How would you feel if you were drugged and the last thing you saw before you slid into oblivion was your ex-girlfriend serial killer (who you had put in jail) striding toward you?
I think it's safe to say -- not good.
Hannah McKay makes quite an entrance at the end of the episode, doing just that, but there were many other cliffhangers tonight.
Sweet Harrison confronts Dexter about lying, pulling out his stuffed toy dog that Dexter said was lost -- the one covered in the blood of Andrew Briggs, whom Dexter had killed. Dexter lets him keep the dog out of a desire to protect his son from the ugly truth.
Masuka, after finding out his daughter does have raging debts, gives her a check for five grand, but is flatly refused once the daughter finds out he did a background check. Off she storms, but really, what did she expect?
Dexter goes on a "date" -- and I'm using that term very loosely -- with his neighbor Cassie. As Dexter's main passion in life is ending the lives of others, he doesn't have much to talk about. Crash and burn.
Deb has her own hellacious "date" -- she goes on a stakeout with Elway and ends up offering herself as bait. The sleezy man immediately accepts (I'd be more suspicious if he didn't; she is one foxy lady), but Elway goes ballistic, taking the "white knight" cliche a bit too far as we know Deb hasn't been damsel in distress for quite some time. Elway's feelings for Deb are apparent, but she makes it clear she only sees him as a boss.
A far better non-date is when Deb and Dexter grab some steak and beers, just like old times. They chat as a wide camera shot focuses on a photo of the two of them from years ago, as if to remind us that things have changed. To embrace that fact, the two forgo the leather-tough-attempt-at-steak and go for pizza. Here's to making new traditions. They off-handedly mention Vogel's husband Richard, although no other information is provided. I can only guess something sinister in Vogel's past is about to be unearthed. (Insert scary music here)
Matthews confronts Angel about picking a sergeant, and for unclear reasons, he chooses Miller. Sure, everyone is telling us she is better, but we the audience know nothing about her. Seriously -- NOTHING. Where is the backstory? Where did she come from? Why haven't they told us? Are they waiting to surprise us? Because consider me surprised. I'll make the face and everything. Just tell me something!
But on to something we do know about -- Zach Hamilton, suspected killer of Norma Rivera.
Dexter follows the kid to a traffic accident, watching him as Hamilton snaps photos of the injured people and the mayhem surrounding the scene. He follows him right to Dr. Vogel's front door. Dexter confronts Dr. Vogel about this and they find themselves at a crossroads -- she wants to help the boy while Dexter wants to find evidence of his guilt ... and end his life. I can't say that either option sounds good.
But duty calls, his real duty anyway, and Dexter shows up to a crime scene of a woman stabbed to death. Hamilton is there snapping pictures as well, making it far too easy for Dexter. When he's alone, Dexter invites Hamilton onto the crime scene to get a closer look. Hamilton turns it into a how-to-kill teaching moment. I'd say it would be a sweet Hallmark moment, but they're serial killers, and I don't think there are cards for that.
Hamilton invites Dexter over to his apartment and Dexter, surprise, brings donuts. Just like old times? After all, Lesson 101 is to act normal, even if you aren't.
Hamilton's bloody pictures are all over his wall, but a normal one on the desk of a pretty lady catches Dexter's eye. A potential victim?
Back at the station, Quinn finds out he's been passed over for sergeant, and immediately goes to Dexter for evidence on Hamilton. He hopes if he takes him down, Angel will promote him. The two follow Hamilton (which is a lot more awkward than it sounds because they each have their own version of bringing this boy to justice) but he seems content to snap pictures of an outdoor yoga class.
Dexter notices that the woman from Hamilton's normal picture is in the yoga class. Dexter researches her off of her license plate and finds Sofia Fuentes, who works for a yacht club owned by Hamilton's family. Dexter deduces that since Hamilton likes photos so much, he might have some of his last victim, Rivera. Dexter breaks into Hamilton's apartment, finding those pictures of Rivera right after she was killed.
But, hold up, does anyone else feel like they should create a false identity to protect themselves from serial killers? Apparently, you can't walk two feet in Miami without bumping into one.
But back in Dexter-land, Dexter confronts Vogel with the evidence, and she defends Hamilton. She suggests teaching The Code to Hamilton, drawing the parallels between him and Dexter. Two vigilante serial killers? It's a wonder Miami still has any murderers left.
Dexter and Harrison show up to Jaimie's beach birthday party. Dex sees Cassie hitting it off with another guy. Can you feel embarrassment if you're a deadly serial killer? Dexter's facial expressions rarely change, so happy looks like sad, which looks like embarrassed.
Dexter leaves to finish off Hamilton. He finds Hamilton, waiting in the parking lot for Sofia. And there is Quinn, watching Hamilton. A quick call to Jamie about how Dex is concerned about Quinn since he didn't get the promotion (how considerate -- not), and Quinn gets a call to come hang out with her. It's then that Dexter sees Sofia with the elder Hamilton, providing the link between her and Rivera. Both were mistresses of Zach Hamilton's father. But Zach chases down his father instead.
Dexter knocks Zach out, and Quinn pulls up seconds later, telling Dexter to keep an eye on him. Oh, the irony!
As he lays on the table, Dexter confronts Zach Hamilton, who spins a tale about protecting his mother from his father, of how she was slowly drinking herself to death due to his father's affairs. But Dexter pushes harder, getting Hamilton to admit to his base desire to kill. Hamilton urges Dexter to kill him, or he'll have no choice but to kill again. He feels like he's a monster, and Dexter realizes that he can be saved. And he lets Hamilton go.
Dexter and Deb chat -- and her incident with Elway comes up. Her dating life is just as bad as Dexter's. But she passes out. As Dexter's own consciousness fades, his last view is of Hannah McKay. If I didn't already say it: Holy cow.