Make Your Own Kind of Music is the ninth episode of Season Eight of DEXTER, and the ninety-third overall episode of the series. Directed by John Dahl and written by Karen Campbell, it first aired 25 August 2013 on Showtime.
The estimated number of viewers for the episode during its original airing was 2.28 million.
Dexter and Hannah are at a hotel, lying together in bed. He doesn’t want to leave but he’s intent on tracking down Zach Hamilton’s killer. He advises Hannah to stay inside out of view, but Hannah says she must see Arlene Shram to get the money she’s holding for her. Dexter tells Hannah that he loves her and she replies that she loves him, too.
In a search for clues, Dexter and Evelyn Vogel break into Zach's Photo Studio. No one else knows yet that Zach is dead. Dexter asks Evelyn if the song “Make Your Own Kind of Music” means anything to her because it was playing when he found Zach’s body. She says it’s just a “pretty song” that she used to play all the time, but maybe some of her patients heard her playing it. As he looks around, Dexter finds signs of a struggle. Also, on the bottom of a table, Dexter discovers a tiny clump of blood and hair that Zach seemingly pulled from his assailant and deliberately stuck there.
Before they leave, Dexter tells Evelyn that he is planning to make a life with Hannah, which surprises her. She says he’s not the “perfect psychopath” that she once thought he was and admits he has a depth of emotion. Evelyn warns Dexter that straddling two worlds is dangerous, and says a killer cannot have a full emotional life. Dexter answers, “I think you underestimate me.”
Deputy Marshal Max Clayton meets with Jacob Elway about Hannah McKay. Elway thinks she’s in Miami and shows Clayton matching passport photos of Hannah and Maggie Castner. Clayton agrees they could be the same person. Elway tells Clayton that her yacht left for Saint Kitts but she probably wasn’t on it. He adds that “Maggie’s” husband is supposedly in New York, but there’s no record of him being on a flight. Elway wants to join Clayton's team but his request is denied. However, Clayton promises that Elway will get the reward money if he finds Hannah. This satisfies Elway and they shake hands.
Angel approaches Debra outside the police station and asks her to return to Miami Metro. She doesn't think Deputy Chief Matthews would go for it. After Angel walks away, Joey Quinn asks Debra to look into Zach and hands her his file. He explains, saying Matthews won’t allow him to investigate Zach because of his rich family. Quinn thinks Cassie was the second person Zach killed. Debra recognizes Zach from his photo, but says nothing.
Debra heads to see Dexter, who is testing the evidence he found in Zach’s studio. As she is about to enter his office, Niki Walters stops her, stating that she can’t go in there. Annoyed, Debra asks, “Who the fuck are you?” Masuka intervenes and introduces them to each other. Niki tells Debra that her father calls her a “total rock star.” and it’s nice to meet her.
Debra hands Zach’s file to Dexter and asks if he was in the Keys with Zach and Hannah for a serial killer convention. Dexter divulges that Zach is dead which exasperates her. Debra says she was thinking about coming back as a detective, but it would just lead her into “another fucked up situation.”
To Dexter’s surprise, the hair sample reveals a familial match to Evelyn Vogel. When he tells Evelyn that the Brain Surgeon is related to her, she finds it hard to believe since she has no family. She was married and had two sons, but they are dead. Daniel, her eldest son, drowned his brother, Richard Jr. and she and her husband covered it up as an accident. Evelyn describes Daniel as a highly intelligent psychopath and her desire to help him led her into her current field. At age fourteen, Daniel was placed into a mental health facility in England, but at age seventeen, he and six others were killed in a fire at the facility. Evelyn shows Dexter a picture of young Daniel and he suggests that Daniel faked his own death. Dexter asks Evelyn if the brain cores left at her door mean anything to her. She says Daniel was aware that he lacked empathy and maybe he boxed some up for her.
Back at work, Dexter ages a picture of Daniel as a child to look like a man in his mid-forties. It begins to resemble Oliver Saxon, the man Cassie was dating. The comparison is a 97.6% facial match. He pulls up the police report of her murder and Saxon’s driver license. Apparently, his name is an alias so Dexter locates the real Oliver Saxon's death certificate which reports that he died at age ten.
