Rita's estranged mother visits and senses something is wrong with Dexter; Masuka thinks he's developed a lead in the Bay Harbor Butcher case, which has Dexter concerned; Doakes heads a murder investigation involving a military special-ops ranger; Lila, Dexter's sponsor, has some unconventional ideas about helping him; Angel's interrogation of a witness crosses a line.
Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) reads the newspaper commentary about the Bay Harbor Butcher as girlfriend Rita Bennett (Julie Benz) obsessively cleans her house in anticipation of her estranged mother's visit. Cody (Preston Bailey) complains about the heat and tells Dexter that he dreamed about the Bay Harbor Butcher. Dexter reassures Cody. Rita tells Dexter that she hopes the Bay Harbor Butcher is captured and hurt. A disturbed Dexter leaves for work.
At the office, Dexter privately worries that everyone is talking about him. Dexter muses with some satisfaction that even though all of the bodies in the field morgue have been identified, and that thirteen have known criminal records, the police don't know what the pattern means.
Lt. Esme Pasquale (Judith Scott) shows up late for work, a point not lost on Captain Tom Matthews (Geoffrey Pierson.) The Captain thinks that the public needs reassurance; Special Agent Frank Lundy (Keith Carradine) disagrees, but is silent.
An excited Vince Masuka (C.S. Lee) thinks he's developed a lead in the Bay Harbor Butcher case, which has Dexter concerned. Dexter watches as Masuka high-fives Angel Batista (David Zayas) and wonders what Masuka might have found. An anxious Dexter leaves the station to visit his NA sponsor.
At Lila Tournay's (Jaime Murray) loft, Dexter admires her ghoulish metalworks. Lila takes Dexter out for art supplies.
In the car, Dexter assures Lila that he's not using. Lila spots a metal post and runs into it with her car. She and Dexter steal the post for her art. Dexter thinks it's weird.
As Lila steals windchimes from a house, Dexter confides that he's been under pressure and needs tips from Lila he is a bad person. Lila tells Dexter that she will help him understand his deepest, darkest secrets.on how to handle his urges. Lila asks Dexter why he uses. Dexter replies, "It's part of who I am" and believes that
In flashback, Dexter's adoptive mother tells Harry Morgan (James Remar) that something is "off" about young Dexter (Dominic Janes.) Harry grudgingly agrees to take young Dexter to see a psychiatrist.
Later, at a crime scene, Lt Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) identifies the victim while Dexter asks questions about the Bay Harbor Butcher. Sergeant James Doakes (Erik King) recognizes the style of shooting as "Mozambique." He is certain that a Special Ops agent was the killer, and takes the lead on the case, noting his own background in Special Ops.
Debra Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter), Angel, and Lundy examine bodies in the field morgue. Lundy points out that some of the victims had no criminal record. Angel takes the case of Oscar Sota to investigate further. Deb suggests that the killer may have cut him up for fun.
In the station room, Doakes has a lead on the Mozambique shooting. A Special Ops buddy of his has arranged for him to meet someone. Esme accosts Dexter. She asks him to run forensic tests on her fiancé's shirt - she suspects the smell of another woman will be found. A reluctant Dexter tells Esme that Masuka is the expert on finding suspicious smells on shirts. Privately, Dexter hopes that the additional work will further burden Masuka.
Later that evening, Rita's estranged mother, Gail (JoBeth Williams) visits. Rita makes a salad. Dexter privately considers Gail as an alien being and makes small talk. Noticing that Cody is not eating, Dexter asks what's wrong. Cody admits to being bad and wonders if the Bay Harbor Butcher will kill him. Dexter reassures Cody that the Bay Harbor Butcher doesn't hurt kids. Gail announces that the Bay Harbor Butcher has her seal of approval, much to Dexter's private satisfaction.
At the station, Deb has figured out that one of the victims without a criminal record was suspected of being a murderer. Lundy leaves for a date, and suggests that Deb to start dating again too.
At Rita's, Dexter worries. He tells Rita that he had to see his sponsor earlier in the day, and that Lila is odd. Rita suggests that Dexter try someone older, and more manly.
Deb works out at the gym. The gym rat who helped her with the heavy bag is there, and they exchange glances. Deb introduces herself. The gym rat, Gabriel (Dave Baez) remembers her. Deb invites him for drinks. They hook up and end up at Deb and Dexter's apartment. Deb has a panic attack as she flashes back to the Ice Truck Killer. She handcuffs Gabriel to the bed, explaining that her previous boyfriend tried to kill her.
Dexter arrives home. Hearing noise from Deb's room, he assumes that she's on her treadmill again and walks into her room. Deb tells him to get out.
In the morning, an uncomfortable Dexter and Deb avoid eye contact. Dexter assures Deb that he saw only shadows. He asks Deb what the new evidence was in the Bay Harbor Butcher case. Deb tells Dexter that Masuka found algae diatomes, and that it could pinpoint the harbor where the killer keeps his boat. Dexter worries.
Angel talks to his victim's wife, trying to determine if the victim, Soto, was suspected of any crimes. Doakes leaves to meet his Special Ops contact at the marina. Frustrated at the Sota's wife's insistence that Sota was a good man, Angel's interrogation crosses a line. He explains the criminal past of all the victims and suggests that Sota may have been a criminal as well. Angry, Sota's wife leaves.
