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Dexter Season 4 Episode 5: Dirty Harry

Dexter-Season-4Dexter arrives at the scene of last week’s crime, frantic with worry.  Cops and ambulances are swarming everywhere and he sees a body covered with a sheet.  Batista and LaGuerta see another cop giving Dexter the business when he inquires about Deb and inform him that Deb’s alive and being loaded into the ambulance, having lost a lot of blood.  Lundy, however, wasn’t as fortunate, having been shot in the neck and chest and bled to death in minutes.  (To a degree, I wasn’t too surprised by this.  Death is usually par for the course for any Keith Carradine television character.  Wild Bill didn’t make it too long in Deadwood, but thankfully, Lundy got to stick around longer than a season.  Farewell, Frank.  We hardly knew ye.)

Spotting Christine, Quinn’s reporter/slam piece (who has a more-than-gratuitous sex scene with Quinn in this episode), Angel plants a Vacation Murderers story in the hopes that she leaks it.  Christine doesn’t disappoint and the newspapers catch wind that Vacation Murderer Johnny has syphilis.  Knowing that unlike her partner, Nikki’s name isn’t in the criminal STD database and this slight omission on her boyfriend’s part may turn her against him.  This eventually pays off with a kevlar-clad Batista and LaGuerta finding Johnny riddled with bullets and Nikki talking to herself/dead Johnny and holding a smoking gun. The Vacation Murders are solved and Nikki taken into custody… Which means now more attention can be paid to the Trinity case.

Speaking of the Trinity case, Dexter learns that Quinn was the first cop on the scene.  Quinn mentions that Lundy’s watch and wallet were stolen along with Deb’s purse and credit cards and that Deb’s brush with death and Lundy’s scamper to that great, big precinct in the sky can be attributed to the Vacation Murderers. Dexter, grateful his sister is alive, laments Lundy’s passing noting he was a worthy adversary who deserved a better death than getting capped in a parking lot.

In a diner somewhere in the city, Trinity is watching the news and is rather reactionless towards his tracker’s demise — unless you count pouting and throwing a gigantic hissy over his tomato-less Denver Omelette as a reaction.  This could be a red herring thrown in to make viewers think someone else may be behind it, or it could be completely in-character for the mood-swingin’ Trinity. 

For a supposed cold fish, Dexter’s pretty hot about what happened to his sister.  After an inner-monologue with Harry (who is increasingly reminiscent of Force Glow Yoda or Obi-Wan Kenobi), Dexter mentally shoots down the Vacation Murderers theory and feels that Trinity is responsible.  Before he decides to pick up where Lundy’s trail ended, he visits his sister in the hospital.

Deb’s doped up and hazy on the details.  Apparently, she’s hazy on logic when dear, sweet, cuckolded Anton rushes into her room to make sure she’s okay and she totally blows up their relationship with a few short sentences.  Dexter leaves the room to give them some privacy and for Deb to tell Anton that she slept with Lundy.  Anton, perfect right down to his (likely) final scene, vows to see Deb through her hardship.  She brushes him off and tells him he deserves so much better. Anton leaves, possibly forever.  And it looks like Deb will be staying with Dexter and Rita now that her living arrangement, much like her relationship,  has also been blown to smithereens.

Dexter barely has time to process what’s going on with his sister when Rita shows up, taking her annoying in a convenient to-go cup.  Having received a phone call from Dexter’s landlord, she finds out that a pipe burst in his apartment — the apartment he told her he had gotten rid of.  The jig is up and Dexter’s sanctuary is now under scrutiny as Rita icily storms out of the hospital, vowing to discuss this later

Dexter makes use of his special place to formulate a plan to track Trinity.  He pores through all of Lundy’s voice tapes and mentally replays the phone call he received from his sister’s dearly departed ex regarding an interesting encounter with the man he believed to be Trinity.  Noticing that this tape with a possible description is missing, Dexter and Soul Glow Harry deduce that this tape may be in the pocket tape recorder that Lundy carried with him everywhere… Which is probably still in his pants pocket … Which is locked in the precinct’s evidence room.

