In last week’s recap, I mentioned how it looks like Harrison is growing up to be “solid and respectable,” albeit with a bit of an inherited dark streak. Factoring in what we’ve now learned from episode four, it’s actually looking like that dark streak is casting a pretty heavy shadow over anything resembling solid. But the respectable part, well, that’s open to interpretation.
Harrison is getting comfortable in his new home of Iron Lake, New York. And when a person gets comfortable, their true self pushes past the mask of politeness worn while acclimating.
After befriending Ethan, the awkward outcast of his high school, and saving him from a beatdown from Zach, one of a group of bullies who’ve tormented Ethan for years, Harrison seems to be choosing a different life path from his dad. Even ghost Deb thinks so. But Dexter/Jim knows better. He sees something in his son Harrison that no one else does. He sees himself — both the mask and the true face beneath.
A popular podcaster sniffing around town first appeared in episode three under the guise of a “citizen activist” offering to help in the search for Matt Caldwell. Dressed head to toe in circa 2003 Nordstrom Rack, her nosey and chipper demeanor was off-putting to Sheriff Angela Bishop from the jump, and even more so when Angela learns that the “citizen activist” is actually viral podcaster Molly Park (Jamie Chung), host of Merry Fucking Kill, which focuses on true crimes of all shapes and sizes.
With Molly in town and her true identity and intentions known, Harrison takes an interest in her podcast and comes to one about the Trinity Killer while scrolling through the episodes. If you remember from the original Dexter series, this is the guy who killed Harrison’s mom. The details of this tragic event are eerily similar to the murder of Dexter’s own mother when he himself was a child. Both were in the same room at the time of the killings. And both young boys were left to sit and cry in the blood of their dead mom until help came. In the case of Harrison’s mom, the Trinity Killer sliced her with a straight razor, which is now Harrison’s weapon of choice in his first (that we know of) dip into the same bloody pool his dad swims in.
When Harrison listens to the Trinity Killer episode, something snaps, and that line he was walking between hero and villain gets harder to follow. We see Harrison alone at school listening to the podcast, and then there’s a jump to later in the day when Dexter receives an alert on his phone that there’s a lockdown at the high school. We’re first made to believe that Ethan asked Harrison to be part of a school shooting with him and lashed out when Harrison refused, causing Harrison to react in defense. But then, through Dexter’s analysis, we come to find that Harrison brought a straight razor to school and used it to slash Ethan’s leg so he could see what it would feel like. He then used a different knife to stab himself to make it look like Ethan had stabbed him and he was forced to defend himself.
Seeing the angle of Harrison’s wound and the telltale blood splatter, Dexter knows right away that Harrison is lying and gives him a chance to come clean, but his son defensively doubles down on the lie. Blood doesn’t lie, though. And now Dexter knows that he’s not the only one with a dark passenger, which makes him … happy? This family is nuts. Or, in the words of Deb, a bunch of fuck nuggets.
There is quite a large population of predators and weirdos for a town as seemingly small as Iron Lake, New York. There’s Dexter/Jim, doing whatever the hell it is he’s doing. There’s a fully sentient ghost with a flair for dramatic montages. There’s Kurt Caldwell, who is making up stories about his dead kid while also probably killing young women in his doo-wop dungeon. And there’s Harrison, who’s out there slicing nerds and eating breakfast foods in the most unhinged way I’ve ever witnessed. To the townsfolk of Iron Lake, I’d say, maybe consider a move? Brooklyn is fantastic. The price hike is worth it. Historically small towns are literal magnets for freaks and killers. Do you think John Wayne Gacy would have been able to hide all those bodies in a six-floor walkup? No way. Extra space and breathing room are a benefit of wooded areas, but it’s also a prime location for someone with something to hide. And Kurt Caldwell definitely has something to hide.
At this point, it could still be anyone’s game in terms of who is responsible for capturing and killing the young woman formerly known as Hamburger Girl, but this episode is heavily pointing toward Kurt. Although Edward Olsen (Fredric Lehne) is still in the running as either a red herring or the true culprit.
We see more of what’s behind Kurt’s reasoning for claiming to have FaceTimed with his dead son Matt, and ghost Deb walks Dexter/Jim through her theories. Deb seems to think Kurt believes that Johnny Bullhorn killed Matt for hunting a white buck on Seneca land and that he’s trying to create a distraction so that he can find and extinguish Matt’s killer himself. Deb warns Dexter/Jim that this will eventually lead Kurt to Matt’s real killer, which is, of course, Dexter/Jim himself. But he doesn’t seem too worried about this.
Kurt seems to like to do favors for wayward women, which either means he’s a genuinely nice guy or a demented pervert. Toss-ups of this nature usually flop toward the latter. Dexter/Jim sees Kurt talking to a girl with green hair inside of the Filling Station diner and catches a vibe from it. Probably for a good reason. We later see that same girl return to the diner to hit Kurt up for some money after spending what he previously gave her on food and a new coat. Kurt offers her a job at the diner instead, so she can make her own money, and then we see him drive her off to a cabin in the woods with a basement entry/exit similar to the one that Hamburger Girl escaped from in episode three. It would be unusual for a show to just hand you a solution so easily like that, so this is probably just delaying the fact that the killer is actually Edward Olsen or someone entirely different even. But who knows? For a show that started out a shit show and is turning into something that’s actually fun to watch … anything can happen from here.
On the Kill Room Floor
• Scandalous reveal that the podcaster Molly Park slept with Sergeant Logan (Alano Miller). Guess he’s not a pedo after all. This guy must take all the vitamins to juggle being a sergeant, a wrestling coach, and a dater of podcast ladies. That’s exhausting to even think about.
• It was heartbreaking to see ghost Deb look on while Harrison talked to his dad about his memories of her. Jennifer Carpenter is killing it in this show. Agreeing to take on a role where she’s forced to play an impassioned ghost up against a popular character portrayed by her real-life ex has got to be hard. I hope she got paid a lot for this.
• Why does Audrey use her flash when she takes a picture of Ethan’s kill list in her mom’s office? That was so unnecessary.