Showtime punks out in the second to last episode of Dexter for this season, "I Had A Dream," and even though Dex-Bot hallucinates Harry beside him in the trunk, telling him he understands why he tried to make a nice, normal friend, when he is pulled out, it is only the rest of his cop buddies who have delivered him to a strip club, to the scene not of a crime but his bachelor party. He punches Masuka, assuming he has an attacker, and they all have a good laugh... until Jimmy Smits shows up and gives a very serious toast about the importance of trust in friendship. Dude, that dude ruins everything—this show, Dex-Bot’s way of life, and now a party!
Dex-Bot knows that while all of his new friends think they share a secret of what really went on in that strip club, only one truly shares his secret. He also knows (but this time because Harry tells him) he can't simply take Jimmy Smits out whenever he wants because he's a big important man, and people may notice. He needs to do it when he has a solid alibi, like on his wedding night.
And speaking of his wedding night, Rita shows up on his doorstep with bagels "to soak up the alcohol" and a color-coordinated breakdown of the schedule for the day of the wedding. It is very neat and features dozens of evenly spaced boxes for his activities and hers. Similarly, Kristin Dattilo brings Batista her own version of a hangover remedy-- white pizza and some sort of cayenne tea-- but he claims he "was good" last night because he's "a plus one now," and I guess that means respectable. All the other guys in the station, though, are slumped in their chairs and groaning about the bright fluorescent lighting in there.
Deb punches Masuka, too, but because he didn't invite her to the party. She shows her softer side only minutes later, though, when Batista says they're bringing in the C.I. to talk about what the Tree Skinner did to him, and she runs into Dex-Bot's office, draws the blinds, and hides. She knows Harry wouldn't approve of the C.I., and she needs someone with "a real job and good morals." She still needs his approval, too. She calls him out on "the bug he's had up his ass" about what Harry did, and as she's rattling off what he didn't do (all things that would make him a bad person in their world), she catches his look off "he didn't cheat on mom." Deb always wanted to be like Harry, and now she realizes she really is-- having slept with a C.I. (his real mother), too, and all. He hit a nerve, and even Dex-Bot isn't so emotionally stunted to not see that.
The C.I. won't talk to anyone but Deb because he "doesn't trust anyone else," and she falls apart in front of him, having just learned what she did about her sacred daddy. Man, do I hope he turns out to be playing her and an actual bad guy and therefore uses her vulnerability in this moment as a weakness against her. Instead, he just opens up to her. And this time, they both look like they're on the verge of tears. He mentions the Tree Skinner went through his pockets and "even took [his] change." That's going to come back to mean something soon.
Masuka actually got some last night, and now he wants to do a background check on the girl because he assumes if she likes him there has to be something wrong with him. Aw, he's like a sad little puppy. The bad news is that she really does have a rap sheet... but it's really just a road rage thing. She has issues, which makes him think she's not out of her league.
Dex-Bot does surveillance on Jimmy Smits, who actually makes one of the "ditch 'im" attempts. He ends up at Girlfriend's, where she is simply testing him because she has her suspicions about Ellen's death, knowing from his DMV record that he drives a black Navigator. She knows his because she not only pulled the records but also felt the need to circle the make, model, and color, as if to really drive the point home to her puny little brain. He gives her a song and a dance (but sadly not literally) about how he thinks a lot about her, and has been since even before Ellen died ("rest in peace). She rolls her eyes, to her credit, but he is in full-blown megalomaniac sociopath mode and doesn't notice. She sneaks his keys to search his car, leaving him to tend to the dinner they are making, and Dex-Bot watches, probably fearing that now that she's onto Jimmy Smits, too, she's a likely target of his wrath... especially when Jimmy Smits finds out his trunk has been left ajar.
Deb asks Hot Cop if he's close with his dad, and it seems like she's going to get close to him, but all she wants to know is how he has the money for all he does. He sloughs it off, saying an uncle died and left him a building. I doubt that. He then asks her if she wants to "carpool" to her brother's wedding, but she gets a call from Batista that gets cut off because the cell reception is horrible, and she realizes that's why the Tree Skinner needed the C.I.'s change. She races toward the pay phone, saying they need to dump the records. Well, that was fast.
