Written By: Charles H. Eglee & Tim Schlattmann
Directed By: Keith Gordon
Original Airdate: 29 November 2009
In This Episode…
Dexter is stalking Arthur stalking his next victim. But Arthur is more interested in the 10-year-old boy than the 20-something babysitter. When Dex sees Arthur shove the drugged boy into his van and peel off, it all becomes clear: Arthur's cycles begin with the abduction of a young boy. He is the Quadruple Killer. After a frantic visit to Jonah and a desperate Google search, Dexter discovers that, near the location of Trinity's murders, a young boy is always reported missing, but never found.
Arthur takes his snatched boys to foreclosed houses to play with them. Not in that icky way; in the literal way. In a bomb shelter, Arthur is playing with a train set, calling his kidnapped boy "Arthur," playing old records, and refusing food to the boy until he puts on his pajamas. The boy is surprisingly calm and fearless, and when Arthur starts crying, he even shows compassion, playing in to Arthur's delusions. Arthur, pleased with the boy's "kind heart," gives him a spiked ice cream cup and promises to "let him go free" when he has finished it.
With the help of Jonah, who snooped through dad's computer, Dexter finds the correct house with the bomb shelter, finding that he missed Arthur by mere minutes. Heading to the next logical place – the 4 Walls build site – Dexter finds Arthur, getting ready to dump the boy into a pit of wet concrete. Dex lunges and the two men fight it out, Arthur kicking the kid into the pit in the melee. Dexter knocks Arthur unconscious, and drags the boy from the muck. He is still alive, but when he turns his attention to Arthur – he's gone.
Deb sits down in an interview room to do her "interview" with Christine. She asks Batista to observe. During the interview, Deb asks Christine a few pointed questions about where she lives in relation to where Deb and Lundy were shot. Christine lives an hour away from the crime scene, but showed up 15 minutes after the call went out over the scanners. She lies her way out of it by claiming she was at the gym, but Batista instantly catches the lie – she showed up in perfect hair and makeup. Batista is now on Deb's side. Christine's fingerprints yielded nothing, so she goes to Quinn and begs for Christine's toothbrush to run for DNA. Quinn is furious but eventually gives in to the request. Deb's head nearly explodes when Masuka returns the results: Christine is related to Trinity.
Christine, meanwhile, is far more fucked up than I previously thought. She calls Arthur desperately, multiple times, but Arthur only sees her a few times a year and does not feel the need to deviate. When she finally convinces him into a meet, she spills it all. Christine was five years old when her father pulled his first bathtub kill 30 years ago. She thought it was a dream until the same murder happened in the same house. Research lead her to put the pieces of Trinity's crimes together, but rather than be disgusted, she was desperate for the approval of a father who shunned her in favor of his new family. Christine started tracking her father, intent on keeping his secret safe, but when she discovered Lundy was on to him, she shot him to protect Arthur. But now Christine is panicking because she knows that Deb is now on to her. Arthur hugs her warmly and promises that he will come by later and they will work it out – which of course means a death sentence for Christine. But when she answers a knock at the door later that night, it's a different kind of death sentence: an arrest.
Dig It or Bury It?
This episode had a particularly frantic feel. Dexter was more desperate than ever to find Arthur so he could save the child. Deb had new leads that were about to throw the Trinity case and her own shooting wide open. Arthur's life was unraveled. Christine was just a hot mess. Usually on Dexter – or just about any show – you have an A story and a couple of B stories, and sometimes another storyline that falls between the two. Tonight's episode was all A, with a handful of B's sprinkled on top. It was almost information overload. In a good way.
Flashback to the Future
Harry is all over this episode. Rather than being the mentor, he is the Sherlock Holmes in Dexter's head, helping him put all the pieces together. Harry's the one who helps Dex figure out that Arthur's kill cycles begin one victim sooner. Harry is also the one who points the way to the concrete at the build sites. And Harry gets one of the funniest lines in the episode. When Dexter discovers Arthur's bomb shelter hideout, he remarks. "1960s. Cuban missile crisis. The irony is that these were built to keep you safe. I hate irony."
Again, no deaths this week, but Arthur did put the little boy into a body bag before dumping him in the cement pit – that counts in a very literal way.
With manic episodes come manic bouts of profanity. When Dexter's trying to convince Jonah to snoop for him, he tells the boy "There is a great big shit-ugly world out there!" Deb warms up her mouth with "Beats the mother-fuck outta me," when she and Batista are spitballing theories, and later goes for gold with "Fuck me twice on Sundays" when Harry's CI shows up out of nowhere. Arthur gives us the cursing dénouement when, after meeting with Christine and sending her on her way, he sits in his van and yells "Stupid! Fucking! Cunt!"
This episode seemed to tie up a lot of loose ends – or at least gather them up neatly into a bunch. There was a certain serenity as the credits rolled – it feels like the calm before the storm. The producers are teasing the fuck out of the "shocking twist ending," which Julie Benz hinted at when I spoke with her last month. With only two episodes left, I'm dying to find out the twist (current theory in this household: Trinity kills Dexter's family) but at the same time, I desperately don't want the season to end. Next week, however, Arthur is literally going through the phonebook (I didn't even realize they still made those), killing Kyle Butlers in attempt to find Dexter.