Dexter Recap: Adventures in Babysitting

What if Dexter’s dark passenger were only a temporary traveler whose ticket expired a long time ago? That’s Deb’s line of thinking in this week’s episode of Dexter, and her brother starts to think she might be right. But I can think of little more than the terrible carnage that happens in the last few minutes of the episode: Those frosty swirls deserved better! But I am a professional, so I’ll try to pull it together so we can review the major events of “Sunshine and Frosty Swirl.”

DEB, DISGUSTED | The episode picks up exactly where last week’s ended, with Deb so upset about Dexter’s admission that she runs from the apartment complex and hurls in the street. He follows her, and she starts peppering him with questions between her sobs. Despite his harshly whispered “This is not the place to talk about this,” he answers her: He started when he was 20, he only kills “certain kinds of people, like Travis,” he was the Bay Harbor Butcher and “Dad taught me.” That one’s the worst – just when Deb’s gotten back up on her feet, it brings her down again in horror – and I like the way Michael C. Hall plays it, like he’s so sorry that his answers are cutting his sister into pieces but he knows that not answering her is no longer an option. Both he and Jennifer Carpenter nail this scene. Back inside the apartment, he tells her everything, but she’s not super sympathetic, saying, “A lot of horrible things happen to a lot of people, and they don’t turn out like you.” Good point. Deb has two more fairly fantastic lines, one in response to when Dexter first tells her about his dark passenger (“You gave it a name?”) and the other when she realizes that all of this has been happening on her watch (“I am the worst f—ing detective in the world.”). That said, she refuses to turn him in or turn her back on him. So she reads one Butcher-era newspaper article in which Lundy (sad aww) was quoted as saying serial killers will continue to murder until someone stops them, and she suddenly deems herself fit to help Dexter overcome his compulsion. (She also does that TV thing-that-never-happens-in-real-life where she reads part of the article out loud even though she’s by herself. Who does that?) Though I think she’s delusional, the love behind Deb’s decision to become a one-woman clinic is conveyed really well when she and Dex discuss the matter. She says she sees the good in him and thinks that if he can channel his appetite for the gruesome, why can’t he control it?  He ashamedly admits that he’s tried stopping before, with no success. Well, now he’s got her, she says, and she’s giving him no choice: She’s going to help him. Deb, if you think getting between Dex and his D.P. is going to end well, I’ve got a bra-eschewing, fire-lighting, crazy British chick you might wanna talk to.

FOXHOLEY MOLEY | A quick update on Mike’s murder: A snappy dresser named Isaak Sirko – the man we George call last week – is in Miami to find out what happened to Dexter’s last victim, Viktor. If the organization that owns The Foxhole is a series of Ukranian nesting dolls, Isaak is the biggest, scariest one. We know this because he never goes anywhere without a henchman and Foxhole manager George seems afraid of him – he mentions that no one in “the brotherhood” would’ve made a move against Viktor without clearing it with Isaak. Later, Isaak jams a screwdriver in the eye of a former Foxhole bouncer, killing him for talking to the police. While the Ukranian baddie is a little intriguing (though as far as well-mannered murderers go, I prefer mine to come with a fried chicken coating), this whole storyline felt very divorced from everything else that happened in the episode, no?

