This week’s big reveal—that Miguel Prado suspected Dexter was more than a one-time vigilante—obviously should have come a few episodes ago. The Prado arc has frustrated fans and has never struck me as particularly viable to the series’ overall development, but now Miguel has an inextricable part in Dexter’s fate. The new subplot provides a much-needed foil to the developing domestic aspect of the series: for the first time, Dexter has someone who knows what he does, and that presents new possibilities as well as a potential threat.
Of course, Miguel only thinks he understands Dexter, and he presumes that Dexter kills out of a sense of justice. And of course, Dexter’s affinity for blood is the reason his vigilante code exists, not the other way around. It also seems unlikely that Miguel would not have thought of Doakes in all of this, the former colleague Dexter framed for his crimes last season through a mixture of happenstance and convenience.
Will he figure it out? Even if he doesn’t, we can expect tension between the two men as this becomes an expanded storyline. Let’s not forget that Dexter killed Miguel’s brother, not Freebo—and given the show’s confrontational bent, he will inevitably find out. We got wind of Dexter’s willingness to expand his mission earlier this season when he killed a pedophile, and if Miguel keeps going after demonstrably innocent people (think back to the Laguerta subplot about the bad conviction), might we arrive at a point when Dexter has only one choice left?
This week’s episode also featured the most progressive and efficient narrative of the entire season. It still needs more development, but it’s become clear that the looming mystery this time around is the identity of the serial killer who removes patches of skin from his (or her) victims. Might it be Miguel’s brother, who continues to try to insert himself into the Freebo investigation in this episode? Only a guess. It’s curious that Dexter hasn’t taken more of an interest in the case given the body count, though he has been busy with Rita, the drama around whom has honestly become a little tiresome as the season wears on.
And we can’t leave out the highlight of the week, Masuka’s sudden consciousness about his place in the unit. The resident forensics expert has served in his role faithfully as comic relief, and the show has saddled him in the funny-Asian stereotype for too long. His moment this week served as a corrective, even if it felt a little contrived. The estimable C.S. Lee, who plays Masuka, has popped up in a number of series over the past decade, and it’s clearly time he gets a little more of his due.