Season 3 Episode 8

The Damage a Man Can Do

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Nov 16, 2008 on Showtime
out of 10
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534 votes

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Episode Summary

Dexter and Miguel go through a new phase in their bond, which is not an easy thing for Dexter, since it heavily breaks his father's code. Rita is having mood swings due to pregnancy. Deb confronts Quinn and his shady past. Some new information about the "Skinner" comes to surface.moreless

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  • Miguel had to go one step too far.

    This was a very interesting episode to see because it's about Dexter showing Miguel how to kill and Miguel just wanted to go up to the target and shoot him but Dexter shows him the real way and Miguel starts to learn that Dexter has been killing for a long time and in the end Dexter probably will wish he hadn't shown Miguel how to kill when Miguel goes after the one person he wants to kill the most leaving a good cliffhanger for the next episode.moreless
  • Season 3 finally hits its stride.

    Watching Season 3, I've realized that in terms of quality, it's not quite up there with Seasons 1 and 2.. Not to say the show is bad, but some of the episodes don't have the same impact as the previous two. However, starting with this episode, Season 3 really hit it's stride. Having Miguel completely descend into Dexter territory was a smart move on the writer's part and sets Dexter up for possible problems in the future.

    Also, after multiple episodes of having the Skinner case take a backseat to Miguel Prado and Dexter's relationship, it appears it's finally beginning to take a front row seat. Anton has been an interesting character (it's given something for Deb to do in the show)and him going missing makes the whole Skinner case a lot more intriguing.

    Dexter has always been a smart guy, but just as Harry said to him, having Miguel as a partner was a stupid move. Seeing him enter Ellen Wolf's home was sinister and you'd have to be an idiot to not see what happens next..

    I'm glad to see Season 3 finally picking up. It seemed almost like Dexter wasn't going to have a single problem to deal with, but Miguel Prado is proving to be a potential major one.moreless
  • Lines That Shouldn't Be Crossed Written by Scott Buck Directed by Marcos Siega

    Dexter: "I tell Miguel to be inconspicuous and what does he do? He shows up looking like the Unabomber. I've got my work cut out for me."

    Yes, Dexter and if you think that's a problem, then you've really got your work cut out for you. Even without the use of fantasy sequences, what on Earth possessed Dexter into thinking that Miguel should be trained up to be a serial killer? I could say that Dexter's created a monster but he's not responsible for Miguel's dark passenger. Instead Dexter's enabled and unleashed Miguel's inner monster and this I can certainly blame him for. Bad Dexter, bad.

    Friendships are supposed to involve a lot of fun activities but slaughter ain't one of them. It was inevitable that Miguel would continue on such a dark turn, given that we haven't actually seen an episode outside the premiere that would indicate that he wasn't dark in some way.

    Wanting someone to accept your dark side so much is one thing but did Dexter really think that he could control Miguel? Miguel has more than proved that he's a law unto himself and he certainly knows too much anyway about Dexter.

    He figured out that Freebo wasn't the first person that Dexter offed and to be honest, I don't think it was this episode that Miguel realised that. I think he's known for a while but now was seemingly the time in which he felt he needed to address it in order to get what he wanted from Dexter.

    What he wanted to do was to kill Billy Fleeter, which for Dexter was worse than if Miguel had simply asked him to do the deed. Dexter showed the usual reservation but this wasn't going to turn out to be like Ellen Wolf. Billy was bad to the bone, Dexter had the evidence to prove it and Miguel was going to make the kill.

    That being said, there were some interesting parts to the plot. For instance, Dexter made the decision to try and teach Miguel as much of Harry's code as he could in a short space of time. When Miguel wasn't scowling about the code, he asked a lot of questions that did make Dexter uncomfortable. That should've been enough to have gotten Dexter to have changed his mind about killing Billy.

    Miguel drawing attention to himself during a stakeout of Billy though very nearly did. I actually cheered that Dexter told Miguel to forget and not because of Billy. I hate guys like Billy but Dexter's friendship with Miguel has managed to become even more destructive than Lila's was.

    Thing is, Miguel knows how to push Dexter and using the dark passenger speak was a good way of getting Dexter to agree to the kill again. Plus Dexter is seemingly more needy for a friend now than ever so Miguel also played on that one as well to get Dexter to agree to the kill.

    As for Billy's death, we've seen plenty on this show in three seasons. Last week's episode with Camilla dying was poignant but Billy's was disturbing. As a character, he's pretty by the numbers but what's so memorable about it is that Miguel is the one who ended up killing him and feeling elated by the experience.

