Television Tourniquet: We Cut Open 'Dexter' -- Episode 3.5!


Is Dexter really a daddy? Is Rita getting a roommate? Who’s learned our antihero’s secret? What did we think of last night’s Dexter? Check out the “Tourniquet” we’re clamping on it…

Dexter Episode 3.5
"Turning Biminese"
Directed By Marcos Siega
Written By Tim Schlattmann
Original Airdate: October 26, 2008

In This Episode…

Dexter "meets" his kid for the first time, via ultrasound. He puts on a good face for Rita, as always, but his inner monologue still has doubts. Even still, he carries the ultrasound photo with him, presenting it to Miguel upon request when they are out on the golf course.

Golf finished, the boys meet their girls (glowing from a spa treatment) for lunch. Sil has been filling Rita's head with "you need a bigger house" nonsense. Apparently, moving in with Rita never occurred to Dexter, because his answer is a resounding "I guess." Of course, Dexter is under the assumption that he will still keep his apartment – "I'll sublet it." (I'm sure the new tenants would love the instruments of torture the pad comes with.) This doesn't go over well with Rita.

Meanwhile, the Metro division gets called in to observe on a case picked up by the sheriff's department – one that matches the M.O. of Metro's skinned victims. Looks like "Freebo" got another one. Things get territorial when LaGuerta informs her squad that the sheriff's department – headed up by Miguel's brother, Ramon – will be "liaising" with Metro. Masuka goes straight-laced when he realizes that he is the office joke – he has no friends and no respect. (But don't worry – everyone makes subtle amends by the end, and Masuka slips us a good one.) Batista is cruising whore's lane again, but this time it's to ask Gianna (the vice cop who busted him last week) on a date (she turns him down).

Deb's informant, Anton, hooks her up with Wendell, a 15-year-old who used to work with Freebo. This is the same kid Dexter came to, scarfing Oreos and pleading for a hit of anything, when looking for Freebo. So of course Dex is a little tweaked when he sees the kid sitting at Deb's desk, waiting for parental permission to question him. Deb and Quinn's relationship is still running boiling and freezing, but she does take his advice from the previous episode, to not go after every suspect and witness like a hammer. She befriends Wendell, which serves her well later on. While left in Quinn's care, Wendell's released – mom wouldn't give consent. Deb doesn't give up. She cruises around Wendell's neighborhood until she sees him on his front porch… and gets an informal "statement" from him, one friend to another.

Dexter is busy with his own case.  Miguel tells him about a “black widower,” Ethan Turner.  Recently, Turner and his wealthy wife were out to sea, when she mysteriously drowned.  They were in international waters at the time – out of Miguel’s jurisdiction – and the feds decided the case wasn’t worth pursuing, even though this was the second wealthy Mrs. Turner to die under suspicious circumstances.  Dexter does his own research and decides Turner fits his criteria.  He tells everyone – Rita, Miguel, Deb – he’s going fishing.  Instead, he heads out to Bimini and takes care of Turner – right in his cruise ship state room.  Dex has to catch the late water taxi back to shore, so he doesn’t have much time to unburden himself on the victim like he usually does.

But while Dexter is out having fun, Rita starts having “lady trouble” and Sil rushes her to the hospital.  Miguel joins her there, later followed by Deb.  When no one can get a hold of Dexter, Miguel sends out the coast guard to find him.

The deed is done, the body parts are out the porthole, and Dexter is in the safety of his own boat at dock.   His recent victim gave him a lot to think about – Turner had to choose between marriage and wealth.  He chose wealth.  Dexter looks between his victim’s blood slide, and the photo of his unborn child.  He has a decision to make, too.

When he finally checks his voice mail (a whopping twelve panicky messages), it seems he may be leaning towards a decision when he races to Rita’s side.  She and the baby are okay.  The two share a surprisingly tender moment.  Dexter seems surprised too; his inner monologue revealing, “Even though I will never feel the baby’s heartbeat emotionally, I am actually relieved to know it is okay.”

But the real surprise comes when Dexter and Miguel return to Rita’s house, tucking the kids in to bed.  Miguel knows that it was Dexter who killed Turner.   He got the message at the office that Turner was reported missing, and he alludes to setting Dexter up.  But rather than being disgusted, Miguel is pleased.  “You finished what I couldn’t,” Miguel tells him.  Though Dexter continually denies his involvement, Miguel is glad that Dex was able to “seize the opportunity” that he couldn’t.  “I’m with you,” he assures Dexter.  “I respect you.” 

Dig It or Bury It?

I’m getting a little tired of this “is Quinn a good guy or bad guy” routine.  The IAB chick didn’t show up in this episode to harass Deb, but Wendell’s mom wouldn’t give consent while the kid was in Quinn’s care – kind of suspicious, don’t you think?  But later on, Quinn defends Deb’s work when Ramon comes in to give the squad shit, so maybe he is legit.  I don’t know, and I am starting not to care.

Much more interesting is this “new side” of Dexter.  Could he really be growing a heart?  Maybe just a teeny, tiny one?  Rita started to get whiney again in this episode, and I was so proud of her for growing a backbone this season.  Then Dexter says he doesn’t want to go house hunting, he wants to go fishing, and Rita gets weepy and passive-aggressively angry.  Hello doll, welcome to marriage. 

Miguel’s veiled approval of Dexter’s hobbies is certainly a new one.  While the notion of an avenger as being non-abhorrent was touched upon first season with the Bay Harbor Butcher/Dark Avenger, we now have a “norm” who's supportive of Dexter.  But Miguel is starting to get a little “needy girlfriend” on Dexter, and he approves of his extra-curricular activities.  Rita may have a little competition on her hands!

Flashback to the Future

Harry pops up twice in this episode, but not in flashbacks to Dexter’s younger years (we’ve pretty much mined Dexter’s formative days).  Instead, he’s a ghostly advisor, telling Dexter that marriage is a partnership, and that he’s already cheating on Rita with his dark mistress.  Dexter realizes he has to choose between killing and creating a normal life with Rita and the kids – or at least learn to compromise a little better.


Deb is infamous for her potty mouth, but she has been cleaning up her act this season.  Don’t worry though—she still dropped a lovely “Thank the baby fucking Jesus.”  But I think the Crude Line O’ The Night award goes to Masuka, for “Science is one cold-hearted bitch with a 14 inch strap-on.”  Well played, Masuka.  Well played.

Body Bags

We get the traditional body count of two per episode (Editor’s note: Kind of like sexual conquests per Bond film, no?): one legit victim (a woman with patch of skin removed from the base of her neck) and one Dexter victim (Ethan Turner in the state room with a knife through the heart).


Miguel seems a little too eager to make use of Dexter’s moral ambiguity.  But the previews for next week seem to hint that he’s just setting Dexter up.  I think it’s just a strategic edit to throw us off the scent.  There’s some good material to be mined here.  Maybe Miguel will start slipping to the dark side?  Maybe he’ll insist on being Dexter’s partner?  You just know Dex won’t like that.

Meanwhile, things seem to be a little more stable with Dexter and Rita.  She agreed they wouldn’t move in together until they’re married, and he told her she could pick the wedding date.  Since Rita doesn’t want to walk down the aisle when she’s showing, I think we can count on wedding planning going full swing, but there are bound to be problems.  Dexter is going to make it tough.  I foresee him being elbows-deep into a murdering son-of-a-bitch while he’s supposed to be walking down the aisle.