Wow. So all that happened. Let's try and sort it all out. So Dexter is going to kill Trinity NO FOR REAL THIS TIME, but when he tries to follow him, he ends up being witness to Arthur abducting a young boy. Because it turns out that Trinity is actually a misnomer, and the cycle of murders is four, not three, and always begins with killing a young boy. Um. Oops. So Dexter must race the clock -- and enlists Jonah's help -- to find this kid before Arthur kills him.
Meanwhile, Debra has become full-blown suspicious of Christine, and she gets Angel on her side when he observed what a fidgety, skirts-on-fire deceiver Christine is when questioned about how she got to the Lundy crime scene so fast. They want to do a DNA test, but Quinn's all NO WAY, MAN, but eventually he swipes Christine's toothbrush, and oh by the way, she's related to Trinity. Speaking of which, an increasingly unhinged Christine keeps pestering her dad for help now that she feels the heat coming down on her. She even tells him how she totally witnessed his Miami bathtub killing 30 years ago, and when the cycle started again a few months ago, she kept tabs on it and even killed Frank Lundy when he was getting too close. So Arthur has all THAT to deal with, plus Christine is arrested at episode's end.
Also, in news of the stupid, Cody gets in a fight at school because one of the other kids says he saw Dexter leave the sailors' campout (the night Dex killed that innocent sleazebag, you'll recall). And Harry's boozy old criminal informant returns and seems about to tell Deb all about this other C.I. we know as Dexter's Mom, but Deb's a little busy and brushes her off. For now.
But so Dexter finally tracks Arthur down just as Art is about to dump the drugged boy into a pit of wet cement at the latest Habitat for Inhumanity build. Dex manages to save the boy, but Arthur gets away, to which Dex almost literally goes KHAAAAAAN! So maybe Dexter will kill Arthur next week. As we continue to willingly get strung along.
Previously, Dexter joined the Mitchells for one seriously funked up Thanksgiving and ended up threatening to kill Arthur with a carving knife. Meanwhile, Rita was kissing Elliott in the kitchen and regretting it. Also, Christine graduated from being super annoying to super sketchy when she made a comment about Lundy's crime scene that she couldn't have known. Oh, and also when we saw that she's Trinity's daughter.
We open on a close-up of a syringe with Dexter's face hovering behind it. Dexter's Voice-Over (DVO) is being all ominous and weird about it, which makes us think he's prepping for a kill. But no, it's only Harrison getting his inoculations. Damn, now Dexter's gonna have to worry about Jenny McCarthy and the anti-vaccine psychos too? Like he hasn't already been overburdened this season. Rita's brush with lip-infidelity last week seems to have brought her bitchitude roaring back, as she seems peeved that Dexter isn't more of an emotional basket case (like she is) over poor Harrison's plight. Dex obliges by sweet-talking Harrison through the next injection.
That night, we see Dexter has gone and rented out a shipping container to house his various serial-killing paraphernalia and bric-a-brac. As DVO reminds us, it's a lot more secure than a shed in the backyard. Wow, so that little plot device was short-lived. And this now just makes one more thing for Rita (or Deb) to discover that'll make Dex look suspicious. Whatever, moving on. For what seems like the fiftieth week in a row, Dexter has committed himself to killing Trinity. TONIGHT.
Cut to Dexter following Arthur in his car. The plan is to abduct him in the parking lot outside church choir practice, but Art throws a curveball when he drives right past the church. And so, much like the night Dexter discovered Arthur lived in the 'burbs with a (seemingly) happy family, Dexter follows Arthur into the night, not knowing where he's headed. We end up in a parking garage, where Dexter continues to stay out of Arthur's sight. Arthur's too busy staring intently at a mother and her two grade-school-aged children to notice anyway. We've seen Trinity in stalk mode before, so we know this can't end well. But is he looking for another bathtub girl? This mother is young, but not that young. She'd more fit the profile of the suicide jumper, but the cycle isn't there yet. Hey, why don't I stop armchair-serial-killing and follow the story, huh? (Also, apparently the woman is a babysitter or stepmom or something, so I guess we are being led to believe she's a potential bathtub victim, ANYWAY.)
Dexter moves to follow Arthur, thinking he's trying to shake him. But Arthur stops to read the sticker on the back of the car. The one that helpfully gives the names of each of the family members. American parents, this is where your pathological narcissism comes home to roost. So Arthur memorizes the names, then follows the family into an arcade. While DVO starts to get suspicious and wonders if Arthur hasn't fired up another cycle, Trinity embarks upon the oldest child-predator gambit in the book. He waits until Scott (the son) is playing a game by himself and tells him he's a police officer and that his parents ("Nick and Barb," thank you braggy decal!) have been in a car accident. This is such classic Stranger Danger, I half expect McGruff the Crime Dog to appear and take a bite out of crime.
Scott falls for it (the STUPID) and is led by the hand out to Trinity's van. Dexter scrambles to catch up with them, but by the time he realizes he's taken the boy, Arthur's already pulled out the chloroformed rag (man! It's like the greatest hits of child abduction tonight), knocked Scott out, thrown him in the back of the van, and pulled away. Dexter calls after Arthur just before he does, and Arthur sees him.
