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A Little Reflection is the sixth episode of Season Eight of DEXTER, and the ninetieth overall episode of the series. Directed by John Dahl and written by Jace Richdale, it first aired 4 August 2013 on Showtime.

The estimated number of viewers for the episode during its original airing was 2.21 million.

Dexter monitors a young psychopath to see if he meets the criteria of the Code. Dexter and Debra finally get back to normal, but are surprised when someone from Dexter's past pays them a visit.

Summary

Zach Hamilton is at the scene of a car accident, taking pictures. Dexter thinks the kid is "drawn to blood" like he is. For a week, Dexter has been vetting Zach but thus far hasn't found definitive proof that he killed Norma Rivera.

Dexter follows Zach to Dr. Vogel's home and wonders if she has taken him him on as a patient. He waits outside until Zach leaves and then confronts Vogel. She tells Dexter that Zach's father contacted her because of her reputation for working with psychopaths, and he’s concerned about his son's propensity for violence.

Dexter discloses to Vogel that Zach likely murdered Norma Rivera and he’s going to kill him if he finds solid proof. To Dexter’s surprise, Vogel says they have a conflict of interest and she won’t further discuss Zach as it would be unethical. Dexter mocks her sudden interest in ethics and she admits to throwing them out the window when her life was on the line. He warns Vogel that she’s bringing another threat into her life, but she casually says, “I treat dangerous people. It's a hazard of the job. Besides, you have no proof that Zach Hamilton is guilty of anything.” She asks Dexter to meet with her if he does find the proof before he kills Zach, but Dexter makes no promises.

Masuka reviews Debra's background report on his daughter, Niki. She appears to be in dire financial straits and he's now convinced she's after his money. However, he admits that he likes having Niki in his life. Deb advises Masuka to wait until she actually asks him for anything before coming to any conclusions. He thanks Deb for her help and hugs her.

Elway brings a new case to Debra. He wants to investigate his sister Susan's boyfriend, Kevin Wyman, a notorious player who frequents a singles bar in a hotel where he keeps a hotel suite. Deb suggests that he talk to his sister about it, but Elway says she doesn't listen to him and he wants to present her with the facts. His plan is for them to work as a couple because it would be less conspicuous. When Deb says she’s uncomfortable going behind Susan’s back, Elway asks if she’s comfortable getting a paycheck.

Dexter helps Harrison with a puzzle as Jamie deals with the laundry. She reminds Dexter of her birthday picnic at Papa’s Cafe in a few days, and says Cassie will be there. She mentions Dexter’s upcoming lunch date with Cassie, remarking that she’s an awesome matchmaker. Dexter replies that she’s an awesome nanny. Jamie says the TV remote is missing and she thinks Harrison hid it, but he denies it.

Dexter is called to a bloody murder scene in Liberty City where a woman was stabbed to death by her boyfriend. Once again, Zach is there with his camera. After the homicide team clears out, Dexter invites Zach to the "other side of the yellow tape." Dexter allows him to take a few pictures of the scene and talks to him about the stabbing. Zach is impressed with Dexter's blood analysis. Dexter thinks Zach is a quick study and is making notes for his next kill. He gives Zach his card and asks to be called after he prints out the photos.

Dexter and Cassie meet for a food truck lunch and she asks what he's passionate about. He doesn’t have much of an answer, except that he has a motorboat. Cassie asks if he water-skis, races, or scuba dives and he says that he only takes it out, turns around, and comes back. Cassie thinks they need more alcohol.

As Elway and Debra are watching Kevin Wyman at a singles bar, he talks about his strained relationship with his sister. Although he can’t change the past, he wants to stop Susan from ruining her future.

After Wyman has no luck picking up a woman, he leaves. Debra suggests setting him up and seeing if he takes the bait. At first, Elway refuses but Deb states that she’s done worse than that while working in Vice. He says that he only needs a few photos of Wyman making advances, and laughs when Deb jokes that she could marry Wyman and pop out a couple of babies.

Zach invites Dexter to his studio and he arrives with a bag of Sadie’s Donuts. Numerous enlarged photos are displayed on the wall with blood the theme. Zach offers to print some for Dexter but he doesn’t need them. “I forget it was a crime scene,” Zach remarks. “Keep thinking that dead chick spilled all that blood just for me.”

Dexter spots a photo of a woman laying on a desk and Zach gets nervous when asked about it. He crumples it up, claims it was a test photo, and tosses it into the trash.

Zach receives a phone call which seems to upset him. “Jesus, are you still drunk from last night or are you starting a new bender?”  After a few minutes, Zach hangs up and tells Dexter that he has to go.

