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Shrink Wrap is the eighth of twelve episodes in Season One of the Showtime series DEXTER, and the eighth overall episode in the series. It first aired 19 November 2006.

The strange suicide of a powerful woman leads Dexter to suspect her shrink of murder, but he gets a shock when a visit to the suspect opens up dark secrets from Dexter's past.

Summary[]

Vanessa Gayle is found dead in her bathtub, apparently having shot herself, although her husband refuses to believe that she killed herself. Dexter Morgan connects her death to that of two other women who similarly killed themselves the previous year - Meghan Dowd and Carolyn Jillian.

Debra and Rudy pull up to the crime scene. They park and start kissing. Deb runs into the house through the pouring rain, saying she is "all wet." Doakes orders her to canvas the neighborhood.

It’s still raining when Dexter arrives at Rita's house with four hot chocolates. To his surprise, Paul Bennett opens the door and welcomes him inside. The court supervisor is still there, watching over Cody and Astor. Rita finally arrives and apologizes for being late. The court supervisor leaves and the kids come running into the room. The kids don't want Dexter's hot chocolate because their father had already made them some. Paul then puts Cody and Astor to bed, stating that Rita and Dexter don't need a chaperone.

Dexter becomes suspicious when he discerns a pattern of recent deaths of powerful women by suicide. Maria LaGuerta leans close to Dexter and asks why he is suddenly interested in suicides. He answers "morbid curiosity." When he asks what he can do for her, she flirtingly says, "So many things."

Captain Matthews tells LaGuerta that he had a good time at dinner last night with the D.A., celebrating the arrest of Neil Perry. This angers LaGuerta. Dexter tells her not to be upset because Neil is the wrong guy and Matthews will soon have "egg on his face."

Dexter takes out a doll's head from his desk drawer, worrying that the true Ice Truck Killer will disappear.

During his research, Dexter discovers that the three dead women had consulted the same therapist, Dr. Emmett Meridian, so Dexter visits him under the pseudonym "Sean Ellis."

During his first therapy appointment, Dexter is impressed with Meridian's insights. While Meridian is paying for lunch, Dexter sneaks a look at his appointment book, noticing a session for a Scott Solomon at the time of Vanessa's death.

In a flashback, Dexter ambushes Harry, choking him until Harry tells him to stop. He praises Dexter for the ambush until Dexter cheerfully states that he "won." Harry then reprimands him that it is not a game, but the only way he knows how to keep him out of an electric chair.

Due to Dexter's subtle manipulation, LaGuerta suspects that Neil is not the true killer. She confronts him in jail and he shows that he has no fingerprints because he burned them off. Neil promises to give up information if he can be interviewed first by a reporter.

Dexter sends the real Ice Truck Killer a message via Craig's List that only he will understand and signs it "Barbie."

He tracks down Scott Solomon while out jogging and confirms that Scott had kept his appointment, which gave Meridian an alibi. Scott flirts with Dexter and appears disappointed when Dexter says he has a girlfriend.

Rudy Cooper” and Debra are in her bedroom, having sex. He kisses her legs and arms, says that he loves them, and couldn’t have made them better himself. Debra, teary-eyed, says that she used to “fuck” but this feels different. Rudy calls it “making love.”

Rita finds Paul waiting for her and the kids at a playground, without the court supervisor. He convinces Rita to cancel her lunch date with Dexter and spend the day as a family.

Still believing that there was something fishy about the suicides, Dexter schedules a second session with Meridian. He brings up that Meridian is a fake, but the doctor said it was a common first time reaction to therapy. During this meeting, Dexter noticed a small camera hidden inside a plant in Meridian's office, which secretly recorded the sessions on a nearby laptop. He then took the opportunity to explore his control issues and inability to open himself up to others.

He is told by Meridian to relax, focus on his breathing, and remember a time when he felt powerless. Suddenly, Dexter starts to panic as events from his past start to surface. One is a memory of the time he wanted to kill a bully named Joshua. Harry tells teenage Dexter that he is proud that Dexter walked away. Dexter remarks that he should not be proud, because he still wants to kill Josh.

LaGuerta sends in a cop posing as a reporter to interview Neil Perry, but Neil doesn't fall for it. After he reveals knowing how she was promoted, LaGuerta realizes that Neil obtained information from cracking the police database.

After breaking into Meridian's office at night, Dexter erased his own session files and watched the sessions with the three suicide victims. Dexter discovered that Meridian would suddenly cut off their medication supply, causing them to go into severe withdrawal. He then filled their heads with noble thoughts of suicide, even going as far as recommending the use of firearms to show how "truly brave" they were.

When Dexter goes to Rita's house, she begins kissing him and takes off her nightgown, saying she is ready to have sex with him. Dexter, however, says he is too distracted by an important case. As he leaves, Rita looks puzzled. Even though he had enough proof, Morgan postpones killing Meridian in order to meet with him to discuss his sexual hang-ups.

