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Dexter Season 4 Episode 9: Hungry Man

dexterkillsuitIt’s Thanksgiving, Dexter Morgan! Dexter offers up a Thanksgiving episode that (barring a few pointless, sidebar-story moments with the continuing Batista/LaGuerta romance) serves up a generous helping of tension and revelations.

Things start off with Dexter ruminating on how he can make Trinity disappear faster than a Thanksgiving Day turkey and hits upon a plan to invite himself to the Mitchell’s holiday dinner.  At the Mitchell residence, Dexter watches as Arthur and his teenage son argue.  Dexter/Kyle trails him and watches as Jonah takes a baseball bat to his sweet classic convertible, smashing the windows.  Jonah confesses to Kyle that he wishes his father had died.  Arthur hits Kyle and is a nightmare to his mother and sister, as well, and he’s running out of excuses to give to his coaches. Dexter/Kyle offers to go with Jonah to explain the car and act as a buffer at Thanksgiving dinner.

In order to pop up at Arthur’ Thanksgiving table, Dexter needs to concoct a story that he’s going to do some blood work that’s required of him and will score some triple overtime.  Rita is a little bummed that he won’t be present for all of the family’s Thanksgiving, but that’s okay because Elliot will be there to help out.  (Oh, I bet he will!)

Dexter attempts to get Deb to come to Thanksgiving at his house, but she’s a woman possessed on the Trinity case… And she’s getting it all wrong. She also tells Dexter that she’s lead detective on this case and that now Batista is on the Lundy case since she and Masuka discovered that it wasn’t Trinity who shot her. Deb finally relents and agrees to go to the Morgan Family Thanksgiving, only after Dex and Rita send her a video invite with the kids looking sad that Aunt Deb may miss Thanksgiving. 

Before stopping off at Casa de Morgan, Deb puts in a few hours to work on the case.  Quinn and Masuka are at the office, as well.  Masuka is doing actual work and Quinn shows up to get away from Christine, who’s been hanging around his place constantly and familiarizing the audience with her boobs even more than Lila ever did back in Season 2. Bringing some Thanksgiving goodies to Quinn, Christine also offers her condolences to Deb and tells her how sorry she was that she had to watch the life drain from the eyes of someone she loved. Creepy thing to say to someone you barely know.

Deb leaves Quinn to Christine’s clutches and feeling guilty for the little guy, invites Masuka with her to Dexter’s house for Thanksgiving.  Speaking of Dexter’s house, Elliot seems mighty comfortable, setting up shop with the family and helping Rita to smash the turkey into the pot.  He offers to let Rita use his dual-ovens at his house next door to speed up the cooking time of all of the food.  While Rita is over there, Elliot makes his move and attempts to kiss Rita.  She backs away, appalled at what happened.  (This actually made my opinion of Rita go up several notches.) However, Masuka’s opinion of her plummets as he catches a glimpse of Elliot putting the moves on his buddy’s wife through the window.  He almost leaves, but Deb (not knowing the real reason why Masuka was suddenly so upset) talks him into staying, saying they’re the only two single people there and need to stick together.  Masuka hesitantly agrees, but stays on to be Deb’s wingman so long as there’s lots of booze.

Meanwhile, while doing some case work at Casa de Dexter, Deb has an epiphany that Christine’s strange comment connects her to Lundy’s murder and Deb being shot.  Even better, she hits upon the idea that Trinity’s kill schedule coincides with the school year and school breaks, leading her to the conclusion that Trinity works in the school system. 

Over at the Mitchell family house, Dexter/Kyle finds himself in an increasingly uncomfortable situation. He gets a call from home that Cody accidentally fell through the broken skylight in Dexter’s shed and that Elliot had to remove the door to get Cody out.  While Dex is freaked out that his kill chamber is without a door, he’s somewhat relieved that good ol’ neighbor Elliot didn’t remove the air conditioner to pull the scared Code-ster out of the space. There’s something to be thankful for this year, Dex!

Dexter considers hightailing it home, but the action at the Mitchell house escalates rapidly and he can hardly pull himself away. Arthur sees his sweet, classic convertible’s windshield smashed as Jonah pulls up driving it and is seconds away from losing it.  Even Dexter’s sphincter clenches as Arthur goes into the garage to retrieve a tire iron.  Thinking Jonah is going to get clubbed with it, Arthur surprises everyone and just bangs out a dent near the wheel and cheerily says that it will get fixed in the morning.  Arthur later gets his revenge on Jonah while watching a football game on the tube.  He high-fives his son and then dislocates Jonah’s fingers in a cringe-worthy instance that ranks right up there with the hobbling scene in Misery.

While Jonah is the well-adjusted whipping boy, it seems his sister Rebecca hasn’t fared so well in the sanity department.  Arthur locks her in her room for several hours ever since she attempted to run away a few years back.  Even creepier, he refers to her as “Vera,” the name of his beloved dead sister (that he liked to peep on) whose ashes are in the urn in the living room.  Rebecca also gives Dexter/Kyle a similar story that she wishes her father had killed himself and would do anything to run away with him… Even seduce him.  Dexter is thoroughly creeped out and protests the 15-year-old’s attempts at macking onhim. Luckily for Dexter, Mrs. Mitchell pries herself out of the kitchen and shoos away Lolita-wannabe Rebecca faster than you can say “Megan’s Law Superstar.”  Excusing her daughter’s actions, Mrs. Mitchell tells Kyle/Dexter that she doesn’t care what he may have been doing with Rebecca, just please don’t say anything about the incident to Arthur. 

As if it were humanly possible, things get even more uncomfortable at the Mitchell family Thanksgiving table.  Each of the Mitchells give their thanks.  In a truly eerie moment, Arthur says that he’s thankful for his car.  Mrs. Mitchell is thankful for Jonah, and then reluctantly adds Rebecca to the queue o’ thanks. Arthur freaks out that no one is thankful for him, dropping “the c-word” again, this time aimed at his wife who takes it and smiles nervously. Things head further south in a hurry as Jonah freaks out on Arthur, calling him a killer and firing the biggest shot of all by chucking Vera’s urn against the wall.  This prompts Arthur to completely go off the rails on the crazy train and attempt to choke out Jonah.  In turn, Dexter/Kyle takes off his belt and use it to strangle/yank Arthur off of the kid and drag him into the kitchen where he ponders stabbing him.  Mrs. Mitchell and Rebecca hurl themselves onto Arthur as human shields, halting Dexter/Kyle from offing him right then and there.

In the car, Dexter has a conversation with Harry-Wan Kenobi that even though he’s a killer, his family is nothing like Arthur’s family.  Arthur has warped his wife and children and uses them as accessories and human shields.  Harry points out that Dexter also uses his family as a cover, too.  Dexter further contemplates his situation at the Thanksgiving dinner table with his family where he (fittingly) carves the turkey.

And in the closing moments of the episode, Arthur pays a visit to newspaper writer Christine at her home.  For a second, everyone things it’s curtains for Juggs McGhee as Arthur angrily eyed her by-line on a story about “The Bludgeoner” still on the loose. Instead, when Christine opens the door, she greets Arthur with a warm and happy, “Daddy!” In a shocker no one could have seen coming, Christine is Trinity’s daughter.

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