At the station, Deputy Chief Matthews asks Angel about his choice for Sergeant. Angel knows Matthews wants him to pick Angie Miller because she scored higher on the test, has the experience and the track record, plus she’s an African-American woman. Angel defends Quinn, saying that he’s street-smart. Matthews makes it clear he won't be the bad guy. He tells Angel to “grow a set of balls” and make his choice by the end of the day.

Dexter and Debra have steak and beers together like old times but they struggle to find their old comfort level. She tells him about the case she's working with Elway, and he reveals that Vogel was married to a Dr. Richard Vogel.

Jamie has found the missing remote under Harrison’s bed and Dexter wonders if he should be concerned that Harrison is lying. Deb calls Dexter a “doofus” and says Harrison is only four.

Neither are enjoying the tough steak and Dexter says it's not “worth living for,” something Deb once said about his steaks. They decide to order a pizza.

Angel brings Quinn into his office and says he's promoting Miller to Sergeant, calling her the most qualified candidate. Quinn is in disbelief after Angel had pushed him to better his life. Angel defends his decision, saying there’s too much stuff he can’t ignore, such as the “Nadia thing” and the Novikov shooting.

Quinn is determined to solve the Norma Rivera Case. He grabs Dexter and asks for everything he has that points to Zach Hamilton. When Dexter says there’s nothing forensically, Quinn decides to tail Zach. Dexter realizes that if Quinn is stalking Zach, he can’t, so he offers to accompany Quinn as another set of eyes.

On stakeout in a car, Dexter and Quinn watch Zach taking photos of an outdoor yoga class. Quinn brings up Miller, doubting that she’s clean. He says if you dig deep enough on anyone in the department, you find shit. He tells Dexter that he knows what he’s talking about, adding that some people get away with their shit and some don't. Quinn mentions Debra’s strange confession of killing LaGuerta, and Dexter wishes he stayed in his office.

Dexter suddenly notices that one of the women in the class is the same woman in the picture that Zach didn't want him to see.

Deb meets Elway at the singles hotel wearing a tight short skirt and low-cut top. He tells her that she looks incredible, but didn’t leave a lot of places to put the transmitter. Deb just takes it from him, lifts her skirt, and adroitly wraps it around her leg. She then attaches the mic inside her top, causing Elway to blush.

As Elway sits nearby holding the recorder, Debra strikes up a conversation with Wyman at the bar. He tells her about closing a big deal and invites her to his private suite. The two of them flirt at the elevator but when he leans in to kiss her, Deb acts bashful. Suddenly, Elway shows up and punches Wyman in the face, telling him "you're done." He warns Wyman that Deb is wired and Susan will get an email with a video attachment if he doesn’t end things with her that night. Wyman storms off and an indignant Deb asks Elway to explain his behavior. He apologizes and says he didn’t like Wyman pawing all over her.

By using her license plate, Dexter finds out that the woman Zach is following is Sofia Fuentes, an employee of the Cypress Harbor Yacht Club, owned by Zach's family. Since Zach took pictures of Sofia, Dexter breaks into Zach's photo studio to look for pictures of Norma Rivera. On a camera file, he discovers photos of Norma, taken seconds after she was killed, the pool of blood around her head growing from one image to the next. Zach is visible with murder weapon in hand. Dexter prints out the proof.

Dexter brings Vogel the evidence of Zach’s guilt, but she already knew because Zach told her during their first session. She says she kept it to herself because she sees “potential” in Zach. Dexter retorts that Zach is a killer and deserves to die. Scoffing, Vogel asks, “Isn't that a little intolerant, coming from you?” Dexter states that he doesn’t kill innocent people, but Vogel warns he might be on death row if he wasn’t taught the Code.

To Dexter’s surprise, Vogel suggests teaching the Code to Zach because she "sees something" in him. Dexter retorts that this isn't a science project, and denies being like Zach. Vogel agrees and calls Dexter “one of a kind.” She fails to convince him to teach Zach the Code and Dexter leaves, telling her, “He killed an innocent, and he's getting ready to do it again. He needs to die.”

Dexter attends Jamie's birthday party at Papa’s Cafe and Harrison plays with the other kids. Cassie is there with another guy and Jamie tells Dexter that he needs to move fast

Also there are Masuka and his daughter, Niki. They admit to liking each other, although she’s not ready to call him “Dad.” Niki is surprised when he hands her a check for $5,000, remarking that he knows she can use it. She asks how he knows, and he tells her about his research into her. She's offended that he checked into her like a criminal and says maybe it was a mistake to find her father. Niki states that her debts are none of his business, returns the check, and walks away.

Jamie starts to publicly congratulate Quinn on his promotion to Sergeant before he and Angel break the news that it went to Miller. She’s upset with her brother, since it was his idea for Quinn to go after the job.

