This Little Piggy is the fifth episode of Season Eight of DEXTER, and the eighty-ninth overall episode of the series. Directed by Romeo Tirone and written by Scott Reynolds, it first aired 28 July 2013 on Showtime.
The estimated number of viewers for the episode during its original airing was 2.55 million.
Dr. Vogel comes into contact with the suspected Brain Surgeon, and Dexter and Debra try to keep her safe; Masuka confirms that Niki is his daughter.
Dexter and Debra meet with Dr. Vogel to discuss the "accident," but they just sit silently without looking at each other. Dr. Vogel finally says, “Well, we're never gonna get anywhere unless one of you starts talking.”
Debra points out that she ultimately saved Dexter from the sinking car, while he is understandably upset that she tried to kill them both. He’s especially angry that she almost left Harrison an orphan. She accuses Dexter of not listening to her, or understanding that she’s been trapped in a fog. Dexter retorts that he’s “stupid that way” and his “brain is limited” so it doesn’t make sense when his sister tries to kill him.
Dr. Vogel says Debra is struggling with what she's learned about Harry's suicide and that PTSD makes one’s thinking cloudy. She explains that the weight of what Debra has been through was too much for her to bear and she sought out the first solution that presented itself. When Debra tried to kill Dexter, she was hitting rock bottom and it’s her first step to recovery. Dexter replies sarcastically that he’s happy for her, but he was trying to catch a serial killer before she tried to drown him, which seems to be all he’s good for. He leaves to find Yates, commenting angrily, “To hell with both of you. Don't forget to write all this down.”
Dexter is under pressure to find Yates and he’s beginning to view his family as a burden. He ignores Deb’s calls and loses patience with Harrison when he wants to watch cartoons instead of getting ready for school.
As Jamie packs a lunch for Harrison, she asks Dexter if he has plans later because she wants to have Cassie over for dinner. Distracted by his son and ringing phone, Dexter mindlessly agrees to the dinner before rushing out.
Before the next briefing, a smiling Masuka tells everyone that he’s confirmed that Niki is his daughter. Quinn warns him that she might have shown up because she wants something, like money, a place to stay, or a kidney. Or they wanna kill you, Dexter thinks.
In Angel's absence, Quinn heads the briefing. He reports that Janet Thorton, the stabbing victim, has survived and is ready to make a statement. Next, he says Norma Rivera had sex shortly before her death, probably with her killer. However, there are no matches to the semen in the criminal database and the M.E. report shows no defensive wounds, so it was likely not a rape. Norma’s ex-boyfriend is ruled out because he’s been locked up for the past week on an assault charge. Norma’s former coworkers told detectives that she was having an affair with their wealthy boss, Ed Hamilton. Detectives tried to talk to him but he lawyered up, so they obtained a court order to compel a DNA sample. They speculate that Hamilton killed Norma to hide the affair.
Angel returns to the station with Yates name, obtained from Janet Thorton, and his home address.
Angie Miller asks Angel if Quinn is his choice for Sergeant but he hasn't made up his mind yet. She promotes herself as having run briefings in the gang unit and ready to take on more responsibility.
Matthews takes Quinn aside and tells him the Hamiltons are "good friends" to Miami Metro, and warns him to be respectful. He insists that Mr. Hamilton's indiscretions should take a back seat to solving Norma Rivera's murder.
Quinn, Miller, and Dexter arrive at the Hamilton home with a warrant to collect a DNA swab from Ed Hamilton. The housekeeper leads them out to the backyard where he’s working on a laptop by the pool. Ed says there is no need for a DNA test and admits to having an affair with Norma. His wife, who has been in Atlanta for the past two weeks, found out and insisted that she be fired. On the day of her murder, Norma and Ed had "break-up" sex, but she left alive which security cameras can prove..
Ed’s son, Zach, tries to insert himself into the detectives' questioning. When he offers to help his father by calling someone, Ed angrily orders him to go inside the house. Instead, Zach stands at a distance to observe the interactions.
Dexter misses a call from Deb.
As Dexter is leaving, Zach approaches him to ask about his analysis of Norma's murder scene. Dexter only states that she was beaten to death. Zach assures Dexter that it’s a waste of time to investigate his father, whom he says is an “asshole, but not a killer.”
