Another burn victim. Seven bodies in two weeks. And the same squirrelly fire department investigator looking at a burnt child. Dexter thinks that he’s got it figured out. He follows the inspector’s SUV to a park where they are having a Civil War reenactment, but finds out that he has an alibi.
Dexter goes to visit Hannah. He shares the fact that he has a dark passenger and she tries to tell him that he has a choice. Suddenly, Hannah’s father unexpectedly shows up. He is a convicted felon and wants to apologize for being an atrocious father. He tells her that he’s trying to take responsibility for his life. He pulls a dollhouse out of the back of his truck, much to Hannah’s chagrin. As a child, her father had left her alone in a hotel room for three days while gambling and gave her the dollhouse as a gift. Hannah wants to believe her father. They join him for dinner and he tells them that he’s going to Louisiana to farm crawfish. The next morning, as she and Dexter share breakfast with him, he asks her to lend him $20,000 to start his crawfish business, but blows up when she refuses. Feeling guilty, Hannah wants to help her father and hang onto a shred of hope that he is truly trying to change.
Finally, we see the arsonist. He gets on a bus, puts on his fire retardant outfit and sets about setting people on fire. We clearly see that he is not the fire department investigator. While at the scene, Dexter receives a phone call from Hannah and rushes over to her place. Her father has driven his truck into her hothouse. He starts yelling at her and tells her that her mother died of a broken heart. Snarling, he tells Hannah that the world would have been better off if she’d drowned as a child. Hannah is in tears, and Dexter doesn’t know how to comfort her.
LaGuerta meets with Matthews at a Chinese restaurant. He suggests that they look into Doakes’ final days in order to figure out who the real Bay Harbor Butcher might be. They make their way to the location of the cabin and find an RV with the owner of the property. The renter at the time of Doakes’ death? The man who killed Dexter’s mother. From Matthews, LaGuerta learns that Dexter watched his mother killed and chopped up. She learns that the Ice Truck Killer was Dexter’s brother. Matthews resists the idea that Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher, but tells LaGuerta that he’ll speak to Dexter personally.
Quinn gets a phone call that Nadia is going to be sent away to a sex club. He rushes to the club where George threatens Nadia. George slaps Nadia and Quinn shoots him. He then puts George’s gun in George’s hand and has Nadia shoot him in the arm to make it look like self defense. He tells Nadia to go into the safe and get her passport and money and get out of there. Batista knows that there was a time lag between the first and second shot, but agrees to back up Quinn’s story.
Masuka reviews the security video footage and notices that there is a possible fingerprint on a pole on the bus. Dexter tracks down the fingerprint from Juvenile Records. The arsonist has recently been released from a psychiatric institution.
Hannah’s father shows up at Dexter’s door. He tries to extort Dexter with the knowledge that Hannah killed her counselor with rat poison. It turns out that he was the one feeding Price information about his daughter. He tells Dexter to talk to Hannah about Arlene…the only one who can testify that Hannah poisoned the counselor. Dexter tells Hannah what happened and she relents, telling Dexter that she will have to pay her father. Hannah isn’t capable of killing her own father and her father’s transgressions do not meet Dexter’s code.
Dexter surprises the Phantom Arsonist in his home and wraps him up. He tries to blame it on a childhood friend who set a fire and died. Dexter tells him that he has no one to blame but himself. As he is about to strike the killing blow, he realizes that he has no dark passenger, it’s just him. He has a choice. Miami Metro shows up shortly thereafter and finds the arsonist passed out on his basement floor. Deb realizes that Dexter has been there.
Dexter meets with Hannah’s father and wraps him in plastic and takes him out on his boat. He realizes now that he doesn’t have to kill him, but that he wants to kills him. “Sink or Swim, Daddy”, he tells him as he tosses the body overboard. Dexter tells Hannah that he had a talk with her father and that he won’t be bothering her anymore. He also tells her that his “Dark Rider” doesn’t exist. She tells him that she loves him and he tells her that he thinks he loves her too.
Hannah’s not out of the woods yet. Before he died, her father left Deb a tip about Arlene.
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