Television Tourniquet: 'Dexter' Episode 4.6


"If I Had a Hammer"
Written By: Lauren Gussis
Directed By: Romeo Tirone
Original Airdate: 1 November 2009

In This Episode…

Things between Dexter and Rita are more strained then ever.  They start going to couples therapy, but Dexter just can't open up, so he starts on his own special brand of therapy.

Dexter befriends Arthur Miller – we know him better as the Trinity Killer.  Under the guise of Kyle Butler, Dexter introduces himself to Arthur at church and joins in his Four Walls, One Heart charity, where they build homes for the homeless.  Dexter is utterly fascinated by Arthur: how well he fits in to society, what a picture-perfect family he has, the fact that Arthur hides right out in the open.  He even uses – and then loans to Dexter – the hammer that he used to kill his last victim.

After a day on the construction site, Dexter cuts open his finger in order to gain entrance into Arthur's home.  He takes note of how normal his home is, and how his "Dark Passengers" – the hammer, the mementos from the eras of his kills, his sister's ashes – are just part of every day life.  Dexter takes what he has learned and finally opens up in therapy – he never learned to open up, he is afraid that Rita will leave him, and he kept his apartment because he needed space, not just for himself but for his stuff.  The Morgan household is on the mend.  The whole family pitches in to build Dexter a small shed in their yard (to prevent it from looking too Unibomber, it is painted blue and pink).  Dexter asks Rita to help him carry his Dark Passenger trunk in, and a wall AC unit hides his slides.  Rita bought him a present for his new hideaway – a padlock with only one key.  Dexter is genuinely happy.

Deb is convinced that Vacation Killer Nikki Wall was the one who shot her and Lundy.  She confronts Nikki in her holding cell, and after nearly beating the girl, she finally believes that Nikki and her boyfriend had nothing to do with it.  Returning to Lundy's notes, she discovers his notebooks missing and decides that Trinity was the one who shot them because Lundy was getting too close – but she also thinks it was Trinity who stole the missing files.

Laguerta offers to transfer out of homicide so Batista can stay, but that doesn't make him happy.  They decide to fake their break-up – including legal affidavits – in order to both remain in the unit.  The police chief warns them that if they are lying, their jobs would be on the line.

Dig It or Bury It?

Let's face it – every episode of Dexter is engrossing.  This one was a bit heavy on the emotions and light on the bloodlust, but it was fascinating to watch Dexter trying to learn from a new master.  It was a little bit predictable, almost annoyingly so.  Was I the only one who figured out weeks ago that Trinity was recreating the deaths of his family members?  His sister, at 16, was found dead in the bathtub; his mother jumped to her death; finally, his father was beaten to death in an alley.  I have to admit, it was nice to see Dexter smile and seem genuinely happy.  I'm a sap.

Body Bags

The only corpse was the discovery of the bludgeoning victim from last week.  Frankly, he didn't look as gross as he should have for a dude who was left to rot over the weekend in an unventilated office building.  While inspecting that crime scene, Dexter finds the ash smudge that Masuka later discovers to be human remains and human saliva, containing the DNA of the killer and a female family member.

Flashback to the Future

Harry did not make an appearance this episode.


It's starting to warm up again.  Deb calls Nikki Wall a "bullshit fucking junkie whore," and later nearly beats the shit out of her through prison bars.

Masuka pitched in with the innuendo: at the crime scene, he identifies the weapon as a specific hammer.  When Dexter asks him how he knows so much about hammers, he replies, "There is not a tool I haven't played with, my friend."  Later, while looking at DNA results, Masuka gives us a hint of insight into his warped little mind: "My mother breast fed me ‘til I was six; no one will ever match up."  Um, creepy dude.  Creepy.


Harry is back, asking Dexter why he has taken so long to kill Trinity (Harry obviously has not been keeping up with his son recentl).  But Dex has a new victim that has been pushed to the forefront.  The only problem is that Quinn is starting to catch on that there is something not entirely kosher about Dexter.  He is following Dex as Dex is stalking his prey.  This annoys the hell out of me – does no one on the writing staff remember Doakes from season two?  Same damned story line.  There better be one hell of a twist.