Dex Takes a Holiday is the fourth episode in season 4 of DEXTER, and the fortieth overall episode of the series. It premiered 18 October 2009 on Showtime. The episode was written by Melissa Rosenberg with Wendy West and directed by John Dahl.
Rita goes to a wedding with the kids, allowing Dexter to have his own little vacation. He does what he does best when alone, hunt. Christina Cox guest stars as Zoey Kruger, an officer with a dark secret.
Dexter packs up Rita and the kids for a trip to attend a wedding. “Enjoy your freedom — go wild,” says Rita, as she affectionately admonishes Dexter for dashing in the neighbor’s search lights. “The kids left you a present inside,” she says as she departs. Dexter goes inside and finds a hokey-cute “I Love Dad” coffee mug that has the kids’ names on it and the baby’s handprint on the bottom.
Just the thing to melt a father’s heart, Dexter thinks. Three days — 72 precious hours to recharge my batteries. Of course, Rita doesn’t know I’ll be recharging with another woman: Officer Zoey Kruger.
Scene changes to a police firing range, where Dexter watches his next victim, Zoey Kruger, a police officer who survived a home invasion in which her husband and daughter were killed. Injured herself during the attack, Kruger survived and is back on duty. Dexter suspects she is responsible for the deaths herself. He pays a call on a fellow colleague who discussed the case at a blood spatter conference. He felt that the blood evidence at the scene, which belonged to the supposed attacker, a drug dealer named Darius Ray, was “questionable.” Officer Kruger had roughed up Ray the day before the murders, and it was assumed he invaded the home in retaliation.
Dexter’s colleague shares his theory: “Maybe she provoked the confrontation with Darius Ray.” Dexter asked what happened to Ray, and learns that he was gunned down in a supposedly gang-related incident. Dex’s colleague says, “If I’m right, there’s a monster roaming around free.” “With a badge and a gun,” Dexter adds.
Lundy sifts through Trinity Killer case files
Dexter walks in on Lundy and Deb looking through evidence related to the Trinity Killer. They talk about how he’s repeating his pattern from 30 years ago. LaGuerta comes in the lab, throws a few withering looks around, and essentially kicks Lundy out. On his way out, Lundy says to Dexter, “You ever feel you’re this close to nabbing somebody? It’s a good feeling.” Dexter definitely knows that feeling. All too well.
Lundy in the headlines
Scene changes to a library where the Trinity Killer shushes a gaggle of teen girls for talking too loud. He sits at a computer terminal looking at photographs and blueprints of an office building. He glances over and sees the newspaper headline about Lundy returning to Miami to hunt a serial killer.
Angel and LaGuerta talk about the vacation murders and the potential impact of their secret relationship being discovered. LaGuerta is insistent about going public with their relationship: “I think we should inform the brass about our relationship.” She is concerned their relationship will be made a distracting issue if the case is solved and goes to trial.
Dexter follows the evidence in Zoey's case file
Dexter examines the evidence from the Kruger crime scene: As a cop, Zoey has been to plenty of crime scenes—she knows what should be there and what shouldn’t. No prints and blood on the door, which meant she wore gloves. She was still wearing gloves when she shot herself. In a photograph of her arm drawn from the case file, he notices a void mark on her wrists where blood from her arm wound should have been. In one of his ghostly rap sessions with Harry, Dexter talks about the case and the Trinity Killer’s motives.
Debra is on the phone discussing the Trinity Killer case with Lundy when Anton comes home. He knows she’s been talking to Lundy by the tone of her voice: “It goes up a notch every time you talk to him.” Deb defends their relationship as being strictly professional, and assures him he has nothing to be jealous of. Who is she trying to convince? Him or herself?
Poker night at home — Zoey’s police family surrounds her on and off the job. Between her buddy system and security system, her house will be difficult to break into tonight. But not tomorrow…
The Trinity Killer takes a beating
Scene changes to the Trinity Killer lying in wait in the alley behind a tavern. A man comes out, whistles, and is joined by a woman whom he kisses on the head as she joins him. A second man, burping vociferously, comes out, and the Trinity Killer steps from the darkness, calling him a “C*nt.” The confronted man turns to him and asks him what he said to him. “You’re a c*nt,” TK repeats. The barfly tells him to eff off, and TK provokes anew with, “Fu*king pu**y.” Not deterred by a deserved punch or two and some brutal kicks to the stomach, he persists in labeling the man a fa*g*t and says, “It’s your fault… All your fault.” The man walks away as the Trinity Killer rises to his feet and watches him walk away.
