TV Recaps

'Dexter' Recap: "Buck the System"

In last week’s episode of Dexter, Deb decided she was going to glue herself to her brother’s side and make it her own personal mission to make sure he doesn’t murder anyone anymore. It kind of work, stopped him from wrapping Louis up in plastic and dumping the remains in the bottom of the ocean. But he still managed to sneak out on her, let’s see how he’s handling their arrangements this week.

ICYMI: Dexter Recap: “Sunshine and Frosty Swirl”

The answer comes early on, as in the first line of the episode: “I feel trapped, like there’s no escape.”  Dex is stuck in a very long post office line, with Deb just outside. He feels like a caged animal and an animal is never more dangerous than when it’s trapped into a corner. He’s imagining killing the post office woman, but Deb pulls him out of his bloody delusions.

At the station, he and Louis pass each other on the hallway and Dexter smirks, considering what he did last week, I’d be smirking too. There’s a briefing, they are still looking for Mike’s killer but they got nothing. Deb won’t stop staring at Dexter, Masuka wants to know if she’s mad at him. She gives him an assignment and Masuka is pretty sure Dex did something wrong. He is now imagining killing Masuka.

Dexter’s assignment is to collect DNA from a suspect, who is giving him a hard time. He keeps pushing Dexter, but this time, he doesn’t just imagine trying to kill the guy. He actually has his hands around his neck when Deb walks in. She is in time, so they both walk out of the room. Dexter tells Deb how much she’s driving him crazy. He called her when he had the urge, she doesn’t have to watch his every move. She’s suppressing his need and he feels like he’s going to crack. He needs to channel it, with the Code of Harry. But Deb refuses to accept that. She brings up Harrison and how sooner or later this will affect him, she’ll give him some space.

But Dexter can’t go on like this. He’s on the hunt, the man he’s looking into is Raymond Speltzer. Paroled for assault, but he’s done worse. Several women’s murders are connected to him but not enough proof to convict him, so Dex is on the case. He’s followed Speltzer to his gym, he’s working out when Deb calls him to check in, he tells her the truth about where he is. Good thing too, because she’s standing outside.

Back at the station, Quinn is still BFFing the stripper, Nadia. She’s looking for a bracelet her dead friend had been wearing the night she was killed, but it’s not listed on her belongings. Still, Quinn gets a date with her, she’ll be cooking him dinner. Back at the strip club, she’s telling her boss about the bracelet. Apparently there was a GPS chip on it, they use them to track the mules. If the cops find it, it’s trouble for them. More like if they find out about it, it’s trouble for Dex. The big boss, Isaac, is also there, he takes this as good news but he seems to want to chat with Nadia. Some story about a russian singer that shares her name, he seems chill but he’s intimidating her.

His music teacher told him about this singer, but he also gave him an F so he pushed the teacher down a flight of stairs. Because you don’t mess with the russian mobs, yo. So his father sent him to school in England and he has no more sensitive side aside from his love of opera. Which tends to be pretty damn tragic, so, fitting. As expected, he wants her to get close to Quinn for him. Isaac figures that Viktor took the bracelet off the dead girl (which he did), but even though the signal died over a week ago, he asks his men to get the IT guy to set the system up to try and trace where it is.

At Miami Metro, Louis is talking to Masuka when he notices Dexter staring at him. He is super mature and subtly flips Dexter off. I feel like chopping his head off and I’m not even a serial killer thirsty for a kill. From another room, Deb is talking to Batista but is keeping an eye on Dexter. A package is delivered to the forensics department, Masuka takes it. It’s what Dexter was shipping, the hand from the Ice Truck Killer’s case. He added a letter, asking for a refund since the ‘buyer’ said he expected it in mint condition. And with that, Masuka fired him. Nicely played, Mr. Morgan.

In Deb’s office, Wayne’s mother (the guy who killed himself in the end of last week’s episode) is there. She has some sentimental items that her son sent her fifteen years ago. She hopes it might bring some answers and peace to the victim’s families. Dexter is in charge of unwrapping it. Matches and souvenirs are part of the collection, probably trophies. Quinn comes in to update on Mike’s case: The bouncer, Tony was found with a screwdriver to his head. Deb is about to leave the room when Dex slips in that he won’t be home for dinner.

At Louis’ apartment, Jaime is there when he walks in. She looks upset, she’s watching a video. It’s the video Dexter found on his computer, of him with a naked blonde who proceeds to go down on him toward the end of the video. He tries to tell her it was before they started dating, but he’s wearing the shirt she gave him for his birthday. He tries to justify by telling her it was a hooker. “It’s not cheating if you pay for it.” Really? Is that a thing? Apparently Jaime got that disk in the mail anonymously. Nice.

That night, Deb is still following Dexter. He didn’t go to a gym, but he’s apparently at some bar. She walks up to the door and her phone rings. “Ordered you a beer.” Dexter knew she was following him. He lured her there, and he’s telling her about Speltzer’s case that he’s looking into. He thinks he’s getting ready to do it again, because he shaved his head today and he had recently shaved the two previous times he got arrested, part of his ritual. She realized Speltzer is there and that Dexter is stalking him to kill him and freaks out, starts making a scene. So Dexter drags her away. He brought her there because he wanted to show her that there is some value to what he does. He’s trying to be honest with her as promised.

Deb wants to know why his law is so much better than the normal law. He explains that someone else would have to die for Speltzer to be arrested and he can stop that. C’mon Deb, let him kill! He’s trying to tell her he will not kill Speltzer without enough evidence that he has killed, but Deb says this is done. And nothing better happen to the bald guy.

