Television Tourniquet: 'Dexter' Episode 4.11


Dexter Episode 4.11
Hello, Dexter Morgan
Written By: Scott Buck & Lauren Gussis
Directed By: S.J. Clarkson
Original Airdate: 6 December 2009

In This Episode...
Miami Homicide is getting close to Trinity.  Dexter wants him all to himself, so he selects Stan Beaudry to take the fall.  Beaudry is a long-haul trucker with a record who was one of Lundy’s suspects.  He plants DNA evidence stolen from Arthur’s house, Lundy’s “missing” files, a photo of Christine, and the hammer that Trinity used on his most recent bludgeoning victim in Beaudry’s home and rig, and kills Beaudry. So now the manhunt is on – for the wrong man.

Christine won’t give up her dad, not even after a search of her apartment yields a stash of postcards from “daddy” with dates and locations that match up with Trinity kills.  With nothing to arrest her on, Christine is released, but the cops put her under surveillance.  Hip to their game, Christine calls her dad from a neighbor’s phone.  Arthur refuses to meet her, refuses to discuss anything with her, and finally becomes so annoyed by her neediness that he tells her he is sorry she was born, and he wants nothing to do with her, ever again.

This sends Christine into a tailspin.  She calls Deb, wants to speak to her alone.  She confesses to Lundy’s murder, to shooting Deb, and admits Trinity is her father.  She does not, however, correct Deb when she says they ID’d her dad as Stan Beaudry.  A final, desperate act of love for daddy dearest, or has she simply given up entirely?  It must be the latter, because as Deb reaches to handcuff her, Christine pulls a gun and shoots herself in the head.

Arthur starts killing all the Kyle Butlers in Miami in order to take out his nemesis.  Luckily there are only two in the Miami area.  Dexter is called to the scene of the first Butler murder, and is horrified when he overhears the victim’s name.  Later, he drugs the second Kyle Butler and lays in wait for Arthur.  Arthur catches sight of a photo of Kyle #2, and quietly exits the apartment before Dexter can pounce.  He confronts Dexter with his lies, and Dex pulls a $50,000 extortion plot out of his ass.

Elsewhere: Rita admits her illicit kiss to Dexter.  Dexter is surprised but forgives her quickly – too quickly.  When he returns home and sees Elliott outside and knows Rita is watching, he punches Elliott and warns him to stay away from his wife – which pleases Rita greatly.  And Batista and Laguerta get married in a super-secret, super-quickie wedding in their office to avoid repercussions when the chief finds evidence that their relationship is still going on.   And Arthur follows Dexter to the police station, and comes face to face with the real Dexter Morgan.

Dig It or Bury It?
My husband thought this episode was predictable, and it was a bit, but it was so suspenseful and well-paced that I think I only breathed twice in the last act.  The big theme of the episode was Dexter questioning his identity and being pulled in multiple directions – not just by Batista, Rita, Arthur, and Deb, but by Dexter the killer, Dexter the family man, Dexter the criminologist.  Which, despite being obvious, is a fine card to play, until he contemplates this in front of a four-paneled mirror, fracturing his image.  Talk about hit out over the head with that theme. 

Honestly, this episode was exhausting.  Not just because of the suspense – the careful, deliberate footsteps of Arthur down the hallway, the slow-mo as he and Dexter lock eyes and move across the squad room to come face-to-face in honesty, the painfully long beat before Arthur utters those three heavy words.  It was also exhausting to watch Dexter be pulled all over the place.  He is constantly on the move this episode.  Stalking his prey, witnessing a secret wedding, evidence-planting, a therapy session with Rita that is interrupted before it begins with a crime scene, rushing from one location to another looking for Arthur… Dexter only sits when he is driving, and even then his head is racing.

Nothing spectacular, but there was a fuck-load of f-bombs.

Body Bags
Finally, a good body count in this episode.  There is Kyle Butler #1, who is strangled to the floor, then has his head bashed in to a bloody mess.  There is Christine – we only see her put the gun to her chin, and then the pool of blood surrounding a lifeless arm.  And then there is Beaudry – Dexter’s first kill in weeks.  He drags Beaudry from the cab of his truck into the back, where a hasty kill room has been set.  He has no time for the speech he normally gives – just takes a blood slide and slices his jugular with a power tool.  Nice splatter over his face visor.

Flashback to the Future
Harry was with Dexter every step of the way in this episode, but like last week, he was there for companionship, not advice.  Frankly, Harry’s presence was unremarkable and mostly unnecessary this week.

Someone from the Morgan clan is going to die.  It has to happen.  Theories on this end stand that it will be Cody.  Since Dexter saved the boy Arthur abducted last week, Arthur needs another to continue his cycle properly.  I know they don’t usually have arcs that go season to season, but I don’t feel that Arthur will die.

What do we know from the little “next week on…” trailer?  Dexter does allude to his family’s danger when he says that now that Arthur knows his name, he can find out everything about him… and his family.  Dexter is able to grab Arthur and sedate him – or make the attempt.  And Deb finally discovers that Dexter’s birth mom was one of Harry’s CIs – and she knows that Brian, her former fiancé and the Ice Truck Killer, is Dexter’s brother.