SPOILER ALERT: The recap for the "A Little Reflection" episode of "Dexter" contains storyline and character spoilers.
Dexter's a papa again! Sorta.
Our antihero spent most of "A Little Reflection" tracking young murder suspect Zack Hamilton to determine whether or not the rich kid with a blood fascination killed his father's mistress, Norma Rivera.
But with Dexter determined to stop another serial killer before he really got started, a funny thing happened on the way to his kill table: He discovered he has a lot in common with Zack. So much so that he's decided to mentor the lad in the ways of killing lots of people and getting away with it.
But before all that fun can begin, Dexter and Deb are going to have to deal with a blast from the past: Dexter's (other) fellow serial killer, and ex-girlfriend, Hannah. While the Morgan siblings were having a little catch-up session, they found out their beverages had been drugged, and as they went down for the count, a blurry image appeared before Dexter's eyes.
"Hello, Dexter," Hannah says. "Remember me?"
That's where we'll pick up with the Miami crew next week, and here's what else unfolded in this, the episode that puts us halfway through the final season of "Dexter":
Dr. Psychopath Whisperer Strikes Again
Dr. Vogel may have a big hand in Dexter and Deb being on the road to repairing their relationship, but she continues to cause major problems elsewhere in Dexter's life. It's Vogel who first suggests to Dexter that he shouldn't just write off, and therefore kill, Zack Hamilton, who also happens to be her patient.
Vogel tells Dex she sees "potential" in Zack, the same kind of potential she saw in the young Dexter. "What if we were to teach Zack the code?" she asks.
"He killed an innocent, and he's getting ready to do it again," Dexter says. "He needs to die."
Dexter gets proof that Zack did kill Norma, and Vogel confirms he had confessed the crime to her, but when Dex gets him on his kill table, he learns a disturbing, yet also comforting truth: Zack has a dark passenger, just like Dex. And while killing Norma was about trying to protect his mother — as was his plan to kill his father, which was interrupted by Dexter — Zack tells Dexter to kill him, as he knows if he lives, he will give in to the urge to kill again.
Recognizing the titular "little reflection," Dexter spares Zack, even if it means taking on a certain responsibility for him. "Am I ready for this?" he asks himself. "To be a spiritual father?"
Dorkily Dating Dexter
What Dexter is not ready for? Dating. At least, not dating sweet, friendly neighbor Cassie, who invites him to accompany her on a food truck sampling mission. He gets French fries covered with Nutella and peanut butter — Yum? Gross? We can't decide — but it's all downhill from there, as the usual get-to-know-you questions of first dates just drive home how secretive, and single-minded, Dexter is.
Cassie wants to know if he has any hobbies (none that he can share), what he's passionate about (nothing he can share), and what he likes to do on his boat (nothing he can share).
"Dating is harder than I remember," he concludes.
Joey Quinn, Not Your Day
What would a final season episode of "Dexter" be without a little kick right to the groin area of one Joey Quinn? This isn't the episode where we find out the answer to that question, as Deputy Chief Matthews demands that Angel make his decision about the sergeant promotion, and Angel has to admit Angie Miller, not Quinn, is the best candidate for the job.
Quinn's ticked, his lack of promotion ruins the beach birthday party of his girlfriend (and Angel's sister) Jamie, and Quinn decides to pair up with Dexter to step up his investigation of Zack Hamilton, who Quinn is convinced is the Rivera murderer.
Dexter agrees to ride along with Quinn as he tails Zack (only to keep Quinn from figuring out the truth, of course), during which Quinn tells his co-worker how Matthews, Angel, and everyone else in the police department all have secrets.
[Related: Jennifer Carpenter: What's In My Bag?]
"We all got sh-- … some people get away with theirs, and some people don't," Quinn says, in yet another Season 8 statement that makes us certain he's either going to die, and/or he's going to be the one who ultimately finds out the truth about Dexter's other life.
"Dexter" Short Cuts:
- Harrison Morgan (aka the cutest kid on cable these days) says to dad Dexter, after Dex gets ready to go to a crime scene and tells Harrison he's on his own to finish a jigsaw puzzle: "I'm doing all the work, anyway."
- The four-year-old did lie about breaking and hiding the TV remote, however, which Dexter called him on. "We should never lie," Dexter says. "But Daddy, you lie," Harrison responds, pulling out from his drawer a stuffed animal Dexter said was lost, but which he had thrown away when it got bloody after the murder of Andrew Briggs.
- "I can live with my lies, but how long can Harrison, before he finally sees through?" Dexter wonders, in what seems like a disturbingly prophetic question during this final season of the series.
- Deb and her electrolyte replacement-loving boss, Elway, continued to bond while working on a personal case: He wanted to catch his sister's boyfriend cheating on her so he could try to spare his sis a lot of heartbreak down the road. Deb helped by offering herself as bait, and Elway continued to be very bad at hiding just how attracted he is to his employee. Meanwhile, as he and Deb have great chemistry and couple potential, we still can't help feeling like there's more to old Jacob Elway than has yet been revealed.
- Masuka, Masuka, Masuka. He meant well when he offered newly found sperm donation offspring Nikki a $5,000 check to help her get out of debt, but when he explained that he knows about her debt because he had her investigated, she was, understandably, not happy about it. Has our poor little forensics investigation geek lost the only woman who has ever called him "cool"?
- Before their snack time was so rudely interrupted by Hannah at the end of the episode, Deb and Dex inched closer to each other over a steak-and-beer dinner, just like they used to enjoy in the old days (aka the days before she had to murder an innocent woman to protect him). It's awkward going at first. And it got even more awkward when Deb bit into the steak, which she so delicately described as tasting like "a--hole." "Sorry, cow," she said, while Dexter went off to order a pizza.
"Dexter" airs Sundays at 9 PM on Showtime.