Television Tourniquet: We Cut Open 'Dexter' -- Episode 3.6!


Is Miguel Dexter’s new partner? Is Ramon the Skinner? Can Deb’s cussing get any more creative? Read our review of this week’s Dexter!



Dexter Episode 3.6
"Si Se Puede"
Written by: Charles Eglee
Directed by: Ernest Dickerson
Original Airdate: November 2, 2008

In This Episode…



Wendell, Deb’s 15-year-old witness from last week’s episode, shows up dead – another victim of The Skinner.  Deb becomes convinced that The Skinner is now targeting her witnesses – using her to get to his victims.


Miguel now knows that Dexter killed Ethan Turner last episode.  He’s eager to start on an avenging killing spree with Dexter.  He’s like a kid at a gun show.   Dexter desperately wants to share his world with Miguel, but of course, he must be cautious.  Can he really trust Miguel?  Sure, it sounds like fun and games, handing out your own brand of justice.  But it’s a different ballgame when you’re standing in the pathway of aortic spray.



So Dexter devises a “test.”  He chooses a neo-Nazi, Gault, who was responsible for beating his girlfriend to death with a claw hammer.  This was the first blood splatter case Dexter ever worked on.  Dexter uses Gault to test Miguel’s mettle, as getting to Gault is complicated and will require Miguel to trade upon his status as ADA to get near him.   Dexter presents a crap plan for Miguel, who sees right through the utter crappiness and devises a much better, much sneakier way to grab Gault.  Dexter’s not really sure how he feels seeing Miguel so gung-ho about it.


Back to the other Morgan… Deb starts suspecting Ramon Prado is The Skinner.  After all, he had access to her files, and knows all the witnesses she has questioned as to Freebo’s whereabouts.  Unofficially, she begins doing surveillance on him.  Because things are not quite difficult enough for Deb, Detective Amato from internal affairs blackmails her: wear a wire and get some dirt on Quinn, or I tell everyone you are a rat anyway. 

Meanwhile, Miguel’s plan for Gault is this: he has Gault transferred down to Miami to “testify” in a case Miguel is trying.  He grabs a few minutes alone with the prisoner in a holding room in the courthouse, where he slips Gault a key and whispers – “stop threatening my family and we will call it even.”  Miguel tells Gault he has a neo-Nazi buddy in the parking garage, waiting to be his wheel man.  Gault gets out, but Miguel is unable to distract the guards in the courthouse long enough – they’re hot on Gault (and Dexter’s) tails.  Miguel has no choice but to go along with the manhunt.  But Miguel’s a “true friend.”  He leads the officers in the opposite direction, then swings around to pick up Dex and his newly-unconscious victim.  Miguel can be trusted!


Well, maybe not.  Dexter takes Gault to the kill room he’d already set up.  Miguel’s whereabouts are unknown – we can only assume he went back to help the police.  Gault dies by Dexter’s hand alone.  It turns out Dex sent Miguel to the wrong abandoned house.  He just wasn’t ready to share the messy parts of his life, not with anyone.  And he just couldn’t give up his ritual.  It’s better than yoga.


Deb follows Ramon to a parking lot, where he beats up a man and stuffs him in his trunk.  Deb stays on his tail, following him to a warehouse.  She hides in the shadows, watching and waiting for Ramon to reveal himself as The Skinner.  Quinn shows up as back up, just in time to watch Ramon’s victim get beat up a bit, have a soda shaken and exploded up his nose… and then get released.  Ramon is not The Skinner.  

Dig It or Bury It?


This episode felt kind of disjointed.  Heavy on the getting-plot-points-out-of-the-way, light on action or anything really meaty.  Dexter and Miguel spend an awful lot of time scoping out the courthouse, with little perspective other than to muse on the idea of justice.  Rita only pops in for two scenes, just to set up her new career venture as Sil’s assistant at the real estate company.  Though I must say I’m enjoying Deb’s character more and more this season.  It feels like she’s growing up.  She’s not as hot-tempered, and in this one she actually shows some discretion when bringing in Ramon Prado on kidnapping and false imprisonment charges.  LaGuerta even compliments her on the way she handles the case!



Flashback to the Future 

Dad shows up as ghostly guides twice in this episode.  Dexter’s anger and resentment towards his dad (or the memory of him) is growing.  He feels as though his dad – even though he gave him a “code” and a way to fulfill his needs while still living a productive life – sheltered him too much, convinced him that being a loner was the safest route.  Dexter is also bitter that his dad never “understood” him.  He’s gone from blaming his dad’s suicide on himself, to blaming it on Harry’s inability to deal with the whole truth about his son – the truth he himself helped create.  Miguel is not just a friend – he is something of a father figure to Dexter.



Mr. Supremacist had a good little  racially insensitive speech to Miguel: “Listen to me, pulled pork.  I got no clue why the fuck you dragged me down in all this humidity.  But you can suck my white dick if you think I’m gonna help your spic ass with shit.”  However, Deb reclaims her foul title when she finally tells Quinn that IAB has been bugging her: “They’ve given me a sandpaper enema to wear a fucking wire.”



Body Bags


Our police department victim, Wendell, was pretty good.  A victim of The Skinner, Wendell got it bad – his chest and right arm were completely stripped to the muscle – while the kid was still alive.  The Skinner is certainly stepping up his game.  Dexter’s victim was rather uneventful.  Dex had hardly any conversation with Gault before the kill, and Dex’s kill was a simple – almost ceremonial – dagger to the heart.  Bonus points for gruesome crime scene photos of Gault’s victims. 


There is no doubt in my mind that Quinn is The Skinner.  When Deb is confiding in Batista her suspicions about Ramon, Quinn magically appears to eavesdrop and add his one cent.  Later, he also seemingly appears when Deb is staking out Ramon.  Even though he claims that Detective Amato is using her position to fulfill a personal vendetta (they had a “thing”), I just know he is The Skinner. 

In scenes for next week, Miguel tells Dexter they need to get to the root of the problem, and take out Ellen Wolf, the smarmy criminal defense attorney who gets baby killers six months due to “mental incompetence.”  Dexter, of course, is concerned that Ellen won’t meet his “code.”  Though he says that he is willing to make a sacrifice “for friendship,” I just don’t think he is.  He was in a near-panic when he accidentally killed Oscar Prado, who did not meet his code. 


But, it does look like Miguel is sliding down a slippery slope.  He’s got a taste for vengeance, and that is going to unravel him – mentally as well as professionally.  Without the years of training and strict code that Dexter lives by, Miguel’s bloodlust will turn him into another bloodthirsty criminal.