The Lion Sleeps Tonight is the third of twelve episodes in Season Three of the Showtime series DEXTER and the twenty-seventh overall episode of the series. It first aired 12 October 2008 on Showtime.

Dexter starts questioning the inclusiveness of Harry's code when he realizes that Nathan Marten is a pedophile targeting Astor.


Dexter, Rita and the kids are shopping for groceries. Dexter finds Astor talking with a strange man in the middle of one of the aisles. Astor tells Dexter the man was looking for the cereal, a question Dexter answers before the man departs. Dexter spots the man in the parking lot and jots down his license plate number.

Back at the station we learn that there has been no further developments on either the whereabouts of the recently murdered (by Dexter) Freebo or his deceased girlfriend Teegan, who Debra has connected to Freebo but still hasn't been able to ID. Aware that their suspect is dead, Miguel Prado walks into the station and tries to unsuccessfully to get Maria to slow down the investigation into his brother's murder.

Prado then invites Dexter and Rita to a post-work festival that day and Angel tells Maria that Prado has yet to look into the witness he has found who told them Prado has recently convicted an innocent man. Debra informs everybody that another murder victim has been found dumped in the same spot as Teegan, also with skin missing. The gang assumes its Freebo, which Dexter (and Prado) knows to be impossible.

The body is that of drug dealer Javier Garza, whom Debra met in the previous episode, where Garza admitted to sleeping with Teegan and subsequently introducing her to Freebo. This body has far more skin missing, mostly from the right side of the chest. Debra interviews the two tree trimmers who reported the body, one of whom is evasive.

Dexter tells Debra that Rita is pregnant, and his sister is overjoyed. Back at home, Dexter says to Rita he is willing to get a medical check-up since he can't provide the medical history her doctor wants. Rita tells Dexter he will make a good father if he wants to be one.

While Rita and Prado's wife discuss men and fatherhood, Prado introduces Dexter to his other brother Ramon, a sheriff who doesn't trust Dexter's department. When alone, Prado ask Dexter if he's sure Freebo is dead (Dexter is), and asks him how he's been dealing with the murder. When Dexter lies and tells him he has had trouble sleeping, Prado assures him "you did the right thing" and "it will never be forgotten."

Back at his apartment Dexter looks up the man from the supermarket, learning Nathan Marten is a registered sex offender who has been released after four years in prison.

Prado shows up unexpectedly with a bottle of rum, saying he's there to apologize for Ramon's nasty comment about the investigation. Prado and Dexter drink while bonding over mutual issues with their fathers. Seeming to want proof of Freebo's death, Prado suggests they concoct a story about an anonymous tip and use the body to end the investigations. Dexter tells him it's impossible, that the body is "gone", but eventually agrees to take Prado to Freebo's corpse the following day after realizing that Prado is not going to drop the issue.

Debra finds Quinn's snitch, Anton, at a restaurant, looking for more info on the recently deceased drug dealer who he had connected her to last episode. Anton is upset Debra has tracked him down outside of the club and instead of giving telling her anything lights up a joint and forces her to arrest him.

Dexter has an MRI for Rita, during which he daydreams about a conversation with his father regarding what his serial killer brain will look like on a scan. Dexter takes Prado to a cemetery, telling him he buried Freebo in a new grave under a recently buried body. Dexter talks Prado out of exhuming the body by telling him he's worried about what kind of evidence he might have left behind. Prado is motivated to help steer the police away from Freebo and towards whomever is alive and committing the current murders.

While at the beach Dexter and Astor spot Nathan Marten taking pictures of Astor with a telephoto lens. Dexter tells Rita the man is "nobody to be concerned about", secretly implying that he'll swiftly be taken care of. Rita attends a yoga class for pregnant women with a Dexter, who has to have his hand placed on Rita's belly during a moment where partners are supposed to send their positive energy to the baby.

Prado tells the press he is confident the previous conviction was the right move, but tells a baffled Maria that he never bothered to interview the witness Angel found who appeared to exonerate the man.

Quinn is mad at Debra for locking up Anton, but Angel takes her side on the arrest before telling her to let the informant go. Dexter confronts Marten and tells him to leave his kids alone. Marten defends himself by explaining he is a photographer, and said he did his time and isn't "like that" any more.

Dexter hangs up some posters with Teegan's face and name on them before meeting Debra for lunch nearby, hoping to help along Debra's investigation. Before noticing one of them Debra pushes Dexter to have a role in his child's life.

Finding out Teegan's name, the department is able to find evidence that Freebo had been hiding out her apartment. Based on an alibi they are also able to determine Freebo most likely did not kill Teegan or the newest victim and is probably long gone. Angel tells everybody they are "starting over" with two separate cases.

Prado has Dexter meet him under a bridge, complimenting his recent work before giving him the shirt he was wearing the night of Freebo's murder. Since the shirt contains Freebo's blood, it is for Prado a way of telling Dexter that he trusts him, as it could be used as evidence to implicate Prado in Freebo's death. Later, Rita calls Dexter and asks him to bring milk over for the children's breakfast the next day.

On the advice of Angel, Debra apologizes to Anton, followed by his performing a song called "Puta Flaca Mala" in her honor. Initially, Debra is pleased, but this fades when a woman in the crowd tells her that "puta flaca mala" means "skinny mean bitch".

This scene leads into Dexter going back at Marten's house, where Marten is looking at photographs he took of Astor on the beach. Dexter strangles him to death, then says, "Nobody hurts my children." While dragging Marten's body through the house, he stops, opens the refrigerator and takes out a carton of milk.

Dexter arrives at Rita's and places his hand on Rita's belly unprompted. Through inner monologue Dexter tells us: "So there it is. I'm going to be a father and raise my child."


  • The episode ends with Dexter, through his inner monologue, saying that "it's a jungle out there". This is likely a reference to the Lion King, given the title and the lion theme running throughout the episode. It may also be a reference to the dramedy series Monk, which has "It's a Jungle Out There" as its opening theme song.

Related Pages


The Episodes of Dexter
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