Deb visits Rudy at his lab and he makes molds of her leg, supposedly for a patient of his. They end up having sex, which she brags about when she returns to work. Maria calls Doakes into her office and says they need to have their firewall checked.

In third session, During a relaxation technique, Dexter remembers walking toward Josh, holding a knife in his right hand. Harry grabs he in time to stop him from going further. He then angrily lectures Dexter about the danger of losing control. Then Dexter's subconscious memories of his mother's murder come up, and he immediately leaves the session.

That same day, Dexter is then able to spend the night with Rita Bennett. To his surprise, Rita enjoyed the intimacy they shared.

Perry confesses that he is not The Ice Truck Killer after he freaks out at the sight of a severed head shown to him by LaGuerta. Matthews is furious when he learns that Neil recanted his confession. The D.S. insists on moving forward with the trial regardless.

Dexter books another appointment as Sean. During the fourth and last session, a happy and confident Dexter admits his serial killer history before confronting Meridian about his indirect murders of the women. He then chokes Meridian, injects him with M99, and prepares a kill room in his office. When Meridian wakes up, Dexter asks him why he targeted powerful women, and thanks him for his help in working out his issues before killing him.

Dexter sends the real Ice Truck Killer a message via Craig's List.

Later, while Debra is singing and dancing before a mirror in her bedroom, Rudy calls from his apartment. He tells Debra that he's running late because he's in the middle of some housework. When he calls himself a "neat freak," Debra remarks that he's full of surprises. Chuckling, Rudy replies, "Oh, you have no idea." Rudy is revealed as the Ice Truck Killer when he responds to Dexter's message online and then walks into his freezer of sliced body parts and Barbie doll.

Quotes[]

  • "Most firearm suicides are committed by men. Women tend to slash their wrists, take pills, something more ladylike." - Dexter to Doakes
  • I can't have sex with Rita. Every time I sleep with a woman, she sees me for what I really am -- empty -- and then she's gone. But I don't want Rita to go. -Dexter voiceover
  • "Hey, you know, I feel really bad about the last time I was here. I didn't mean to get all alpha male on you. It's just... What are you supposed to say to the guy who's fucking your wife while you're in jail?" -Paul Bennett to Dexter
  • "Now, you can go down as a pathetic loser who killed mom or... the most heinous killer in Florida's history -- Your choice." -Mar ia LaGuerta to Neil Perry
  • "I can't believe, out of two million sperm, you were the fastest swimmer." -Joshua to teenage Dexter
  • "The reason you avoid sexual intimacy is because you don't want to surrender control." -Meridian to Dexter
  • I'm gonna tell you something that I've never told anyone before. I'm a serial killer. Oh, that feels so -- so amazing to say out loud!" -Dexter to Meridian
  • "I have to confess, I'm a little conflicted. You've helped me make a major self-discovery. The fact that I'm a killer... that's something I can't control. You helped me to accept what I really am. I'm grateful for that." - Dexter to Meridian
  • "And I thought I was a master at damage control.” --Dexter, regarding Meridian

Trivia[]

  • Dexter strangles Dr. Meridian with a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu move known as "Lion Killer."
  • During subsequent visits, the therapist actually helps Dexter with his intimacy issues, enabling him to have sex with Rita.
  • Rudy Cooper is revealed as the Ice Truck Killer by being shown working on a dead body in a laboratory. The fate of this person is never revealed nor the body left for discovery. The only body that is presented after this was of a hooker that Detective Batista interviewed.
  • Tony Goldwyn, who plays Dr. Meridian, also directed here (as well as three other times).
  • The alias Dexter gives the shrink is Sean Ellis, the first name of Patrick Bateman's younger brother as mentioned in American Psycho and main character of The Rules of Attraction. The last name is that of the author of both original works, Brett Easton Ellis.
  • When Dexter starts looking into a series of possible murders made to look like suicides, the soundtrack contains the key motif from Brecht/Weill's Ballad of Mack the Knife from The Threepenny Opera.
  • The name of one of this episode's victims is Carolyn Jillian; considered having been a "powerful woman", it's speculated she was prosecutor. The name of the prosecutor in Bones (2005) is Caroline Julian.
  • The song that Debra sings is called "Make Me Lose Control" by Eric Carmen.

Goofs[]

  • Dr. Meridian is described as a psychiatrist, and his clients ask him for prescriptions. When Dexter finds his name in the victim's files, he's listed as "Emmett Meridian, PhD." Psychiatrists are MD's; a PhD would make Meridian a psychologist, and unable to prescribe medication.
  • When Rudy reads Dexter's craigslist ad the e-mail to respond to is frozenbarbie@hotmail.web, but he replies to frozenbarbie@hotmail.com.
  • The camera crew is reflected in the side of the minivan when Dexter goes to help the guy pick up his dropped cantaloupe.
  • When Dexter cuts Dr. Meridian's cheek, he takes a sample of blood with a pipette. When he does this, there is a small amount of blood in the pipette; in the next shot, the pipette is fairly full.

Related Pages[]

Gallery[]

The Episodes of Dexter
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