At Dr. Vogel’s request, Dexter considers taking on a new protege.
Zach Hamilton, it seems, is a client of Dr. Vogel’s. Dexter wants to take him out for killing Norma Rivera, but Vogel balks. She sees some of Dexter in her young patient, and she believes that Dexter can save him…by teaching him the code.
Deciding to vet Zach further, Dexter sees him photographing a crime scene, and invites the teenager to join him behind the crime tape. He later goes to Zach’s apartment; his room is full of artful photographs of blood and crime scenes. Dexter also finds the image of a pretty girl on his desk; could it be Zach’s next victim?
Meanwhile, Elway brings Deb in on a personal case: he wants to prove that his brother-in-law is cheating on his sister. Still, he hesitates to let Deb play the honey-trap, and when she finally seduces the other man, Elway comes storming in, throwing a punch. He demands that the other man leave his sister. The next day, however, he’s full of regret; his sister calls him, sobbing, convinced that she’s at fault for the collapse of her marriage.
Dexter has an awkward date with his neighbor, Cassie, when, in trying to appear normal, he makes himself look like the most boring man alive. Later, he runs into her at Jamie’s birthday party; she’s there with another man. Jamie finds out that Batista gave the promotion to Miller instead of Quinn and is furious with her brother.
Deb brings Masuka information back on his daughter, Niki, who, it seems, is massively in debt. At the party, Masuka makes the mistake of telling Niki about the background check, and offering her a $5,000 check. Furious, she stalks away and gives him back the money; it was hard enough for her to decide to track him down, and inconvenient wallet-forgetfulness or not, she isn’t after his money.
With his promotion out of reach, Quinn decides to throw himself into proving that Zach Hamilton is a murderer. Dexter decides to take advantage of Quinn’s single-minded focus, and joins him in stalking their shared prey. They watch Zach photograph a yoga class; Dexter sees the woman from Zach’s photo.
He goes to Zach’s house and finds snapshots of Norma Rivera, taken immediately after her death. He has to stop Zach before he kills again, but can’t do so with Quinn watching…so he calls Jamie to tell her that Quinn is afraid she’ll break up with him for not making sergeant. She invites Quinn over, and Dexter stalks Zach, only to discover that he’s not planning to kill this other woman…but rather, he wants to take out his own father. Dexter drugs Zach, knocking him out just before Quinn shows up and asks him to keep an eye on things for him.
Dexter brings Zach to his kill room, where Zach admits that he can’t help himself – he needs to kill. But when he admits that he killed to protect his mother from his father’s affairs – and then tells Dexter to kill him before he can do it again! – Dexter has a change of heart. He cuts the plastic away, and decides that he’s ready to take on the responsibility of being Zach’s mentor and “spiritual father.”
Dexter, meanwhile, has another father-son relationship to worry about. Harrison’s been lying; he broke the TV remote. When Dexter tells him he shouldn’t lie, Harrison, in the simple way that only a child can, exposes his father’s hypocrisy. He removes Doggy from under the bed; Dexter told him that the bloodied stuffed animal was lost, when really, he threw him away. Dexter apologizes for lying, and tells Harrison that he can keep the toy (even though the blood links him to a murder)…as long as it continues to live under the bed.
Deb and Dexter meet for breakfast, where Deb admits that she thinks Elway has a crush on her. It can’t work, she says, because he knows nothing of the real her. “Maybe the Morgans just aren’t meant for relationships,” Deb says, when Dexter tells her that things aren’t working out with Cassie, either. Suddenly, Deb collapses, and Dexter starts to feel woozy. The last thing he sees before he blacks out is Hannah…back to poison them.
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