Television Tourniquet -- We Cut Open 'Dexter' Episode 3.8!



Dexter Episode 8
"The Damage a Man Can Do"
Written by: Scott Buck
Directed by: Marcos Siega
Original Airdate: November 16, 2008

In This Episode…


Yup, it finally happens.  Dexter lets Miguel in.  He agrees that Miguel can stalk his first prey, make his first kill.  But, of course, Miguel must go through Killer Training 101.  First rule: make sure it is the right guy.  Task: break into the house of Billy Fleeter, a college football player who never went pro because he got sucked into drugs and gambling.  When his debts grew out of control, he began killing other gambling deadbeats for his bookie.  In Fleeter’s house, the guys look for “something bludgeony.”  They find a baseball bat, it tests positive for blood.

Second rule: find proof that he will kill again.  Task: Dexter locates Fleeter’s ledger.  Someone always dies when Fleeter owes money – and he just took a bath on a game.  Third rule: a good kill.  Miguel wants to shoot Fleeter; Dexter explains why that’s no good, and suggests stabbing instead.  When Miguel grabs a length of rope (“in case we need to tie him up!”) he’s like a kid in the cookie aisle.  Dexter patiently tells him he’ll put together a starter kit.


Next, Dexter takes Miguel to set up the kill room, in a storage locker with old slot machines.  Miguel is given one last chance to back out, but doesn’t.  The two of them stalk their prey, and are about to pounce when someone recognizes Miguel (he’s on TV all the time).  Dex flips, calls the whole thing off, and with good reason.  But of course Miguel is not happy about this.  Miguel finally figures out that Freebo wasn’t Dexter’s first kill, and tells Dexter about the time he pushed his abusive father down a flight of stairs, about the power he felt.  Dexter gives in. 


Take two.  The guys abduct Fleeter, and Miguel gets the kill.  He enjoys it way too much.


Meanwhile, Deb and Anton are sleeping together.  Deb discovers something rather disturbing (not the weed in Anton’s cereal box) – he is not an official CI.  There is no paperwork on him, and Quinn always paid him in cash.  We never really find out why.  But we do find out why IAB is so hot on Quinn’s tail – Yuki used to work narcotics with Quinn and another cop named Stewart.  Stewart was a meth addict, shot an unarmed drug dealer, and ended up eating his gun.  Quinn knew about the meth, and did nothing.

Dig It or Bury It?


Dig it, of course!  I have yet to see a bad episode of Dexter.  They always manage to throw in random humor – like Dexter watching a basketball game with Miguel, and making the worst-ever attempt to seem like he knows what he is watching.  Or Dexter telling Miguel that Fleeter “bludgeons them to death.  So look for something… bludgeony.”  Good stuff.  And the romances that are floating around (Deb and Anton, Batista and Barbara, Dex and Rita) never feel cheesy or saccharine. 


Flashback to the Future


I think I should re-title this section, because Harry always shows up as a ghost.  We’ve learned all we can from the flashbacks, I suppose.  But it’s still a good header.  Anyway.  Harry shows up here and there as a ghostly apparition, telling Dex not to share his “darkness” with Miguel.  “You are not supposed to have friends,” he tells Dexter.  This, of course, does not go over well with Dexter.  When Dex finds Fleeter’s ledger, Dad tells him to just put it away, walk away from this whole Miguel debacle.  But instead Dexter is triumphant, flaunting his find in defiance.




Truly disappointing foul language in this episode all around.  Dexter writers, please don’t tell me you’re running out of creative ways to say “fuck you”!  Give me a call – I have a fuckbucket full.  You can have that one for free.  The best profanity we get is Deb telling Quinn: “You say anything more about my brother, I will kick your fucking nuts down your throat.”

Body Bags


One measly corpse this episode, and it came right at the end (I was worried for a little while).   This was, of course, Fleeter.  He was Miguel’s kill.  Miguel did all the talking.  Miguel did all the stabbing.  Dexter just watched, a cross of awe and surprise.  Dexter does do all the clean-up.  But he does not take his blood slide trophy – seems as if he doesn’t want to share everything with Miguel just yet.




Dexter has definitely created a monster.  At the end of this episode Miguel shows up at Ellen Wolf’s door, and in scenes for next week Wolf goes missing.  Obviously we’re supposed to think Miguel killed her.  It almost seems too obvious, but it makes sense.  Miguel enjoys killing way too much.  I think that by the end of the season, he is going to be out of control.  Possibly even caught.  But if they catch him, that sets it up perfectly for the authorities to become suspicious.  Why do all the people around Dexter turn out to be killers?  Seriously, Dexter writers.  Call me.  We’ll do lunch.


I have officially given up on Quinn as the Skinner.  They have a strong lead on a tree trimmer, and Quinn is, slowly but surely, turning into an almost-likeable guy.  Meanwhile, Anton goes missing at the end of this episode, and is shown to be a victim of the Skinner in the next.  It’s not going to end well for Anton.  Mainly, it seems, because they can’t let Deb have a happy relationship.