"Living the Dream" is the first of twelve episodes in Season Four of the Showtime series DEXTER, and the thirty-seventh overall episode of the series. It first aired 27 September 2009.

The season premiere had an approximate 1.9 million viewers.[1]

Dexter sleeplessly struggles to balance his new family life with his dark, murderous drive for a fresh victim, and his busier-than-ever forensic career pursuing a new target, "The Trinity Killer."

Summary

Dexter is driving his car during the night while narrating, "Tonight's the night.” It seems that he's about to kill someone, but it’s soon revealed that he just wants to sleep.

Meanwhile, the Trinity Killer walks through Lisa Bell’s dark house into the bathroom and flips on the light. He turns on the bathtub faucet and checks the water temperature. Next, he undresses and lays a towel down in front of the tub. Then he waits for his victim. Lisa arrives home and heads for the bathroom. When she opens the door, she notices that the medicine cabinet door is open. As she warily closes it, Lisa sees a naked man behind her in the mirror and screams. Trinity immediately grabs her in a choke hold.

Dexter arrives home, anticipating a good night’s rest, but his baby son, Harrison, begins crying in the backseat. He wonders if he’ll ever get any sleep in the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, Trinity forces Lisa to lie naked with him in the bathtub. Although she struggles, he subdues her. Then he states, “It’s already over” and slits her femoral artery. The bathtub water turns red as Trinity holds a mirror up to watch Lisa's face as she dies.

The next morning, in a parody of the title sequence, a sleepy Dexter misses the mosquito, pulls on a stained shirt, and breaks a shoelace.

Dexter stumbles around the house, searching for his keys. Rita deals with Astor’s demands for an iPod, and Cody is ordered to get ready for school when he returns from playing Marco Polo in the neighbor's pool. Rita thanks Dexter for working the night shift.

As Dexter leaves the house for work, he looks around his bustling street, feeling like a fish out of water. His cheerful neighbor, Elliot Larson, greets him and Dexter forces a friendly reply. Rita hurries out with his forgotten cell phone. Content with her life, she hugs Dexter and says they are “living the dream.”

Debra is now living with Anton Briggs in his apartment. They are being playful in bed when Debra notices that she’s late for work and quickly gets up. Anton remarks that it’s a good thing she moved in or he’d never see her, since he’s frequently away working on cruises. Debra says he won’t get sick of her that way. Anton replies that he never would because she makes him happy.

Dexter's sleep deprivation leads him to make a serious error in court when he confuses cases. The defense attorney deems his work unreliable, and Benito Gomez, a violent killer, is released. Detective Joey Quinn, the arresting officer, is enraged.

Debra and Francis are on a break, sitting outside the station. Debra pushes several of Harry’s old C.I. files across the table toward Francis. She thinks Debra is wasting her time looking for the woman her father slept with years ago. Debra, though, is determined to find out if her “perfect fucking father wasn’t so fucking perfect.”

Still furious, Quinn confronts Dexter about letting Benito Gomez off the hook, and presents graphic pictures of his victims. Debra orders Quinn to “chill out” but Dexter admits that he screwed up in court. Debra asks if she should be worried about him. Dexter thinks Benny Gomez should be worried.

During a briefing, a still angry Quinn glares at Dexter, which is noticed by Vince Masuka. As Dexter holds Benny’s file, he thinks a good kill just fell into his lap.

Maria LaGuerta sends the homicide team to Lisa Bell’s crime scene. "Talk about your bloodbath," the ever sarcastic Masuka remarks upon viewing Lisa’s corpse in the blood-filled tub. It’s discovered that Lisa’s femoral artery had been cut and she bled out in minutes. Dexter states that it’s a well-organized crime scene, noting that the killer took his time and thoroughly cleaned up after himself.

Outside the house, Quinn talks with Christine Hill, an attractive reporter from the Broward Journal Dispatch. She presses him for information on Lisa’s death and he gives her his phone number. She briefly flirts and walks away as Quinn watches her backside.

At the station, Debra blows up when she finds the water cooler empty. Maria inquires about Anton and they chat for a few minutes about their respective dating lives. Debra worries that things are too good with Anton, and Maria says she’s not looking for anyone new.

In his lab, Dexter yawns as he tests blood from the Lisa Bell crime scene. He turns to researching Benny Gomez, whom he calls a “washed-up boxer.” He learns that Benny lives in a trailer park and frequents Tito's Bar. He prefers capturing him at the bar, due to kids likely being present at the trailer park.