Girlfriend arrives in Dex-Bot's office in the morning and asks him to run some hair and fibers (the ones she lifted from Jimmy Smits' SUV) against all known victims. He gives her pushback from the last time she blew up at him for keeping something off the record, but she talks about the "nagging voice inside her" and tells him to use her authorization code to run this but to keep the results under the table. Funny how he's the blood guy, but she still trusts him to run regular forensics... trusts him and no one else who may specialize in the other kinds of forensics. Maybe she should stand up for him at the wedding. Dex-Bot asks her to let Jimmy Smits get away with murder... just for a little while. Hmm, when he ends up dead, won't her finger be pointed directly at you? Whatcha doin' there, buddy?
In his sad (but fancy) hotel room, Jimmy Smits' database tells him Girlfriend just logged in some evidence from the Ellen Wolf case. Uh oh... Masuka walks in on Dex-Bot running the hair, but he just plays it off that he "was curious" about a stray gray he found. Masuka makes a slightly uncomfortable "I've done that." "But you're bald." "Dude, down there." gesture, and we move on. Really, all he wants is to bring a date to the wedding.
In the phone records, Deb finds a lady who hired the Tree Skinner right before leaving town. The house is empty, so she thinks he may be laying low out there (or using it as a new chop shop?). She grabs Hot Cop, and off they go... To a giant pink mansion. What is it with Miamians and salmon pink??? Ross Geller would love it down there! Anyway they see the Tree Skinner through the window after nearly getting accosted by a giant parrot, and a chase ensues. As Hot Cop tackles him on the lawn (the nouveau riche neighbors must love this!), he slices him in the face-- NOT THE FACE!! Deb holsters her gun and chooses to instead tend to Hot Cop (SAVE HIS FACE!!), and the Tree Skinner, with his thin little legs, scampers on down the road. Which is probably a good thing because Dex-Bot, not knowing about the bounty on his head, needs to pin Jimmy Smits' murder on him.
After another lie to Deb (only knowing about Harry's infidelity for a few weeks, blaming Camilla for spilling the secret on her death bed), he points out how she is loyal to a fault and has always been there for him. So she is his new best man. And she's going stag to his wedding because she and the C.I. have to be over if she's going to be better than Harry (though I don't see how, since she's not cheating on any husband with him), and the idea of going with Hot Cop just depresses her. Um, why? His wound was (thankfully) only superficial. You know what? Never mind; I'll go with him! Deb has a friend of her own down in the records department, though, and she pulls a favor to see the records on Harry's C.Is. Not much of a favor, as the woman seems to be a bit man-hating and is eager to help her.
Dex-Bot heads to Jimmy Smits' hotel to search his room by bribing a maid for "turn-down service" and then quickly gets rid of her by faking a phone call from his boss. He was only looking for a way in and out undetected, but he sees hardware store swag and knows he is planning to kill again. And tonight, as he is currently drinking with his brother at some bar, knowing that when his brother gets drunk, he won't remember what happened and can claim the two were together the whole time.
True to form, Jimmy Smits breaks into Girlfriend's house. We know it's hers because he calls her name when he opens the door (not subtle, guy) and also because she has a framed photo of her in her cadeat uniform on her front wall (not subtle, girl). He plays her answering machine message and finds a fake one Dex-Bot left, telling her to meet him somewhere that Jimmy Smits now rushes to but gets stuck with the syringe before he can even leave her premises. I have to wonder if Girlfriend was in on that fake message, but it's clear Dex-Bot learned his lesson when it comes to confiding in others about his extracurriculars. Jimmy Smits struggles, even punching through the Saran wrap in one spot, but Dex-Bot wins in the end, as he always does. He even has an out for why Jimmy Smits doesn't show up to the wedding: he was offended that he was replaced as best man... and with a chick, no less.
Okay here is my decree: if next week's finale episode ends with Rita waiting at the alter for a Dex-Bot that does not show because the Tree Skinner-- or Ramone, having been coached by his brother in the ways of murder-- has gotten to him and has him strapped to a slab in some storage shed, I may be interested enough to continue when it returns next year. If, however, Dex-Bot manages to wrap up the Tree Skinner (and literally, too!) and never learns he was only pit against him by Jimmy Smits, once again making him the luckiest super serial killer in the world, then Dexter and I are SO OVER!