Dexter: Rub-a-Dub-Dub


If I Had a Hammer
Season 4 Episode 6

A shocking development: Harry Morgan doesn’t show up once. But with Dexter more obsessed than the average viewer about things like whether the Trinity Killer keeps souvenirs and whether his love for his family is real or carefully crafted camouflage, this episode’s big revelations about Trinity don’t seem as significant as they should.

Harry’s disappearance might seem like an improvement, given that half the time he illuminates about as much as a Dexter voice-over. Of course, the other half of the time he’s a useful gauge of how Dexter is evolving beyond his training. His absence is important — and not just because it allows us to focus on Debra’s daddy issues rather than Dexter’s.

Before guessing (rightly, but for the wrong reason) that it was Trinity who shot her and Lundy, Debra considers falsely testifying that she saw the surviving Vacation Murderer shoot them. She learned from Harry that a good cop will do anything to close a case, but she decides she’s a better person than dear ol’ Dad — who she finds had racked up a considerable tally of affairs with informants.

With Dad off his back and (metaphorically) haunting Debra, Dexter can focus on the living members of his family. And on Trinity’s, living as well as dead. Every once in a while the perfect family man freaks out, but — as he counsels Dexter — jumping into the life with both feet saved him. That wisdom gives henpecked Dexter the courage to take advantage of the best excuse ever, since it just happens to be true: He’s afraid to let Rita get close because of his past.

Trinity is a teacher, a deacon, and even a volunteer for a Habitat-for-Humanity-type organization. He is also, of course, an accomplished murderer, periodically copying the deaths of his sister (drowned in a bathtub), mother (fell to her death), and father (bludgeoned). Just for fun, he harmlessly recreates the bathtub scenes with his innocent wife.

Dexter doesn’t share Trinity’s family history with his colleagues, but he does provide them with some crucial evidence, accidentally pointing out a smudge of ash (laced with the killer’s spit and a female relative’s bone fragment) and deliberately bringing in the murder weapon. Dexter has always focused on taking down killers who got away with it; going after Trinity, who the cops could get, is a strange departure. Maybe he just can’t pass up the opportunity to bond with another family man, or to avenge Debra.

Meanwhile, Masuka is extra creepy, Quinn is a condescending macho jerk (but really cares about Debra), and LaGuerta and Batista have sworn an affidavit saying they’ll stay away from each other so they can both remain in the department. It’s not that they love their jobs more than each other, but that they love each other for their jobs. We don’t believe they’re done, but we’re more interested in finding out why Trinity has only his sister’s ashes — and watching the imminent showdown between him and Dexter. And yes, we also look forward to seeing more of Harry Morgan.

More Recaps:
EW’s Ken Tucker wants to ax Rita as much as we do.
The Dreamin’ Demon seconds that. Yeah, everyone hates Rita.
Cinema Blend’s Nick Venable lauds an action scene, but asserts that the show can be sort of stupid.
And Television Without Pity prompts us to once again hope that Anton was really the shooter, and that Dexter would get help for that voice in his head.

Dexter: Rub-a-Dub-Dub