It seems as though a lot of things are escaping the people of Miami at the moment, but knowledge, faith, happiness, and justice seem to be at the top of the heap. For the enforcers of the law (and the breakers of the law), the things they want the most seem to be just out of reach. And never was that more apparent than in tonight’s episode of Dexter. You see, everyone at Miami Metro is looking for something. Masuka wants answers as to why LaGuerta is sending evidence to outside labs to be processed. Quinn wants love (aww shucks). Batista wants the truth; so does LaGuerta. And Deb and Dexter? Well, they just want things to go back to the way they were. Which, will all know will never happen.
So the day starts out simply enough: Dexter is doing some cleaning and maintenance on his boat and having a lovely chat with his still-totally-dead adoptive father. Dexter’s relationship with Harry Morgan is a tempestuous one—which is extra-interesting because he’s just really talking to himself, and the ideas that Harry presents are really just what Dexter thinks he would probably say. I am always wary of this relationship because it feels as though Dexter uses these imaginary back-and-forths with Harry as a way to excuse his behavior. Harry’s reasoning is relatively sound, but also slightly off-kilter when you take into consideration this man knowingly raised a serial killer.
The two discuss boat maintenance, but the discussion quickly turns to what it was really about all along: Debra. Dexter feels like his relationship with Deb has been solved—that they’re just living in “the new normal” now (never pegged Dex to be a Ryan Murphy fan, har har har). Harry asserts that long-term exposure to Dexter is going to ruin Deb. Dexter disagrees at the outset, but I think deep-down he knows Harry is right. What Deb has to do now that she knows Dexter’s dirty little (OK, huge) secret completely goes against anything she’s ever believed in before.
And then, Dexter finds it: the blood of Creepy Louis on his boat. There are many puzzle pieces to put together from this discovery, but the truth of the matter is: someone else is on to Dexter.
Spurred by Masuka’s worry about his job upon finding out that LaGuerta sent out a charred blood slide with Travis Walker’s blood on it to an outside lab, Deb tries to casually question LaGuerta about what she’s doing. LaGuerta thinks the Bay Harbor Butcher is still alive. You can see Deb’s heart stop the second she says it, because the worst-case scenario is beginning to unfurl itself. Deb offers to help out in order to keep tabs on where the investigation is going. And that’s when you can see the weight of knowing Dexter’s dirty deeds (I just adore alliteration, OK guys?) has begun to do to Deb. In the elevator she lovingly refers to her brother as a “c**k-sucking f**k nugget.” Family!
So then Deb breaks the news to Dexter about the blood slide. He doesn’t want Deb involved, but it’s obviously all-too-late for that now, isn’t it, Dexter? His inability to see how his actions affect other people is astounding. Deb lets him know that LaGuerta plans on questioning the family of missing people that fit the Bay Harbor Butcher’s profile. Dexter indentifies that 3 of the victims on LaGuerta’s list are his kills. There’s only 1 with family in town, a wedding photographer named Barnes. Naturally, when Dexter explains that he picked up Barnes after a wedding reception, Deb bugs out. There’s a chance he’s been photographed, and if LaGuerta gets her hand on a photo with Dexter in it, it’s game over.
Seemingly nonplussed that his entire world could come crashing down around him at any second, Dexter decides to head home from work at like 1PM. Good thing all those murders that happen in Miami are such easy work! However, upon noticing that someone has entered his home, Dexter flees his place before getting inevitably shot-up by the mystery man (spoiler alert: it’s Isaak! Waiting to kill Dexter!). In order to divert Isaak, he calls his own voicemail and leaves a message, explaining that he would be at a restaurant with the amazing name of Schooner or Later. Once Isaak’s arrived at the aforementioned restaurant, the two square off, telephonically. Both Dexter and Isaak have done their homework and know more about the other person than they may care to—so it’s on between the two of them.
And that means that, yet again, Dexter must involve Debra in his increasingly-outlandish extracurricular activities. Deb is, naturally, quite unpleased by these new developments, and is even less enthused by the realization that Dexter kept evidence from Miami Metro in order to kill Viktor Baskov.
