Let's go in reverse order of importance: Deb's investigation of Nikki reveals that she's deeply in debt, but she advises Masuka still to give Nikki a chance. He screws it all up, though, when he lets on that he checked into her, which zzzzz. Elway tells Deb he wants to investigate his sister "Susan"'s scumbag cheater boyfriend, and to do so, he'd like him and Deb to pose as a couple. When that doesn't work, she offers to bait the guy, but it goes a little too well for Elway and he jealously ends up decking the dude. Deb finally realizes he liiiiikes her but doesn't know what to do about it, which we can probably all relate to.
Dexter goes out with Cassie, who seems a little put off by how boring he seems to be, and when Dexter turns up to Jamie's beach birthday party, Cassie's there with another guy, and Dexter seems almost to care?
Matthews tells Batista to get on with picking a Sergeant already and not to try to use him as the bad guy if he picks Angie. Batista does, in fact, go that route, and Quinn and Jamie both are livid.
Finally, Dexter catches Harrison in a lie, and when he confronts him, Harrison points out that Dexter lies too as he produces his bloody stuffed animal from the season premiere, saying that Dexter told him the thing was lost, but he saw him throwing it out. Rather than shatter his son, Dexter lets him keep the thing despite it having blood on it linking him to a murder, so that could turn out really well for him.
Okay, now the big stuff. Having sensed his bloodlust and witnessed his penchant for photographing grisly death scenes, Dexter vets "Zack" Hamilton – and discovers he's a patient of Vogel's. Dexter confronts Vogel about it, but she's unwilling to abandon her treatment of the boy, and she asks Dexter to come to her first should he find any conclusive proof that Zack is a killer. At another murder scene, Dexter observes Zack taking more pictures, so he invites him behind the police tape and gives him a little blood-spatter intro in an effort to gain his trust. This results in Zack inviting Dexter over to his photography studio, where Dexter sees more evidence of how much Zack is into blood and death.
Meanwhile, Quinn, hoping to try to reverse Batista's decision, decides to tail Zack 24/7 to try to solve the Rivera case, and Dexter gets wind of that and decides to tag along for a bit so he can at least keep an eye on Quinn. He's not too thrilled when Quinn brings up the issues Deb and Dexter obviously had and the fact that Deb confessed to killing LaGuerta, but the ride is worth it when he realizes Zack is checking out a particular woman in an outdoor yoga class – the same one Dexter saw a photo of in Zack's lab, making her his likely next victim. Realizing that Zack probably takes "after" photos of his victims as well, Dexter breaks into his studio and finds the proof he's been looking for, and he brings the photos to Vogel – only to learn she already knew Zack murdered Rivera.
She proposes that the two of them teach Zack the Code, but Dexter hates the idea and resolves to kill Zack anyway. He tracks Zack to the boy's next attempt, whereupon he sees that the potential victim is fooling around with Zack's father – but instead of pursuing the girl, Zack moves to kill his dad. Dexter and his needle prevent that, and on Dexter's table, Zack confesses that his father's affairs are destroying his mother, so he killed to protect her – but also because he has a need, just like Dexter. When Dexter realizes how much he and the kid share, he opts for Vogel's plan, so suddenly we've got a third generation of the family. Can't wait for him to meet Aunt Deb.
Oh, and speaking of people who have survived Dexter's table, HANNAH RETURNS, even putting something in Deb's tea for old time's sake. I'm assuming she survives, BUT STILL.
We get right into it this week, as our first shots are close-ups of the aftermath of a brutal motorcycle accident. Zack Hamilton, the son whose given name we did not learn last week, is nearby snapping photo after photo with an actual camera as Dexter watches from his car and DVO notes that Zack seems obsessed with blood, just like him. He goes on that he's been vetting Zack for a week and as yet still lacks proof that he killed Rivera, but he's sure if he keeps at it the truth will become clear. However, he then tails Zack's Porsche to Vogel's door, and in deference to Vogel's heritage I'll note that we've suddenly got a spanner in the works.
Later, Dexter sees Zack get back in his car and take off, whereupon he marches straight into Vogel's place and asks without preamble if Zack is now a client of hers. Vogel gives the obligatory amused "nice to see you too" before explaining that Zack's father contacted her – as I mentioned, it seemed very likely last episode that he knew what his son had done to Rivera – because of her work with psychopaths, although she only says Hamilton was concerned with his son's "propensity for violence." If I were Dexter, I'd wonder what violent behavior Hamilton was referring to if not the Rivera murder, but I suppose that won't affect Dexter's process – as he tells Vogel, if he can find solid proof of Zack being a murderer, he'll kill him.
Vogel somewhat blithely notes that they have a conflict of interest, to which Dexter expresses his disbelief that Vogel's going to continue her work with killers after the Yates fiasco. Rather than point out that she had a recent win with Deb, Vogel informs Dexter that ethics preclude her discussing Zack any further, and although they have a good laugh about that, Vogel says this is her work – she treats dangerous people, and besides, he doesn't have any proof about Zack. Dexter replies that he will, so Vogel asks him to come to her before killing Zack should he succeed in his search. Probably will want to bill for a double session before the end, I'd guess. Dexter gruffly says he'll think about it, but he's not going to deny her. She's the Psychopath Whisperer, remember?
Oh no, there's a familiar-looking but unidentified building! How will I fight the panic of not knowing where we are for the two seconds before the actual scene starts? Now that I think about it, though, I wonder if the show gets a tax incentive for including a certain percentage of filmed-in-Florida footage. (You all know the bulk of it is filmed in Long Beach, just south of LA, right?) Anyway, Masuka is getting the results of Deb's check into his daughter, and she's in debt up to her ears, with a credit score so low it would have sounded made up pre-George W. It's so bad that collection agencies are involved, but Deb still thinks it's not definite that Nikki's after Masuka for money, although Masuka does tell her that "oops I forgot my purse" move she pulled last episode has become habitual. Ick. Deb, however, gives the practical advice that if Masuka likes having Nikki in his life, he should wait it out until things become clear one way or the other, and Masuka agrees before giving Deb a hug I find endearing in spite of myself. Deb seems to feel the same way, but soon Elway's calling her into his office for a new case – involving his sister. You see, she's dating a, to use a term I first heard from Malory Archer, notorious poonhound, one who keeps a hotel suite solely to service all the tail he pulls, and since "Susan" hasn't listened to his warnings, he wants to catch the guy in the act. He adds that the job will be "a lot less conspicuous if we work this as a couple," which is an odd choice of phrase – it sounds like he's saying he wants them to pose as a couple, but since it becomes clear later that he and the boyfriend have met, that doesn't seem like a possible approach. Maybe it's just for the benefit of others who might ask questions, and not that it's worth spending that much time on anyway, so let's just say Deb isn't thrilled about getting involved in another family's business but agrees. How does Elway make any money, seriously?