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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 when he notices Astor talking with an unknown man in one of the aisles. Dexter instinctively knows that he’s a predator. Dexter glares at him and Astor says that he was looking for Cheerios, a question Dexter answers before the man departs. Out in the parking lot, Dexter spots the man getting into his car and jots down his license plate number...just in case.

Back at the station, Vince Masuka is proudly handing out copies of the Forensics Quarterly magazine, which has printed his article.

There have been no further developments on either the whereabouts of Freebo (recently murdered by Dexter) or the unidentified partially skinned “Jane Doe.” Although Debra has connected her to Freebo, she hasn't yet learned her Identity. (Only Dexter knows that she’s Freebo’s girlfriend, Teegan Campbell.)

While they are getting coffee, Joey Quinn tries to buddy up with an unfriendly Dexter.

Aware that Freebo is dead, ADA Miguel Prado walks into the station and tries to get Lt. Maria LaGuerta to end the investigation into his brother's murder. However, he’s unsuccessful with Maria promising to not slow down.

Miguel invites Dexter and Rita to a festival after-work that day.

Angel informs Maria that Miguel has yet to look into the witness who has proof that Chicky Hines is an innocent man.

Debra announces to the department that another murder victim has been found. Because he was dumped in the same spot as Teegan, also with skin missing (a large patch from the right side of his chest), the team assumes that Freebo killed him. Dexter and Miguel, though, know that is impossible.

The victim is identified as Javier Garza, a pimp whom Debra interviewed (in the previous episode). He had admitted to sleeping with Teegan and subsequently introducing her to Freebo. Debra interviews the two tree trimmers who reported the body, but one of them is evasive.

Dexter lets Debra know that Rita is pregnant and she is overjoyed.

Back at home, Dexter tells Rita that because he is adopted with no medical history, he is willing to get a medical check-up. She’s relieved and remarks that he will make a good father... if he wants to be one.

At the festival, Rita and Miguel's wife, Sylvia, discuss men and fatherhood. Meanwhile, Miguel formally introduces Dexter to his brother Ramon, a sheriff who doesn't trust Dexter's department and rudely comments on its ineffectiveness.

Afterward, when Miguel and Dexter are alone, Dexter admits that he has mixed emotions about being a father. Because there is a newly skinned victim, Miguel asks Dexter if he's sure that Freebo is dead (which Dexter is). Miguel asks him how he's been dealing with it. To appear normal, Dexter lies and says that he’s had trouble sleeping. Miguel assures Dexter that he did the right thing and that it will "never be forgotten."

Back at his apartment, Dexter looks up the man from the supermarket. His name is Nathan Marten and he’s not surprised to learn that he’s a registered sex offender, released after four years in prison.

Unexpectedly, Miguel shows up at Dexter’s door with a bottle of rum and apologizes for Ramon's behavior. Miguel and Dexter drink outside on the balcony while they bond over father issues. To end the police investigation into Freebo, Miguel suggests they concoct a story about an anonymous tip that reveals the location of Freebo’s body. Dexter says that it’s not possible because the body is "gone." Realizing that Miguel is not going to drop the issue, Dexter agrees to take Miguel to the spot he disposed of Freebo the following day.

Debra finds Anton, Quinn's C.I., at a restaurant and sits down across from him. He’s upset that she tracked him down outside of the club and says it’s dangerous to talk to her since the last guy that did ended up dead. Anton heads into the restroom with Debra following her. After a tense back-and-forth, Anton lights up a joint which forces Debra to arrest him.

During his MRI, Dexter daydreams about a conversation with Harry regarding what his serial killer brain would look like on a scan.

Dexter takes Miguel to West-Gate Cemetery and claims that Freebo is in one of the graves under a recently buried body. Miguel wants to exhume the body but Dexter talks him out of it, saying that he's worried about the evidence he might have left behind. Miguel is impressed and says that leaving a victim in an open grave is a brilliant idea. Miguel is even more motivated to steer the police away from Freebo and towards finding the supposed true killer.