After concocting a ruse to retrieve a family heirloom ring Deb wore, Dexter finagles his way into the evidence box and scores the tape, planting a blank one in its place.

Elsewhere at the precinct, LaGuerta tells the Deputy Chief about her relationship with Batista, who is none too pleased she made the decision without him. Her plan backfires and the Deputy Chief is going to promote Angel for his involvement in nabbing the Vacation Murderers… After he’s been transferred to a different precinct.  A stunned LaGuerta comes dangerously close to spilling tears all over her pastel polyester suit jacket.

Back at Casa de Morgan, Rita asks Houseguest Deb if she knew that Casa de Dexter was still on retainer.  She says “no” and is aghast that her brother would attempt to screw up his sweet suburban life.  In turn, Deb berates Dex about the apartment, urging him that he has to “make this right” — an eerie choice of words that were spoken during her final moments with Lundy.  Dexter confides in his sister that he feels trapped and needs the apartment as a sanctuary the same thing said last week. Dexter feels trapped. Deb has tremendous guilt about cheating on Anton and feels responsible for Lundy’s death.  She breaks down at the scene of the crime, remarking that their blood has been washed away and how broken she feels. 

On a side note, Jennifer Carpenter’s acting in this scene was spot-on, conveying feelings of loss and confusion from Deb’s perspective. Not since Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s landmark episode “The Body” and Anya’s tearful speech about trying to comprehend mortality have I felt so moved by an actor’s interpretation of a character at a given moment.  Carpenter brings Deb’s character to a pinnacle at her lowest point, taking an already fragile woman who masks her myriad of insecurities with tough-talk to a place of unfathomable loss which she believes is her own doing, coming unwound in the process.

Moving on… Dexter, for as much as he cares for his sister, still doesn’t know how to handle her.  He’s got bigger fish to fry.  Rita gets Dex’s apartment management to let her into his apartment.  She coldly tells Dexter that management was unaware that she and Dexter were married.  (What did you expect, toots?  For him to hang a “Just Married” sign on the apartment door?  How often does someone really talk to their landlord about personal matters?  “Oh, hi!  I have a leaky faucet… By the way, I’m getting married!”)

Rita tells Dexter that she has looked through his stuff in the apartment and was relieved, thus far, to find nothing incriminating.  (Thankfully, she missed what was hiding behind the air conditioner.  Whew!) The one thing she didn’t snoop through was the locked steamer trunk in Dexter’s room.  She just couldn’t bring herself to do that, and besides, Dexter had the key.  She makes him open it up in front of her, and mercifully, it’s just Harry-as-cop memorabilia Dex didn’t want in the house because of the kids.  He tells Rita he has nothing to hide (“Except for the surgical scalpels and bonesaw hidden underneath”), but she still belabors the point and has doubts about their marriage. 

Why Dexter didn’t throw down the “Oh, yeah!? I know all about your first husband you never told me about! Who’s the liar now!?” card is beyond me.  That one would have been played at least an episode ago. 

After Rita and her baby bassinet sashay out the door in a flurry of estrogen, Dexter realigns his priority and takes off in vengeful pursuit of Trinity himself, thanks to the clue provided on Lundy’s tapes.  He now knows he’s looking for a 60-ish man with grey hair and blue eyes that have “something in them.”

Dexter hauls it to the hotel that Trinity had been scoping out and catches the killer in the act.  Having deduced that Trinity’s killings are more ritualistic than anything, following a same pattern, he arrives too late to save his latest victim — a sandwich shop barista in the hotel with a wife and two kids.  He does, however use the building’s security system to catch a gander at Trinity in full-bludgeon.  Well, at least he knows what Trinity looks like… which is a lot like John Lithgow. 

Trinity takes off in a van and Dexter trails him.  The van pulls up to a house and Dexter feels like this seems rather out-of-place, yet strangely familiar.  A woman answers the door and greets Trinity warmly and through the window, Dexter and the viewer see Trinity hugging his two teenage kids.  Looks like these two crazy kids have a lot in common!

Next week, according to the voiceover, we’re further introduced to the man behind Trinity: Father. Husband. Teacher. Deacon. Mild-mannered dude named Arthur Mitchell.

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