Dexter has surprised us time and time again with the emotions and traits he is capable of demonstrating -- and fabricating -- when put to the test. But tonight, we saw him grapple with a different kind of challenge as he tried to decide how to deal with the innocent torture victim (guest star Julia Stiles) who'd witnessed him exterminating Boyd at the end of last week's episode.
We opened with Dexter gingerly cleaning the wounds on the unconscious woman's back. Yet while I'd argue this quiet compassion of Dexter's is one of his finest traits, it's oddly enough the one that Harry seems to disapprove of the most. As Dexter tended to girl, Harry posed the tough questions. "What's your plan here? Nurse her back to health so she can go to the police? If she gives the cops enough to track you down then everything falls apart. Harrison grows up visiting you on death row." Dexter didn't have an answer. And he didn't have time to ponder the issue further because the mystery woman woke up -- and (not surprisingly) freaked out. Without an alternative, Dexter drugged her into a deep sleep. Then, the reality of having a very live hostage on his hands struck Dexter, and he began to lose his cool (and his shirt).
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