“What happened to getting the guys that slip through the cracks? You can’t rip a case open so it can conveniently fall in your lap!” And in this line, Deb totally nails all that Dexter is doing wrong this season. His methods worked before because—in a twisted sense—he kept everything (except the murder part) pretty much on the right side of the law. His Robin Hood antics are no more: he is now just killing anyone he thinks he deserves it, rather than picking off the few people who make it past authorities’ grasp. Dexter’s overreaching means he’ll never be able to fully go back to the way things were.
Deb and Dexter frequently switch roles throughout this season, and even within this episode they do it twice. While staying at the shady motel where “no one asks questions”, Dexter is now closest to the door—this time it’s to keep people out rather than keep Dexter in. Quickly, the conversation turns to when they were kids: namely, playing on the beach in Myrtle Beach. SIMPLER TIMEZ, Y’ALL. Dexter used to be her hero. He kept her from drowning—but he can’t save her now, when he’s the one putting her in danger, can he?
NEXT: Hannah McKay is Totally a Murderer & Isaak Sirko is Totally a Terminator
Hannah McKay is back, everyone! And this time she’s cooperating. Let’s get this right out of the way: no one thought that she wasn’t a murderer, right? I mean, I would hope not. And if it wasn’t obvious before, she made is so after walking Batista and Dexter through the trophies. Dexter, also being a serial killer, notices the way she plays with one of the trophies—a toy giraffe—it’s of nostalgia, not terror. Hannah McKay is a murderer, y’all!
And now Dexter knows it, too. While going through the markings on the uncovered bodies, Dexter realizes that the dead woman was definitely not killed by Wayne but rather Hannah—duh! Least surprising twist ever. He confronts Hannah after she guiltily asks him why he stopped discussing the way the two victims died. Hannah has a scar on her hand and Dexter hypothesizes that she got it from getting carried away stabbing the woman in a bloodlust-driven frenzy. Yikes. Hannah has immunity though, so she’s sticking to her story.
Trouble is: does this mean she’s someone he should exact his slipped-through-the-cracks revenge on…or are they totally just going to bone, instead? Also, after they talked about the first crime scenes they ever saw—you know, that weird part where Hannah had the misfortune of having to say that talking about blood and gore as if it was trading first sexual experience stories? Which, uh, no, it doesn’t sound like that at all, Hannah. Weirdo.—Hannah mentioned that she had immunity for any crime committed while she was with Wayne Randall. Does that mean she’s killed more after Wayne was sent to jail? Is Hannah McKay still a murderer or will she be the path to redemption and “Look! I don’t kill people anymore and you can do it, too!” that Dexter needs to save him from himself?
Man, this episode brings up a lot of questions about Dexter’s future, huh?
Back on the Bay Harbor Butcher front, Deb—planning to question the Barnes family alone—is surprised when LaGuerta shows up to help out. While the mother is not home, the photographer’s son is, and he does not mince words about his long-lost father’s disappearance. “Best f**king day of my life … because he never came back.” Wait, so Dexter did…a good thing? Gulp, Deb. Too bad the good thing still meant murder, even if the dad was a total d-bag. He, of course, has pictures from the night he went missing, and LaGuerta hopes they’ll be able to find a picture with someone from law enforcement in it, in turn finding their Bay Harbor Butcher’s true identity! Of course, LaGuerta is right: Deb finds a picture with Dexter in it! However, Deb manages to cover this up and suggests they should bring the pictures back to the office to not “rush it.” Nice save, Deb.
Lucky for us, it’s finally time for someone to die in this episode! Though, it certainly didn’t happen at all the way anyone thought. Look who it is! Isaak Sirko, tailing Dexter. Will Dexter kill him? Well…not quite. Dexter takes Isaak on a wild goose chase into a Colombian-drug-cartel-run neighborhood bar (because of course Dexter knows where they hang out). Dexter tells the men that an arch-rival Koshka leader is about to appear before slipping out the bathroom window. It’s the perfect trap! OR IS IT?!
