Dexter

Episode Report Card
Joe R: B+ | 2 USERS: C+
YOU GRADE IT
Blood Shack
exchange small talk, Arthur revealing that he took his wife to one of these home builds on their first date, and the kids have grown up pitching in. Dexter is clearly envious. Though happy to have the hammer.

Dexter then spots a wicked hot young guy across the way and stares at him for a moment before joining him at the water cooler. Before we all get any ideas about this turning into a very different sort of show, we find out that this is Arthur's son, Jonah. Hellooooo, Jonah! Dexter pokes around (not like that), asking Jonah about family life, kind of desperately searching for some kind of chink in Arthur's family-man armor. But Jonah has only glowing things to say about his old man -- he even gave Jonah his old classic car. DVO is particularly envious. In one sketchy moment, Arthur walks by in the distance and stares, seemingly with disapproval, at this interaction. Jonah immediately hops away, noting "Dad's not a big fan of idle hands." Before we start to ponder what Jonah does with his idle hands, let's move on to the next scene.

Debra, accompainied by off-kilter angles and a dreamlike unsteadiness, visits Nikki Wald at her jail cell. Nikki's crazy strung out and, all things considered, might be in a more chaotic state than Deb is. Once she realizes Deb's after a confession, Nikki starts rocking back and forth, repeating her claims of innocence. Debra has her come closer to the bars, so she can see her eyes. Nikki delivers her alibi once again -- she was with Johnny, getting high, watching porn, fucking. Just your normal evening at Martha Stewart's house, really. "I didn't shoot you, all right? I didn't kill that old man!" Understandably, Deb snaps right around "old man" and reaches through the bars and grabs Nikki around the neck. "I'm gonna say I saw you," Deb whispers into her face, as Nikki advances the theory that somebody else wanted them dead. Deb calls Nikki a "nasty piece of shit" who killed her own boyfriend, then shoves her back into the cell. Nikki resumes crying and unraveling, then she points at Deb and says, "If you say you saw me kill Frank Lundy, then YOU are the liar!" Debra, shaken, backs away from the cell.

Meanwhile, LaGuerta goes to Matthews and requests to be reassigned elsewhere in the department. She couches the request as a career-advancement thing, mentioning perhaps a gig as Press Liaison. But once she mentions that, oh by the way, Sergeant Batista could stay in homicide as well, Matthews is pretty well onto her ruse. Still, he'll take it under advisement.

Dexter returns home to Rita snottily saying, "Please tell me that's the last of your stuff from the apartment" and then rolling her eyes when he says it's not. Of course, then Dexter makes the total rookie mistake of being too obvious about trying to buy your family's love, as he hands out a Nintendo DS to Cody, a DVD player to Astor, a "My Dad's a Geek" bib to Harrison (okay: aw), and for Rita...a breadmaker. You know, because she's always saying they're out of bread. Okay, officially, this is a bonehead move by Dexter who (let's be charitable) doesn't realize how transparent he's being. But also, given how insufferable Rita's been lately: HA! Yeah, you're complaining about bread so much? MAKE SOME. Oh man. Dexter, that is terrible. Heh. Then again, Rita's reply to Dexter's "We're always running out of bread," is: "We're always running out of milk, did you get me a cow too?" Point: Rita.

And, to Rita's credit, she tells Dexter she appreciates the effort, but what she'd rather have is just one honest conversation. She takes his hands from across the table. Once again, DVO takes over and starts agonizing over how people just do this -- talk spontaneously without careful concern not to give themselves away. He ends up taking too long, and the strain is too visible. "How hard can it be??" Rita explodes, and she takes Harrison out of the room. On this level, it's hard not to grant Rita her point: it shouldn't be this hard to just talk about things. Particularly when she has no idea how deep Dex's pathology runs.

Angel shows up at LaGuerta's house just as she's lighting some romance candles. She's celebrating her awesome decision that lets Angel stay in homicide. She doesn't want to tell him the part about her getting transferred, but Angel's not dumb. He figures it out almost immediately, and while it's sweet, he can't let her do it. So we're at a Gift of the Magi-style standoff, each one wanting to lay down for the other. "What do we do?" asks Angel, but neither one knows.

The next day, Dexter stares at Trinity's DNA map-out on the computer screen, and Masuka thankfully interrupts before DVO can get too self-pitying about "What is it about Arthur Mitchell that makes him a better family man than me?" Masuka says the mitochondrial DNA turned up female. Dexter wonders aloud why Trinity would carry the ashes with him and concludes that it's because whoever this relative was, she helped in making him the killer he is today. Masuka, meanwhile, relates this to how his mother breast-fed him until age 6, and now no one else can measure up. Once again, Masuka: Ew.

