Dexter Episode Season 4, Episode 6: "If I had a Hammer" - Recap

In an effort to learn more about Trinity the family man, Dexter volunteers to help him with a church program that builds houses. Deb realizes some of Lundy's research is missing and thinks Trinity is to blame. Meanwhile, Dexter and Rita attend marriage counseling.


This week's episode begins with Dexter noting Trinity's day-to-day routine. He wakes up, has breakfast with the family and goes to work as a teacher. Oh, and to top it all off, Trinity is a deacon at the local church and runs a house-building program for those in need. "Camouflage is nature's craftiest trick," says Dexter.

Back at the station, Dexter is trying to reenact Trinity's bludgeoning with a hammer when Masuka comes storming in to announc that he has DNA from the crime scene. The ash smudge that Dexter found (and Masuka snatched up) revealed two forms of DNA: one from the killer and one from the ashes, which comes from human remains. We learn the ashes are from a female and that she was related to the killer. "He keeps his family with him all the time," Dexter says to himself. Dexter knows the team won't be able to find a DNA match because Trinity is squeaky clean (Dex already checked, anyways).

While cleaning out his apartment, Dexter has the epiphany that someone close to Trinity must have died. He searches the Internet for obits containing the term "survived by Arthur Mitchell" (Trinity's real name). And wouldn't you know, three deaths match up: In 1959, his 16-year-old sister was found dead in the bathtub. In 1961, his 40-year-old mom jumped to her death off the a bridge, and in 1964, his 45-year-old dad died in an alley of a fatal head wound. No wonder Trinity's sick in the head.

Dexter sees he and Trinity are similar in yet another way. Trinity has been recreating the deaths in cycles of three for years, and Dexter, who saw his mother get sawed into pieces as a child, now cuts his victims up as well. Dexter also makes the next logical connection. If Dexter hides the blood slides of his victims in the air conditioner, then Trinity must have a closet of sorts where he hides his skeletons as well.

Hoping to get closer to Trinity, Dexter signs up for the house-building program led by Trinity. He talks to Trinity here and there, and he seems like a great guy. He even offers Dexter his tools - including the hammer he bludgeoned a man to death with last week. After all, sharing means caring. Dexter talks to Trinity's teenage son, who doesn't have a negative thing to say about his parents - quite the opposite, actually. Clearly the kid has issues, too, because what teen puts their parents on a pedestal like that? In a way, you can't help but wonder if Dexter is comparing this well-adjusted kid to what Harrison will grow up to be.


Dexter concocts a plan to get into Trinity's house by slicing himself with a box-cutter knowing full well this caring deacon will invite him in to tend to his wound. Trinity bites and leaves Dexter in his living room while he fetches the first aid kit. Dexter begins to look around and realizes that the plaques on the wall for each house Trinity built with the church coincide with the dates he commits his murders. Those are his trophies - his blood slides - hanging for all the world to see. But Dexter then sees an urn with Trinity's sister's ashes in it (the same ones he smudges at each crime scene). Dexter knows it's Trinity's Achilles' heel and picks up the urn to see Trinity's reaction. Trinity walks in and is shocked to see Dexter holding his sister's remains. He pins Dexter against the wall by his neck and eerily says, "Don' sister." Ultimately, he releases Dexter and apologizes. He begins to clean up Dexter's cut as well.

Dexter, who realizes they are one in the same, seizes the opportunity of this heart-to-heart with Trinity to find out how he became so well-adjusted and genuinely content despite his own dark passenger. Trinity tells him he used to push people away because of his past, but once he met his wife and had kids, he realized the only way to make it work was "jump in with both feet."

As Dexter leaves, Trinity hands him his hammer as a parting gift so Dexter will have his own for the next build they have. "Thanks...for giving me your murder weapon," Dexter says to himself.


Dexter is getting death stares and curt replies from Rita at home because he is ever-so-slowly moving his stuff from his old apartment. (And just as a side note, how cute is baby Harrison?) Rita mentions to Dexter she made an appointment with a therapist, and Dexter is clearly overjoyed by the news that he has to open up about his feelings.

During their counseling session, the therapist (Nip/Tuck's Roma Maffia) tells Rita she knew Dexter was a secretive person when she married him. Though Rita realizes perhaps she can't expect him to change who he is, she tells Dexter he needs to be completely honest with her our she wants out of the marriage. Chances are she'd file the divorce papers a tad quicker if Dexter was completely honest with her.

Dexter joins Rita in the kitchen and tries to open up, but he can't even bring himself to have small talk with her. The next night, Dexter tries to make amends by playing Santa Claus, coming home with a bag of gifts for Rita and the kids. I have to say, I love that he bought Rita a bread maker because "they're always out of bread." He definitely knows how to woo the ladies.

Ultimately, Dexter is able to make progress in repairing his marriage after all the insight Trinity gave Dexter about "jumping in with both feet." During the next session, Dexter actually opens up about being afraid that Rita will leave him if she sees him for who he really is (as would any sane woman). The therapist asks point-blank why he kept his apartment and Dexter says it's because he needs space...literally. He wants room to keep his stuff. Which, well...isn't a lie.

The two seem to make amends and Dexter builds a shed/workroom in the backyard (with his new hammer) for all his stuff (stuff = kill tools). It even has a place for his air conditioner filled with his blood slides. Rita gives him a pad lock to keep the kids out. He's a lucky one, that Dexter.


Deb is convinced that the Vacation Murderer's partner, Nikki, is the one who shot her. Nikki confesses to everything except killing Lundy and shooting Deb. Deb can't handle the idea of her walking free, so she considers lying and testifying as an eye witness.

Quinn discourages Deb not to testify unless she's sure because it can really come back to bite her if she's wrong. Deb takes matters into her own hands by going to Nikki's cell and demanding a confession. But when Nikki breaks down to tears about the whole thing, Deb realizes she may be telling the truth. Deb later notices some of Lundy's Trinity research books are missing and tells Quinn and Dexter that Trinity is to blame for stealing it and shooting them. Wrong on the first count, right on the other.


Laguerta can't stand the idea of Batista having to leave a job he loves because of her mistake, so she meets with the Matthews to ask if she can be transferred instead. When she tells Batista that she's leaving homicide instead, Batista won't allow it. Now they must decide between their love for each other and the careers they love.

They march into Matthews office to tell him that they've signed affidavits that say their relationship is over, and now they both can remain in homicide. Matthews, frustrated by the back and forth says that if he finds out the paperwork is B.S., he'll end both their careers.

Batista tries to comfort a clearly distraught Laguerta, but she pushes him away saying it's over. Going to have to say I'm doubtful on that one.

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