The title of this episode, “Dress Code,” is a reference to the private club that Dexter can’t infiltrate without a blazer and help from his “intern.” It could also be a nod to Nikki’s gig at the “sports bar” and her uncomfortable father-daughter chat with Masuka. It could even be a reference to Hannah’s new wardrobe — good-bye, gardening overalls; hello, designer dresses — or perhaps even the notion that however these characters disguise themselves, their true natures will eventually surface.
Hannah’s return takes center stage, as Dexter wakes up in a field after being drugged by his ex. She’s now “Maggie,” married to a sugar daddy, and living on a yacht. But using an international casino mogul for his money and ability to get you a new identity has its drawbacks, as Miles is a bit of a control freak. Strangely enough, Dexter quickly goes from trying to get rid of Hannah to saving her. He’s not over her yet; the question is, are Hannah’s feelings for the guy who sent her to jail legit or a wicked scheme? Seems to be the former, since if she wanted him dead, she could have given Dexter and his sister lethal doses. Even if their twisted love can be rekindled, disaster looms — likely in the form of Deb, who told Dexter, “I want her gone.” The new Deb’s definition of “gone” is a lot different than the old Deb, and the look she gives Hannah in the end suggests she’s considering a permanent solution.
Dexter’s obsession with his old flame pulls him off his game, unfortunately for Zack (and Cassie). First rule of Kill Club — do not talk to me in public. But hey, we can chat outside my apartment. And let’s discuss the finer points of my personal guidelines for acceptable homicide while tailgating in the Miami Metro parking lot. And when I need VIP access to a martini bar to stalk my ex, get your ass over here ASAP. Dexter is a really shitty mentor, though it’s not clear why Zack showed up at Dexter’s place when the plan was to meet at the photo studio. That scene was a double fake-out — at first it seemed like Cassie was in trouble, until Zack left in a huff. Didn’t think he’d return to blow off some steam by bludgeoning her to death. He’s definitely getting detention for that.
A few odds and ends worth noting:
- There’s still a great tension between Dexter and Hannah — during every exchange, they seem to be thinking, Do I have sex with you or kill you? Their confrontation at the bar shows Hannah’s wicked side, as she successfully crawls under Dexter’s skin: “He has other talents,” she says of Miles. “He’s the adventurous type.” Um, dating a serial killer wasn’t adventurous enough for you?
- Romantic that he is, Quinn promises to “totally think about” moving in with Jamie sometime in the very distant future, perhaps into a nice little cottage on Nofuckin’ Way. But when Batista calls off the Zack surveillance, suddenly Quinn’s all about cohabitation. Nothing says “I’m ready to take our relationship to the next level” like house hunting just to piss off your boss.
- It’s odd that Elway and Deb are sniping over her bitchiness and his being a dick, but don’t have a problem with the fact that he’s her boss. If Elway knew what was good for him — or what happens to Deb’s boyfriends — he’d keep things strictly professional.
- It’s fitting that Masuka’s daughter works at a topless bar; now we know for sure she’s really his kid. When a gig at Hooter’s would be a step up in terms of career development, you know you’re in trouble. Her presence in the forensics lab will surely screw things up, though it’s feeling like an artificial complication. No matter how this plot thread ends, it’s Masuka’s best, thanks to his coining of the phrase “breastaurant.”
- This basically sums up Dexter and Hannah’s relationship: “We need bleach,” Dexter says after finding Hannah has killed her husband. “Bags. Something to cut with — an ax or a saw … I’ll take care of everything.” Hannah looks deep into his eyes and says, “I believe you.” The things we do for love, right?
- Someone please green-light Harrison’s favorite cartoon, Rasta Mouse. It’s the only Dexter spinoff I want to see.
In the end, Dexter has two bodies to deal with, and it’s a toss-up as to which one is more troublesome in the long run — his fugitive ex-girlfriend’s millionaire husband or the neighbor who was killed by his protégé? Right now, Deb is the most immediate threat to Hannah’s future. My money’s on Zack as being the bigger problem, especially if he decides to go rogue and reject Dexter’s tutelage.
Though Vogel fades into the background a bit, she’s still the most compelling character this season. “I’m so glad you decided not to kill him,” she says to Dexter of Zack, and there’s something unmistakably devilish in her voice, a wicked glint in her eye. Later, Vogel takes perverse delight in the thought of Dexter and Hannah’s reunion: “Two psychopaths together. Never a good mix.” That begs the question — why would she be so eager to pair up Dexter and Zack if she knows trouble is ahead? Perhaps it’s because this is all to show Dexter that he’s meant to work alone — no sister, no apprentice, just The Code and Vogel’s guiding hand. Or perhaps we’ll later learn that Vogel — the master manipulator with a dead husband and loose ethics — is a psycho herself. Something tells me all this Hannah business — and perhaps Zack, a.k.a. Dex 2.0 — is a diversion that will bring us back to Vogel, what she’s really up to, and the ultimate fate of the Morgans.