The answer is “or is it” because apparently Isaak is a super-killer! The Colombian cartel dudes are super-dead after the altercation, and when Miami Metro gets to the scene, Deb declares “So we’re looking for the f**king Terminator!” She knows Dexter set this trap, so she’s pretty good and terrified, as any normal human would be in that situation. The good news is that there is blood from Isaak to pin him to the scene! Hooray! Isaak is now in jail.
It also seems worth mentioning that just prior to Isaak being caught, Quinn gets back in touch with his former dirty-cop ways, when he receives an unmarked bag of cash in his car from the Koshkas after dropping off his dancer girlfriend, Nadia, at The Fox Hole. It will be interesting to see what happens with that, too.
Batista won’t let the Bartender Alex suicide go, so he questions Deb about the evidence not adding up. Deb tells him to step off, which totally makes Batista worried and confused. Deb explains it as thus: “I can’t afford to open up another murder investigation. Mike’s killer is dead, he got justice, let it go, that’s an order.” Unfortunately for Deb this s**t STINKS and Batista knows it. One more puzzle piece to put together the great Dexter unraveling, methinks.
And now for the most maddeningly implausible scene! Dexter shows up to visit Isaak in prison. (No, that’s not the implausible part.) And they decide to OPENLY TALK ABOUT HOW AND WHO THEY MURDERED at the prison, while on prison phones, while Isaak is being monitored by a cop and the conversation is probably being recorded. BECAUSE THAT IS SO TOTALLY NORMAL AND NOT AT ALL INCRIMINATING AND SHIUSHGIUSHFS HOW IS THIS SCENE EVEN HAPPENING?!
Phew, sorry for all the caps lock madness there, it’s just that, I mean, I can’t. There is no way that Dexter would’ve been allowed to leave that prison after that, right? Can some police officials back me up on this one, please? Dexter, I can suspend disbelief about a lot of things to love your show, but this? This is just too much. There are too many reasons, ways, and means to which both dudes would be immediately taken away and questioned. If this doesn’t somehow come into play in the next (or future) episodes, I will lose it. Seriously.
Back at Dexter’s apartment, Deb shows Dexter that she’s the one protecting him now. She shows Dexter the picture of him taken by the wedding photographer before Dexter murdered him, and he basically says “cool thanks” and burns the photo. Deb then admits to Dexter that she doesn’t want to know anything about his extracurricular activities anymore.
“You’re not who I thought you were … but that doesn’t mean I have to change,” Deb says. And it’s true—but is it possible? Remains to be seen, I think. Sure, Deb can talk the talk, but can she walk the walk? She loves her brother so much, and already knows too much. I don’t see this working out the way she wants it to, in the end. But hey, prove me wrong, Deb! Get out of this mess unscathed and I will be very surprised and impressed.
Famous Last Words: “Lundy didn’t figure me out, no reason to think LaGuerta will.” And, whoa. OK. Maybe it’s the feminist in me, but never before have I been on LaGuerta’s team. Because, like, yo, Dex. F**k you! Why do you say that? Because if you think LaGuerta is dumb, you’re the dumb one. Is she annoying? Limelight-coveting? Conniving? Yes, yes she is all of these undesirable things, but she’s not stupid. Now I hope LaGuerta DOES figure him out. Why would you EVER count LaGuerta out when she has always exhibited a way-higher willingness to do what might be towing the line in the name of getting ahead? Please. Mark my words: LaGuerta WILL be the unraveling of Dexter Morgan. In some way, she will be.
The two start talking about Myrtle Beach again, and how the two would run after each other on the beach. “I was always chasing you, but could never catch you.” “You would never take off your flippers,” Dexter quipped. “Even if I did, you’d always just out of reach.” “Maybe we’re learning it’s better that way,” Dexter coos ominously. When she leaves, Dexter ruminates on why it is he was always a step out of reach: he would “swim deep” because you have to be dangerously far beneath the pull of the tide in order to avoid it.
Dexter claims he can stand the pull of the tide—but for just how long can he stay that deep underwater?
[Photo Credit: Showtime]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes