Television Tourniquet: 'Dexter' Episode 4.8


"Road Kill"
Written By: Melissa Rosenberg & Scott Reynolds
Directed By: Ernest Dickerson
Original Airdate: 15 November 2009

In This Episode…

Dexter feels exceedingly guilty for killing the douchebag photographer.  Of course, being Dexter, he doesn't fully understand what he is feeling.  Miami PD has pinned Farrow's murder on his assistant, so Dexter is off the hook, but he has decided that the only way to get rid of that icky feeling in his stomach is to kill Trinity.

Dex finds out that Arthur is going to Tampa for a 4 Walls charity build.  The cycle starts again.  He finds a "sciencey" convention going on in the area (meteorological) and tells both Rita and Laguerta that he wants to attend to learn all the ways weather effects a crime scene.  They both buy it.  With a check in at the front desk and a photo with a local weather man, Dexter's alibi is set.

He bums a ride down to Tampa with Arthur.  Arthur tries to blow him off, but Dex is persistent, and Arthur finally relents.  The ride is tense, and Arthur's fuse is short with Dexter, and Dex finally admits that he killed a man during a "hunting" accident.  Arthur's mood changes, and he becomes sympathetic and caring.  He tells Dexter that instead of going to the build, he has a surprise for him.  Arthur takes Dexter to his old childhood home.  In the bathroom, the tub drain stained with rust or blood, Arthur finally reveals the sordid details of his childhood.  At age 10, he was "innocently" watching his sister shower.  When she saw him, she was startled, tripped, broke the glass shower door, and bled to death before the paramedics could arrive.  His mother always blamed him for the accident, and a few years later jumped to her death.  Arthur was then left alone with an abusive and alcoholic father who simply "died."

Arthur is in a full-blown psychotic break.  His mood swings from tense, moody, and angry, to caring, giddy, and manic.  Dexter turns his hotel room bathroom into a kill room, but when he goes to drug Arthur at 4:45am, Arthur is not in his room.  He finds Arthur at the empty 4 Walls build site, about to throw himself off the top of a building.  Dexter catches him at the last moment, unsure of what to do.  He finally decides that as long as Arthur dies at his hands it still "counts" but before he can let go, the 4 Walls volunteers show up and help drag Arthur to safety. 

Meanwhile, Deb makes an important realization about her shooting.  Ripping off her shirt in front of Masuka (yes, hilarity ensues), they walk through the trajectory the bullet would have had to have taken to hit her the way it did.  Conclusion?  Trinity did not shoot her and Lundy; the shooter was at least six inches shorter.  She is put back on the Trinity investigation as lead detective.

Also: Christy is told by her editor that if she doesn't get a "headline that bleeds" she is fired.  She finds out about a DNA sweep Miami PD set up to try to find a match to Trinity's DNA and tries to get more info from Deb.  Deb figures out what she is up to and offers an interview if she drops the DNA story.  Laguerta and Batista can't keep their hands off each other and resume their relationship.  Masuka accidentally lets it slip to Quinn that Dexter cheated on Rita with Lila a few years ago.  By the end of the episode, Dexter figures out that the "remorse" he is feeling at killing the photographer makes him human.  Sparks are flying between Rita and the cute single dad next door.

Dig It or Bury It?

I just love this show, and this season is tops.  I think it is safe to say that this season is just a string of "dig its."  The bond between Dexter and Trinity is getting awkwardly and deliciously close.  As it becomes more intense and more co-dependent, you just know the conclusion will be explosive.  This episode was particularly witty, which I always enjoy.  When Dexter asks Laguerta and Rita (separately, of course) if he can go to the weather convention, he spouts a rapid-fire stream of science nonsense until each woman's eyes glaze over and they would say yes to just about anything if it meant he would shut up.  Masuka's eyes got a similar glaze when Deb disrobes in front of him, but with good reason – she has an amazing six pack.

I am ready to get to the bottom of this whole Quinn/Christy weirdness.  They are both sketchy in totally opposite ways, and this household feels that one of them is responsible for the Deb/Lundy shooting.  As the season goes on, these two are getting shadier and shadier without any hint at a resolution, and that is getting a bit frustrating.

Body Bags

No one died this week.  A handful of almosts, but alas, it would seem it was not meant to be.  There wasn't even a drop of blood in this episode!  Deb's healing bullet wound was vaguely gnarly.

Flashback to the Future

Again, this one comes up goose eggs.  You would think that this would be a great episode for Harry to pop up in – even if it was as simple as Harry yelling at Dexter to let Arthur drop off that building.  But no, nothing. 


On the upside, we got a good selection of inappropriate language this week.  Most notably, when Deb realizes that the trajectory of her wound probably wouldn't fit with Trinity's profiled height, we get a good "mother shit fuck!" out of her.  Before that, while Deb was off the Trinity case, she eavesdropped on Quinn, Batista, Masuka, and Laguerta spitballing on ways to find a "retired white guy in Miami."  She makes a delightfully obscene blow job gesture to Quinn, whose eyes light up like a fat kid's in a candy store.  She shakes her head and tries again – she was just suggesting they take DNA swabs.  And while he is silent in awe, you can almost feel the dirty vibes Masuka gives off when Deb strips in front of him.


It just keeps getting better.  Next week, Arthur's son reveals to Dexter that his dad has a dark side that no one else sees – further proof, in Dexter's eyes, that Trinity's perfect life is cracking.  When Christy writes an article about the bludgeoning killer still on the loose, she seems destined to be Trinity's next victim.  And Rita is spotted kissing the neighbor.