Dexter house- and killer-hunts
Next morning… Dexter visits an open house at the home of Zoey Kruger. “Let me show you its [the house’s] special wonders,” chirps the real estate agent. When Dexter asks to be allowed to discover the wonders on his own, she encourages him to ask her any questions.
I do have one question: where did Zoey stash her gloves? I’m sure they are long gone, but they could have left trace evidence. … Did she burn them? As he’s bending to investigate her fireplace, Zoey walks up behind him, surprising him. She introduces herself and offers to take him on a tour.
“My daughter would go crazy for this room,” says Dexter, as Zoey shows him into her dead daughter’s Pepto-Bismol-hued bedroom. Dexter asks her why she’s selling, and Zoey tells him that she and her husband are separating and that their daughter is with him. “So, you’re single,” says Dexter. Zoey leaves him to continue touring the house on his own.
Follow the blood, follow the blood… Dexter follows the crime scene photos from room to room, constructing assumptions about the night. He goes to the kitchen and eyeballs the garbage disposal. He turns it on and discovers it is malfunctioning, as the real estate agent comes into the room. He tells her it is broken and offers to fix it. After dismantling the device, Dexter digs around inside and discovers a sliver of blue nitriol, the material police protective gloves are made of. If the glove fits… he thinks, as he stashes the glove fragment in a Ziploc evidence bag. Zoey and the agent come into the kitchen, and praise Dexter for being so “handy.” Heavy glances exchanged by Zoey and Dexter.
Debra loses her cool with Lundy.
Lundy and Debra sit at a diner table and narrow down the likely locations of the Trinity Killer’s next kill to “the cannery or the bar beating.” They decide to camp out at the location of the bar later that night. Their conversation meanders to Anton’s jealousy and “what you’re thinking.” Lundy admits to having complicated (“deafening”) feelings about being so near Debra and working with her again. Deb gets upset and flees the scene.
Dexter enters his lab, where he discovers a very uncomfortable, fidgety Angel. Dexter asks if there has been a break in the vacation murders case, and Angel blurts out: “I’m having intimate relations with LaGuerta.” Dexter replies, “Congratulations.” Angel asks for Dexter’s advice on coming clean with the brass about their relationship and how that would “define” the relationship. Dexter says: “Next thing you know, you’re moving in, your life is gone, it’s just kids and neighbors, painted mugs…”
Quinn confronts Christine for the headline leak about Lundy
Deb confronts Quinn about Christine and him leaking the Lundy story to her. He denies they are seeing each other, just as she walks in. He abruptly sends her packing, saying, “You never had me. Find yourself another source.” Ouch!
Dexter examines the glove fragment from Zoey’s garbage disposal detritus and find gunshot residue and blood, which he concludes belongs to Darius Ray. He thinks ahead to the evening when he’ll be rendezvousing with her.
Lundy, speaking into a tape recorder, considers an office building that replaced the building where the Trinity Killer originally killed the bar beating victim. The Trinity Killer comes out the lobby door, spots Lundy, and retreats behind a pillar, saying, “I’m found.” He walks toward Lundy and purposefully sideswipes him, dropping his keys in the process. He apologizes and walks on, leaving his keys on the ground. Lundy picks them up and follows after him to return them. The Trinity Killer proceeds to the street and hops on a bus. Lundy records notes of the encounter, describing the Trinity Killer, “… hair, grey, eyes blue… there’s something in them.”
Zoey pulls Dexter over
Scene cuts to Dexter in car… “Maybe I do miss Rita and the kids,” he thinks… He calls Rita and hears the baby wailing and the kids acting up. Rita, harassed by the kids, hangs up on Dexter. He hears a police siren signaling him to pull over. It’s ZOEY! This is bad, he thinks. She asks him to exit the car and put his hands on the hood. She knows who he is and what he does. She tells him that a clerk friend of hers let her know that Sam pulled her case file and that he had loaned it to a colleague. She confronts him, “Are you the kind of sicko who likes to watch a woman in pain?” “Not that kind of sicko, no,” he replies. This lady has got some serious sangfroid! “I’m letting you off with a warning… Drive carefully.”