Rita interrupts with a call, asking him to sing to Harrison over the phone so he’ll fall asleep for a nap. As Dexter sings “America the Beautiful,” he looks at gruesome photos of Benny’s victims,

Masuka is disappointed when he’s turned down by co-workers when he asks them to go out for a drink at a “titty bar.” Just then, Angel Batista notifies the team that a guy on a honeymoon was shot in the head and they’re pulling the plug tomorrow. Angel says he could use several drinks and heads out with a delighted Masuka.

Later, Dexter is sitting in his car outside Tito’s Bar, holding Benny’s file. He watches Benny through the open door until he leaves. Dexter notes the absence of security cameras and that Benny parks away from lights. He decides to kill him the next night.

Angel is sitting on Maria’s bed in her bedroom. He says he spent time with Masuka and then came to where he really wanted to be. They kiss and begin a secret love affair.

Dexter, encouraged by Rita, takes a few photos of Harrison as he sleeps. Suddenly, Astor’s loud music wakes the baby and he begins to cry. Rita reprimands Astor and orders her to walk Harrison until he falls back asleep. Cody is told that he’s no longer allowed to play Marco Polo before school. Both kids feel their mother is being unfair.

While Angel, Maria, and Masuka are in the station’s elevator, Masuka remarks that Angel almost had sex with a stripper the night before. Angel is embarrassed that Maria heard this.

Dexter returns to Lisa Bell’s house with Karen, a forensic tech. To their surprise, they find much older blood under a tile, apparently from a different crime. Dexter is taken off guard when Frank Lundy suddenly walks in and states that he’s there to see him. Lundy asks, “How’s my favorite blood spatter analyst?” Faking a smile, Dexter replies, “How’s my favorite serial killer hunter?” Lundy says he’s there because the database has a girl recently killed at that address. When Dexter confirms that the girl’s femoral artery was severed and the killer meticulously cleaned the scene, Lundy asks to meet with him later at the station. “Shit,” Dexter thought.

Debra pays a visit to Suzanna Coffey, one of her father's C.I.s, to ask if they had an affair. Coffey reveals that she did want to sleep with Harry, but he had no interest in her.

Online, Dexter researches the vacant Del Rubio's Boxing Arena, which has been closed for years and is way out of town. He thinks a broken-down arena is a fitting place to kill a broken-down boxer.

A detective brings a flash drive to Angel containing evidence of the tourist murder. While there, he asks about Barbara Gianna and remarks that office romances are doomed. The detective then asks Angel if he minds if he asks her out.

After work, Dexter heads to his apartment, which he’s secretly kept after marrying Rita months ago. He opens the AC unit, takes out his blood slide box, and informs the slides that someone new is moving in. Next, he unrolls his Kill Tools and admires them, as he looks forward to a kill.

Dexter sets up the old boxing arena as a Kill Room by covering the ring with his trademark plastic sheets. He heads back to Tito’s Bar and, while waiting for Benny to leave, he falls asleep in his car. A cop wakes up Dexter and lectures him about his irresponsible behavior. As he’s giving Dexter a field sobriety test, Benny gets away.

Exhausted, Dexter arrives home to find Rita in the mood for “slow, hot, steamy, naughty sex.” Using a familiar phrase, she says, “Tonight’s the night.” When Dexter finally falls asleep, Harrison begins to cry. As he feeds a bottle to Harrison, Dexter tells his son that he kills people -- bad people.

At a food truck, Dexter orders another coffee from Marty, who warns him that he’s tempting the heart gods.

Christine Hill gives Quinn a copy of her front page article about Lisa Bell’s murder. When she asks for a follow-up, he says the department has “bigger fish to fry.” Off the record, Quinn tells her about the tourist murder. Christine smiles and offers to take him for a drink to thank him for his help with the bathtub story. Quinn grins and says, “Let’s make it dinner.”

Masuka tells Dexter that there’s no DNA match to the old blood found in Lisa’s bathroom. However, when they look up the address, they discover a homicide occurred there in 1979. Vicky Noonan had bled out in the bathtub, due to an incision to her left femoral artery.

