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Spoilers if you haven't seen tonight's episode of Dexter ("A Little Reflection"). Should we have seen the end of tonight's episode of Dexter coming? I'm thinking no. Looking back through the episode, I can't think of any hints that would have clued us in to where things were heading in the final moments of the episode. And yet, I still feel like I should've seen that coming! Well, there's something major to look forward to next week. Hannah's back!
Before that major reveal, Dexter found his next victim, and turned him into an apprentice - or an "intern" as he put it. Dexter spent the episode getting to know Zach Hamilton after learning that the kid is one of Vogel's patients. He got definitive proof that Zach killed Norma Rivera. Because Zach's big into photography, he took photos of Norma Rivera as she was bleeding out. And there was no mistaking who took the photos, as we could see Zach in the reflection. So yeah, he definitely did it. And Vogel's treating him and considering the code as a possible solution for Zach. While she pondered that, Dexter proceeded to get to know Zach, letting him photograph a blood-soaked crime scene and appreciate all the blood as though "that dead chick" spilled it all just for him. Creeper.
Dexter continued to stalk Zach, eventually catching up with him just as he was about to attack his father. Dexter had Zach strapped down to his kill table and primed for a good stabbing when Zach revealed that he was trying to save his mother by targeting his father and his father's mistresses. He talked about feeling like a freak and a monster, which resonated with Dexter, who's been battling with his own demons all his life. It became evident as Dexter coerced Zach into admitting his inner urge to kill goes beyond anger toward his father, that Zach's not all that different from Dexter. So Dexter let him go, deciding he'd take Zach under his wing rather than put him under his knife. He'll be Zach's Harry and teach him the ways of the code.
Does anyone else think this experiment with Zach is doomed for failure? On one hand, Zach's already killed an innocent person. Granted, Norma was committing adultery, but that's hardly code-worthy. On the other hand, I don't know if this scenario would have worked as well if Dexter were the one to guide Zach toward his very first kill. That wouldn't look very good for Dexter from our perspective. But reining Zach in and guiding his monster toward bad people, well that's not so bad, right? It's all a big gray area, and like I said, I don't see it working out any better than things worked out with Miguel Prado or anyone else Dexter's tried to befriend. But we'll see.
Getting back to the big cliffhanger. Dexter revealed his plans to mentor someone to Deb, and I was surprised at how calmly she took it. As though she was just resigned to letting her brother be a serial killer and spread his knowledge to other aspiring serial killers. And then she fell over. Seeing Deb drugged, I should've automatically thought Hannah! But it took the sight of Yvonne Strahovski walking into the room to make me realize it was her. Hannah has returned and she's already up to her old tricks. It looks like she's drugged Dexter and Deb. Is she back for revenge? Or has she done this just to keep them from attacking her so she can explain herself? Either way, wow!
In other news:
Batista gave Angie Miller the sergeant position, which likely pleased Matthews, who pointed out that Miller is both African American and a woman, which I guess checks two boxes in making Miami Metro look good. It's bad news for Quinn though, but it sounds like Miller was more qualified. Sure, Quinn has street-smarts, but he has a spotty record, a history of unpredictability and Miller tested better. Really, it seems like Batista made the right call. But Quinn didn't appreciate it and neither did Jamie. Quinn spent half the episode trying to prove himself a good cop by tailing Zach. It took a bit of lying on Dexter's part to get Quinn off Zach's trail, but Dexter's never had any trouble telling lies.
Know who else is good at lying? Harrison! The kid never used to say more than a word or two. Now he can tell full lies. He lied about breaking and hiding the remote, and rather than this being chalked up to Harrison being four and discovering that he can say things that aren't true, even if people see right through it, the reasoning behind it was that Harrison learned lying from his father. Harrison apparently witnessed his father toss the stuffed dog that got covered in blood the night Dexter killed Briggs. Dexter lied about the dog and Harrison later dug it out of the trash. Probably not the best thing to have lying around, but it seems oddly fitting that the kid should have a blood-covered toy. Dark, but fitting.
Elray had Deb help him prove his sister's boyfriend is a cheater. The whole sting operation seemed like a combination platter of Elray being a good brother and also trying to spend some time with Deb. He lost his cool when he caught the cheating boyfriend trying to kiss Deb, and at that point it was unclear whether he was just enraged that this guy was breaking his sister's heart, or that he was putting his mitts all over Deb. Either way, he's got a short fuse. Where that's going, who knows? But it seemed relevant and Deb's now aware that Elray's into her.
After Deb revealed to him that Niki's credit is wrecked and she has debt to deal with, Masuka made the awkward error of presenting his daughter with a check for five thousand dollars, telling her it was all he could afford. He also admitted to looking into her background. Niki's reaction to this was understandably disappointed and upset that he'd treat her like a criminal. She admitted to having debts but said she was paying them off and didn't want his money. Now, it seems like Niki's intentions might be pure, but just for the heck of it, what if this display of indignation was all for show to throw Masuka off? Maybe she looked at the check and knew it was a pittance compared to what she really wants to get out of him. Who knows how much Masuka is really worth? If they introduce a skeezy boyfriend into the equation, I'm calling this a long con. But the optimist in me hopes Masuka walks away from this situation with a daughter that's ready to call him Dad. I really hate the idea of Masuka getting hurt. Especially after seeing him hug Deb when she gave him some optimistic advice.
Dexter may have some competition for Cassie. She showed up at Jamie's birthday party with some guy named Oliver. I don't think Dexter was all that worried about the situation though. Right now it seems like Jamie's more into Dexter being with Cassie than Cassie is.
Finally, Dexter's not cooking amazing steak anymore. I think there might be some metaphor in there about his steaks no longer being worth living for, but if there is, I missed it.