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The Dark... Whatever[1] is the tenth of twelve episodes in Season Seven of DEXTER, and the eighty-second overall episode of the series. Written by Lauren Gussis, Jace Richdale and Scott Reynolds and directed by Michael Lehmann,[2] it first aired 2 December 2012. The estimated number of viewers for the episode during its original airing was 2.08 million.[3]

A surprise visit from Hannah's father puts Dexter on alert, and the Phantom Arsonist's crimes become more gruesome. Defending Nadia's honor forces Quinn into a dangerous situation, and LaGuerta brings on former Deputy Chief Matthews to help her with the Bay Harbor Butcher Case.


Miami Metro is investigating yet another attack by the Phantom Arsonist in which a mother and her six-year-old daughter were burned to death in a public restroom at a restaurant. No DNA or fingerprints are found but it was the same accelerant (kerosene) as the former four fires. Another "Bobby" was scribbled in the soot. Dexter watches as Phil Bosso indifferently gazes at the dead child, raising his suspicions that he is the Phantom Arsonist.

At Hannah's house, Dexter tells her that The Phantom started another fire which killed a mother and child. Hannah questions Dexter's urges when he says, “As much as I want to be here with you, my Dark Passenger really wants to be somewhere else.”

Hannah: "I'm sorry. Your Dark what?"
Dexter: "My Dark Passenger. That's what I call my need to kill."
Hannah: "Why?"
Dexter: "Because it's like this thing living inside me, telling me what to do, saying I have to kill, not leaving me any choice."
Hannah: "You're not a puppet. Of course you have a choice."
Dexter: [Scoffs] "Actually, I don't."
Hannah: [Scoffs] "Come on, Dex. It's just you. You're the one who wants the arsonist dead. And I don't blame you. Who wouldn't?"
Dexter: "It's not the same."
Hannah: "Well, what do you mean? I-I want to understand this. How is it different?"
Dexter: "'Cause a lot of people feel like they want to kill somebody, but I have to follow through."
Hannah: "I follow through, and I don't have a...Dark Passenger."
Dexter: "You don’t get it."

Hannah's father, Clint McKay, unexpectedly shows up. She hasn't seen him since he went to prison for check-kiting. The three of them sit at the table and Clint acts apologetic. He admits that he was a horrible father but claims to have changed. He says that he worked through his issues with a prison shrink and wants to take responsibility. Clint tells Hannah that he loves her and has a gift for her. The gift turns out to be a large dollhouse from her childhood. Hannah isn't happy to receive it because it reminds her of the time he left her alone for three days in a motel room. Clint departs in his truck, heading to a diner at the motel where he is staying. Hannah struggles to believe that her father has good intentions.

At a briefing, Phil Boss provides a profile of the Phantom Arsonist which includes "Male suspect. Egocentric, manipulative, possibly in or on the outskirts of law enforcement. He's methodical. Fastidious in his appearance, poor social skills." Dexter thinks it describes Bosso himself.

When Masuka sees Dexter texting someone, he asks Angel if Dexter has a new girlfriend. Angel blurts out Hannah McKay's name, having heard it from Jamie. Masuka says it's awesome because she’s "freaking hot." Deb, though, asks, "Excuse me, but what is so fucking awesome about my brother dating a killer?" Masuka blows it off because Hannah was only fifteen at the time. Deb orders Dexter into her office. She warns Dexter that it's dangerous for him to be dating such a notorious person when he's trying to stay under the radar. Dexter, however, doesn't want to talk about Hannah. Deb agrees to stay out of their relationships, but won't let her get away with murder again. As soon as Dexter leaves her office, Deb reaches for Alprazolam pills, a treatment for anxiety.

Dexter researches Phil Bosso and learns that he nearly always finds a fire's starting point. Either he's great at his job, or all he had to do was look in the mirror, Dexter thought.

Meanwhile, Angel and Quinn interview possible witnesses at their desks. They include a janitor who tells Angel that he didn't see anything suspicious and a woman who tells Quinn that she didn't see anyone in a fireproof suit.

