ellen is missing this morning. Coincidence?
Deb and Quinn are staked out at King’s house, waiting for a warrant, when he unexpectedly shows up. They take him down for questioning, even though they have jack on him at the moment. King is annoyingly respectful to them, calling them sir and ma’am at every turn. Dexter tells Deb to trust her gut on this one: King is the guy. Disrespect is high on King’s list of code violations. Deb should try deference.
Dexter pretends to be concerned about a new stomach bug and asks Maria if that’s why Ellen is sick. Maria admits she hasn’t heard from her at all and is worried she might have gotten into an accident. Dexter excuses himself and heads to Ellen’s home office. When she doesn’t answer the door, he breaks in, blood kit in hand. Everything looks normal, but Dexter was raised to be paranoid. He finds traces of blood. He remembers he told Miguel he hid Freebo’s body under an open grave. That must be where Ellen’s body is.
Deb does the opposite of Dexter’s advice and tackles King to the ground. She tells him Mario is next door spilling his guts. Well that was a metric shit ton of mistakes right in a row there, Deb. Quinn pulls her out. Deb regrets that she didn’t call in a protective detail for Anton herself, and Quinn admits that he used him. They only have a few more hours before King has to be released.
Dexter is at the cemetery in a gravedigger’s get up. He has four potential graves to search. He finds Ellen’s body in the second hole. Miguel really killed her, and Dexter taught him how. He created this. Dexter covers her back up. Miguel is making his own choices now, and he killed someone who didn’t deserve it. Harry tells him to accept it, because there will be plenty more where Ellen came from. Dexter has to stop him.
Miguel and Dex meet for lunch. Miguel has to decide if he’s going to press charges against King. Dexter assures him that King is the Skinner. Miguel offers to let him go so they can just take care of it themselves. Dex wants to know if this is another solo project. Technically, they agreed they wouldn’t kill Ellen together. Once a lawyer, always a lawyer, amirite? Miguel reminds Dexter that he gave him the shirt linking him to Freebo’s death. They clearly do not see eye to eye on the definition of “justice.” Time to teach Miguel a lesson. Dexter returns to the cemetery and uncovers Ellen’s body.
It’s only a matter of time before Ellen’s body gets called in. Miguel is still at the station, and he looks worried. She had the crap beat out of her, was strangled, and stabbed three times. Maria is devastated. That’s two close friends she’s lost in a matter of months. Her reaction is the lesson. Dexter can no longer tell if Miguel is being sincere or not. He feeds Dexter the same lines he fed Rita earlier when she tried to help his marriage. After talking to Rita that night, Dexter realizes Miguel has been lying, but has no idea when he started doing it. He needs to look at that shirt from Freebo’s murder.
Miguel comes into the station to try and help with the Skinner case again. King hasn’t asked for legal counsel, so Prado can’t offer him any deals on the record. But that camera in the interview room has been on the fritz. No one knows what happens after Miguel turns off the camera, but King walks.
Deb has a plan. She and Joey bring Mario home. His driveway is covered with palm leaves from tree trimming. Mario freaks out. Deb can’t help him unless Mario helps her. Mario tells her about a building King rents with cash under the highway where he tries to grow trees to sell. Deb sends a patrol car to protect Mario and his family before speeding off to the secret building. Looks like King is headed to the same place. Just as he tries to unlock the door, Deb and Quinn come tearing down the road. They don’t see him and he bolts. Deb and Quinn bust through the door by running a car through it. Anton is inside, alive but badly hurt.
Dexter is busy in his lab, testing the blood on Miguel’s shirt. It’s cow’s blood. Prado’s been using him the whole time. Soon, Miguel will know exactly how he feels. It’s the only emotion Dexter doesn’t have to fake.
Dexter body count: 1
Next week: the last three episodes in season 3! Shit’s about to get REAL.