At that moment, Frank Lundy drops in and Masuka is starstruck. When Lundy asks to speak with Dexter alone, Masuka is disappointed. Lundy tells Dexter that he’s in Miami on a case, and Dexter asks why he needs his help when he has the full resources of the FBI. Lundy reveals that he’s retired from the FBI, and now uses his time to track down the one “twisted son of a bitch who got away.” Lundy has dubbed him the Trinity Killer because he kills in threes all over the country. However, he can’t prove that he exists. Lisa Bell’s murder profile fits the case and Lundy is sure that Trinity is in Miami, starting another kill cycle. When Lundy says Trinity has been killing for about fifteen years, Dexter tells him about Vicky Noonan’s murder. They realize that Trinity has been killing for much longer -- at least thirty years. Dexter remarks that Trinity is the most successful serial killer to ever get away with it.

Trinity is shown, moaning and grimacing, as he takes a scalding hot shower.

As Debra stands at her desk, talking on the phone with Anton, she notices Lundy approaching and immediately hangs up. Shocked to see Lundy back in Miami, she swears profusely and asks what he’s doing there. He says he’s retired, adding that life has a “natural forward momentum” and certain things are inevitable. They speak briefly in which he congratulates her on making detective, and notices a photo of her and Anton. He tells Debra that he’s not sure how long he’ll be in Miami but he will be seeing her. Lundy’s appearance leaves Debra a little unsettled.

On their way out at work, Maria and Angel confirm plans to meet each other again that night. As they enter the elevator, Masuka runs inside and asks if they want to go for drinks? They don’t answer him.

Because Dexter doesn't dare to return to Tito’s Bar, he grabs Benny where he lives at the trailer park. When Benny answers the door, Dexter injects him with M99 and takes him to the boxing arena. As Benny lies passed out on the table, a sleepy Dexter thinks he’s a lucky guy

To keep himself awake, Dexter slaps his face, sniffs smelling salts, and punches the air. He then wakes up Benny, who recognizes Dexter from court. He only has time to say "I know you" before Dexter stuffs his mouth with cotton. Dexter mockingly agrees, saying, “I’m the blood guy.” Next, he slices Benny’s cheek and collects a trophy. For a moment, Dexter sits down and mulls over whether he can have a family life while still being a killer. Just then, Rita calls, needing him to immediately pick up medicine for the baby. Unable to savor his Kill Ritual, he cuts it short. He quickly stabs Benny in the heart. sloppily dismantles the body, and stuffs its parts into plastic bags.

While driving, Dexter falls asleep behind the wheel. He loses control of the vehicle and it flips over several times.

Quotes

  • Tonight’s the night. The night when a primal, sacred need calls to me. I’ve waited and waited. But tonight, this night… it’s time. Tonight’s the night I finally... sleep. - Dexter, narrating
  • “The driving thing didn't work. The singing thing didn't work. You planning on both of us not sleeping through another three months?” - Dexter to Harrison
  • There's this cliche where serial killers are always described as, "quiet, kept to himself. Kind of a loner.” It’s a cliche for a reason. - Dexter [narrating]
  • Dexter Morgan, good suburban husband. Happy father of three. On paper, anyway. - Dexter [narrating]
  • “Carpools and swimming pools. How much are we living the dream?” - Rita to Dexter
  • “The coroner can suck my uncircumcised dick if he doesn't rule this a homicide!” - Vince Masuka [regarding Lisa Bell’s death]
  • “You know, when things are going good, I think that's God's way of saying to cover your ass, because something's gonna jump up and bite it, hard.” - Debra to Maria LaGuerta
  • My dark passenger is like a trapped coal miner. Always tapping, always letting me know it's still in there, still alive. - Dexter [narrating]
  • “We were all like that once. Pure and innocent. But then we grow up… and things happen.” - Dexter to Rita, about Harrison
  • “When I grow up, I want to be just like you. Do what I want when I want.” - Cody to Dexter
  • The perfect husband would’ve gotten rid of his old apartment. But I kill people. Not exactly the perfect husband. - Dexter [narrating]
  • “Want to know a secret? Daddy kills people. Well, bad people. Not really anybody else I can tell about that, you know?” - Dexter to Harrison
  • If I want to be around for my son, I have to do this right. I'm... killing for two, now. - Dexter [narrating]
  • I'm on my way to taking care of my family, raising my son. And all the while doing what I have to do to satisfy a calling that I can't ignore... or deny. I can do this. - Dexter [narrating]

Trivia

  • The episode begins with Dexter driving at night, and it ends with Dexter driving at night.
  • Debra’s coffee cup has a note on it that says, “Don’t use my mug! Ever!”
  • "Living the Dream" is Dexter's sarcastic point of view to his life as a family man
  • The title of this episode is a possible reference to Season Three, episode I Had a Dream

Related Pages

Parody of Title Sequence

Gallery

The Episodes of Dexter

References

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