Dexter heads out into the bullpen to hand LaGuerta the hammer model that was used for the murder. (I'm assuming he went and bought one and didn't hand over the actual murder weapon.) He says he needs to cut out early to deal with a personal matter, and these days, LaGuerta is more than sympathetic to such a concern.

Meanwhile, Quinn checks in on Deb and asks if she still means to testify against Nikki. Deb says she changed her mind and thanks Quinn for talking her out of it. Lucky for Deb, she's moved onto a new obsession: Maybe Nikki Wald really didn't kill Lundy. She went and checked Lundy's personal effects and saw how much of his Trinity-hunting materials were missing (absconded by Dexter, in fact, but she doesn't know that). Quinn, as ever, is dubious about this whole Trinity thing and tells Deb she needs to drop it before she drives herself crazy. Deb's all, "I'm gonna end up going crazy about something, why not this?" Paraphrasing, but that's the point. Quinn backs away slowly.

Angel and LaGuerta show up in Matthews's office having made a decision: They're no longer seeing each other. They've signed affidavits to that effect, insuring the department against legal action. So there should be no reason to keep either of them out of Homicide. Matthews stresses that if this is just a lie to get him off their backs, it'll have repercussions. Career-ending-type repercussions. Angel and LaGuerta appear resolute. Getting off the elevator back down in Homicide, they part with some tension, LaGuerta repeating, "It's over." Is it, Maria? Is it? (No, seriously, is it?)

Dexter's back at his Murderer Pad, staring at the last few boxes yet to be moved. These would be the most Dark Passenger-intensive items: the Trunk O' Murderin' Tools, the Box O' Blood Samples, various articles of clothing (murderous clothing, no doubt), and Lundy's research on Trinity. DVO muses that if he doesn't find a way to successfully hide this stuff, it's all over for him. Turning back to the Trinity stuff, Dexter gets an idea. He does a records search for obits where the deceased was survived by Arthur Mitchell. He comes up with three: Vera, Marsha, and Henry Mitchell. Vera: Arthur's sixteen-year-old sister who was found dead in a bathtub. Marsha: Arthur's mother, who jumped to her death off a bridge. Henry: Arthur's dad, who was beaten to death in an alley. Well, that all fits really, really neatly, doesn't it? Not sure why Dexter's so floored (he is literally lying on the floor right now), given the pedestrian nature of this discovery. DVO notes how Arthur's easy symmetry to his killings reflects Dexter's own: He saw his mother get cut up, now he cuts people up. Fair enough, DVO. Looking over his blood slides, Dex pledges to find where Arthur keeps his own incriminating artifacts.

After an afternoon at Habitat for Inhumanity, the van drops everybody off in front of Arthur's house. Dexter follows him back to his garage. He brandishes a box-cutter, like we really think he's gonna off Tinity in episode six. Instead, he uses it to cut his own hand, the better to use as a pretext to getting inside Arthur's house. Arthur goes to get the first aid kit and instructs Dexter to make himself at home. Dex scopes the place out, the wall of family photos, the washer/dryer unit, the lamp (DVO grumbles that Arthur has a place to put his lamp). Then Dexter comes upon it: a wall adorned with plaques from each of his Habitat for Inhumanity builds. Each one corresponding to a city and year that the Trinity killings took place in. It's a bingo! DVO connects the thematic dots for us: These are Arthur's equivalents to blood slides, and he's keeping them not locked up in a secret apartment, but out in the open. DVO's been much more effective this week when it's been sarcastic and bitchy, so I just wish he'd bust loose with a "Jealous!" and get things over with.

So now that he's seen Trinity's trophies, I guess Dexter figures it's time to rattle the man's cage (shades of Officer Zoe the Family-Killer). He spots a flowery urn on the table in front of the plaques, the nameplate revealing that the ashes belong to Arthur's sister. DVO notes, humorously, that the ash supply has gotten low after 30 years of being left, bit by bit, at crime scenes. Arthur calls for "Kyle" from another room, and instead of scrambling to look innocent, Dexter instead picks up the uncovered urn and turns to anticipate Arthur. He wants to see what happens to Arthur when his "weak spot" is exposed. Arthur rounds the corner and freezes when he sees Dexter with the urn. He walks right up to Dexter, carefully takes the urn and puts it back on the table...and then SLAMS Dexter up against the wall, his forearm on Dex's throat. "Don't! Touch! My sister!" he wails, clearly dipping back into unhinged territory. Dexter struggles to breathe, and after a moment, Arthur releases him and apologizes.

Dexter's all "What the hell?" and Arthur explains, perfectly honestly, that he lost his sister when he was very young, and it was especially painful for him. Dexter, honest in spite of himself, says he can understand; he's lost peop

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Dexter

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