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Helter Skelter[1] is the ninth of twelve episodes in Season Seven of DEXTER, and the eighty-first overall episode of the series. Directed by Steve Shill and written by Tim Schlattmann, it first aired 25 November 2012 on Showtime.

The estimated number of viewers for the episode during its original airing was 2.12 million.[2]

As Dexter scrambles to track down Isaak, a power struggle erupts among the Koshka Brotherhood, which could prove to Dexter's advantage. Meanwhile, Miami Dade tries to smoke out the Phantom Arsonist.

Summary

Dexter has Hannah on his boat, giving her a fast, choppy ride. She's deathly afraid of the water, a result of her father throwing her into a pond to sink or swim when she was six-years-old. She almost drowned, but for a fisherman saving her life. She asks Dexter if he's ever been that scared and he answers, "Not really." He gets a call about a body and they head back to shore.

Due to the hitman's attempt on Isaak Sirko's life, he and Jurg Yeliashkevych move out of Viktor's apartment and hide out at a new location. Jurg informs Isaak that the Koshka Brotherhood has sent two hitmen - Oleg Mickic and Benjamin Caffrey -  to kill him. Despite the danger, Jurg vows not to desert him, Isaak knows the abilities of these hitmen because he has hired them in the past. He phones Oleg, who happens to be shopping for a sniper rifle. After a moment of friendly chit chat, Oleg states that he's already accepted the contract. Isaak hangs up and tells Jurg that they are going to need some help.

Isaak appears at Dexter's door and tells him that the Koshkas have sent two men to kill him. He wants Dexter to help as the "element of surprise" and admits that he is scared of these hitmen. For his assistance, Isaak promises Dexter a pass on his revenge. Dexter says he'll take his chances and Isaak leaves, remarking, "Very well."

A fully burned corpse is found inside a vehicle on a public street. Arson Investigator Phil Bosso finds an empty canister of accelerant under the passenger seat and suggests his death was a suicide. However, Dexter notices an inconsistency in the burn rate on the back seat behind the driver's side. Bosso reminds Dexter that he's the "blood guy." A badge found in the car identifies the dead man as Danny Yamiro, a paralegal who worked downtown.

While still at the crime scene, Dexter takes Debra aside to discuss what she said the other day, about being in love with him.

Dexter: "I'm glad you said it."
Deb: "How? When every goddamn second of every goddamn day all I want to do is take it back?"
Dexter: "Because on some level, I've always felt the same way."
Deb: "You don't have to do this."
Dexter: "Yes, I do. I am your brother, and I love you, just not in the same way you think you love me."
Deb: "Dex--"
Dexter: "And it's okay. I understand, it makes sense. It's logical. Like... the way I love M & Ms, even though I know I shouldn't-"
Deb: "M & fucking-Ms?"
Dexter: "I'm trying here-- just hear me out."
Deb: "Why, Dexter? It's sure as shit not logical."
Dexter: "Unless you consider everything we've been through. You are the one person on the planet who's been down the same road as me."
Deb: "Same road, very different cars."
Dexter: "Deb, we've always been the one constant thing in each other's lives. It's like, you and I, we endure. Maybe that's what love is, endurance. So... of course you think you're in love with me."
Deb:  [Groans] "Please, stop saying that."
Dexter: "It's gonna be fine."
Deb: "No. It's--"
Dexter: "Logical. Because it is. You're not crazy."
Deb: "Fuck. That, coming from you--"
Dexter: "Should make you feel better."
Deb: "It does. God, Dexter. You, me, dad-- it's like mom got cancer to take the easy way out. I don't know, maybe it's better that it's out there, and it's not controlling me anymore."

Their talk is interrupted when Dexter receives a text message from Hannah. He begins texting her back and Deb walks away.

Dexter arrives home and sees Hannah's van. However, upon entering his apartment, Dexter finds Isaak in his kitchen, making tea. Isaak informs Dexter that he's kidnapped Hannah and she will only be safe if he helps him get rid of the two hitmen. Dexter angrily pins Isaak to a wall with a knife at his throat, but releases him for Hannah's sake. Dexter insists he's the wrong man to do the job but Isaak knows better, explaining, "You killed Viktor, as well as the man waiting for me in my apartment. He had a gun, you had a knife. I think I have exactly the right man." Isaak promises that after the hitmen are taken care of, Dexter will get Hannah back and he will leave Miami. Dexter reluctantly agrees to help after it's confirmed that Hannah is alive and being held by Jurg. After the call, Hannah is warned by Jurg not to scream or try to escape or he will hurt her badly.

