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Following the shocking discovery at the end of last week's Dexter--Christine is Arthur's daughter!--this week's "Lost Boys" featured quieter, but just as satisfying, plot and character reveals. Among other things, we may have seen the true birth of Dexter Morgan, family man.
After seeing Dexter and Rita with baby Harrison at the doctor's office getting booster shots, we learn that Dex has moved his trophies and gear out of the family shed to an old shipping container, like the one where he witnessed his mother's murder. He decides it's time to take care of Arthur once and for all and follows Arthur's van to a parking garage. Arthur trails a nanny with two children into an arcade, and Dexter follows close behind. Dexter is concerned that Arthur wants to kidnap another young woman to start the cycle of three killings again. But it turns out Arthur wants the young boy. By posing as "Officer Carney," Arthur persuades the little boy, Scott, to come with him. Dexter follows him, calling out to stop, but Arthur drives away with the boy in his van.
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Arthur calls "Kyle"--the alias Dex has been using--on his cell and warns him that the boy will pay the price if Kyle keeps following them. But the ghost of Harry warns Dexter that Arthur will kill the boy if he doesn't find Arthur first.
The action moves back and forth between Dexter's search for clues to Arthur's whereabouts--including a plea to Arthur's son Jonah to help--and Arthur holding the boy in a basement. The boy is frightened but unhurt. Arthur insists on calling Scott "Arthur." It's clear that Scott is a stand-in for Arthur's younger self.
After a search of old newspaper records, Dexter realizes that Lundy had it wrong all along. "Trinity" has actually been killing four people, not three, each time. In each case of Trinity killings, there were missing boys preceding the deaths. But no bodies had turned up, so the connection wasn't made--until now.
Back at the station, Deb tells Quinn that she's going ahead with the interview with Christine, but doesn't tell him that she's suspicious about Christine's knowledge of Lundy's death. Later in the day, Deb has Angel observe the interview on closed-circuit television, and the two catch Christine in more than one lie, though they let her leave the station. Christine tries to get Arthur to meet with her. It turns out that they only see each other twice a year, and Arthur wants to keep it that way.
Dex stops by the home of the missing boy to establish an alibi as a concerned citizen by helping in the search. But is it just a cover or is he genuinely distressed by the thought of a missing boy? Back in the car, he and Harry wonder how Arthur could make so many boys just disappear into thin air through the years. Dexter suddenly realizes it must be connected to each of the Four Walls houses. He checks out the location of the latest Four Walls build, but the house is empty. Then Jonah calls. He's found a list of empty homes for sale that Arthur was viewing on his computer.
Arthur brings food for Scott, but will only let him have it if he puts on pajamas. The hungry Scott finally relents and puts on the PJs. Meanwhile, Dexter is striking out with the list of houses. When he goes home, he finds out that Harrison has a fever from his booster shots and that Cody got into a fight at school because another boy accused Dex of leaving the Young Sailor's campsite during their overnight visit. Dex muses on the fact that he killed an innocent man that night, and his family is now paying the price for his mistake.
The next morning, Quinn and Christine are together at his place. She can't find her toothbrush, and he gives her a fresh one. She doesn't know that he's given the original to Deb for a DNA test. A short while later, Matsuka confirms that she's related to Trinity.
Back in the basement, Arthur's seemingly genuine sadness at hearing his late sister Vera's favorite song causes Scott to soften toward him. Scott says that he'll play with the trains and even let his captor call him "Arthur." The real Arthur says that he'll take Scott home soon, but instead offers him ice cream laced with a sleeping drug.
Dexter checks out one last empty house--this time, with a bomb shelter in the backyard. A search convinces him that he just missed Arthur and the boy. Dexter is visibly upset, and the ghost of Harry notes that his son's priorities have changed because he's a father now. The missing boy could have been Harrison or Cody.
Arthur meets Christine in a parking garage. She tells him about being five years old and witnessing Arthur with a dead woman in a bathtub. As he has for years, Arthur tries to convince her it was a dream, but she no longer believes him. She tells him instead that she put the pieces of the puzzle together and realized that he was the Trinity killer, but she's been protecting him all along. She even killed Lundy, making it look like the Vacation Killers. Arthur says his other kids wouldn't do for him what she has done. He says she's special and hugs her, but then gets back in his van and curses her in anger.
Dexter decides that the only way to get rid of so many bodies is to bury them in concrete. He returns to the latest Four Walls build and sees Arthur with cement and tools. Arthur tells "Kyle" to go away. As they fight, Arthur says, "I can't stop this!" and Dexter replies, "But I can."
Arthur flees the scene and Dexter sees a bag poking out of the still-wet cement. It's a body bag with Scott inside. The boy is unconscious but alive.
At Christine's apartment, there's a knock. She approaches the door, saying, "Daddy?" but it's the police, including Angel, Deb, and Quinn. They take her away in handcuffs.
Dexter arrives home to find Rita waiting up for him. They realize the house is actually quiet--then Harrison starts to cry. Dexter offers to take care of the baby. As he cuddles his son, he tells him, "No one's ever going to hurt you again--especially me."
With two more episodes to go in this year, "Lost Boys" didn't have the big shocks of last week's Thanksgiving-themed episode. No Arthur beating up his family. No reveal akin to learning Christine's parentage. But there were a satisfying set of loose-end-tying reveals. Many were about fathers, from Christine confessing to Lundy's murder to protect her father, to Dexter's realization that he genuinely takes his role as a family man to heart--he's not just trying to kill bad guys the law didn't handle. Could Dexter be developing a real conscience, not just one tied to Harry's "code"?
-Alison Stern-Dunyak, BuddyTV Fan Contributor
(Image courtesy of Showtime)