This episode started off as a total snoozer, and huge chunks of it still scream "placeholder," but all the Mitchells at Home stuff is really compelling and makes up for a lot. Things start off with everybody making plans for Thanksgiving -- Rita's planning a big First Family Holiday, with special bonus guests Debra, neighbor Elliot and his kids. Deb drags Masuka along so she won't be drowning in happy families. Meanwhile, Christine gets naggier and naggier about having a couple-y Thanksgiving with Quinn.
But Dexter spends the bulk of his holiday with the Mitchells. That's because the day before, he's staking out Arthur when he notices him domineering Jonah. He tracks the kid down and gets an earful of the abuse Arthur's been heaping on his kids. So Dex gets himself invited over so he can basically keep Arthur civilized, and while he's there, he finally sees the Mitchells' idyllic home life for the barely-concealed hostage crisis it is. He keeps the daughter locked in her room, he barely takes his eyes off the football game while breaking Jonah's finger, and he really hates it when nobody says they're thankful for him during grace. Jonah finally flips on Dad at dinner and, in a rage, smashes the Urn o' Vera's Ashes. Arthur tries to strangle him, at which point Dexter's protective instincts (which had already been trending strong tonight) boil over. Dex drags Arthur into the kitchen and nearly kills him, to the Stockholm Syndrome'd horror of his wife and daughter (Jonah seems okay with the idea). Dexter retreats home, but clearly this has become as emotional a kill as Dexter's ever had.
Back at home, Elliot's being just so helpful with Rita as they try to pull off dinner. And in a move that will shock no one, he kisses her in the kitchen (slightly more shocking: Masuka sees them). She pushes him away, but without a whole lotta gusto. And Cody falls through the skylight in Dexter's shed. Nothing gets found, but it sure gives Harry a lot of "I told you so" fodder.
Finally, Christine, as I said, is suuuuper annoying. And it's also looking like she's the one who shot Debra. Reason to Suspect #1: She mentions to Deb how hard it must've been to watch the man she loved die in front of her... only nobody knew Deb was facing Lundy. (Deb catches wise to this by episode's end.) Reason to Suspect #2: Christine gets a knock at her door at episode's end. It's Arthur Mitchell. And she greets him as "Dad." (!) (!!!) - Joe R.
Well, hello, and happy Thanksgiving to you all. I'm filling in for Joe R. for this week only, while he's hopefully off doing something fun. Now, on with the show. First off, am I the only one who thinks it's weird that this show has a Thanksgiving episode? And it's not the only one. I mean, you expect it from sitcoms, of course, but it's weird for shows such as this one and Heroes to go all turkey day on us, like they both have this year. They seem too cult or horror or mythology-heavy to have holiday-themed episodes. That would be like Battlestar Galactica or Supernatural having them. (Okay, okay, there was the Christmas episode, but that barely counts because it was so much better than usual holiday episodes.) So, I guess I should start recapping at some point in this recap, so it might as well be now.
Opening credits. Which my husband gets so grossed out by that I'm rarely allowed to watch them (yet he can watch the gruesome stuff that happens during this show; I don't know), so watching them this time was nice. Previously: John Lithgow creeped us all out. And he's tall, which Deb and Masuka figured out means he wasn't the shooter. Christine was a reporter and slept with Quinn. Angel and LaGuerta promised to end their relationship, but didn't, and I tried hard not to fall asleep. Arthur made a coffin. Dexter didn't let Arthur kill himself, because he wanted to kill him himself. This show goes way overboard with what to include in the previouslies. We only need small tidbits -- a la Mad Men -- not the entire plot of the season. I can't imagine anyone would tune into the ninth episode of a season of Dexter without watching the others. Then again, maybe that's just me.
Murderous music plays as Dexter fondles a zip-up case of knives. He chooses one and says, "This'll do the job. Cut you into exactly the right-sized pieces." It's all very serious until we zoom out and see he's talking to a turkey. Then he gets all jokey gangster, taps the turkey with the knife and says, "You got one more day." Miami early morning skyline. Dexter's stalking the Mitchells. (Digression: Some forum posters have been wondering why Sally and Rebecca are listed in various places -- such as IMDb as having the last name Simmons, rather than Arthur and Jonah's last name, Mitchell. The best I can figure is those are holdovers from when Arthur's character was named Walter Simmons, and that their last name is actually Mitchell.) He watches them hang up a "Happy Thanksgiving" sign in the window, then talks to Harry about how much Thanksgiving sucks because you're expected to be with family (yes, but there is also turkey and pie). Then he watches Arthur yell at Jonah (and he seems to be able to hear it, or maybe that's just us? I hope it's just us, because he shouldn't be able to) and break several of his sports trophies. Dexter tells Harry that once the turkey's gone, so is Arthur. So he's going to let him enjoy his Thanksgiving at least.