Dr. Vogel is at home, listening to the song Make Your Own Kind of Music by Mama Cass. Suddenly, A.J. Yates throws a small table through the window and attacks her, warning, “Try and get away, and I’ll kill you.
Debra can’t reach Dr. Vogel by phone so she leaves a message that she needs to talk and will be coming by. When she arrives at Vogel's house, Deb is alarmed to find her missing with evidence of a break-in.
At Yates’ house, the police discover six bodies buried in the backyard with their graves marked with rose bushes. Apparently, the women were kept alive and tortured for weeks as their toes were broken in sequence (one was in the process of mending). A.J. then stabbed the women in the chest and buried them with their purses, IDs, and left shoes. One of the first victims is Kendall Jaynes, missing since 2008.
Debra shows up at the crime scene to tell Dexter about Vogel. He regrets not having killed Yates already. She wants to help, but Dexter says it’s too dangerous and reminds her that she helped him once before, but it “didn’t work out.” Deb remarks, “That was about killing someone. This is about saving someone.”
Dexter asks why she didn't let him drown, and she says, “I saw the car going underwater. I knew you were gonna die. I couldn't imagine my life without you in it.” When he asks if everything just goes back to normal, Deb says it was never normal.
They find Yates’ log of the houses in which he's recently worked. A vacant home would be the perfect place to take a hostage. Deb wants to bring the police in on this, but Dexter disagrees.
Elsewhere, A.J. Yates angrily questions Vogel about the man who broke into his house, as she desperately tries to reason with him. When she brings up his brain surgery, A.J. retorts, “What? This little thing? I liked having my skull sawed open, and a chunk of my brain carved out. Who wouldn’t?” Vogel explains that she thought a lesion on the limbic area was causing his violent episodes, and she was trying to make him better. A.J. scoffs and says, “Well, it worked really well, didn't it? You're a hell of a doctor!” He tells Vogel that she should've just left him alone and pulls a hood over her head.
Miller mentions to Quinn that one of them will be promoted to Sergeant and asks if it will ruin their friendship. Quinn quips that he didn’t know they had a friendship.
A vendor tells Quinn and Miller that he spotted a guy who drives a Porsche at Norma's place near the time of her murder, and identifies Zach Hamilton from a photo. The vendor agrees to come by the station later and give a statement. Quinn immediately calls Angel about the eyewitness.
While Masuka and Niki are ordering lunch at a food truck, he asks why she sought him out. Niki explains that she moved from St. Augustine to Miami for school, and because her mother recently died and she was feeling alone. She then questions Masuka about his financial situation, where he lives, what kind of car he drives, and asks him to pay for her lunch.
Dexter realizes it would take days to find which vacant house Yates is holed up in with Vogel. He talks to Angel who tells him that Yates has used the same ATM twice in the past couple days in the area of Morningside Park.
Quinn tells Matthews about Zach and says the vendor has suddenly changed his story and supposedly can’t remember anything. This frustrates Quinn, who thinks he was paid off by Hamilton to keep quiet. Since there are no other witnesses, Matthews instructs Quinn to not bring in Zach for questioning, adding that there’s no reason to make enemies, especially when “someone is trying to move up to Sergeant.”
Debra is looking for Yates’ hideaway and has Elway help eliminate certain types of buildings in the Morningside Park area, but she won’t reveal the reason why.
Masuka drops by Elway Investigations and asks Debra to privately investigate Niki. She’s surprised to learn that he has a 20-year-old daughter conceived from his donated sperm back in college. Masuka describes Niki as smart, pretty, normal, but says he keeps asking himself, “What’s the catch?” He likes the idea of having a daughter in that he has no family, except for his retired parents who live in Tampa. However, she just showed up out-of-the-blue and might be there only for his money. Deb suggests that Niki just wants to get to know him, and remarks that it’s really nice to have family. She promises to be discreet in her investigation.
Dexter arrives home to find Jamie, Quinn, and Cassie preparing for dinner. He had forgotten about Jamie’s plan for a double date and informs her that he needs to bail to get some work done. Jamie follows Dexter into the bedroom and angrily tells him that he can’t do this because she went out of her way to set this up. When Dexter insists that he must leave, Jamie warns that if he tries to walk out the door, she will leave and there will be nobody to stay with Harrison. Her ultimatum forces Dexter to stay. As the four sit chatting in the living room, Dexter ignores a call from Deb. He excuses himself to get more wine and phones her back. They need to check nineteen vacant houses and Deb’s in a hurry to get going. Dexter hangs up and takes Cassie aside and says he needs to leave for work, but doesn’t want to upset Jamie. Cassie’s cool with it and they agree to reschedule as Cassie adroitly begs out of the rest of the evening.