SIDE BY SIDE  | Back at Debra Morgan’s Home for Wayward Serial Killers, she informs Dexter that she’s going to watch everything he does to make sure his dark passenger stays locked in the trunk. When she says they’ll spend every minute together, he replies, “I hope you’ve got a big shower,” which is kinda icky on a bunch of levels, don’t you think? Dexter redeems himself at dinner, though, with a very descriptive (and nicely delivered) monologue about exactly how the pressure to kill builds inside him until it has to be let out. And as soon as he gets a little time out of Deb’s sight, Dexter breaks into Louis’ home to find out why the lab rat is so interested in him. The killer yearning starts to percolate as Dex realizes that Louis canceled his credit cards and sent him the prosthetic hand from the Ice Truck Killer case; his computer reveals that he’s a rage-filled dork who likes to rant into his webcam. One of his recorded sessions refers to how a guy named Bob Henley “got off easy” compared to what Louis is going to do to Dexter. A Web search tells Dex that Henley is a software company co-founder who was taken down when child porn (that Louis might’ve planted) was found on his work computer. All of this exposition is interrupted when Louis comes home; Dexter throttles him until Louis says he’s messing with Dexter because Dex pooh-poohed his video game. Dexter and I are skeptical, but Louis says he’ll leave Dex alone and does… until Dex comes home to his place and finds Louis there hanging out with Jamie and Harrison, acting like nothing happened. I read his remark that Dexter’s place is “by the bay” as a hint that he knows the true identity of the Bay Harbor Butcher. Thoughts? Anyway, Dexter later drugs Deb so he can sneak out and finish Louis off, but after syringing him and tossing him in the trunk, Dexter calls his no-kill sponsor like he’s supposed to. Deb comes running and congratulates him for stopping himself – she doesn’t know that Louis was his potential victim, and that he’s still passed out in the car – and when she leaves, Dexter leaves his tormentor in the park. Maybe there’s hope for Dexter after all – that’s what we’re supposed to think, especially after a murderer who’s helping Miami Metro look for some of his victims’ bodies tells Dexter that he made peace with himself after he surrendered to his conscience. But it turns out all that murderer wanted was a day or two in the sunshine and an ice cream cone, because he uses his pass from prison to kill himself by jumping in front of a gas truck (for the Sun ‘n’ Go gas company – ha!). Deb’s across the street from the scene, buying frosty swirls for her and Dexter, when it happens. The cones hit the ground in a moment of senseless soft-serve sacrifice (noooooo!) as she runs over, and as the prisoner’s blood splashes on his face, Dexter realizes that there was no hope for that “reformed” killer, and there might not be for him, either. And let’s not forget about the slide found in the previous episode, because LaGuerta sure hasn’t. She has a private lab confirm that the blood on the glass is Travis’, and later – as a photo of Doakes gives her the eyebrow – she sifts through the FBI’s sealed evidence box and compares those slides to the one she found. That net’s getting tighter, Dex…

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Did you buy Louis’ explanation for his fascination with Dexter? Do you think Deb actually believes she can watch her brother 24/7? And do you worry that prone-to-mess-ups Quinn may be considering the blonde stripper’s request for cash? Hit the comments and sound off!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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24 Comments
  1. JeniLee says:

    I still think Louis is linked to Dex somehow…maybe another brother? His fascination with the ice truck killer must mean something.

    Honestly HOW can dex afford to pay jamie to watch harrison 24/7?

    Great episode though!

    • No says:

      I hope that isn’t the case, it would be really stupid. I just think he knows Dex is a killer and he is a deranged fanboy who got butthurt when his idol rejected him.

    • sc says:

      Louis kills Deb to frame Dexter – Dexter gets arrested but has made self-incriminating evidence from Louis available on internet and Dexter is released as their attention turn to Louis and his arrest – but, he is shot and killed in the process; Dexter is free for season 8!

  2. Lilly says:

    I was sorta thinking that ending was that guy’s only way out. And, hmmm. Where else have we seen that move this week? Oh, right. Hawaii Five-oh. Oh, Looooou…

    • Tom D. says:

      Lilly, I was thinking the same thing about Hawaii 5-0. It’s almost like someone invents a new thing for television, ie, looking like someone is hit and killed by a truck, and all shows that can use it, want to. Of course Dexter being on Showtime gets to go one step further with the blood splatter all of his face. Makes for another great Dexter poster!

  3. Joe says:

    Great episode. I loved their scenes together the most and her trying to help him, him describing what it’s like.keeping a watch on 24/7. I thought the comment he made about a bigger shower was hilarious but I also happen to like that storyline – makes too much sense to me regardless how closed minded people are, them being it for one another in an unorthodox way. I loved they threw that line in,” love you more than you’ll ever know”, and Randall’s comments about them. Issac’s on the war path and apparently they’re finding out it was him right away. Louis stuff is somewhat interesting – felt like people overrate his character/storyline potential but – I’m wondering how far they’ll go with that or cut the cord sooner than later.

  4. Bethany says:

    When did Dexter become a ginger? His hair has been looking very Ronald McDonald lately. I find it very distracting.

    • Ava says:

      He’s always been a bit quite a bit of a ginger! It’s just a bit redder than normal.

      • xuninc says:

        His hair went from a dark blondish at the end of season 6 to a dark red at the beginning of season 7… There was also the horrific red wig he wore in season 5 due to his chemotherapy hair loss.

        You’re insane if you think otherwise.

  5. Chiara says:

    I really think Jennifer´s acting surpassed Michael´s in this episode. Also in the first one of that season. She´s great!

