Once upon a time, Dexter knew how to fade into the background. He knew how to be the quiet lab guy who took his samples, analyzed a bit of blood spatter and went on his merry, serial-killing way without anyone being the wiser. These days, everyone seems to have his eye on him, trying to figure out - as Isaak put it - what kind of monster he is. And rather than ducking further into the shadows, as one might expect he should do, waiting out the suspicion until things die down, Dexter seems to be knee-deep in the thick of things. It's just a matter of time before it all blows up.
Do what you do.
Sal Price is dead. But before he met his demise in a manner so obvious, it's a wonder he didn't see it coming, he was snooping around Hannah McKay, trying to fill in the blank pages of the book he's writing about her. That brought him to the street outside Hannah's house just as Dexter was dropping her off after their winter wonderland of kill-table sex. Things may not have gone the way Dexter planned, but Hannah appeared to adjust from being almost-murdered to being in a semi-relationship with her would-be killer. I guess when you spend part of your adolescence hanging around a murderer, it's easier to handle 180's like these.
Sal's scenes were divided between narrow-eyed moments with Dexter and Hannah, wanting to get whatever information he could from them, and hanging around Deb, dropping cheesy lines on her but also sharing updates on the Hannah McKay case. Deb got Hannah's deceased husband's sister Laurie to agree to exhume her brother's body so they could test his tissue for poison, only to discover that - on Hannah's orders - the body hadn't been embalmed , so there was no tissue to test. Dead end there. But then Hannah gave Deb another body to examine: Sal Price.
Sal's trying to prove Hannah's a murderer, so you'd think he'd be wary about putting things in his mouth while at her place. Or even being around her at all, really. Of course, he revealed his oral fixation to us earlier in the episode when chatting with Deb, so the pen thing didn't entirely come out of nowhere. Hannah was also aware of his mannerisms and used that to her advantage by poisoning his pen, figuring it'd kick in while he was driving and he'd die in a car accident. And after tearfully confessing to stabbing the beach-woman to death - a crime she can't be punished for due to her immunity - and implying in her confession that it was an act of fear or hysteria or whatever, she sent him on his way, not realizing Dexter's house was his next stop, or that the poison would kick in when he was with Dexter.
Because Sal knew Dexter and Hannah were now seeing each other, and that Dexter fudged the blood report to protect Hannah, Sal was trying to get Dexter to give him information on her. In turn, Dexter was doing his best to get rid of Sal once and for all, and his plan was blackmail. Maybe if he and Hannah had swapped notes, they could have worked on this together, but that doesn't really matter anymore.
Earlier, Dexter broke into Sal's place, stole a bunch of DNA, erased the Hannah files off his computer and left. When Sal dropped Dexter's house after visiting Hanan, Dexter told him he'd plant Sal's DNA on the murder scene of a murder victim Sal wrote a book about. No idea how he planned to do that, but again, it doesn't matter anymore. Sal yelled at Dexter and then died of a heart attack on the floor of Dexter's apartment.
I assume Hannah didn't realize Sal was talking to the cops about her being a murderer. She can't be that stupid as to kill the writer the same way she killed her husband and not think it was going to draw suspicion on her. The weird thing was, the toxicology report came up clear. Did I miss how they explained that? Did she somehow find a poison that doesn't show up in the blood work? Regardless, she's going to get away with this murder too.
"There has to be some fucking justice."
Poor Deb. One minute, she's covering for Dexter by putting doubts in LaGuerta's head about the Bay Harbor Butcher, suggesting that they're reaching for leads, the next she's going out with a guy who later drops dead of a heart attack on her brother's living room floor. Deb has every right to dislike Hannah, especially considering once again, it looks like she's going to get away with murder. But this is just one more reason Dexter is playing with fire. And he knows it. He needs to be distancing himself from people involved with his sister's investigations, not sleeping with them.
Hannah has Dexter convinced that they have some connection, and Dexter's drawn to the fact that she accepts both sides of him. But even he seems to see the potential for combustion in this relationship. And factoring Sal's death, you'd think he'd want to back away from this woman and worry about his own body count. Hannah is trouble. Sure, she's beautiful and she's into Dexter, serial-killing and all, but she's a problem.
The episode ended with Deb telling Dexter to take care of Hannah the way he takes care of things. This is a pretty big turning point for Deb. All season we've seen her trying to make sense of her brother's nature and find a way to accept it. Now she's hit a point where she wants him to kill someone, and of course, it's with the person he's laying next to at that moment. Earlier we saw Deb upset when she confronted Dexter about intentionally messing up the blood report to cover for Hannah. Wait until Deb finds out Dexter's sleeping with her!
And in other Hannah news, apparently, she was pregnant when her husband died, and had a miscarriage at some point afterward. Hannah's story is that she wanted a family but her husband didn't. It's hard to know whether we should believe her or not. On one hand, she brought up "surrendering to nature" - her near-admission and justification for murder - and nature adding and subtracting in a way that sounded sad, as though she had been bitten by her own logic. But on the other hand, her tearful confession to Sal earlier proves that she's able to turn the waterworks on and off at will, so who knows?
In other news…
Quinn did his part in getting rid of Isaak's evidence and he's all about protecting Nadia and getting her away from them. While the lab people were trying to find additional evidence among the mess of raw sewage that now covers the floor of the murder scene (Isaak's guys did a good job of making it impossible to replace the lost DNA samples), Batista asked Quinn if he had anything to do with the missing evidence. Quinn outright lied, and Batista seemed to buy it.
Later, Quinn gave Batista ten grand to put toward his restaurant. I didn't get the feeling this was a bribe. I can't say I love the decisions Quinn's making, especially because we haven't really seen him get to know Nadia, so it's hard to get behind his decision to put his career on the line for her, but I thought the gift to Batista was a demonstration (to us) that this thing with Isaak isn't about the money for him. He just wants to get Nadia away from Isaak and his people. Of course, Batista took it as an overly generous gift from a good friend and hugged him for it.
Speaking of Isaak, he's now out of prison, and he had a little sit-down with Dexter to threaten him. Isaak's trying to figure out Dexter's motives. He knows he didn't know Mike Anderson very long, so he can't figure out why Dexter would kill Viktor for killing a guy he barely knew. Dexter may have given Isaak a better idea of what he's dealing with by rubbing it in his face that he crushed Isaak's head with a fire extinguisher. That infuriated Isaak, who made another threat before leaving.
Isaak isn't the only one with his sights set on Dexter. Deb might have put some doubts into LaGuerta's mind about whether or not to pursue these Bay Harbor Butcher leads, but later we saw LaGuerta going over some harbor logs or something and Dexter's name was on the list. Not sure where that's going to lead, but if Dexter's name shows up in too many places, that could be a problem!