Dexter picks up an impatient Deb and they begin to look for Vogel. They’re not even sure if Yates took her to one of the houses, or if she’s still alive.
Meanwhile, Yates prepares to break one of Vogel's toes. He first removes her shoe, treating it as a precious trophy. Vogel tries to deter Yates by saying that he’s angry at his mother and he has a right to be because she horribly abused him. She describes the terror he felt and how he found a safe place under the bed. Yates opens up a bit, recounting how his mother would pace back and forth in front of the bed with her shoes clacking. He then orders Vogel to shut up and picks up the cutting tool, asking, “Which little piggy won't be making it to market?”
Vogel decides that the only way to control him at this point is to take drastic measures. She sternly calls him “Albert,” orders him to stop it, and smacks him across the face once. Noticing how he seemed emotionally affected by the attack, she strikes again... and attempts a third time before he prevents her. After forcing her to sit, Yates goes to the kitchen to clean a cut lip. While he’s there, Vogel discovers that the door is locked and quickly reaches for a cell phone to call Dexter. She is able to make the call but must leave the phone face down before Yates returns. This allows Dexter to listen to their conversation and provide a way to pinpoint their location.
Dexter is looking through the window of a house when he receives a call from an unknown number. On the open line, he can hear the voices of Vogel and Yates. He quickly shows Deb and she has Elway trace the number to 157 Montgomery. They race to the location while listening to Yates and Vogel’s conversation. She seems to be winning him over when he suddenly notices the phone and angrily grabs it. Vogel calls out to Dexter for help.
Soon, Dexter and Deb arrive at the house and bust open the door, only to find no one in the living room. They search downstairs and find the bloody paper towels in the kitchen that were used to clean Yates’ injured lip. When they hear thumping overhead, they run up the stairs and discover Vogel in a bedroom closet, gagged with her wrists bound by duct tape. She isn't certain where Yates went, but Dexter notices a blood stain next to the bed. He looks around for a weapon, casually mentioning that they "need to look for Yates." He sneaks over to the window and removes a long curtain rod shaped like a spear. Yates, who is under the bed, has a knife ready as he watches Deb's feet. Just before he can slash at her leg, Dexter jumps on the bed and thrusts the pole straight down, impaling Yates who dies within seconds. Deb, having again witnessed Dexter kill someone, assures Vogel that she’s “good.”
Back at her house, Dr. Vogel thanks them both for saving her life and they talk about the matter. She’s glad that Deb and Dexter have found their way back to each other, and says Harry was concerned they would drift apart. Deb wittily remarks, “Well, the family that kills together…” Dexter packs the brain parts and DVD to dump with Yates’ body.
During the night, Dexter brings Debra and Vogel along as he dumps Yates’ body from the Slice of Life. Vogel says it’s beautiful out there, and Dexter says he likes it because it’s peaceful, alone on the water. When they ask him why he brought them, he says, “I wanted to be with family.”
- Serial killer bested by 100-pound nanny. - Dexter, about Jamie Batista
- “If anyone really knew us, they would run screaming.” - Debra to Dr. Vogel about herself and Dexter
- A few days ago, everything seemed hopeless between Deb and me. But through Dr. Vogel and Yates, I've got my sister back. Not like things were before. It's something different. But for now, it's enough.” Dexter to himself, as he dumps Yates’ body
- This episode marks the third time Debra witnesses Dexter killing an individual. The other two instances are when she witnessed Dexter killing Travis Marshall in the church in Season Six and when Dexter stabbed Andrew Briggs in Season Eight's premiere.
- When Elway tells Debra the address for the call he traced, she calls him a "saint." Sean Patrick Flanery, who plays Elway, also played the character Connor MacManus in the movie The Boondock Saints (1999).
- A.J. Yates' House
- Brain Surgeon Case
- Dexter's Apartment
- Elway Investigations
- Evelyn Vogel's House
- Slice of Life