    For all the talk Dexter had about wanting someone who accepts him, this friendship with Miguel is only going to result in death. It was at this point last season that Dexter realised that Lila was trouble. The previews for the next episode give the indication that he's about to find that out for himself.

    As for Ellen Wolf, did Miguel really do her in? I know he hates her guts and is clearly unhinged but I like Ellen and I don't want her to be one of Miguel's victims. Besides, she screwed her own client over so that should've been enough for Miguel to leave the woman alone.

    More importantly, she also gives Maria a chance to be fun. I like seeing a Maria, who's neither screwing around with people to keep her job or fawning over Miguel. Ellen's injected some needed fun into Maria and even into parts of this episode as well. I don't want Ellen to die, especially through Miguel.

    Plus Ellen was fun in this episode whereas Rita who I usually love was pretty irritating. I know she's pregnant, hormones and everything but I also thought she was being a bit of a **** at some points as well. She's been with Dexter long enough to know that he's kind of socially clueless.

    Thankfully though, there weren't that many scenes to endure and while I did want to scream, 'shut up, Rita', I think Sylvia managed to convey it a lot better when she told Rita to concentrate on filling the envelopes rather than addressing them.

    Also by no coincidence whatsoever, Rita's temper was seemingly sated when Dexter got her an engagement ring she didn't want but in reality, she really did, continuing the trend the women say one thing and mean the other. Okay, so maybe Dexter shouldn't have had Deb point out the fact that Rita really did want a ring after all but it did make for a nice brother and sister moment. Sometimes Dexter really does need Deb to help him out. He probably should've asked her about wedding music as well seeing as Rita was so ratty on that subject too.

    Onto more interesting subject than Rita's hormones, has the Skinner really managed to snare Anton? Is this going to be the third season in a row where Deb's love life is still a disaster area? Who knows but poor Anton. He gets relieved of having to be a CI and then he gets snatched by Miami's latest psycho. Deb's love life certainly keeps a going. Then there was her spat with Quinn over the cop. Maybe Quinn should've reported Stewart's meth habit to his superiors but would that have really done anything to have save Stewart. I can see why Yuki might have been mad with him but I don't necessarily think that Quinn was that responsible. Users are still going to use, regardless of what actions Quinn might have took.

    As for Angel and Barbara, nice to see another functioning relationship on the series. Quinn might have teased him a few times and Angel might have gone overboard when he thought he was being dumped but either way, I think him and Barbara do make for a sweet couple.

    Also in "The Damage A Man Can Do"

    Very interesting title for the episode. Miguel has proved that he's very damaged as well.

    Cody (re waffles): "You're making that up."

    Dexter: "I am even hurt that you would say that."

    A lot of people seem to be commenting on how Julie Benz looks a lot more glam this season compared to last. I was thinking it myself as well.

    Anton: "I'm a musician, I work nights."

    Deb: "And what do you do during your days?"

    Maria (re Miguel): "You knew that was going to happen."

    Ellen: "Doesn't mean I can't **** about it."

    Miguel was causing problems for Ellen even after the outcome of last week. Man, he really does know how to hold a grudge.

    Miguel (re kill area): "Where slot machines go to die."

    Dexter: "At least one gambler."

    Bartender: "Can I get you anything else?"

    Ellen: "How about a foot massage with those big, gorgeous hands of yours?"

    There was a bit a flirty vibe with Ellen and Maria or was that just me?

    Deb: "Oh my God, you just get dumber every day! How do you survive in this world? Of course she wants one."

    Dexter: "How am I supposed to know that?"

    Deb: "You are such a Y-chromosome cliché! Just buy her a beautiful, romantic, 'I love you with all my heart' **** engagement ring. And Dex, size matters."

    Dexter: "How do you feel?"

    Miguel: "Fantastic."

    "The Damage A Man Can Do" certainly lives up to it's title. Dexter's really in danger ground with Miguel and whatever closeness he feels for the guy is going to be something he'll regret soon enough. Still, a stunning episode nonetheless.moreless
  • Good

    Miguel wants in on the kill this time, and he's being very eager, I think it's very unnerving. Miguel is acting like it actually matters to him personally. Which was obvious in the last episode as well with Ellen. The code doesn't allow personal vendettas. Anyway, Dexter explains more of the rules to Miguel who appears to be willing to follow them. But what happened in the end...?! Deb and Anton slept together and she seems happy, apart from the fact that he is missing of course. We're getting to know Quinn better and Angel and Barbara are very sweet. The voicemail he left her was a classic! :Dmoreless
  • Better

    This episode was somewhat better than the rest of the season. Dexter is still a good show but kinda in the shadow of its formerself...for the moment, cause things could change.