Okay, so Dexter blew that one. But how would he know Arthur was planning to buck his own pattern and target a young boy? He books to his car, where his phone is ringing. It's Arthur, who tells "Kyle" to back off. He says he'll "preserve the boy's innocence," but if Dexter calls the cops (which Dexter never would, not that Arthur knows that), all bets are off. "I have a process," he says. "As long as it's not interrupted, I'll set the boy free." Somehow, I'm not so reassured. Neither is Dexter. He's so unsettled, he conjures up Harry, who plays Captain Obvious ("he's gonna kill that boy") before settling into his usual guilt-tripping and blaming Dexter for everything. Dexter is still clinging to the idea that killing a boy isn't in Trinity's pattern.
Dexter speeds on over to the Mitchell homestead, where he finds Jonah home alone. Awww yeah. Oh, whatever, let me have my fun. Anyway, Dex is looking pretty unhinged as he barges on in. Jonah says his dad's on a two-day teaching retreat in Naples, so DVO surmises he won't kill the kid until tomorrow. There's still time. Dex checks the living room and sees that Vera's urn has been restored/replaced. Indeed, Jonah's still living at home too, Dex notes, and nothing much has changed from before the Thanksgiving near-massacre. Jonah says he can't well leave his sister and mother, but we sense there's some fear of leaving on Jonah's part, too. Dexter -- looking TOTALLY CRAZY by now -- grabs Jonah by his face and tries to convince him that he has an obligation to break his father's cycle of violence. And in this case, it means helping "Kyle" in various unspecified ways. "Help me, Jonah," Dexter says again, then dashes off into the night like a lunatic. It's a testament to how fucked up Life with Trinity must be that Jonah seems pretty unfazed by all that.
Speaking of fucked-up life with Trinity, Scott wakes up to find himself in a dark basement with Arthur on the floor building a model train. It's official, model trains have officially become the sole province of the weird and dangerously maladjusted. Trinity calls Scott "Arthur" and won't respond to his questions. Instead, he plays with his trains and makes choo-choo noises.
At home, Dexter researches the previous Trinity killings and finds cases of abducted young boys in the same cities, the same time periods, five days before each bathtub killing. Since DVO and Harry are both working overtime to make sure we see the parallels between these lost boys and Trinity's lost innocence (not to mention Dexter's as well), I'm just going to focus on the police work. Unlike Trinity's other victims, the bodies of the boys are never found. He looks up the most recent child abduction, five days before the Lisa Bell murder. Dexter, making sure we get it, says, "My God, the boys begin the cycle." Rita then startles him by returning home with the baby. After a vaguely see-you-next-Tuesday-ish comment about how Dexter always seems to be working late, she says Harrison's not feeling well and will be sleeping in their bed tonight. Fascinating, Rita, BYE.
The next morning, Dexter fidgets, worried about where Arthur could have taken the boy. They could be anywhere. To that end, he gets a cop friend to run Arthur's plates (under the ruse that he wants to track down a guy whose car he rear-ended) and notify him when the van is spotted.
Outside Dex's office, Masuka paces nervously. He tells Deb he needs to tell Dex something, but he doesn't know how to say it. This is all because he saw Rita and Elliott kissing on Thanksgiving. But Deb doesn't investigate that far because she's next in line to visit her brother. She tells him she'll be granting Christine an interview today, but that she thinks Christine might know more about who killed Lundy than she's letting on. And I think Deb's more suspicious of Christine than SHE'S letting on, but it's not like Dexter's paying attention anyway. He does perk up when Deb wonders if she should take her suspicions to Quinn first. Dexter is understandably and predictably not in favor of telling Quinn anything, saying Deb doesn't know where his loyalties lie. Dex goes to make a swift exit, but Deb practically barricades the door. She's giving a Trinity briefing in a minute and needs Dex's big, juicy, chess-club brain.
In the briefing, Deb mentions Trinity's probable career in the education system, though Dexter tries to pooh-pooh that notion. Dexter trying to slow down Deb's investigation is increasingly coming across as Dexter being a dick. If he's gonna drag his feet on Trinity so damn much, why NOT let Deb get the satisfaction of catching him? Anyway, LaGuerta dishes out orders -- including a moment of not being impressed with Angel, who reacts with bemused chagrin. Oh, right, they're still a thing. After the meeting, Masuka tries to tell Dexter about Thanksgiving, but Dex blows him off.
Elsewhere, Quinn seems dorkily happy to see that Deb is agreeing to the interview with Christine. This bitch has him wrapped tighter than Captain Matthews's asshole. Christine lip-services about how great this profile is gonna be for Deb, and while Quinn continues to dork around, Deb makes up an excuse to go see Angel for a moment while Quinn escorts Christine to the Box. Because where else would you conduct a friendly interview but the interrogation room? Anyway, when they're gone, Deb goes and ask