At his hideout, Isaak tells Dexter what kind of killers he is dealing with. Benjamin Caffrey prefers to kill up close with knives or piano wire. Oleg Mickic, on the other hand, will buy a high-powered rifle locally and test it out first. Dexter realizes that Mickic will need an outdoor range that sells the correct magazine rounds. When Isaak asks Dexter how many people he has killed, Dexter answers, "A lot." When Isaak asks why he kills people, Dexter warns, "If anything happens to Hannah, you’ll find out."

At her beach house, Dexter asks Deb to call off the 24-hour surveillance on Isaak. She refuses so he tells her that Isaak took Hannah as leverage to force him to kill two hitmen. Deb, of course, doesn't really care what happens to Hannah but Dexter reiterates that he does. She muses aloud, "I was lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, feeling the sun, and listening to the waves, and... for a second, everything was just like it used to be. Steaks and beer and...bad movies on the couch. And then I blinked. And now it's burritos and hired killers and favors and... fucking Xanax to get me to tomorrow morning, so I can have that half-second of peace. I'll pull the surveillance, but don't you ever expect me to be okay with who you're doing this for."

Maria LaGuerta is checking out Thomas Matthews' boat when he suddenly opens a door, startling her. He clearly isn't happy to see her since she helped orchestrate the loss of his job as police chief. Maria tells him that she believes the Bay Harbor Butcher is alive and still active in Miami. Matthews accuses her of drinking and states, "Doakes was the Bay Harbor Butcher. End of story." To convince him, she describes the blood slide she found at the church, adding that bad people are still going missing, and Doakes never had a boat. Maria then presents a list of Miami personnel who own boats. He scoffs that his own name is on the list and reminds her of his hernia operation, which rules him out as a suspect. She asks if any of the other names look familiar. Still bitter, he tells her to go home and says she'll get no help from him, except a lift back to Cuba.

Dexter is shooting at the same firing range where Oleg Mickic is testing out his new rifle. When Mickic lies down on his stomach to take a better shot, Dexter gets behind him and shoves a knife into his back and out his sternum while covering his mouth to muffle any screams. Dexter informs Isaak of his success and offers himself up as bait for Caffrey.

Deb texts Dexter and he meets her in the parking lot of the Queen's Wharf Restaurant. She tells him that Jurg's car was found abandoned. He doesn't want her to find things and says, "I’ve got this." She asks if Miami Metro will be getting a call about a body and he assures her that it's outside their jurisdiction. Dexter admits he doesn't know if Isaak will kill Hannah regardless. When Deb warns him that Hannah is a killer and he will never be safe with her, he answers, "You’re safe with me."

Caffrey drops by The Fox Hole, concerned that he can't reach Mickic. He thinks Isaak got to him. George worries that Isaak will come after him next. George suggests using Dexter to find Isaak.

Dexter drops by Isaak's hideout, demanding proof that Hannah is still alive. He's allowed a video chat with her and secretly texts himself a screenshot. Before they hang up, Hannah tells Dexter that she misses him and he says, "Likewise." This infuriates Isaak who snaps, "You know, if I had the chance to speak to Viktor again, and he told me that he missed me, I think I -- like to think I could come up with something better than 'likewise.'" An argument leads to Dexter pointing out that Isaak is terrified because he feels responsible for Viktor's death because he sent him to Miami.

At The Fox Hole, George orders Nadia to change her clothes so he can take her to the Viceroy Hotel to have sex. She's too scared to object.  

Dexter sees in Isaak similarities to how he felt after Rita died, and he is not sure if he'll be able to recover if Hannah is killed.

While Dexter scrutinizes the screenshot he took of Hannah, he spots a soccer ball behind her that is signed by Juan Pablo, a Colombian soccer player. This indicates that Jurg is holding Hannah in the home of one of the Colombians that Isaak shot in Mateo's Bar.

Dexter is called to the University where there is another burn victim. Caffrey is there watching him from the crowd but Dexter pretends not to notice him. The charred corpse is slouched in a parking garage elevator. The victim’s name is Leo Santolongo, a grad student, and it doesn’t appear to be suicide. Phil Bosso confirms that the same accelerant was used as previously in the burned-out car. Dexter asks to have the elevator doors closed. When shut, he and Bosso see a reverse shadow, as if someone had created a void in the soot. Dexter describes it as a "phantom." The word "Bobby" is found written in the ashes on the door. Bosso says he’s never seen anything like it before, and they realize the killer wore a fire-proof suit to block the victim from escaping and watch him burn alive.