    So Miguel-Dexter association is defintly worth it, great lines and story. Miguel Prado is quite a character as he gets more and more complex. Never thought he`d actually want to kill. The way this was executed was had that classic morbid Dexter thrilled. The cliffhanger is good too as the thing with Miguel gets bigger. I know Jimmy Smits is only a special guest star and he`ll probably leave after this season but I do hope it`s not the case. Couldn`t care less about Lundy leaving last season and was happy to see lila go but here it`s totally different...Miguel prado has the potential to go futher.

    Even the skinner storyline was interesting, I just hope he is not someone predictible like Quinn.

    Some funny lines with Batista here..Rita was quite well uninteresting.

    So things are looking better. It still lacks that trilled it had for the first 2 seasons, that made you die for more but it may be coming. I actually think it may take a Dexter vs. Miguel situation for that to happen. I just hope they don`t do a Doakes and leaves Miguel in a certain death sotryline.moreless
Jeff Chase

Jeff Chase

Billy Fleeter

Guest Star

Jerry Zatarain

Jerry Zatarain


Guest Star

Vincent Pagano

Vincent Pagano


Guest Star

Jimmy Smits

Jimmy Smits

Miguel Prado

Recurring Role

Preston Bailey

Preston Bailey


Recurring Role

Christina Robinson

Christina Robinson


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • When Miguel is showing Dexter the video of Billy running to score a touchdown, a stats list comes up showing that Billy is 6"7. However, on the prison mugshots, the top of his head almost touches 6"6.

    • Just before Miguel kills Billy Fleeter, Dexter has the knife in his right hand and puts it on the table. In the next shot it is in his left hand, which has put it on the table.

    • Dexter's username on his computer is Dexter_39476.

    • The address of the website Miguel shows Dexter in the beginning of the episode has no top-level domain like .com or .org, as it just is www.footballvideos_list.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Angel: (On the phone to her answering machine) Hello, Barbara? This is Sergeant Angel Batista. Angel to you. How are you? Good, I hope. So I have to cancel our dinner tonight. And I am deeply, deeply apologetic. And I hope that you will let me make it up to you in whatever possible way you wish things made up to you in.

    • Deb: And one thing leads to another and this hypothetical guy starts having sex with this hypothetical girl.
      Dexter: Hypothetical sex?
      Deb: Real sex, really real sex.

    • (Rita is irritated)
      Dexter: Rita, are you okay?
      Rita: No, I'm not okay. I'm starting a new job and I'm planning a wedding all by myself.
      Dexter: What can I do to help?
      Rita: It's not like you can pick out the DJ. Last time I got into your car, your radio was tuned to marching music.
      Dexter: It helps me think.

    • (About her pregnancy hormones)
      Rita: It's like I have this monster living inside of me and I don't know how to control it.
      Dexter: Maybe I can help you out with that one.

    • Dexter: (voice over) I tell Miguel to be inconspicuous and what does he do? He shows up looking like the Unabomber. I've got my work cut out for me.

    • Quinn: You're brother's kind of a dweeb, huh?
      Deb: You say anything more about my brother and I will kick your fucking nuts down your throat.
      Quinn: That's doesn't even make any sense.

    • Miguel: What channel is ESPN over here?
      Dexter: I think it's a big number.

    • Dexter: (voice over) It's said that everything is connected to everything. The butterfly effect. You drop a pebble into a pond and the ripples radiate outwards touching and effecting everything. Until finally a fish grows arms and legs and crawls out of the water...and picks up a rock and smashes the next two fish over the head...and we have the first serial killer.

    • Deb: The wedding band has to match the engagement ring, so what does that look like?
      Dexter: She said she didn't want one.
      Deb: Oh my god, you just get dumber every day! How do you survive in this world? Of course she wants one!
      Dexter: How am I supposed to know that?
      Deb: You are such a Y-chromosome cliché! Just buy her a beautiful, romantic, 'I love you with all of my heart' fucking engagement ring. And Dex, size matters!

  • NOTES (2)

    • In the killing scene of this episode actor Jimmy Smits (Miguel) accidentally grabbed a real knife instead of a prop knife and stabbed stuntman Jeff Chase with it. Fortunately for the stuntman, he was wearing a piece of acrylic clear plastic over his heart, Smits hit him at the edge of that plastic piece and the stuntman was unscathed.

    • Although credited, C.S. Lee (Vince Masuka) does not appear in this episode.