Angel pops into Dexter’s office with Max Clayton to inform him that Hannah may be in Miami and he could be a target. They arrange for officers to watch his apartment and Harrison. Dexter denies being in touch with Hannah and claims to want her back behind bars. After they leave, Dexter quickly calls Hannah at the hotel to warn her about Clayton. She still needs her money -- half a million dollars -- from Arlene so Dexter says he will help her get it.
At lunch, Quinn tells Debra that her tip was right. A hotel manager confirmed that Zach was in the Keys at the time Cassie was murdered. Quinn then talks about his issues with Jamie, who feels she’s being compared to Debra.
Dexter drives Hannah to Arlene’s house, a nice place that Hannah is paying for. Arlene teases them about being back together and then takes a suitcase of money out of a closet. Through a window, Dexter notices Clayton pull up in front of the house. Hannah quickly hides and Dexter calmly sits down at the table. When Arlene answers the door, Clayton is surprised to see Dexter there. Dexter says he wanted to warn Arlene that Hannah might be in town. Clayton asks Arlene how she can afford living in that house since she’s a part time waitress. When he threatens Arlene with going to prison for aiding and abetting a fugitive, Dexter speaks up. She says that he is helping her and pretends to be her boyfriend. It seems to work. Clayton laughs and tells Dexter that he “sure can pick ‘em.”
While Jamie is working as a nanny at Dexter’s apartment, Debra shows up under the pretense of seeing Harrison. She offers condolences to Jamie regarding Cassie. Debra gets her to talk about Cassies’ boyfriend, Saxon. After two weeks of dating, Cassie was on the verge of ending things, but he was pressuring her to take a trip to the Bahamas. After she leaves, Debra calls Quinn and suggests they revisit Oliver Saxon for Cassie's murder.
Outside Arlene's house, Dexter and Hannah discuss what to do now that Clayton is on her trail. He thinks the safest place for her is at Debra's beach house. Although reluctant, Hannah agrees.
Debra and Quinn interview Saxon in his apartment about Cassie's murder. He tells them that he’s a building inspector and was working in Sunny Isles at the time she was killed, and says he's booked solid for the next few weeks. Debra points out that it’s strange he was planning a trip to the Bahamas with so much on his plate. Saxon claims that Cassie kept pushing for a romantic getaway and he didn’t want to disappoint her.
As they walk to their car, Debra tells Quinn that Saxon was lying and reveals what Jamie had told her. Quinn says it feels nice for them to work together again and then kisses her. He immediately apologizes and Debra suggests they pretend it didn’t happen.
Debra arrives home and is shocked to find Dexter and Hannah inside, waiting for her. Dexter takes Debra outside so they can talk privately. Dexter asks her to let Hannah stay there for a couple of nights until he gets her out of Miami. Debra hates the idea, but she allows it. She then tells Dexter that she and Quinn are focusing on Saxon. Dexter doesn't elaborate, but warns her to stay away from Saxon because he’s dangerous. This further annoys Debra.
Time is of the essence, so Dexter goes to Saxon's apartment, but it’s vacant. However, he finds a soda can in the trash from which he can compare the DNA on it with the hairs he found in Zach's studio.
As Dexter makes pancakes, Harrison asks Dexter about Hannah. He learned from TV that people are looking for her. Dexter says she’s not in trouble, just “popular.” Harrison wishes Hannah could be his mom. Dexter receives a DNA sequencing report from the lab that proves Saxon is Vogel’s son.
Dexter takes a photo of Daniel to Evelyn. He informs her that he’s going by the name of Oliver Saxon and has cleared out of his place. Evelyn is conflicted about Dexter killing her son so he reminds her of the people he’s killed, including Zach. However, she insists on putting him in a safe facility where he can’t hurt anyone else. Dexter plays along and asks for her help in finding Saxon so he can be captured.
Evelyn remembers taking Daniel every Saturday morning to King's Bay Cafe where he always played “Make Your Own Kind of Music” on the jukebox. Dexter thinks the song is an invitation and realizes that Saxon has been monitoring her laptop. Dexter tells Evelyn to write an entry in her online journal, saying that she’s going to the cafe tomorrow morning
At Debra’s beach house, Dexter and Hannah discuss why he's deceiving Evelyn. Even though she doesn’t want her son killed, Dexter believes it’s the only way to keep her alive.
