“Rituals are important. Not only for a serial killer, but also for a two-year-old if you want him to go to bed on time. Not that I mind. This ritual has become my favorite. Bedtime, alone with my son. Being myself.”
Dexter and Harrison get ready for bed. We all know how important rituals are to Dexter, and this one is his favorite. He can truly be himself around his son. Harrison requests the “monster story,” and Dexter tells him how he would slay the “icky monster” Little Chino (remember him?) and hide what was left in a special place. Harrison smartly and happily answers, “Daddy’s box.” Smart kid.
Colin Hanks’ character, who is named Travis, unloads black plastic garbage bags of something from his trunk. He tells his mentor he will be late for their meeting tomorrow and they argue briefly. One of the bags breaks, and some mannequin parts fall out. They talk about needing “one more.” One more what?!
Quinn is making Deb a big breakfast with fresh squeezed orange juice. Deb responds in true Deb fashion: “Well aren’t we the fucking Kennedies?” They talk about work stuff as Deb opens the fridge and – surprise – there’s an engagement ring sitting where her juice should be. Quinn watches behind her with a big goofy grin on his face. Deb doesn’t respond in the way he hoped. She is pissed that he did this without even discussing it with her first. She asks for some time to think about it and Quinn tells her to take all the time she needs. Later, Deb freaks out to Dexter. She never planned on spending her whole life with him! But Quinn makes her happy, and they get along great, and there is no drama – compared to her love life the past few years. She doesn’t want to say no and lose him. Why couldn’t things just stay the same?!
Masuka is showing everyone the YouTube video of Deb’s shooting. She’s an internet sensation! Everyone loves her! They go over the deets: the shooter was fired from the restaurant and wanted his job back. Two are dead, but Deb and Quinn did everything by the books, and no stray bullets from them. They switch gears to the man with the snake guts. Angel thinks it’s a message to others from a drug cartel, because a snake symbolizes a snitch. Quinn sees someone he apparently isn’t fond of outside of the meeting room: “What is that holy piece of shit doing here?” Mos Def – oh, I’m sorry, just Mos now – is Brother Sam, the owner of the garage where their victim worked. Everyone knows this guy, apparently. He’s an ex-con-turned-minister, running a garage staffed entirely by ex-cons. The cop thinks it’s a sham. Dexter agrees and decides to check into it further.
Maria asks Captain Matthews when he’s going to do the paperwork to make Angel lieutenant. The sooner the department has an LT, the better. Matthews agrees. When Maria leaves, he continues to watch the video of Deb’s shooting.
Angel questions Brother Sam about their victim. Brother Sam was Samuel Wright. He had killed a guy, and Dexter had targeted him for his next kill when a drug bust landed him in jail and took him off Dexter’s table. Sam is truly guilty for his past, but believes that men can change. He doesn’t really give a eff what the cops think of him.
Matthews requests to see Deb. They meet in LaGuerta’s old office. They reminisce about the good ol’ days, when you didn’t know who you could trust. Matthews agrees that Harry was one of the good cops, just like Deb. That’s why he’s making her LT. She thinks it’s a joke, but soon realizes he’s serious. She is a fresh face with new ideas. Deb is hesitant… this is supposed to be Batista’s job. Matthews says Batista has too much baggage. Deb accepts the position but is still freaking out when Matthews leaves. Deb raises a question that I often ask myself: WHAT IS MY LIFE?!
Travis moves quietly through a house. A woman is bending over the oven, unsuspecting. Travis grabs her arm and she screams, but her fear changes to happiness when she sees her brother. Travis can’t stay long. He has to work that night. She begs him to blow off work for once, because they never get to see each other anymore. He eventually agrees and they dig in to dessert.
Dexter intentionally backs into a dumpster and busts his rear bumper. Good thing he knows where to get it fixed. Brother Sam’s garage is crawling with ex-cons. One of them thinks he’s a parole officer, and they all stare at him as he walks through the back to find Brother Sam beating on a punching bag. As Bro Sam checks out Dex’s car, Dex asks him about the name of the garage, Good Shepherd Auto Repair. Sam views himself as a shepherd and his employees as his flock. He shares the story of how he got off free for murder. The spirit compels him to tell his story. The darkness is still inside him, but he fights it every day. He is trying to make up for the pain he caused.
Quinn begs Dexter for help with Deb. He doesn’t want her to feel like she has to choose between her brother and her boyfriend. Dexter assures Quinn that she doesn’t – besides, he thinks, it’s never going to be Quinn. Meanwhile, Deb takes Batista out for coffee at the stand outside. Batista insists on paying, even though Deb wanted to treat him, because he can afford it. Yeah, waiting for that LT paycheck that will never come. Deb thanks Batista for being like family to her and for always having her back. She is the detective she is because of him. She can’t even look at him when she tells him that Matthews offered her the job. Deb can’t do the job without Angel’s blessing, so if he says no, she’ll tell Matthews she doesn’t want the job. Angel, of course, tells her to take it, and seems truly happy for her, if a little disappointed.
Later, when Maria tries to assure Angel that Matthews is only using Deb to get back at her, Angel tells her that it’s fine – Deb is a good cop. Maria knows that Deb can’t do the job, and Angel tells her to shut up. Deb is a better detective than Maria ever was. And by the way, how come Angel is always paying the price for Matthews’ hatred of Maria?
Dexter tails Bro Sam as the former pulls into a driveway. Dex hears yelling from inside the house, and then a gunshot. Brother Sam carries out a limp body and shoves him into the trunk. Looks like Bro Sam is still a candidate for Dexter’s table. Back at the garage, he has to make sure that Sam did kill that guy. The guard dog spots Dexter and Brother Sam comes out with a golf club. Dex says that he left his garage clicker in his glove compartment and came to get it. Sam invites him inside. Dex readies his needle. The dead body is alive and leaning against Dexter’s car. He was the one that shot at Sam. He’s Nick, an employee that didn’t show up to work, so Sam wanted to make sure that he wasn’t out getting high. A group of Nick’s friends show up and want Nick. Dexter knocks one of them out, and the leader pulls a gun on Sam. He’s not afraid because he knows he’ll go to heaven. Dexter has no choice but to flash his police badge (sorry, his laminate) and the gang leaves.
Travis meets with his mentor at their abandoned church. His sister is a good person, but she can’t be saved. His mentor brands his arm with a hot iron because Travis made him. He has to suffer for his sins. Travis begs forgiveness with tears in his eyes and promises not to visit his sister ever again.
Deb finally goes back to her own apartment. Quinn is trying really hard to give Deb space, but a romantic Chinese dinner isn’t really what Deb had in mind. She blurts out that she can’t marry him. She likes things the way they are. Quinn wants more than that. Deb tries to tell Quinn how much she likes being with him, but Quinn doesn’t want to hear it. He tells her not to be there when he gets back and leaves. She moves back in with Dexter.
Dexter gets Julio, leader of the gang that showed up at the garage, on his table. A nice substitution for Brother Sam. Julio promises that “his boys” will fuck him up, but Dex isn’t scared. Julio killed a barber six months ago and no body was found. Dexter knows there is no happy ending, even though the story always ends the same. Monsters don’t get to live happily ever after.
Back at home, Dexter and Harrison go through their evening routine. Dexter presents him with his own box to keep his important things in. Hopefully he’ll forget about “Daddy’s box.” Harrison requests the monster story, but Dex suggests a new story: Three Little Pigs. Dexter can no longer let Harrison see the real him. He can only see the pretend version if the story is to have a happy ending.
Dexter kill count: 1