TV Recap: 'Dexter' Episode 703 - 'Buck the System'



Dexter Episode 703
“Buck the System”
Written By: Jace Richdale
Directed By: Stefan Schwartz
Original Airdate: 14 October 2012

In This Episode...

Dexter is like a hungry lion pacing in his cage. Deb won’t let him out of her sight, and he has fantasies of killing anyone who annoys him. It comes to a head when he is sent to take a DNA swab from an uncooperative suspect. Dexter throws him against the wall, and Deb breaks them apart. Outside, the two squabble over the proper way to deal with Dexter’s “affliction.” She finally agrees to let up a bit on him - only because he called her the other night and Deb successfully talked him down.

With a little bit of slack, Dexter sets his sights on a new victim: Ray Speltzer. Recently paroled after a short stint inside for assault, Speltzer is the prime suspect in at least three murders, but in each case, there wasn’t enough evidence to go to trial. So Dexter begins his usual stalking - knowing full well that Deb is following him. He lures her to a bar and explains, with full honesty, what he is doing there. Deb not only doesn’t like it, she is near hysterical over it. Deb is convinced that with a little work they can put Speltzer away the legal way; Dexter believes it is a useless endeavor. Dexter continues with his method, by following Speltzer to work - he is a cemetery groundskeeper. Before Dexter can break into the private mausoleum that Speltzer spends a lot of time in, Deb calls him back to the station house to do a DNA run with Batista (more on that in a minute.) Dexter’s certainty that Speltzer is hiding something gnaws at Deb. She asks Laguerta to help her get a search warrant, but Laguerta insists she cannot get a warrant based on a “feeling.” Instead, Deb puts a patrol car on Speltzer. They spend a few hours parked outside his house, but when another call comes in - and there has been no movement from Speltzer in hours, Deb sends the patrolmen to the other call. During this time, Dexter has broken into the cemetery and into the mausoleum, where he finds an altar set up around an earring that belonged to one of the dead girls. Deb can’t shake this bad feeling about Speltzer and leaves a voicemail for Dexter, telling him she is going to drive by his house one last time on her way home. Dexter gets no cell service in the mausoleum. 

Sure enough, Speltzer is up to no good. The barmaid comes over for “world-famous mojitos,” but is disappointed because there is no alcohol in them. “You have to be in control of your facilities or there is no challenge,” he informs her. Then the “game” begins. The second floor of Speltzer’s house has been turned into a maze of horrors that looks like it came straight out of Hostel. Planks of wood, overturned furniture, broken glass, and barbed wire make it difficult to move safely, and strobing lights and death metal add to the disorientation as Speltzer chases her through the house wearing an enormous bull mask. Deb sees the strobing light from outside and becomes concerned. She approaches the door and hears a scream. Probable cause. She goes straight upstairs and herself gets caught in the maze. Speltzer knocks her over and tries to drag her through a cubbyhole. Deb loses her gun and reaches under a sofa to grab it, only to find it has been booby-trapped with barbed wire. Speltzer certainly has her now - but Dexter is there, knocking him out with one of the wooden planks. They go and find the barmaid, who is dead, and Speltzer, who is in the wind. A report comes in later that the mausoleum has been opened and the earring is missing.

The next morning, Deb finally admits to Dexter: “You were right. If we had done things your way, Speltzer would be dead and that girl would be alive.” However, just because Dexter was right doesn’t mean Deb condones his methods. She hates what he does but she gets it. What Deb can’t accept are Dexter’s trophies, because on some level he enjoys the kill. He assures her that he is still her brother - nothing has changed. “Everything has changed. I don’t know if it will ever be the same again.”

Also: Isaac figures out that Viktor took Kaja’s bracelet, which happened to have a GPS chip in it.  His IT guy tracks it to Dexter’s slip at the marina, where they discover Lewis drilling holes into the Slice of Life. He is there because Dexter sent the Ice Truck Killer evidence arm to Miami Forensics with a letter that hints a buyer was unhappy with his “purchase” from Lewis; Dexter also sent Jamie a DVD of Lewis with the hooker. Because of this, Lewis was fired and dumped in the span of a few hours. So he is sabotaging Dexter’s boat. When he is found by Isaac and his men, he claims to be Dexter, fearing an arrest. But when the guns come out, he admits he is not Dexter and tells them where to find Dexter. Isaac’s goon shoots Lewis dead anyway. And Natasha admits to Quinn that her boss put her up to flirting with him for information, but she really likes Quinn and promises to be a double agent. Dexter goes to collect DNA from Hannah McKay, Wayne’s former partner-in-crime. While there, Dexter is smitten with Hannah, even dropping his forensics swab.

Dig It or Bury It?

Well, on the upside, at least Deb has forgotten about being in love with her brother. I really like what is going on in this episode. It is not “shocking” or “twisty” but it is intense nonetheless. I like these moral and ethical dilemmas that, on the surface, seem so black and white. I am assuming that Hannah will be the new love interest. Dexter certainly has a type, doesn’t he?


During the morning briefing, Deb calls their suspect “Viktor Basknovfuckoffakov.”


Speltzer is caught, but his confession is thrown out, making Dexter more intent than ever to kill him, and Deb more ready to look the other way.