TV Recap: 'Dexter' Episode 811 - 'Monkey in a Box'



dexterDexter Episode 811
“Monkey in a Box”
Written By: Tim Schlattmann & Wendy West
Directed By: Ernest Dickerson
Original Airdate: 15 September 2013

In This Episode...

Dexter washes Vogel’s blood off his hands, collects all her files on him, and calls the police. He gives his statement to Quinn and Batista: she called him over, he found her bleeding to death, tried to staunch the bleeding, but she was already gone. Dexter tells Deb about Vogel, and he is taking it rather hard. He then tells Hannah, and promises that this doesn’t change anything about their plans, but he did need to “take care of” Saxon before they leave. Dexter has two days left in Miami. He sends Harrison to stay with Jamie at Batista’s house to keep him safe, while Sylvia Prado (from season three) handles the listing on Dexter’s apartment.

Dexter is summoned in to the interrogation room by Quinn. He needs Dexter to take a DNA swab from Oliver Saxon, who turned himself in when he found out that he was a person of interest in Vogel’s murder. He is quite smug when Dexter walks in - until he discovers that Dexter is there for a DNA swab. Dexter proudly tells Deb, who is unpacking her desk, and she is pleased to find out that Dexter is working with the cops on this one. Back at his desk, Dexter continues to dig into Saxon’s background. No matter where he moved, he always took work as a building inspector. In Miami, he approved a psychiatric hospital for demolition - but it never happened. Dex heads over there, and discovers Saxon’s kill room. It has been swept clean, but Dexter finds a laptop hidden in a secret wall cabinet, in which he finds video clips of all Saxon’s kills.

After Vogel’s memorial service the next morning, the team goes to Papa’s for drinks. Batista toasts Dexter since Dex wouldn’t let him throw him an actual going away party. Dexter gets legitimately choked up and realizes that he was no longer pretending to be friends with these people - they really were his friends. Dexter leaves when Sylvia calls. An interested buyer - offering cash - wants the owner of the apartment to walk him through. Somehow, this does not set off warning bells in Dexter’s brain, and he is surprised that Saxon is the interested party. Sylvia gives the two some time alone in the apartment. Saxon is there to offer a truce. They each go their separate ways. Saxon killed Vogel to prove a point, that Evelyn “chose” the wrong “son.” Saxon makes a veiled threat against Hannah, Harrison, Deb... even Astor and Cody. Dexter agrees to this truce, but in his mind, he is more convinced than ever to kill Saxon.

Meanwhile, the fuzz is closing in on Hannah. Marshal Clayton pays Deb a visit at work and presents her with the hospital receptionist’s story. Deb assures him that she was the one who brought Harrison to the hospital; the receptionist must have been confused. And let’s say that budget cuts prevented the hospital from having video cameras that Clayton could have double-checked. Clayton goes to Elway, who is not eager to help, but he is eager to cash in on the reward. Elway visits Deb under the guise of dropping off some belongings she left behind, but he invites himself into the house. For an investigator, he sure sucks at investigating, because it is painfully obvious that he has no interest in the half-assed apology he is trying to make to Deb as he peeks around her house. She forces him out, then warns Hannah, who immediately packs and calls Dexter. Dexter wants to be there with Hannah, but he has to take care of Saxon first, so Deb takes Hannah to a hotel near the airport. There is an awkward goodbye as Deb is truly trying to be friends with Hannah - for the sake of Dexter and Harrison.

Dexter has one night left to deal with Saxon. In order to lure him out, Dexter anonymously submits one of Saxon’s videos to a local news station. And waits. Deb interrupts with a sack full of groceries and a determination to spend one more night with Dexter - even after he admits he is waiting for Saxon. Deb won’t take no for an answer. So they have a sentimental dinner in which Deb admits she doesn’t know what she will do without Dexter. “Every time I have been a complete mess, you were there for me - even when it was your fault I was fucked up.” Dexter counters by telling her she is stronger than he will ever be. “I had the code to know what was the right thing to do, but you have always known what the right thing was. I wish I had that moral compass - listen to that and you will be fine.” “Don’t ever think it was the code that made you a good brother. There is a person in there, there always has been, and don’t you forget it.” It was quite a touching scene, but then Dexter insists she leave. Which is good: Saxon saw the news report and he is on his way over.

Dexter fakes sleep while Saxon sneaks in through the (unlocked) door. Saxon tries to attack, but Dexter is faster - and Deb is his backup, jumping out behind him with a gun to his head. Dexter sedates Saxon and Deb leaves, proud to have helped.

Saxon wakes on his own kill table, with Dexter pacing, doing his usual pre-kill spiel. But as he paces, he realizes that the pre-kill thrill is no longer there. It used to be that he lived for those moments, the pre-kill, the kill itself, and the kill afterglow. But not anymore. All he wanted was to be with Hannah. Killing was now a chore, something that he seemed to do purely because of muscle memory. He didn’t feel the need to kill Saxon - but that didn’t mean Saxon wasn’t going to die. He steps outside and calls Deb. He wants her to come arrest him. It seems like it would have been faster to just kill Saxon and go home rather than babysit him until Deb arrived.

It is pre-dawn when Deb pulls up to the hospital. Unfortunately, Clayton has been tailing her. Dexter wants Deb to arrest Saxon; he has a plane to catch. Tell the cops you were following up on some of the buildings Saxon inspected and found him tied to the chair. Give him credit for the knives, too. Deb chases him outside. “You could at least fucking hug me.” As the siblings are saying their goodbyes, Clayton has entered the hospital and finds Saxon bound to the chair. He plays victim, begging for help, claiming he was kidnapped. Clayton unties him and Saxon immediately stabs him dead with one of Dexter’s abandoned knives.  Deb comes in and gunshots are exchanged. Saxon gets nicked in the shoulder and escapes out the back. Deb is hit bad, in the gut, virtually the same place she was shot when she was with Lundy. She barely manages to place a call to dispatch before she passes out.

Dexter and Harrison have collected the last of their belongings and head out. Hannah is at the airport, nervously waiting for Dexter. And Elway is there, looking for Hannah.

Also: Deb discovers that Quinn has kept the engagement ring he bought her in his desk this whole time, “in case he ever wants to propose to a girl at work.”

Dig It or Bury It?

Who cares if I dig it or not? It’s over - just one more episode. I think I am going through the five stages of grief. Right now I am on anger. I expect depression will come at the end of next week’s episode, and acceptance will follow about a week or two later.

There were plenty of stupid nitpicky things in tonight’s episode. The one that stuck out the most is, how does a U.S. Marshal not know that the man he is untying is the most wanted man in Miami? That really pissed me off, but then bullets started flying and I had other things to worry about.

I’m a big ol’ softy when it comes to TV. I got teary. I didn’t cry, but I got teary.

Flashback to the Future

After Dexter says goodbye to his sister at the hospital, he has one more goodbye: Harry. “Are you sure about this?” Dexter is. “I never thought this day would come. You don’t need me anymore.” Harry is near tears... and then he is gone.


As Deb and Dex are saying goodbye, he reminds her that this is just for now, not forever. “I know that fuck face.”


The end is nigh...