“There are times in our lives when everything seems to go wrong. When despite our best efforts and for no apparent rhyme or reason, tragedy strikes. And there are other times when everything goes just perfectly.” – Dexter
A full year has passed since we last saw our murderous hero Dexter, and so we expected to catch up with him again as he was in the midst of a kill, with sweat and blood everywhere and being amazed at how dramatically his rage had escalated. But instead we caught up with our boy in the “warehouse district” of Miami, where he was wobbling around and clutching his side, indicating he’d been stabbed. He called for an ambulance and requested emergency services for himself and lay down on the ground to wait. When the paramedics arrived and when they were crouching down getting ready to assess him, Dexter crossed his arms and injected them each in the neck with his customary M99. The paramedics woke up strapped to the gurneys in their rig, and Dexter explained the reason he found them was so he could punish them for killing people and selling their body parts on the black market instead of properly treating them for their injuries or diseases. And then he whipped out paddles from the ambulance’s defibrillator and shocked them each to death. Even though this was his way of letting us that in the time since we last saw him, his hobby hasn’t changed at all, it was a surprisingly non-graphic kill and one that you wouldn't think would satiate Dexter's need for blood. After discarding the bodies in the water, he returned home to his duplex apartment (he’d bought the unit next door to his original unit) to relieve Harrison’s babysitter – who was, conveniently, Angel’s sister Jamie.
“Any religious affiliation?” –
“No.” – Dexter
The next morning, Dexter took Harrison to a very prestigious (and very Catholic) pre-school for his admissions interview. But while Dexter was receiving a tour of the halls, his tour guide/nun asked him what religion he practiced (assuming that people with established religion in their lives would be the only ones interested in sending their children to a catholic school). After the nun tried to guess where his allegiance was, he finally admitted he actually didn’t believe in anything and denied having any sort of religious affiliation altogether. This puzzled the nun, and from the way Dexter whisked Harrison out from the depths of the playground and strapped him into his car seat, it seemed like he was concerned that his confession (so to speak) jeopardized his son’s place at the school. However, he wisely went back later and apologized to the woman who showed him and Debra around for seeming judgmental towards other religions. She was surprised to see him and after Dexter said it was important to him that Harrison go to school there, she said she’d look for a place for him.
“That was a beautiful speech. I was touched, it was almost as if…” – LaGuerta
“…almost as if you’d written it yourself?” – Captain Tom Matthews
After the admissions interview, Debra and Dexter went back to the police station to watch as Maria LaGuerta was promoted to Captain by Chief Deputy Matthews. The entire force noticed Matthews and LaGuerta were acting unusually friendly towards one another, and suspicions were confirmed when later in the day, Matthews got in LaGuerta’s car and LaGuerta commented on how sweet and kind the speech he delivered at the ceremony was. Matthews wasn’t really interested in receiving any kind of praise and insisted LaGuerta hand over the reason why she got the promotion. LaGuerta did as she was told and handed over the flash drive, which was the only proof that Matthews was a client of one of Miami’s most influential Madams. But she was careful to remind him he was lucky she was the one to find it, and remarked that if someone else had, the scandal could have leaked into the media. As Captain LaGuerta was cleaning out her office, her ex-husband Batista walked in and she told him she was recommending to Chief Matthews that he be the next Lieutenant. Batista wasn’t really interested in the position because he said he loved working on the streets more than behind a desk, but LaGuerta captured his interest when she mentioned that the promotion came with a significant salary bump and reminded him that he wasn’t getting any younger and that sooner rather than later, the world wasn’t going to be nice to cops his age.
“There. And she’s pregnant. And that makes her fat and slow.” – Professor Gellar
Then we met two new people: Professor Gellar (played by Edward James Olmos) and Travis Marshall (played by Colin Hanks). We encountered them as they were riding a boat through some swamp, and marveling at snakes. We saw Travis again later when he stopped by a roadside fruit stand, dismembered its owner and left his intestines on the fruit scale. Then we flashed right over to Dexter attending his high school reunion. But he wasn’t there to impress everyone who made fun of him in high school – he was there to find out who murdered Janet Walker, the only girl who was ever nice to him in school. Dexter suspected her husband, Joe (the football player, prom king, yadda yadda yadda), and so his goal in returning to school was to investigate and see if Joe met Harry's code by collecting a sample of his blood so he could run it to see if the same bloodtype was present at the scene of Janet's murder. Dexter sharpened an edge of his class ring into a point and went over to shake hands with Joe in hopes of pricking him, but Joe fist bumped him instead (meaning Dexter pricked himself). Dexter chatted with Joe for a bit and when he casually asked about Janet, Joe said she’d “left him,” and said he was still really upset with her for it. But Dexter knew that wasn't true and decided the next best way to get Joe's blood was to sign up to play in a touch football game the next day. Even though he knew nothing about football, Dexter still managed to collect a sample by elbowing Joe in the nose without making it look premeditated. He then went back to the lab and ran the blood through the system and was not surprised when it matched some unidentified blood from Janet’s crime scene.
“Looks like he was killed by a stab wound.” – Dexter
Dexter's investigation into Janet's murder was cut short when was called to a crime scene on the beach. It turned out to be the guy from the fruit stand and when Vince lifted up his shirt, the group saw incisions all across his chest that were in the shape of an A in the middle of an O. To everyone’s surprise the stitches started moving and when Dexter cut them, snakes (clearly the ones Professor Gellar and Taylor had collected that night in the swamp) slithered out. But that wasn’t even the best part of Dexter’s day. The best part came when he went back to his high school for yet another event and he ran into Trisha, a very pretty girl who Joe Walker always liked. Trisha admitted to cheating off of Dexter in science class all throughout high school and so she felt like she had to thank him for helping her graduate on time, which meant she decided to express her thanks to him by giving him oral pleasure in the classroom that all the cheating took place. Once the exchange had finished, Dexter swiped her phone out of her purse before handing it back to her because he knew if he texted Joe from Trisha’s phone, Joe would go wherever “Trish” asked him to and Dexter could finally kill him for murdering Janet. So sent a message to Joe's phone and lured him to the equipment barn and after strangling him into unconsciousness (he tried to M99 him but Joe smacked the syringe out of Dexter’s hand), he lifted him up on a tale and saran-wrapped him in. When Joe came to, Dexter asked him why he killed Janet and Joe asked him if he knew how expensive it was to get a divorce. Then Dexter noticed Joe had a tattoo of Jesus on his chest, and he asked him how religion made him feel better about murdering his wife. Joe explained that everyone makes mistakes and that everyone is entitled to forgiveness, but Dexter wasn’t convinced and killed him anyway. The episode ended with a shot of Professor Gellar telling Taylor that “it” had begun, and Taylor seeming somewhat happy about it.
Clearly this season is going to be about religion. Clearly! But that's a good thing because we were told for so long that Dexter's not like anyone else, but we watched him get married and start a family. And so it will be great watch him be curious about the things most of us aren't curious about again. It should also be interesting because Dexter has, essentially, operated under a religion for some time now, but just hasn't realized it. And so I'm very excited to see him figure out that he's much more of a...believer than he originally thought he was.