An upset Dexter discusses with Miguel what happened the previous night. Dexter is basking in the afterglow of his shared kill with Miguel. His reverie is interrupted when Syl shows up at Rita's door, saying Miguel didn’t come home last night and used Dexter as an alibi. Dex says they were together 'til about midnight. Syl freaks out, convinced that Miguel's having an affair.
Dex is concerned at Miguel's rashness and goes to his house to confront him. Miguel tells him he was wired after the kill, went to a bar to unwind. Miguel takes off to attend a motions hearing. Dex thinks he knows the bar — he cased a subject there once — and it closes at 2 a.m., so Miguel couldn’t have been there all night. Is Miguel lying to him?
Deb calls Dexter to Anton’s apartment, where they're canvassing the place to search for signs of struggle. Dex discovers that the trash bin is empty. They go to the Dumpster in the alley and find a split bag of Anton’s garbage along with a smear of blood and hair on the building wall. Anton has been nabbed. Deb looks devastated. Angel puts in a call to alert the media and have off-duty officers start manning a tip line.
Deb says they need to pick up George King, the tree trimming business owner. Angel says he’ll get a warrant, but they won’t have much to hold King on if the search doesn’t turn up anything.
Cut to King, wielding a machete over Anton's body, which is missing some huge strips of skin from his back. Anton offers to give King money, but he says no. This is about respect. Anton had all night after the first cut to consider whether he'd give King details about Freebo and he didn't. Now he has an hour before he'll lose more skin.
Dexter overhears Maria leaving a message for Ellen Wolf, who missed the motions hearing. He gets nervous about Miguel's nighttime disappearance. He calls Miguel to check in. Miguel says he has some ideas for more "projects."
Quinn and Deb are at King’s house. Deb can't wait on the warrant and busts open a storage shed. Nothing.
At the station, Maria asks if she can question Mario, from King's crew. She wants to be useful. Angel interrupts Masuka, who’s in on his day off with Angel's girl Barbara to work the tipline. Angel tells Vince to lay off the dirty talk with Barb, but Masuka replies that she started it. Barbara's the "Wikipedia of perv," he says.
King arrives and they bring him in for questioning. King, who's originally from Nicaragua, is totally cool under questioning. He knows that they can only hold him for 24 hours. Meanwhile, Mario is quaking in fear over his boss. Dex recognizes it as real, deep fear. He wonders what King did to provoke it. Dex overheats questioning King. She steps out for air and Dexter tells her to trust her insights. King likes having life and death in his hands.
Dex asks Maria about Ellen, who hasn't returned three messages. Maria wonders if she's had an accident or something. Dex goes to Ellen's home office. No answer and her car is there. He breaks in and checks for evidence. There's blood on the floor. He goes to a cemetery to check on open graves where Miguel might have stashed the body.
Miguel shows up with flowers at an open house Syl's company is having. He finds Rita there, alone. Syl wasn't feeling well, Rita says. Then she confronts Miguel about his behavior. He says he’s needed space because of everything going on with Oscar, Ramon. Rita says he should pay attention to his partner, too. Miguel responds that Rita’s very wise, she has deep insights, and he’ll follow her lead.
At the station, Deb tries to interrogate King again. She starts by showing deference but ends up pinning him to the floor and screaming at him. Quinn comes in and pushes her from the room. King smirks. Outside, Quinn and Deb yell at each other. Each of them thinks it's the other's fault Anton got nabbed. They vent, then agree they need to break King in the next few hours.
At the cemetery, Dex discovers Ellen's body in the second grave he checks. Alarmed, he realizes he created this monster by sharing his code. "Sorry," he tells Ellen's corpse. To Harry, Dex says Ellen didn’t deserve it. Harry says he better get used to Miguel acting on his own, 'cause there will be plenty more bodies where she came from. "No there won't," Dex says. He calls Miguel and meets him for lunch.
Miguel says after lunch he's due at Miami Metro to see about charges against George King. But he could let the guy walk if they want to take care of him. "You need some help on this or is it another solo project?" Dex asks. Miguel says they just have different ideas of justice. He reminds Dex about the shirt he gave Dex with his blood on it as a token of his trust. Real friendships include disagreements, he says. He's a big boy — he knows what he's doing. Eventually Dex will know that, too.
Dex, worried that Miguel thinks he's untouchable, goes back to the cemetery to make sure Miguel gets a wake-up call.
At the station, Maria counsels Deb about the Skinner investigation. LaGuerta says someone once told her she built a huge wall around herself. She thought it made her a better cop, but it didn't. Later, Maria asks for Miguel's help with King, to buy time so they can find Anton.
A few kids playing at the cemetery find Ellen's body. Angel sends everyone not working on the Skinner case to the scene. Maria gets there and freaks out to find it's Ellen. She's been strangled and stabbed. Masuka says he thinks the killer was a pro, since the body dump is so clean.
Dex muses that too many people are affected when the innocent die. That's part of the lesson. No one is untouchable. Miguel comes over to Dex. They won't find anything? He asks. You’re just making a point — we follow the code, or else. Miguel throws up his hands. "You're a wise person, aren’t you? You have insight. I’d be a fool not to follow your lead. I think you’re going to save my life." Dex wonders if this is real, but decides he's serious and has learned his lesson.
Later, Dex arrives at Rita's and she gives him sample wedding cakes to taste. She recounts her conversation with Miguel. He thinks she's a wise person for intervening, she says. She gave him some insight. Dex realizes Miguel's speech earlier was bullshit What has Miguel told the truth about, he wonders. What about the shirt that’s supposed to bind them? He rushes home to get it, then heads back to the station to check the blood.
At Miami Metro, Angel suggests Maria head home, but she wants to stay. He turns to Quinn and Deb. They better get close on King or the Wolf case will take over. Miguel says maybe he can help. Maria needs a win right now. He'll go in and offer deals, but only if it isn't recorded.
Miguel talks to King, but when he comes out he says it's no good. Dex and King cross paths at the office. Dex thinks he’d like to get to know King better. Then he starts his blood-stain analysis.
Stuck, Deb comes up with a way to get Mario to talk. She drops him at home, where he notices that the trees have recently been trimmed. He freaks out, worried that King has his family. Deb says she'll send protection, but they don’t know where King is. She convinces him. King has a building, rented with cash, down on 164th street under the highway. The ruse worked. She picks up Quinn and they head to the building.
King sees them coming and runs. Deb tries to jimmy the door but can't get it open. Quinn rams the place with his car to get the door open. Inside, they find Anton, missing big strips of his back flesh. They call an ambulance and issue an APB on King.
At Miami Metro, Dex watches Miguel pace while Dex waits for the results of his blood test. Miguel goes into Maria's office, where she's crying in the dark. He offers to take her home. Tries to comfort her, tells her she has friends. She has him to lean on.
Dex stares at his screen. It's not Freebo's blood. It’s bovine. Cow's blood.
He's been using me the whole time. I didn't create a monster, I was used by one. He imagines smashing up his office, screaming at Miguel, but remains calm when Miguel pops in to see if he wants to grab coffee tomorrow. Today I'll keep up the pretense, he thinks.
"Finally there's an emotion I don't have to fake. Today I feel something real.