  6. Benjamin says:

    The ginger thing… when your hair grows back from chemo it can come back differently. Hall has always been somewhat of a daywalker, but I’m betting his treatment has something to do with it.

  7. Alex says:

    Louis has to know more about Dex. I mean, he asked Dex his opinion on a game about serial killers, then he gets pissed because Dex doesn’t like the idea. I think Louis is an extreme nerd who also has a fascination with serial killers, and looked up to Dex as a deranged fanboy would. Louis probably kept up with the ITK and BHB investigations, and maybe other investigations after that- we know he is smart and knows how to get information so it’s not a stretch that he made connections that the police didn’t, just like Dexter does all the time. I also was convinced there was something more sinister going on when Louis was in Dex’s apartment again. I really, really, hope there is something more with the Louis character and that it is not going to end up falling flat.

  8. DarkDefender says:

    I am loving where this is going. Waiting to see how Dex interacts with the new girl and if he will kill Deb by seasons end. Biggest shocker tonight? Hands down Dex letting Louis go AND calling Deb out there. I was up for that kill… Kind of a let own.

  9. Linds says:

    How on earth would Louis even know about Dexter’s true nature? Also- I think it’s funny that Dexter fans are speculating on the Louis story line, since the writers don’t even know where they’re going with it! >.<

    As for Dex not committing the kill- that was certainly a let down! It brings me back to the books where Dexter is forever busy NOT killing people! However, I don't think that's going to last long! (Especially judging from the previews and Dexter fans' blood lust will certainly keep the writers from allowing Dex to be rehabilitated for too long…)

    On an unrelated note- I find it interesting that Michael and Jennifer are no longer together, yet still act on the same show. I wonder if that ever gets awkward? Then again, some people are capable of amicable divorces…

    • Ava says:

      I’ve read that their divorce was very amicable. It’s probably easier when there are no children involved. I think I’ve even seen papparazzi photos of them hanging out since their divorce was finalized.

    • Brigitte says:

      In Dexter’s code, he is only supposed to kill people that have physically harmed someone else. Right now he doesn’t even have evidence that Lewis has doen anything bad, except to him.

      • Linds says:

        Very true, Brigitte, but he doesn’t always stick to the code! Remember that time after Rita’s murder when that guy in the fish bait shack pissed him off, and so he brutally murdered him? Dex had no proof that the guy fit Harry’s Code – he killed him out of sheer frustration. Also, the dude he stabbed with a pitch fork and tossed into the corn feed? Just an asshole as far as Dexter knew, not a murderer. I’m not saying I want Dexter to break his sacred code – that’s the only reason I can root for him, afterall – I’m just saying it’s been done before! ;-)

        • Linds says:

          ^^oh yea.. he also killed that pedophile who was stalking Astor. As disgusting as that guy was, Dex had no proof he was a killer…

      • oh boi says:

        Exactly this. I thought he was going to kill Louis at first, but then I was hoping he wasn’t going to, since Louis hasn’t killed anyone (as far as we know).

  10. Beth says:

    Loved the episode. Deb and Dex interactions are more honest and genuine now (obviously). Since everything is on the table dexter should just tell deb to fire Louis and tell Jamie about the ‘favor’ he got from that blonde girl!!!! Then Louis would see Dexter is not one to piss off in more ways than one.

  11. Nixon says:

    What a Great episode! Very revealing on the Louis character! when Dexter is gathering ‘Intel’ in Louis apartment he finds out that one of the founders of Louis software company was a convicted pedophile, could Louis in some way be connected to the bloke that Dexter killed for taking pictures of Astor? Maybe business partners?

  12. Sarah says:

    Another great episode, but I have a few issues with it. First of all: I love how Deb goes from making spaghetti (which, btw was the brightest red spaghetti I’ve ever seen) to steak. Really? Was she not paying attention to Dexter’s explanation about his urges? And the ending with the blood (conventiently) splattering on Dexter’s face from the accident? HOW?! I’m no blood spatter expert or anything, but I’m pretty sure if it landed on his face there should have been a heck of a lot more blood everywhere else too. Aside from those two little nitpicky issues, AMAZING!! This season is Dexter back in its prime!!

  13. Eddy says:

    That ice cream being enjoyed by the prisoner was changing sizes scene by scene. Sometimes was like new, then almost finished, then it grew again. Also, near the end of the episode they show in the police station’s projection screen this guy they were looking for. He had the typical photo with the height marks behind. According to it, this guy had to be about 7 feet 4 inches tall!!