When the previous episode ended Dexter thought that he had finally settled the issue of Lumen Pierce and that she had left Miami for good. This belief allows him to relax somewhat and set up his next kill, a serial killer who targets gay men through online personal ads. Dexter is also growing closer and closer to his son through pleasant bonding moments that are small but sweet. However his concerns over how his son will grow up continue to haunt him. The latest jolt that reinvigorated his worries were when his son spoke his first word. While the nanny insisted that Harrison said “bye bye,” what Dexter (and the audience) hears is “die die.”
Back at Miami Metro’s homicide department the team, headed by Debra, prepare to continue their stakeout at the bar where they believe the beheading suspects, the Fuentes Brothers, frequent. However after several fruitless nights already Captain Matthews starts to come down on the entire operation, annoyed by the lack of results that it’s yielded so far. He allows the stake out to continue for one more night but he makes it clear to Laguerta that if more victims turn up while the homicide department is at a club all night that it will be on her head. It’s worth noting that Dexter is not a part of the stake-out in any way which once again makes this entire investigation completely separate from his story. It is starting to feel as though this part of the season’s plot exists solely so that Dexter’s co-workers have something to do. It’s still well done but feels increasingly tangential to Dexter himself.
Debra’s relationship with Quinn continues to deepen. First it appeared that it might go completely off the rails when Debra went to see Quinn but he asked her to come back in an hour. Debra first suspects that Quinn has another woman but it’s shown that he’s actually only speaking with the narcotics officer from the last episode (played by Peter Weller.) Debra relaxes after that, not realizing of course that the man is investigating her own brother for Quinn. The narc gives Quinn a general update on what he’s found, which so far has been nothing but a squeaky clean family man. Both he and Quinn agree that it’s simply too neat and clean and that Dexter must be hiding something. It seems like the writers are trying to give this a different vibe to Doakes’ pursuit of Dexter in the second season by adding more trappings to it. Quinn has somebody else doing the digging and of course is getting involved with Debra, whereas Doakes had been acting alone. The general feel is still very similar at this point though.
While the stake out is going on Dexter leaves his son with the nanny and goes out to hunt his next kill. He has no trouble getting his target alone and injected with the sedative. However once he begins to wrap up his victim to restrain him his phone rings. It’s a call from Lumen that Dexter first ignores. She then sends him a text image of a man lying in blood. When Dexter calls her back he discovers that not only has Lumen not left Miami but she has shot one of the men she believes raped her. Lumen begs for his help to dispose of the body, and Dexter knows he can’t just leave her on her own. Not only does he feel a certain responsibility towards her, she could still turn him in if she herself is arrested. Dexter opts to stash his unconscious victim in the back of his SUV since he doesn’t have time to kill him now and would never leave an unattended body to be discovered.
At the stakeout Debra becomes jealous watching how Quinn chooses to blend in at the club, namely by hitting on and dancing with a succession of women. Batista, who’s in the surveillance van with Debra, is quick to note the jealousy. He gives her mixed advice by saying that based off how his own marriage to Laguerta is going he would advise against an office romance. But in almost the same breath he says that he thinks she and Quinn could work. At that point a call comes in of gunshots and a possible homicide at a bay warehouse. Tired of watching Quinn in the club Debra goes out to the call, leaving Batista in the van. Once alone Batista spots a very attractive lone woman in the club. He leaves the van to go in and begins to flirt with her quite blatantly.
Dexter arrives at the warehouse that Lumen called him from. However when the two of them go inside the body of the man that Lumen shot is gone. A quick scan of the scene makes it clear to Dexter that Lumen is a poor shot and after missing several times didn’t hit him with a fatal shot. The pair of them follow the blood trail, Dexter using some of his forensic tools to track the bleeding man. As they go Dexter begins to pull down Lumen’s insistence that this was one of the men who raped her. Lumen admits that she was kept blind folded and didn’t see their faces. Despite how insistent and positive she is that he was one of them she is acting on nothing but a gut feeling and a vague smell of man. This flies in the face of Dexter’s own meticulous methods of always being certain of who he is killing and it clearly aggravates him and she’d act so recklessly. At this point Dexter gets a notice on his phone of a possible crime scene at the same location he and Lumen are at. He realizes that they have a very limited amount of time to find the injured man before the homicide detectives arrive.
When Dexter and Lumen find the man he’s bleeding badly and is likely to die from his injuries if something is not done. Not convinced of the man’s guilt Dexter begins to provide first aid, to the very vocal objections of Lumen. At one point Dexter pulls Lumen away to make it clear to her just how dire the situation is right now. While this is happening the man manages to pick up Lumen’s cell phone from the floor and make a call. Realizing what is happening Dexter and Lumen listen to the man’s side of the call. It soon becomes clear that despite her haphazard methods Lumen had been correct and that he had been one of her tormentors. Dexter snaps the man’s neck and has Lumen hose down the blood into a drain while he brings his car around so they can dispose of the body.
Debra and Masuka arrive at the scene where the gunshots had been reported and find the initial pool of blood where the man had first been shot by Lumen. The pair of them begin to follow the blood trail that will inevitably lead them to where Dexter and Lumen are still trying to deal with the body. As Dexter brings his car around the naked and half-wrapped up man who he had been planning to kill that night wakes up. Dexter goes inside the warehouse and gives Lumen an address to go to where she will be safe. It’s at that point that Dexter spots his would be victim running away. Dexter sends Lumen off and gives chase. The man nearly crosses the paths of Debra and Masuka but Dexter is able to catch him. He strangles the man with some of the loose plastic wrap on his body and drags him to the warehouse where the other man is. Dexter then meets up with Debra and Masuka, claiming to have found the crime scene. Seeing a naked plastic wrapped strangled man and another man shot Masuka has an immediate (and rather perverse theory) which basically amounts to a murder and unintentional suicide. Dexter simply nods and agrees, saying the blood is consistent with the theory, effectively closing the book on the case before any deep investigation will be done.
Dexter goes to where he sent Lumen, which is the house that he and Rita had lived in. When he goes inside Lumen is bathing in the same tub that Rita had been killed in and Dexter suffers from some flashbacks of the bloody sight he had uncovered at the end of the last season. Lumen continues to learn more and more about Dexter and how layered he is, she saw the family pictures still waiting to packed up and recognizes Dexter as a father and a caring one at that. The two of them sit and talk for a time and Lumen discloses that she feels a certain fulfillment at the death of the man she shot. However she knows that will go away and she won’t be able to get it back until she finds the rest of the men who raped her and punishes them as well. Dexter recognizes the feelings she describes as being equivalent to his own “dark passenger.”
Following the conclusion of the stakeout Debra meets with Quinn and the two confess to caring for each other beyond just the physical and that they want to try to make it work. Back at the precinct Laguerta returns to her office and finds Batista sitting there waiting for her with the woman he picked up from the club. Batista explains that she knows the Fuentes Brothers and also has extensive drug charges against her. She’s agreed to help turn in the Fuentes’ in exchange for dropped charges. Batista and Laguerta have a moment following this where they seem to finally have struck the balance between their marriage and their jobs. Hopefully this means that the needless drama between the two will take a backseat if not vanish altogether.
The episode lays much of the path that it appears Dexter and Lumen will take for the remainder of the series. Dexter has recognized much of himself in the damaged woman and now seems prepared to help her. It’ll be interesting to see just how involved he allows her to become given what happened the last time he let another person in on his methods (back in season three.) It’s also an open question as to whether his deepening feelings for Debra will put Quinn in conflict with the path he’s set down of digging up dirt on Dexter. The season seems to be coming together with the threads that will be followed for the rest of the season falling into place with this episode.