Dexter tails Bosso to a park. When he looks inside his SUV, Dexter sees electric fuses and camping fuel, which can be used to start a fire. Suddenly, Bosso appears wearing a Confederate uniform. He's surprised to see Dexter and eagerly asks if he's also a Civil War reenactor. Dexter notices other costumed characters and plays along, pretending that he's there to fight for the North. Bosso takes out his phone and shows Dexter pictures of a previous Civil War event that he attended. This gives Bosso an alibi and Dexter realizes he isn't The Phantom Arsonist. He is just someone who's good at his job...and a little strange. Dexter reads a text from Hannah, inviting him to join her and her father at Dane's Restaurant.

During dinner, Clint is in a jovial and talkative mood. As Hannah warms up to her estranged father, he claims to have turned over a new leaf, abandoned his gambling ways, and will earn an honest living. He plans to leave soon for Louisiana to open a crawfish farm called "Big Clint's Crawdaddies" that will ship crawfish fresh anywhere in the country. Hannah believes her father, and tells him that she is excited and proud of him. She even invites him to stay at her house instead of the motel, and he accepts. Dexter says that he will bring them donuts for breakfast.

The real Phantom Arsonist boards a bus wearing a large backpack. As he walks to the back, the passengers pay little attention. He opens a duffel bag, takes out a silver, fire-proof suit and puts it on. Then he starts spraying kerosene on the horrified people who try to escape. Suddenly, the back of the bus explodes into flames, trapping three of the remaining passengers in the fire.

Back at Hannah's place, things go well until Clint mentions that he needs money to start up his crawfish business. Dexter immediately senses a con job and looks over at Hannah. Clint tells her that it's an opportunity to invest $20,000, but she says politely that she doesn't have the funds. He scoffs and suggests that she remortgage her place. When she refuses, Clint angrily yells, "What kind of daughter won't even help her own fucking father?" He storms out and speeds off in his truck. Hannah feels guilty for not giving her father the money, but Dexter supports her decision. He discourages Hannah from trusting her father but she insists there is still good in him.

Police and forensic techs are on scene when Dexter arrives and enters the bus. Bloody sheets cover the victims and the words "It's Bobby" are written in soot. Phil Bosso is sniffing the bodies for accelerants which Debra finds creepy. She asks Dexter if he suspects him. When he says that Bosso has an alibi, Deb is upset that Dexter already vetted him.

Dexter hurries to Hannah's house when she calls him, upset. Her greenhouse has been destroyed because Clint purposefully drove his truck into it. At first, Clint claims it was just a drunken accident. Then he accuses Hannah of being at fault for her mother's death. He calls her a "curse" and a "mistake" and says he should have let her drown when she was a child, Hannah breaks down in tears. Dexter grabs Clint in a choke hold and angrily orders him to leave. Clint’s parting words are, "Well, it looks like Hannah's found herself another winner. You two deserve each other." Hannah continues to sob, but Dexter has no clue how to comfort her.

Maria LaGuerta meets Thomas Matthews at Tropics, a restaurant she calls a "dump." He says dismissively, "Come on, Maria. It's perfect for all this cloak and dagger bullshit. It's the kind of place you take hookers and ugly broads." Hoping to identify the real Bay Harbor Butcher. Maria has followed up on a list of suspicious police employees who own boats and narrowed it down to Dexter. He had moved his boat in 2007 when they were closing in on his marina. Matthews is skeptical that Dexter is the Butcher and says it's a waste of time looking into him. They agree that if James Doakes was framed, it was probably by the real Butcher. They decide to check into Doakes' final days, starting with the cabin in the Everglades.

Dexter makes pancakes for Hannah before he leaves for work. She admits  that he was right about her father and feels like a sucker for falling for his lies again. She hopes that he's gone for good. Hannah tells Dexter that he seemed like a different person when he threatened her father and she understands why he would name that part of himself. He corrects her when she calls it his "Dark Rider".

During a briefing, Masuka presents security footage from the burned bus. They can't see the arsonist's face but the guy grabbed a rail bare-handed so he may have left a print.