Hannah tells Dexter there’s no life for her in Florida and suggests that they and Harrison make a new life in Argentina. He agrees to the move and will give notice to Miami Metro, claiming that he’s burnt out and is taking Harrison to travel.
Deputy Chief Matthews asks Angel if he’s heard anything on the whereabouts of Zach. Angel reminds Matthews that he made it clear to back off. Matthews says he just received a call from Zach’s parents. They haven’t heard from him in days and just filed a missing persons report. Matthews insists on being the first to know if Zach turns up.
At Angel’s request, Debra meets with him in his office. He hands her a detective badge and tells her that she’ll earn her way back up. Debra is hesitant to accept it, though, because she needs time to think about coming back. Angel tells her to take all the time she needs and to take the badge with her.
On Debra’s way out, Quinn tells her that Saxon isn’t answering his phone and seems to have moved out. He thanks Debra for her help.
Debra arrives home to find it cleaned by Hannah, who is cooking dinner. Hannah notices the badge and asks Debra if she's going back to the force. Debra scoffs, stating that her brother is a serial killer and another one is hiding out in her house. Hannah offers food to Debra, who is understandably wary. Having been twice poisoned by Hannah, Debra switches their portions. As they eat, they make small talk and their relationship begins to thaw. Debra laughs that she’s eating a meal that Hannah made.
Clayton stops by Dexter's apartment and tells him the Hannah threat seems to have died down, so they’re going to pull off the protective detail. Clayton asks Harrison about a family picture he's drawn that features a blonde woman. Dexter is relieved when Harrison says it’s his “mom” instead of Hannah. (It’s believable since Harrison’s mother, Rita, was a blonde.)
Elway confronts Debra after he learns that Dexter used to date Hannah. He accuses Debra of withholding information and thinks she is lying about not seeing Hannah in the Keys. Elway angrily tells her that if she doesn't care about her job she should quit, so he can use the office space for someone who “gives a shit.”
Dexter stops by Evelyn's house before she leaves for the cafe. The plan is for her to meet Daniel, let Dexter drug him, and then take him to a facility. While Evelyn’s out of the room, Dexter slips one of Hannah's potions (gentler than his needle) into her tea. Evelyn grows drowsy and falls over. Dexter makes her comfortable on the sofa and leaves alone.
As he stands outside the cafe, Dexter watches Saxon through a window as he repeatedly plays the song “Make Your Own Kind of Music.” Eventually, Saxon leaves and Dexter follows him to the parking lot. Dexter notices that he has a flat tire, punctured by Saxon, who glares at Dexter as he peels out in his truck. Dexter tries to call Evelyn but she doesn’t answer.
Dexter rushes to Evelyn’s house and bangs on her door until she opens it. She’s angry and accuses him of drugging her. She now wants to handle Daniel on her own, saying it’s a family matter. Dexter reminds her that she once called herself his “spiritual mother.” Evelyn replies that she doesn’t trust him any longer. Dexter states that he's still going to kill Daniel, and then leave the country with Hannah to start a new life. When she says that a life with Hannah won’t end well, Dexter asks if trusting her son will end well. Evelyn orders him to "leave us alone" and he departs.
Dexter feels caught between two worlds -- his humanity and his darkness. He can’t imagine a life without Hannah in either one.
It’s revealed that Saxon is inside the house, listening to the conversation between his mother and Dexter. He wanted proof that his mother didn't send Dexter to kill him and he seems satisfied. Evelyn invites her son to stay for breakfast.
- “You sure you haven't gotten any help from your friend Hannah McKay, who just happened to have married a man worth over half billion dollars?” - Max Clayton to Arlene Shram
- “I know a lot about wanting things that you can't have. I wish, somewhere along the line, I'd learned to take no for an answer. Would have made my life a lot easier.” - Hannah to Debra
- Arlene Shram's Two Houses
- Cassie Jollenston
- Debra's Beach House
- Dexter's Apartment
- Elway Investigations
- Evelyn Vogel's House
- King's Bay Cafe
- Oliver Saxon's Apartment
- Zach Hamilton
- Zach's Photo Studio