Dexter Episode 603
"Smokey and the Bandit"
Written By: Manny Coto
Directed By: Stefan Schwartz
Original Airdate: 16 October 2011
In This Episode...
Miami Homicide gets called to investigate a dead hooker who was either beaten or strangled to death. Dexter sees the woman's chipped lateral incisor. Masuka says it probably broke during the struggle, but Dexter has his own suspicions. He suspects this is the work of the Tooth Fairy, a serial killer who was active in the 1970s in Oregon. He killed prostitutes and took their lateral incisors as a trophy, but was never caught. The Tooth Fairy was one of his childhood obsessions. Of course, if the Tooth Fairy was back, he would have to be in his 70s or 80s. That's ridiculous. Except where do people in their 70s and 80s go to retire? Florida. And what is only a block away from the murder site? A retirement home.
Dexter heads to that nearby retirement home under the guise that he is looking for someplace for his father. He finds one man by the name of Walter Kenny who is from Oregon, and befriends the man. Walter is a cantankerous old man without a kind word for anyone or anything. But Dexter can't kill him just because he is unpleasant, so he agrees to drive him around on some errands, ending up at a storage facility. Walter will take the bus home. When Dexter is sure the old man is done with his business here, he breaks into the storage unit. It looks like your typical storage unit, stacked with a dozen moldy boxes. A lawn chair is set in the center of the room and beside it, a small metal box containing dozens of bloodied lateral incisors.
Walter calls Dex, confused and frightened after taking the wrong bus. Dexter is on his way to Walter's home to kill him anyway; this makes it easier. But when Dexter picks up Walter, he goes from curmudgeon to dangerous curmudgeon and pulls a gun on Dex. He ran Dexter's vehicle registration and "goggled" his name. Before he kills Dexter, he wants to know how he found out who he was. Of course, he doesn't know everything about Dexter. Dex runs the car into a chain link fence, and when Walter comes to, he is tied down and about to become Dexter's latest victim.
Also: Deb's first day as lieutenant is overwhelming her. Quinn is having a hard time being civil to her. Laguerta is hovering over her, making decisions and overriding Deb's orders. Deb fought for detective Mike Anderson, a transfer from Chicago, to fill her spot on the squad, but when he shows up, he thinks she is playing a prank on him and tells her to get her boss and a cup of coffee while she's at it. Deb stands up for herself and Mike apologizes with a newfound respect. Quinn is going out of his way to flirt and fuck as many bimbos as he can - including Ryan, who blows him off. Ryan does, however, respond to Masuka's nervous flirtations, even accepting a dinner invitation from him. Of course, she may also be using him to get a peek at some of the Ice Truck Killer's evidence. He is happy to oblige, and when Masuka isn't looking, she takes a hand from the evidence box and slips it in her purse. Travis's captive, Nathan, is given a chance to repent for his sins. He does, but Travis doesn't believe he is sincere, so the man is killed and dismembered, then stitched together with various mannequin parts and set atop two horses to ride through the streets.
Dig It or Bury It?
This was bothering me the entire episode: why would the police still have a dismembered hand laying around, especially on a closed case? Once the case was closed, shouldn't the remains be returned to the family, or destroyed? Even if they did need to keep it around, shouldn't it be kept in refrigeration? That hand was in damned good condition for a limb that was disembodied five years ago.
I liked the "what happens to serial killers when they get old" story, because really, would a killer ever hit an age where they decide to retire? I am, however, a little tired of Dexter running into serial killers that remind him of himself and make him wonder if he is going to turn into that. Dexter himself seems to be extremely well-adjusted this season. His "human mask" feels genuine; he even walks taller with a slight bounce in his step. I wonder if a series endgame involves Dexter essentially losing his urge to kill as Harrison gets older.
Out of the Mouth of Masuka
When Masuka brings Ryan the box of Ice Truck evidence for her to look at, she pulls out the hand with each nail painted a different color and admits that as soon as that detail was made public, she painted her fingernails like that for a week. "Is that wrong?" she asks coyly. "Is it wrong that I think that's hot?" he asks.
The kill room for Walter is in his own apartment. The kill table is his barcalounger. Dex takes his blood sample, which makes Walter remark, "You are the same sick fuck as I am." He tries to convince Dexter that he is destined to end up like Walter did - utterly alone after being disowned by his only son. As Dexter prepares the killing blow, Walter wants to make sure his son knows who he was - he wants his name to live on in infamy and haunt his son. Dexter stops. He doesn't want to give Walter the satisfaction. Instead, he suffocates Walter with a pillow so that he dies a sad old man - which infuriates Walter more than knowing he has been bested. Sure enough, he is taken out of the home on a stretcher, another victim of old age. The only thing Dex has to throw into the ocean are the trophy teeth.
Now that Deb is the boss, she has to be on her best behavior. Luckily Walter is the stereotypical racist old man who curses like a motherfucker. "The worst decision I ever made was moving to this piss-fuck corner of the country," he bemoans. He is also into hard porn. He has Dexter run into a liquor store and pick up copies of "Teen Ass," "Nipple Parade," and "Spanked" magazines.
Fruit Rollups make Harrison fart. That made the adolescent in me giggle.
Travis and Gellar are dubbed the Doomsday Killer (the cops still don't know they are after a duo) after the horse stunt was a clear reference to the horsemen of the apocalypse. Dexter is fascinated by the notion of a killer with faith.