Quinn receives a frantic phone call from Nadia who says George is sending her to work at a sex club in Dubai. Quinn tells Angel and they head to The Fox Hole together. They push past the bouncer and Quinn barges into George's office alone.

George drags Nadia out and orders her to tell Quinn that she belongs to him. Nadia hits George in the face and he punches her in the face. Quinn pulls his gun and warns George not to touch her again. George says mockingly, "You're going to shoot me in my own club?" and slaps Nadia. Quinn immediately shoots George. He then orders Nadia to shoot him in the arm with George's gun so it appears that George shot first. Angel quickly enters the room and Quinn claims he shot George in self-defense. He persuades Angel to let Nadia grab her passport and some money and flee, explaining that she can't be a witness because the Koshkas will kill her.

The Phantom's fingerprints don't match any in the A.F.I.S. database, but Dexter believes the fires may have begun when the Phantom was a juvenile because he relates "It's Bobby" to Astor and Cody blaming each other. Although the police can't run the print against juvie records, Dexter won't let that stop him.

Dexter brings the fingerprint to City Hall and breaks into the Juvenile Records Office. He matches it to Joe Jensen, who has an early history of arson. A month ago, Jensen was released from a psychiatric facility which explains why the fires recently started. An internal dialog ensues:

Dexter: Now that I have proof, my urges are beyond my control.
Harry: Your Dark Passenger. Where did you come up with that, anyway?
Dexter: I thought I got it from you.
Harry: I gave you the Code. The Dark Passenger was all yours.
Dexter: You said it got into me too early, in that shipping container. Like you thought I was possessed.
Harry: I meant you were traumatized, Dexter. Not possessed. I remember the first time you said it. You must have been about 12. I just let it go. I couldn't let you blame yourself for feelings that were too complicated for a young boy to understand. But you're not a boy anymore.
Dexter: You sound like Hannah.
Harry: Maybe she's right. Maybe the Dark Passenger is just a feeling.
Dexter: It can't be.
Harry: Why?
Dexter: Because if there's no Dark Passenger, then I'm responsible for everything I've done.
Harry: It sure is a whole lot simpler to just pin all the blame on something else, isn't it, Dexter? It's much scarier to think that the Dark Passenger is no more real than I am.

Maria and Matthews visit the spot where the cabin was located before it was blown up. They speak to Juan Alonzo, the owner of the property who is living there in an RV. He denies renting the cabin to James Doakes, but rented it to Santos Jimenez. The name sounds familiar to Matthews.

Back at Tropics, Matthews tells Maria that Jimenez was one of three men who murdered Dexter's biological mother because she was a C.I. for Harry Morgan. He tells her about the Shipping Yard Massacre and Maria is shocked to learn that Brian Moser, the Ice Truck Killer, is Dexter's brother. Since both boys watched their mother get chopped up and the Butcher also dismembered his victims, she's even more suspicious of Dexter. Additionally, the Butcher took blood slides from his victims and Dexter is a blood spatter analyst. She reminds Matthews that Doakes always thought there was something off about Dexter and suggests that Doakes was on to him. When Maria states that she is going to question Dexter, Matthews stops her, insisting, "If somebody's got to talk to Dexter, it's going to be me. I've known him since he was a kid. He trusts me. What's more, I'm a lot less likely to fuck it up."

Clint shows up uninvited at Dexter's apartment as Jamie is about to take Harrison swimming. He mocks Harrison's water wing, stating that kids are "coddled" and it's "sink or swim" in the world. Clint then tries to blackmail Dexter for $20,000 in exchange for not telling Miami Metro that Hannah poisoned a counselor in front of Arlene Schram. He admits that the money is really for gambling debts and not a crawfish farm. Clint also reveals that Sal Price was paying him to dish dirt on his daughter, but he died before he told him the "good stuff."

Deb questions Quinn at The Fox Hole regarding the shooting and he explains that he was there to talk to George about Nadia. The conversation grew heated and George shot him so he returned fire. Angel tells Quinn there's a problem with his story because there was a time lag between the first and second shot. Quinn insists that he's telling the truth and Angel reluctantly agrees to back him. Quinn reminds him to keep Nadia out of it.

