Previously, Dexter was feeling a tad constricted by his "new" family (who he's largely been around for four seasons now). Like a noose around his neck. Also, Lundy's back in town investigating the Trinity killer, Deb's inching closer and closer to throwing her hot boyfriend overboard to get back with Grandpa, and Quinn's banging a reporter and blabbing to her about the Trinity investigation.
Also, last time we saw Dexter, he was angrily smashing the neighbor's security lights and getting caught by Rita. But as we open the episode, we see Rita saw the incident more as the cry for a few days off that it was. Say what you will about the harpy she's been, but that was a pretty shrewd move. "Time off for bad behavior," is what Dexter's voice-over calls it. Kinda smug for a guy whose wife almost caught him with his Dark Passenger hanging out. He packs the kids into the car (Astor continuing to not win points with me by blatantly disregarding Cody's claim of "shotgun") while Rita good-naturedly bitches about having to "stuff Cousin Marlene into some Spanx on her wedding day. Seeing as Dexter would probably cut Cousin Marlene into six pieces before shoving her into those Spanx, I think Rita's better off taking that one. She's hoping Dexter can use the weekend to unwind, not get to that "boiling point" again. "I hate that you saw me that way," he says. Rita assures him that, as his wife, she wants to know what's going on inside him. "I don't think you do," slam-dunks Dex's VO. She tells him to "go wild" (the VO shows a rare moment of restraint there) and tells him the kids left him a surprise inside, before pulling away.
That surprise? A coffee mug, with the kids' names painted on it, saying "I Love Dad." Dexter is, of course, unmoved by it, because his sociopathology is way bigger than yours. But come on, who doesn't at least let out an "aw" at that? But no, Dexter just starts bopping along to the Cuban music playing in his head and planning his upcoming extracurricular activities.
Cut to: Zoe Kruger, lady cop firing at field targets at the police gun range. Dexter will give you the details: "Eight months ago, officer Kruger's husband and daughter were killed during a home invasion. Zoe was shot in the arm and the foot. She survived, obviously. But there was one person who thought it was Zoe herself who killed her family. The one person who always knows the truth of a crime: the blood guy." Brief flashback to Dexter meeting with said blood guy under some pretense or another (he's writing a book?). At the gun range, Dexter thumbs through Kruger's file, given to him by the blood guy. Back in the lab, Blood Guy points out the blood on the doorjamb left by the assailant (one Darius Rey, a drug dealer Zoe had roughed up the day before) after Kruger supposedly winged him. But Blood Guy said that was the only blood of Rey's at the entire crime scene. Dexter fakes incredulity, so Blood Guy explains even further: He thinks Kruger provoked the day-before confrontation, obtained Rey's blood then, and planted it at the crime scene. Not only does it provide concrete blood evidence, but, as Blood Guys says, it crafts a compelling narrative for the crime -- Rey, out for revenge against Kruger, breaks in and kills her family. Rey was later gunned down in a "supposedly gang-related incident."
Blood Guy says he tries not to think about it, because if he's right about this, there's a monster running free. Dexter observes Zoe's pinpoint technique at the range and figures no way this woman merely "winged" anyone. No, Dexter's made his mind up, and he's settled in on his next target.
At work, Dexter finds Deb and Lundy on the floor of his office. Ew, no, not doing that. Um, yet. No, they're working on the Trinity files. And they're doing so in secret because LaGuerta's on the warpath. And LaGuerta's on the warpath because Quinn's "reporter fuckbuddy" (thanks, Deb!), Christine, just took the info he stupidly gave her on Lundy's hunt for Trinity and slapped it on the front page. The slant was that this was the shit the PD is wasting their time on while the Vacation Murderers go free. Lundy figures his neverending guest pass at the station is about to expire as soon as LaGuerta spots him. So they're doing research on the third Trinity killing, the next in his cycle. It'll be a bludgeoning, in case you've forgotten, and since Trinity's hewed so close to his old Miami pattern from 30 years ago (i.e. same locales), they figure if they can find where the murder was, they might be able to plot out where the next murder will be. Or they would, if LaGuerta didn't just bust them and call for a briefing. Deb assures Lundy she's down for continuing the investigation after hours. Lundy tells Dexter he feels like he's "this close" to nailing Trinity.
Trinity's at the public library, scouting buildings and floor plans and whatever else he'll need to pull off his next murder. He also manages to shush every rambunctious teenager in sight, carefully maintaining his cover as a crotchety, though seemingly harmless, old man. On the desk next to him, he spots the newspaper with Lundy's photograph disproportionately large below the fold. "FBI's Top Serial Killer Hunter Back in Miami," the headline blares. Trinity takes it all in.
Back at the station, Quinn's just finished getting his guts clawed out by LaGuerta. Angel passes him going into Maria's office, in a considerably better mood than the circumstances dictate. He bright-sides something about the tip-line for the Vacation Murderers ringing off the hook. But LaGuerta has more than just Quinn's fuckup on her mind. She thinks they should disclose their relationship to the top brass. Particularly given the fact that if and when the Vacation Murderers go to trial, an illicit affair between the two top cops on the investigation could be used to sensationalize and otherwise obscure the case. She makes some strong points, but for whatever reason, this is Angel's week to be sketchy about anyone finding out. He doesn't even know what they'd disclose since the relationship is so new and they're still "figuring it out." Despite the charming grin on his face when he says this, LaGuerta still manages to take that as "I am downplaying the seriousness of our relationship" and ices him right the fuck out. Oh, Maria. And you were doing so well wearing the pants in this relationship!
Dexter's Bachelor Pad and Blood Sample Emporium. He's scanned all the Kruger crime scene photos and is now poring over them. He notes the lack of prints in the blood, meaning Zoe wore gloves. In fact, as he looks at the photos of her own gunshot wounds, he sees the blood stop dead at her wrist, meaning she had the gloves on when she shot herself, but not when EMTs arrived. The next step is obviously to find those gloves.
Harry now takes the opportunity to appear to Dexter and underline what the rest of us have already caught onto: that investigating a woman who offed her own family is an awfully interesting subject for Dexter right about now. Dexter maintains that there's nothing to that. He and Harry go back and forth over Zoe's options besides family-cide (killing herself, divorce, moving away), Harry shooting down every solution besides the one Zoe chose. Harry also plays the Trinity card. God, Harry, you are the old Jewish mother of subconscious apparitions. "Well Trinity doesn't have a family, and look at how well he's doing." He does end his visit to Dexter's head with one lingering question: Does he miss his absent family yet?
Deb's at home, obsessing over Trinity files and chatting animatedly with Lundy. Anton returns home and, after getting shushed by Deb, finally voices his displeasure over Deb spending all her time with her ex. Deb halfway convincingly assures Anton he has nothing to worry about when it comes to Lundy, but she can't keep that convincing mug up for too long.
Sunset in Miami. Dexter stakes out Zoe's house while she hosts poker night with her fellow cops. Between the fuzz in her living room and the alarm system sticker on her window, a break-in tonight is out of the question. But the realty sign advertising an open house tomorrow gives Dexter the opening he's looking for.
That night, Trinity stalks in the shadows of an alley behind a pool hall. He thinks better of advancing on the first guy he sees when his wife exits close behind him. No wife on the next guy, though. He moves out from the shadows behind the fairly beefed-up fortysomething an