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'Dexter' recap, 'Monkey in a Box'

HomicideMaryland Transit AdministrationDexter (tv program)

With Vogel’s death last week, you knew this episode was going to be rocky. On top of that, it’s the second to last episode of the entire series. Big things are happening, but I’m not sure I can handle them. 

Dexter cleans up after Vogel’s death. He extracts himself from her life: computer files, pictures, session tapes – how easily he wipes away such an important relationship. But this isn’t the first mother he’s lost, and it isn’t nearly as bloody this time, so maybe he’s just ... used to it.

He calls in Miami Metro and lets them work the case. As a witness, he can’t help them, but he goes after Saxon his way. He stops by Deb’s to deliver the bad news. She offers to go back to Miami Homicide today to help do her part catching Saxon. After all, Vogel was who brought them back together.

Out of nowhere, Miguel Prado’s wife pops in Dexter’s apartment. Apparently, she’s the realtor selling the place for him, but it’s more than that. Miguel Prado was one of the first people Dexter tried to befriend as himself, a serial killer. It didn’t end so well, so to see Dexter now taking such leaps to be true to his family is remarkable. 

Sadly, Dexter is also selling his boat. As he lists the modifications to it though (which clever Dexter presents as being useful for fishing, not hiding dead bodies forever – but same thing right?) he seems disheartened with the buyer’s single-minded focus on the beer cooler. Fishing just isn’t the same anymore.

Back at Miami Homicide, I am forced to ask, what is Nikki doing in this show? She came out of nowhere and barely moves the plot along. I keep hoping she’ll kill someone just so she fits in.

But back on focus, Saxon walks into Miami Homicide … to clear his name of Cassie’s murder. He gives a DNA sample, but not even Quinn is buying Saxon’s nice guy act.

Dexter updates Deb and seems to be willing to help Miami Homicide catch him. Saxon’s threat (and cockiness) is greater than the need for Dexter to kill Saxon himself. Suddenly his Dark Passenger isn’t driving him anymore.

Deb, pilfering Quinn’s desk for pens, comes across her engagement ring. Quinn catches her, but for once it isn’t awkward! Deb seems to have matured and is ready to put down roots. Foreshadowing, anyone? Is it too soon to hear wedding bells?

Dexter investigates an old hospital set for demolition, and finds Saxon’s kill room. His laptop provides him with videos of all of Saxon’s murders, and perhaps leverage to make him come out of the woodwork.

The Marshall stops by to ask Deb about Hannah McKay. He’s like a broken record, now chasing the lead that she was at the hospital. Deb proves herself worthy of being Dexter’s little sister, lying and manipulating the truth like a pro.

For how important she was, Vogel gets barely any air time. Dexter and Deb go to Vogel’s memorial, but stop by a bar with everyone from Miami Homicide. It turns into Dexter’s impromptu going away party, with Angel putting Dexter on the spot for a speech. But as awkward as it is, the simple “I’ll miss you guys” is the honest truth.

Saxon shows up at Dexter’s apartment as a “potential buyer” and offers Dexter a way out, a truce. But the distinction between the two killers becomes clear. Dexter’s cover isn’t that anymore – he protects his own and Vogel was one of them. But outwardly, Dexter agrees to Saxon’s offer.

The Marshall stops by Elway’s, asking him for help. Elway goes over to Deb’s to sneak a look around. He notices Hannah’s shoes and purse before Deb forces him out of the house. With the new threat of Elway, when Dexter arrives, both Hannah and Deb try to convince him to flee immediately, but he insists he has to take care of Saxon first. This leaves Deb to drop off Hannah at the hotel airport. Their goodbye is kept classy – both know they have to share the man they love and are finally willing to do so.

Deb drops by for steaks with Dexter. Some things never change. For once, though, they have an honest heart-to-heart about everything. The two have never been closer. 

Saxon flips out when he sees the news (including a scene from his kill videos thanks to Dexter), and races after Dexter. While Dexter pretends to sleep, Deb catches Saxon from behind. That is true love, the ultimate family bonding.

Dexter puts Saxon on his table but comes to his own realizations. He doesn’t want to be there. He doesn’t need to kill Saxon. He calls Deb to have her retrieve Saxon to do this one by the book. One last time, Dexter helps out his baby sister with her career. They say their goodbyes, short and simple, the Morgan way. As Dexter leaves, Harry also says goodbye. Now that Dexter doesn’t need the kill, he no longer needs Harry to be his moral compass.

But the Marshall is tailing Deb, and as the Morgans say goodbye, the Marshall sneaks inside. He frees Saxon, who promptly stabs him as thanks. Deb walks in, firing a couple shots, nicking Saxon in the arm, but Saxon returns fire, catching her in the stomach before he flees.

Meanwhile, Dexter walks out of his apartment, bags packed, Harrison in tow. It mirrors the scene from the opening credits, but for once he’s not alone. But with Elway chasing Hannah and Deb bleeding out, will he stay that way?

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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