Thanksgiving can be a stressful time for the most healthy of families. So for a family with a monster at the head, it can get brutal.

Everyone at the precinct has plans for Thanksgiving. Even Masuka has plans after Deb invites him to have dinner with her and the rest of the Morgans.

Dexter’s going to two dinners. One as himself in his own home. And one at Arthur’s house, as Kyle.

The dinner at Arthur’s house is tense. After getting angry and his dad, Jonah busted up the hood of his car and then stayed the night at a friend’s house, too afraid to go home. Dexter agrees to come to Thanksgiving to help keep things civil. But things certainly don’t remain that way. 

This whole situation was awkward, uncomfortable, and terrifying. We’re painted a picture of a family living with terror and resentment. It becomes painfully obvious to everyone that the whole family is terrified of Arthur. Of what he might do if angered.

Dexter worries about this. He worries that he might be in a similar situation with his own family.

Over at his house, though, there’s a very different energy. Rita and neighbor Elliot are making dinner together with a crowd of kids running around. Deb and Masuka are visiting, and blending right into the family. The house is full, it’s loud, and the kids are far from well-behaved. In other words, exactly what a Thanksgiving should look like.

Except that Elliot finally makes his move, and kisses Rita. Of course, she tells him off. But Masuka didn’t hear that. All he saw was the kiss. 

Even though Deb’s there with her family, she can’t get her mind off the work. She’s on and off the phone with Quinn, as massive realizations in the case come to her. Like the fact that all of the Trinity kills take place during school holidays. Or that Christine had oddly specific information about the night Lundy died. 

Information that she really shouldn’t have had. Unless she was there, of course. 

Thanksgiving is a time for family. Either the one we have or the one we choose. But there’s one last family secret waiting until the end of the episode to be revealed. I have to admit, I did not see this one coming. 

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