At the marina, Doakes finds himself on a boat with Curtis Barnes (John Marshall Jones) the dead woman's husband. Barnes tells Doaks to stall the investigation until he can sail to Cuba. Barnes admits to killing his wife. Both men draw their weapons.
At the office, Deb tells Lundy that she took his advice and hooked up. Lundy is embarrassed. Deb apologizes. Lundy admits that his own date was horrible and that he shouldn't be dating at all. A smitten Deb tells him that he should.
Dexter asks Masuka about the algae. Esme confronts Masuka about the forensics he did on the shirt. Esme has a public breakdown in the middle of the station room. Maria quietly leads Esme away.
Doakes and Barnes lower their weapons. Barnes tells Doakes that the killing was not intentional. Doakes admits his own failed marriage and confesses that he left his wife because he was afraid of killing her. Barnes invites Doakes to go with him to Cuba. Doakes refuses. Barnes raises his weapon. Doakes kills Barnes.
Lila and Dexter lunch poolside. Dexter tells Lila that he needs a different sponsor.
In flashback. Harry tells young Dexter to lie to the psychiatrist, to think about what he's going to say, but to say the exact opposite of what he's thinking.
An upset Dexter goes back to work.
The Captain talks to Maria about Esme's meltdown. He puts Maria back in charge of Homicide.
Outside of the field morgue, Angel tells Dexter that a marine biologist is coming to collect algae specimens. Dexter privately wishes the bodies would melt away. Suddenly, he spots Lila in the parking lot. Worried, Dexter confronts her. Lila tells Dexter that dropping her is "not in your best interest." Dexter is adamant. Lila mocks Dexter. Dexter, in an effort to show Lila how evil he is, takes her into the field morgue.
Opening a body bag, Dexter confronts Lila with the evilness of his true self. Fascinated, Lila asks if she can touch the body. Dexter, surprised, consents. Lila, thinking that the work is incredible, tells Dexter, "The person who did this is like us - good and evil." Dexter realizes that Lila sees him, behind his mask.
In flashback, young Dexter follows Harry's advice and convinces the psychiatrist that nothing is wrong with him. Harry congratulates young Dexter for not allowing the psychiatrist "to see the monster inside of you."
Dexter finds comfort in knowing that Lila sees and accepts him. They agree to meet again. Lila kisses Dexter.
At Sota's house, Angel apologizes to the wife for his behavior during the interrogation. He explains that it's been hard on him to see all of the Bay Harbor Butcher's victims - all the bodies in the morgue. Angel notes a breeze has picked up, and that the heat wave might be over. As he leaves, Sota's wife stops him. She confesses that her husband kept guns hidden in the walls of their home.
That night, Dexter breaks into the field morgue. He breaks the AC unit, hoping that the garbage collection truck will be blamed.
At the gym, Deb sees Gabriel and apologizes for her brother walking in on them. She asks Gabriel out an real date.
Maria and Esme's fiancé, Betrand (Kiko Ellsworth) are in bed. Maria tells him that it's over. Bertand realizes that Maria only wanted him to get rid of Esme, and to get her job back.
At breakfast the next morning, Dexter tells Rita that he misjudged Lila and says that she's the best sponsor for him. Cody comes to breakfast wearing a "Butcherman" costume that Gail made for him. While Dexter and Cody play Butcherman, Gail tell Rita that something is wrong with Dexter, and suspects that he's hiding something.
At the field morgue, Masuka, Lundy and the Marine Biologist arrive to collect specimens, but the morgue is flooded and the bodies have melted to goo.
Masuka and Dexter commiserate on the condition of the field morgue, but find some satisfaction in getting the Marine Biologist to vomit. Dexter tells Masuka that he's sorry that they didn't get their algae samples. Masuka tells Dexter that the samples were in the rocks, not the bodies, and that the rocks were kept separate from the field morgue. Masuka happily tells Dexter that the Marine Biologist was able to take the rocks back to his lab for processing. Dexter ponders electrocution versus lethal injection.
- Michael C. Hall: Dexter Morgan
- Julie Benz: Rita Bennett
- Jennifer Carpenter: Debra Morgan
- Erik King: James Doakes
- C.S. Lee: Vince Masuka
- Lauren Velez: Maria LaGuerta
- David Zayas: Angel Batista
- James Remar: Harry Morgan
- Geoff Pierson: Tom Astor
- JoBeth Williams: Gail
- Judith Scott: Esmee Pascal
- Dominic Janes: Young Dexter
- John Marshall Jones: Curtis Barnes
- Bertila Damas: Soto's Widow
- Albie Selznick: Psychiatrist
- Jaime Murray: Lila
- Keith Carradine: Frank Lundy
- Christina Robinson: Astor Bennett
- Preston Bailey: Cody Bennett
- Dave Baez: Gabriel
- Kathrin Lautner Middleton: Doris
- Mario Marcelino: Dr. Pena
- Charles Perez: Male commentator
- Calvin Hughes: Male news show host
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