Dexter tells Hannah about her father's blackmail attempt. Although upset, she decides to pay him, seeing no other option. Dexter reminds her that when other people have threatened her, she's found "other options." Hannah says she can't because it's her father.

Dexter sets up a kill room in Jensen's basement, forces Jenson to breath smoke, and questions him about "Bobby." Jensen says Bobby Hamilton was the one who really set the school fire, but he died and he was caught, and subsequently sent to a psychiatric facility. Dexter decides not to kill Jensen, realizing that they both blame their killings on childhood trauma. Also, he promised Debra that he wouldn't take another police case. Dexter cuts Jensen loose, knocks him out, and anonymously calls the police reporting the smell of kerosene. When Debra arrives, she realizes from subtle hints that Dexter left Jensen to be arrested.

Later, Dexter meets Clint in a parking garage, pretending to have the money. When Dexter opens his trunk, Clint is puzzled to see rolls of plastic. Suddenly, Dexter knocks him out with an injection of M-99. Clint wakes up on Dexter's boat wrapped in plastic, confused and frightened. "I realize this isn't the best way to make a good impression on your girlfriend's father. But I can't allow you to hurt Hannah," Dexter tells him. Clint begs for his life and promises that he won't rat out Hannah to the cops, but Dexter knows he is lying and wants to protect her. Dexter admits that he doesn't have to kill him but he wants to...even though it doesn't meet his Code. When Clint remarks, "You’ve got the Devil inside you, boy," Dexter smiles, stating, "No. I think it's just me." He then stabs Clint in the heart and drops his body overboard. As Clint sinks below the water, Dexter says, "Sink or swim, daddy."

Over the phone, Deb thanks Dexter for the Phantom Arsonist arrest, however, she refuses to lay off Hannah.

Dexter returns to Hannah, finding that she has withdrawn the blackmail money for her father. He says that he "had a talk" with Clint and he won't ever bother her again. Hannah thanks him and tells Dexter that she loves him. He answers, "I think I love you, too."

Deb asks Angel for his help in finding a woman named Arlene Schram because Hannah's father had left a message that she is a witness to a murder.


  • Monsters, aliens, phantoms-- none of them are real. The thought that an actual person could do this is too awful, so our imaginations create a way to make it easier to take. But even the strongest of imaginations can't protect us once we know the truth. - Dexter (voiceover)
  • "Hannah is an attractive girl. But you should probably be careful." - Angel Batista to Dexter
  • "I have compromised the shit out of myself for you. I am sure as fuck not going to do it for Hannah McKay." -Deb to Dexter
  • "My Dark Passenger. That's what I call my need to kill." - Dexter to Hannah
  • I can cut a body up into pieces, but how do I help Hannah put herself back together? - Dexter (voiceover)
  • "Fathers can be complicated." - Dexter to Hannah
  • Government workers never miss a break. -Dexter (voiceover)
  • "So who was more likely to want Jimenez dead, Doakes or Dexter?" - Maria LaGuerta to Thomas Matthews
  • "They didn't have nannies like you back in my day. - Clint McKay to Jamie Batista
  • "You can't blame it on something that happened to you when you were a kid. You're not a kid anymore. It's time for you to take responsibility. Fuck." - Dexter to Joe Jensen
  • "You got the devil inside you, boy." - Clint McKay to Dexter
  • "Sink or swim, daddy." - Dexter to Clint's corpse as he drops it overboard
  • The Dark Passenger has been with me ever since I can remember, pulling the strings, running the show. But as it turns out, I'm no puppet. - Dexter (voiceover)
  • "I think I love you too." - Dexter to Hannah

Related Pages


  • "Bam Bam" by Sister Nancy


  • The episode received a title change from "Because I Want To"[4] prior to the release of Season Seven and is the first of currently two to do so in that season. The other is Sunshine and Frosty Swirl (formerly known as "The Shadow Knows").
  • Homes in South Florida do not have basements due to the water table.




The Episodes of Dexter