The last episode ended with Dexter having won the trust of Lumen Pierce (Julia Stiles,) the young woman whom he saved by also saw him murder a man. However while it had been Dexter’s hope that should would simply turn home and leave Miami she can’t seem to move past what happened to her. While the man who was planning to kill her may be dead she revealed that he was not the only one who raped and tortured her. She wants to see his accomplices meet a violent and bloody end. She learns quickly that Dexter is not prepared to help her in a personal vendetta, though that does little to dissuade her from striking out on her own.
This episode actually opens with Dexter and infant Harrison at a “Mommy and Me” class. During an exercise where the kids are all together under a bright rainbow parachute one of the children is scratched. Dexter suspects Harrison as the aggressor and his fears that his son might turn out like him begin to resurface. However Dexter doesn’t have a great deal of time to contemplate this issue as he has finally returned to work. Now back at Miami Metro Homicide, he’s able to join the investigation into the beheading murders. It’s a bit of a relief to finally have Dexter tied to the investigation of the killings, however he seems to be showing little interest in it beyond his actual job at this point. It’s understandable given all that’s going on with Lumen and Harrison, however it means that the investigation into these killings is still somewhat separate from the main character.
Speaking of the beheadings, in this episode Debra has the unfortunate luck to discover two other victims rotting in a house. The pair had been dead so long and the cuts were so imprecise that Dexter and Masuka believe that these were actually the first victims killed. This only causes Debra greater aggravation as it means she’s essentially working backwards and she continues to have trouble moving in investigation forwards. Part of the reason for her aggravation is Quinn’s suspension for questioning Jonah Mitchell (son of the Trinity Killer) about Dexter. For the sake of saving face it’s being played off as a vacation rather than a suspension. In a bit of a desperate move Debra tries to get help from Masuka. One of the suspects was reported as having a tattoo on his hand and Masuka (who has a rather extensive back tattoo) takes Debra to one of the best skin artists in Miami. Rather than turning up a lead it only results in Debra being very heavily hit on by Masuka’s female tattoo artist.
It isn’t long before Dexter learns that not only has Lumen not put her experience behind her but she’s already well on her way to finding the first of Boyd’s accomplices, the man who would be her first victim. Realizing that he can’t talk her down at this point and not willing to consider the option of killing her to protect himself, Dexter tries instead to beat her to the punch. With his access to police databases Dexter is able to locate Lumen’s target, Boyd’s former prison cell-mate, in fairly short order. He drugs the man and is prepared to kill him when he’s stopped by his vision of Harry, who urges him that he’s rushed into this and to think it through. Realizing that the man he’s about to kill is on parole with an ankle tracking bracelet it soon becomes clear that he couldn’t have been one of Lumen’s attackers. Dexter quickly dumps the unconscious man back at the under-bridge shanty town he was living. When he returns home he finds Debra and Quinn in the living room, just talking. Debra tries to play it off but soon admits that the two have a strictly physical relationship. Dexter shrugs it off but emphasizes that he doesn’t want Quinn around his son.
While all of this is going on the tedious relationship troubles between Batista and Laguerta continue. Now Batista begins to suspect that his new wife is messing around with the Internal Affairs agent who had threatened action against Batista. The fact that she’s been coming home at late hours and immediately hopping into the shower seems to confirm his suspicions. However when Batista follows the pair to a local motel and busts in on them it turns out to not be what it appeared. Rather than having an affair Laguerta was recruited for part of an internal sting operation to bust a crooked narcotics cop (played by Robocop‘s Peter Weller.) This misunderstanding only manages to make things worse, as Laguerta is mad at Batista for not trusting her and Batista is mad at Laguerta for not telling him what she was up to. The relationship between these two has become a serious bit of dead weight on the show. Aside from never being particularly interesting it’s pretty much completely tangential to everything else that is going on.
Back under the bridge Lumen has tracked down the man she believes helped rape her and is prepared to shoot him, in broad daylight. Dexter is thankfully able to arrive in time to stop her and force her to confront what it is that she’s doing. He explains to her that she was about to kill the wrong man and what’s more it will not make her pain go away. Breaking down at this Lumen finally agrees to leave Miami and return home. Dexter buys her the plane ticket and escorts her to the airport. Lumen mentions how she can’t tell anybody about what happened to her. In a moment of sympathy Dexter tells her his full name and that she can call him if she needs some one to talk to. He then leaves and Lumen attempts to go through security she sets off the metal detector twice and is subject to a hand search. While the security guard’s hands roam over her body she feels the eyes of every man passing by her and she experiences traumatic flashbacks to her ordeal.
A break finally comes in the beheadings case when Debra realizes that the supposed tattoo on the suspect was not a tattoo but a nightclub stamp. This gives the police a location where they know the suspect has been to before and will likely return to. She calls Quinn to tell him the news but Quinn is down at a local bar drinking with the cop who was busted by Laguerta earlier in the episode. The two are friends from Quinn’s days at having worked in narcotics before being transferred to homicide. The cop says how he won’t plead out on the charges and plans to fight to his last dime. Seeing an opportunity, Quinn offers the cop a way to make some extra money to help fund his defense. He hires the disgraced cop to tail and dig deeper into the life of Dexter Morgan. This thread of the season is playing out well but has yet to do much to distinguish itself from the last time a co-worker suspected Dexter (Doakes back in Season 2.) However the inclusion of a gifted, and lately under-used, actor like Weller might help give it the extra bit of punch it needs.