Later, talking to Harry, he says he’s going to call it off. Harry encourages him to continue, as now Dexter has a “killer cop” stalking him. Dexter concludes that he needs to play into Zoey’s need to be in control. He collects a voicemail from Lundy, who has called looking for Debra; Lundy, in passing, shares that he had an “interesting encounter” related to the Trinity Killer case.
Dexter calls the Pembroke PD to request a file on Darius Ray, referencing the vacation murders as the reason for the request. He knows Zoey will get the news quickly.
LaGuerta calls him into her office to say she knows that Dexter knows about her relationship with Angel. She proceeds to ask his advice. What up with people asking Dexter’s advice about love?! “You’re getting good at this relationship stuff,” she says.
As expected, Officer Kruger starts tailing Dexter when she learns from the mole in the clerks’ office that Dexter requested the Darius Ray file. She follows him outside her jurisdiction to a gas station/mini mart. Dexter goes into the men’s room, and Kruger follows him in, closing the door behind her. She pushes the Darius Ray file against his chest. Dexter’s first salvo: “What, are you going to murder me, too? Like you murdered your family? Your own daughter?” He divulges that he found the glove evidence and that he is planning to reveal what he knows to his superiors. Officer Kruger pulls her gun and puts it to his temple, spinning an alibi about Dexter trying to stalk and rape her. Dexter keeps his cool and uses his forensic knowledge to explain how the blood splatters would work against her alibi. She challenges him to tell them, because no one would ever believe him over her, “So tell them everything.” She leaves. Dexter's ploy has worked: he knows she will come after him that night on his turf.
Deb comes to see Lundy at the Blue Water Hotel, where he’s staying. Deb pushes her way in the room, planting kisses all over him. We’re left with our imaginations to determine what transpires next.
Scene changes to Dexter’s house where he is lying in wait for Officer Kruger to make her appearance. After a struggle, during which she lobs his “I Love Dad” mug across the room at him, Dexter subdues her with an injection to the neck. When she comes to, she is confined to the bed in her daughter’s room. “Why are you doing this to me?” she asks. Dexter grabs a photo of her slain daughter and replies, “Why did you do this to them?” Zoey starts to blame Darius Ray, but Dexter won’t hear any of it. “I couldn’t breathe,” she admits. Then she tries a new tactic: “Look at you,” she continues, “What kind of father does this? What kind of husband?” “Not the kind who kills his family,” he replies, slicing her cheek to make his blood slide.
Zoey: “You can’t hide what you are,” she says.
Dexter: “Oh, I can — I’m better at it than you.”
Zoey: “You will choose your life over theirs.”
Dexter: “I won’t. I’d rather risk them knowing the truth, than lose them.”
Dexter has a breakthrough as a result of her baiting: “I don’t want to lose them, I don’t. That’s the difference between us,” he concludes, as he drives a knife into her abdomen.
Rita and the kids come home.
Rita calls Dexter from the road at his old apartment, where he has just stashed his slide box. He races home to clean up the mess from the struggle with Kruger. Rita and the tired brood walk in just as he is bending to sweep up the broken shards of his “I Love Dad” mug. The family collapses onto the couch. Rita: “I missed you so much.” Dexter: “I missed you too.”
Debra and Lundy discuss whether she is a “fuckwad” for cheating on Anton. As Deb starts to leave, a gunshot rings out. She looks down and sees that she has been hit. Two more shots ring out, and Lundy falls to the ground. From the perspective of Deb, we see the assailant’s hand pull his wallet (or was it his tape recorder?) from his pants pocket. “Stay with me,” Deb says as she begins to lose consciousness. Lundy appears to be dead.
|Dex Takes a Holiday - Simply means the free time Dexter has when his family goes away for three days. |
It also refers to the 1934 classic film "Death Takes a Holiday" in which the protagonist's grand old holiday is to have the freedom from his family to do some death-dealing of his own, like Dexter does.
|* Dexter's new address is revealed in this episode as 3319 Meadow Lane.|
* C.S. Lee does not appear in this episode; Dexter says he is on vacation.
|* "Monsters come in all shapes and sizes.|
Sometimes it's the very people who are supposed to protect us. A cop, a parent, the spatter guy."
- Dexter, to himself.
* "I’d rather risk them [his family] knowing the truth, than lose them. I don’t want to lose them, I don’t."
- Dexter, to Zoey (about how he deals with his family when he's actually a serial killer)