Dexter takes Debra aside and tells her that Hannah is likely being held at the home of one of the three dead Colombians. She agrees to check it out. Dexter then phones Isaak and says he's being watched by Caffrey. Isaak orders Dexter to lead Caffrey to the Fearless, a cargo ship docked at Pier 18, where he’ll be waiting.

Joey Quinn surprises Nadia at the club and notices her nervousness She finally admits that George pressured her to have sex with him. Quinn is furious. He throws George through his office window, gives him a well-deserved beating, and takes Nadia out of the club.

Hannah, bored with eating only corn flakes, offers to make fried green tomatoes for Jurg and herself. Since she is chained up, Hannah persuades Jurg to pick the ones growing out back in the garden.

Debra learns that one of the murdered Colombians was single and she heads to his house on Coral Road.

Caffrey follows Dexter to the Fearless, and is about to attack Dexter from behind with a knife. Just then, Isaak calls out, "Sweetheart!" from an upper deck. When Caffrey turns to look, Isaak shoots him several times in the chest. Together, Dexter and Isaak throw Caffrey's body overboard, along with their own weapons, ending their animosity.

As LaGuerta is buying a cup of coffee at Ocean Promenade, Matthews shows up. She is still mad at him for the way he spoke to her on his boat. However, he now agrees to help with her investigation if she helps him get reinstated as Police Chief long enough to get his 40-year pension.

As Hannah is serving the food, Jurg says, "Isaak hasn't checked in yet. If anything has happened to him, it would be a shame to have to kill you after such a lovely meal." Suddenly, he begins to choke and Hannah blames it on too much pepper. She quickly smacks Jurg over the head with a blender and the two struggle on the floor. He stabs her in the stomach and she slams him in the face with a lamp, killing him. Hannah, still chained to the couch, loses consciousness.

Dexter lingers on the ship to hose off the blood. While Isaak is leaving, he runs into George who shoots him in the gut and takes off. Dexter rushes to Isaak's side, offering to take him to a hospital. Isaak refuses, says he's a dead man, and asks for a favor.

Debra discovers Hannah bleeding out in the Colombian’s house. After a moment of hesitation, she calls for an ambulance.

On the Slice of Life, Isaak asks Dexter why he is "absolutely fearless in the face of death and yet so afraid to live." Dexter explains that death's predictability and inevitability calm him, but ever since he met Hannah, he feels that he has no control over his life. Isaak says he was the same way in the past, detached from the world, and hiding a secret. It wasn't until he met Viktor that he felt alive. With his last breath, Isaak tells Dexter that there is still hope for him. Dexter honors Isaak's final wish and buries him at sea where he dumped Viktor.

As Deb interviews Hannah in the hospital, she doesn't conceal her dislike and distrust of her. Hannah asks Deb why she didn't just leave her to die and Deb says she was doing her job. Dexter arrives and rushes to Hannah. She assures him that she's fine and only needed twelve stitches. After Deb leaves, Dexter tells Hannah that he's only been this scared twice before - seeing his mother murdered and realizing he might never see her [Hannah] again. As he lies next to her, he says, "All I know is that when I'm with you, I feel... safe."

Quotes

  • There are no two stronger human emotions than fear and love. - Dexter (voiceover)
  • Hannah keeps wanting me to open up, get to know the real me. The only problem is I'm not so sure there is such a thing. - Dexter (voiceover)
  • “Even a man dangling from a cliff will stretch out a hand to his worst enemy." - Isaak to Dexter
  • “Immolation is a form of sacrifice by any means, isn't restricted to fire." - Phil Bosso to Vince Masuka
  • Deb's always been afraid of her feelings consuming her. -Dexter (voiceover)
  • “No matter what you may think of me or my methods, I am a man of my word.” - Isaak to Dexter
  • “Listen to me carefully. Scream, make noise, I hurt you. Try to escape, I hurt you badly. Clear? Here. Find something for us to watch. And none of the American reality shit." - Jurg to Hannah
  • “Most men kill for money, some for the sheer brutality, others like me, revenge. But you, Dexter, with everything I've put you through, I get the sense you could walk away without the need to kill me." - Isaak to Dexter
  • “You trying to have a moment? I don't bond." - Dexter to Isaak
  • “You've been tasked with helping kill two men. A loved one's life hangs in the balance, and you're hungry?" - Isaak to Dexter
  • “And a great creature arose from the depths. Tokyo's that way, Maria." - Thomas Matthews to Maria LaGuerta
  • “The joy of retirement. I have no place to be, no one cares what I do. If I'd known you were dropping by, trust me, I'd have made it a double." - Matthews to LaGuerta
  • "I think it's about fucking time I start doing things for myself." - Deb to Hannah

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References

The Episodes of Dexter
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