But Dex isn’t done. He followed Speltzer to the cemetery he works at the following day. He went into a mausoleum, but he’s a groundskeeper so he had no reason to. He’s about to look into the mausoleum but Deb calls again, saying she needs him at the station now.

Meanwhile at the stripclub, the IT guy has managed to track the bracelet. It kept moving after the girl died. It went to the airport, then a marina and finally eight miles out to sea. Isaac knows he’s dead. He wants to know more about where the boat left from.

Once he’s at Deb’s office, Dexter keeps up his promise and tells her exactly what he was doing. He says Harry taught him to listen to his most primitive instincts, his lizard brain. She doesn’t want to put faith in them, but he says she already has. He has helped her catch several murderers with it before, it’s her secret weapon. But she tells him she’s taking care of this herself, with the law. Or she will take them both down. And she’s sending him to investigate Wayne’s partner Hannah McKay with Batista, because she needs her DNA and she needs to keep him away from Speltzer.

On the way to Hannah, Batista stops by the stripclub to let the russian mobs know he knows they killed Tony. Smart. Dexter is waiting and he just happens to be standing right next to Isaac. They are both just killing time. At Hannah’s place, Batista tells Dexter she was only 15 at the time, she wasn’t in on the murders, just seeing Wayne. She testified against him and served six years in juvie. Now she owns a plant nursery.

Hannah is not amused when she hears they are there to talk about Wayne. She’s nervous, just wants to put it behind her. She claims not to know about the other women Wayne murdered. They are in her greenhouse and Dexter pokes his finger in a sharp plant. Batista wants her to look at the pictures of the objects Wayne’s mother brought in to see if she recognizes anything. When Dexter is about to swab her mouth, he gets clumsy and drops it to the floor. They have a moment of staring at each other, apparently Hannah is really into serial killers?

Deb, as promised, is working on the case. She goes to LaGuerta, but the evidence (or lack thereof) that Deb has isn’t enough for a warrant to get into the mausoleum. Role reversal, this time, Deb is playing Dex and LaGuerta is playing Deb, who is getting increasingly frustrated with their law. LaGuerta suggests putting a patrol car on Speltzer.

The russians found their way to the marina and to Slice of Life. Someone is there, it’s Louis, trying to get back at Dexter. Caught by surprise, he says it’s his boat. Isaac wants answers, why did he kill Viktor? He’s about to poke Louis’ eyes out when he talks, telling Isaac that the boat belongs to Dexter. Louis is let go, and then Isaac puts a bullet through his head. No Aquaman there to save you, Louis.

That night, Dex is back at the cemetery and Deb is still at work. The cops in the patrol car are dismissed since it looks like Speltzer is in for the night.

Quinn is a Nadia’s with wine. She is telling him how ashamed her dad would be if he knew what she does, but she wants to be a dog walker. He goes in for a kiss but she stops him, and tells him about being told to get to know him. He will give her enough information to keep her bosses happy and in exchange she will pass on any information she has to him. Sounds like a great plan, guys! Not.

Back at Speltzer’s the girl he was flirting with at the bar the night Dex and Deb were there is at his door. Dexter breaks into the mausoleum and he finds his trophies, one of them is an earring that was missing from one of his previous victims. He tries to text a pic of it to Deb but he has no cell reception. Meanwhile, Deb is trying to call him, let him know she’s gonna go check on Speltzer herself, but no reception means she has to leave him a voicemail.

She’s parked outside and in his house, he’s already starting to creep his date out. He makes a sucky mojito, but he meant it to have no alcohol. There’s no challenge if she’s drunk. He likes it when they are strong and all of the sudden, he jumps her. The lights are off, but there is a blinking light upstairs, and Deb wants to figure out what it is. Dexter finally leaves the mausoleum, already in his murder outfit, when he gets Deb’s voicemail.

Loud, hard rock music is coming from inside. Telltale sign that someone is being killed if you ask me. Dex is on his way but Deb hears a scream and starts knocking on the door. Inside, the girl is running around the house, trying to get away. Speltzer is being a creeper and wearing a bull mask, there was also a bull statue on top of the mausoleum. She’s finally cornered by him and he’s breathing heavily just to be an even bigger creeper.

Meanwhile, Deb the impatient has shot her way through the door. The inside of the house looks like its under construction, boards and plastic everywhere. Also, a wall with several sharp looking spikes sticking out of it. Deb stops, trying to figure out where to go next and hands appear from the floor, wrap around her leg and pull her down a hole. Is Dexter there yet? No, but Speltzer is. She manages to kick him, but her hand is stuck on barbed wire. Ouch.

He gets up, and just as he’s about to come for her, Dexter! He knocks Speltzer down with a piece of wood. Music and lights are out, they go find her girl, she’s missing her earring and she’s already dead. They hears footsteps and then a car taking off, Speltzer is gone.

They call the cops, apparently the house was a foreclosure that he broke into. No prints or DNA on anything, just burnt plastic in the oven, he burned whatever he touched. They sent an unit to the mausoleum, the door was open and the earring was missing. He wins again. Deb is not happy and Dexter is just watching her. How’s that law thing working out for you now, Deb?

Next morning, she’s alone at the beach, she seems disturbed. When she goes back home, Dexter is making coffee, He offers her coffee, but she just tells him he was right. If things had gone his way, Speltzer would be dead and the girl alive. She gets it now, even though she hates it. She understands it’s a necessary evil.

What she doesn’t understand are the blood slides, his trophies. He likes to kill. She knows he can’t change who he is, but she can’t change who she is, either. She thinks he should move out. He reminds her he’s still her brother, nothing has changed. But everything has changed and she doesn’t know if it can ever be the same again.

Dexter is out of his cage, but freedom comes with a cost.