While at the beach, Dexter and Astor spot Nathan Marten taking pictures of children with a telephoto lens. Dexter assures Rita that he’s "nobody to be concerned about," secretly implying that he'll swiftly be taken care of.

Dexter attends a yoga class with Rita for pregnant women and has a miserable time. He even imagines killing the instructor. There’s a point when Dexter hesitates to place his hand on Rita's belly, which supposedly sends positive energy to the baby. He worries that it will instead cause harm.

Miguel announces to the press that he’s confident that Chicky Hines was rightfully convicted. Maria is baffled because Miguel never interviewed the witness who could exonerate Hines. Ellen Wolf, HInes’ attorney, is disgusted and says that Miguel is despicable.

Quinn angrily asks Debra why she locked up Anton. Debra explains about the pot and Angel takes her side on the arrest. After Quinn walks away, Angel tells her to cut Anton loose.

Dexter confronts Nathan Marten while he’s at a cafe looking at young girls and orders him to leave his kids alone. Nathan defends himself, saying that he’s a photographer who once made a mistake and did his time. When he claims that he isn't like that anymore, Dexter retorts that he hasn’t changed.

After dark, Dexter is outside Nathan’s house watching him through a window. After some thought, he decides that Nathan doesn’t fit the Code.

Before Debra meets Dexter for lunch, he hangs up self-made flyers nearby with Teegan's face and name on them to secretly help her out. Debra arrives with a baby’s yellow shirt, lettered as “Miami Metro Homicide.” When Dexter says that he’s not sure he’ll help raise the baby because he thinks he’ll be a lousy father, she punches him. Debra begins to push him to have a role in his child’s life just as she notices Teegan’s flyer. Before she hurries off with the exciting discovery, Debra assures Dexter that he will be a “great father,” adding that he’s the “best brother in the world.”

Having learned Teegan’s name, the detectives find evidence that Freebo had been hiding at her place. However, they obtain an alibi for Freebo and determine that he most likely did not kill Teegan or Garza and is probably long gone. Angel says they are "starting over" with two separate cases. Ramos will liaison with tri-state police on the Freebo case, while Quinn and Debra will work the Skinner Case.

Masuka is angry at Quinn because he stuck chewing gum on his Forensics Quarterly magazine and threw it in the trash.

Miguel tells Dexter to meet him under a bridge near the beach club after work. When Dexter arrives, Miguel compliments him for getting the police off Freebo’s trail, however, Dexter avoids taking the credit. Miguel accuses Dexter of always having his guard up around him, which Dexter denies. To gain Dexter’s trust, Miguel gives him the shirt he was wearing on the night of Freebo's murder. Since the shirt contains Freebo's blood, Miguel wants to prove that he trusts Dexter since it could be used as evidence to implicate Miguel in Freebo's death. Dexter wonders if he’s actually made a friend that he can trust with his dark secrets.

On the advice of Angel, Debra apologizes to Anton at the club. Anton then performs a song called "Puta Flaca Mala" in her honor. Debra is pleased until a woman in the crowd tells her that "puta flaca mala" means "skinny mean bitch." Even so, Debra keeps on dancing.

Rita calls Dexter and asks him to bring milk for the children's breakfast the next morning.

Dexter is back at Nathan’s house after dark. After he breaks in, Dexter finds him looking at the photographs he took of Astor on the beach. Dexter is furious, strangles him to death, and states, "Nobody hurts my children." While dragging Nathan's body through the house, he stops at the refrigerator and takes out a carton of milk.

Dexter arrives at Rita’s house with the milk. Unprompted, he places his hand on Rita's belly. So there it is, Dexter thought. I'm going to be a father and raise my child.


  • In a land of predators, a lion never fears the jackal. -Dexter
  • Night. Good for the hunter. Bad for the hunted. -Dexter
  • Maybe there’s another code. A code that says, “You’ve stepped uninvited into my world.” And that’s a place where I decide who gets to live. And who doesn’t. -Dexter (when he strangles Nathan)


  • The episode ends with Dexter, through his inner monologue, thinking, "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