Dexter notices Cassie standing alone and walks over. They chat awkwardly until her date returns with their drinks. Cassie introduces the man as “Oliver” and they shake hands. He jokes with Cassie about their beers, so Dexter leaves to find Harrison.

Elway tells Deb that Wyman broke up with his sister, which is what he wanted. Now, though, he has regrets because Susan called him, crying, believing it was her fault. Deb assures Elway that Susan would have caught Wyman eventually, adding, “People can’t help sticking their noses in when it’s someone they care about.”

At bedtime, Dexter talks to Harrison about the fact he lied about the remote. Harrison says he broke it accidentally and Dexter says that’s okay, but he should never lie to him. After a moment, Harrison accuses Dexter of lying and pulls out the toy dog that he said was lost. Dexter admits that he lied and apologizes. Although the toy has blood stains linking him to a murder, Dexter lets Harrison keep it if he lets it “live under the bed.” After reading a story to Harrison, Dexter leaves to hunt Zach. Jamie doesn’t mind staying late, even though it’s her birthday.

Zach's Porsche is parked at his studio, but he’s not there. Dexter breaks in and finds a receipt for an inexpensive car. He's sure that Zach bought it because he doesn’t want his bright red car seen when he kills Sofia that night. Dexter calls the yacht club and learns that Sofia is about to leave work.

As Dexter drives through the club’s parking lot, he notices Zach in his car, waiting to make his move on Sofia. Quinn is also there, watching Zach from the Bay Terrace Restaurant, trying to prove he’s a good cop. Dexter needs to get rid of Quinn so he calls Jamie. He tells her that Quinn thinks she’s going to break up with him because he didn’t make Sergeant. Jamie thinks that’s crazy and Dexter suggests that she invite him over to cheer him up. She thanks Dexter and immediately calls Quinn, who then leaves his post moments before Sofia gets off work.

At this point, Zach's father appears and begins kissing Sophia. Dexter realizes that she is Ed’s new mistress, like Norma before her. As Sofia walks away, Zach gets out of his car and Dexter assumes he’s going after her. To his surprise, Zach begins to follow his father. Dexter quickly grabs Zach, injects him with M99, and pulls him away just before his father turns around.

While dragging Zach, Dexter stops and leans against a building, Quinn pulls up in his car, but he can’t see Zach. He asks Dexter if he is playing detective, watching Zach. Dexter admits that he caught him, and Quinn leaves to see Jamie.

Dexter sets up a kill room in Zach’s studio. When Zach wakes up, Dexter asks him why he was going to kill his father. At first, Zach denies it until Dexter threatens him, demanding the truth. Zach says his father’s philandering is causing his mother to drink herself to death. He thought killing Norma would put an end to it but, two days later, his father began to sleep with Sofia. To protect his mother, he decided to kill his father.

Dexter is dubious that it is just about Zach’s mother and asks why he shows up at crime scenes and takes pictures of the blood. He accuses Zach of liking to kill. Zach confesses that he can't help it. He says it’s been building up inside him for years, but Norma was the first time he ever followed through. He describes the feeling as the release of something horrible inside him.

Zach advises Dexter to kill him because he won’t be able to stop himself from killing again. Dexter realizes that Zach "never had a Harry" to talk to or teach him. He ponders taking on Harry’s role, and then cuts Zach loose.

At Deb’s beach house, she and Dexter are enjoying beverages and snacks. She tells Dexter that Elway “likes” her, but she thinks it's only because he doesn't really know her. She asks about Cassie and Dexter says there isn’t much of a future there. Nevertheless, Dexter tells Deb that he’s feeling optimistic and is even taking on an "intern."

Deb begins to slur her speech, says she feels dizzy, and passes out on the couch. Something is wrong with Dexter as well and he collapses. Before he blacks out, he sees Hannah at the door. She looks directly at him and says, "Hello, Dexter. Remember me?"

Quotes

  • Accidents happen, shattering our sense of control, if not our lives. - Dexter (opening voiceover)
  • Dating is harder than I remember. - Dexter to himself, about Cassie
  • Harrison. I never intended to have a son, but now he's the one thing in my life that seems most right. - Dexter to himself
  • “To take a living person and make them dead, imagining that you can actually hear the moment when their heart stops beating, smell the blood as it pools across the floor.” - Dexter to Zach
  • Some things happen to us by accident. Others are choices. There are parts of me that I can never share with my own son. But with Zach -- could I teach him? Am I ready for this, to be a spiritual father? - Dexter to himself

Notes

  • This episode marks the third time Dexter takes someone under his wing, or as a disciple.

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