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EPISODE 9: "Father Knows Best"

Episode 9: Father Knows Best

Episode summary: Dexter learns that his biological father (named Joe Driscoll), whom he was told had died 30 years ago, has just recently died and left him everything he owned, including his house. He goes on a trip to pack the items in the house, along with Rita. But later, Debra and Rudy also show up at the house to help out, where Dexter clicks with Rudy, while suspecting something strange about Joe Driscoll's death, and about who Dexter's biological mother was. Rudy was actually quite insistent about being part of the weekend trip, and, strangely, one of Joe Driscoll's neighbors thinks that he looks familiar...Flashbacks to Dexter's childhood show him questioning Harry about who his real parents were, and scene after an accident which an anonymous person donated some of his blood to help the young Dexter during his surgery were included. The donor just happened to be Mr. Driscoll, with just the right blood type! Back in Miami, Angel questions a shooting incident involving Doakes and a suspect. Also, Paul begins to slide back into his old habits when he suspects Rita is keeping him away from unsupervised visits to their children.

Original air date: 11/26/2006

Written by: Melissa Rosenberg

Directed by: Adam Davidson

Dexter's Open Case Files

Add image of victimDescription of crime: Doakes shoots a man on the streets of Miami in "self-defense"

Victim(s): Jacques Bayard (real name: Renee Thibaud from Haiti)

Assigned officer(s): Lt. LaGuerta, Angel Batista

Crime scene: Under a bridge in Miami

Suspect(s): Doakes

Clue(s): Angel heard Doakes 9mm go off before the victim's .38.

Blood spatter evidence suggests...Bayard was not shot from where Doakes says he shot him.


  • A young Dexter and Debra are playing when Harry proudly announces that after many hurdles, he received Dexter's new birth certificate. Deb asks what happened to his real parents and Harry vaguely replies that they died in a tragic accident.
  • Dexter views Joseph Driscoll's body at the morgue and focuses on a spiderweb tattoo on the right elbow. He recalls a memory as a four-year-old boy sitting in the passenger seat of a car with a rock song playing, staring at the driver's elbow with the same tattoo.
  • Dexter flashes back on when he was injured when he was a child. He fell and was pierced with an iron rod. Because of his special blood type (AB-), Harry turned to Joe Driscoll (Dexter's biological father) for a donation.
  • Dexter is about to be operated on now that the hospital has obtained some of the blood they needed, and Harry tells Dexter he's going to be okay, and follows that up by saying, "Would I lie to you?". Dexter in the present had just realized that he would.
  • Dexter flashes back on himself drawing a card for his unknown blood donor. His father tells him they'll never see his donor, then takes it back when he sees his son's disappointment.

  • Dexter orders Masuka to do a blood test on his blood and his father's. It is an exact match. This means that Harry lied to Dexter.
  • The origin of Dexter's large scar on his side is revealed to have come from a time when Dexter fell along a fence post while being chased by a dog as a kid.


Developments with Rita:

  • Rita forces her way into the shower with Dexter in the morning.
  • Rita invites herself along to Kent to help tie up Joe Driscoll's affairs.
  • Dexter thanks Rita for coming to his father's house with him for the weekend.
Interactions with others:

  • Debra becomes very upset when she learns that Dexter has ordered a blood and toxicology test on Joe Driscoll. She yells at him and tells him that she is his family, and that their father must've lied for a good reason.
  • Dexter does Angel a favor by holding off on turning in the blood report on Doakes' shooting until Angel can get the facts cleared up with Doakes.
  • Rudy picks up Dexter after he breaks into the morgue and takes him to a bowling alley to pour Joe Driscoll's ashes (Dexter's biological dad). Rudy tells Dexter no matter what Harry and Deb said, Joe Driscoll is still his father and that he obviously knows that inside because he stole his ashes.


Father Knows Best was the name of a hugely popular sitcom, which portrayed middle American family life, in the 1950s. This episode deals with the death of Dexter's biological father, and Dexter and Deb's realization that Harry had lied to them about his existence their entire lives. Deb doesn't lose faith in Harry, knowing he must've had a good reason lie, and firmly believing that her father really did know best.


Best Moments:

  • Finding out that Rudy was the cable man.

  • Angel being honest despite what it might cost him.
  • The clean-up scene where everyone is dancing.
  • Rudy bonds with Dexter while he is pouring his biological father's ashes at the bowling alley.
  • Dexter finds the Thank You card he made for his blood donor in a box at Joe Driscoll's house.
  • Doakes sticks up for Angel when he's being picked on, even though Angel ratted Doakes out to Internal Affairs.
Best Lines:

  • "Oh good... dancing" (Dexter, to Rita).
  • "How did death turn into a couples' weekend?" (Dexter, to himself).
  • "Hey, wait, did I call the hot Morgan instead? Freudian ... my sub-conscious has been exposed."(Masuka, to Dexter).
  • "I guess I understand why Deb's so upset: we both idolized Harry, lived by what he taught us. But Deb never had to be taught not to kill innocent people. That's why she doesn't understand why I need to know" (Dexter, to himself).
  • "I had a father. Someone other than Harry who called me 'son'. The thought never even occurred to me; Harry was all I needed. It was Harry who always had the answers; he knew who was good, bad, safe ... and dangerous. I built my life on Harry's Code -- I live by it. But Harry lied. Why would he do that? What else don't I know? My concrete foundation is turning into shifting sand; maybe Rudy was right - you never can truly know someone." (Dexter, to himself).

  • When Dexter and Rudy are packing up the house, they are each packing in the way they dispose of bodies. Dexter is putting items in plastic bags and duct taping them, Rudy is wrapping things nicely with string.
  • The thing Dexter attributes to Rudy, the last line of the episode where he says, "Maybe Rudy was right- you never can truly know someone", was never actually said in the episode by anyone.
  • It looks like Rudy killed Joe Driscoll since the old lady recognized him as being there a week ago dressed as a cable guy.
  • Continuity: When Dexter first leans in to view the body of his "father" at the morgue, the clock behind reads 4:11. The camera cuts back to the face and glides back up to Dexter's with the clock now reading 4:17. A few shots later, the clock is seen as 4:01.
  • Continuity: When Dexter is receiving the notification in the office, an extra in a black shirt is standing at a counter in the background. In the next shot, he is walking to the counter where he just was.
  • Continuity: When Dexter is putting the trash in front of a neighbor's house, he goes to put the lid on the trash can, but in the next shot the lid is missing entirely. It's not in his hand, nor is it on the can.
  • Errors in geography: Dexter states that his biological father lived "five hours up I-95." However, Dade City is located in Pasco County, on the western side of Florida, and would actually be five hours up Interstate 75, which also runs out of Miami, but actually travels up the western side of the state where Dade City would be located.
  • Factual errors: The medical personnel in Dexter's childhood flashback reveal that his blood type is AB-. He goes on to state that "it's hard to come by, and our supply was low." While it is correct that type AB- is the rarest blood type, at around 1% frequency in the US, a person with AB- blood can receive a blood transfusion from donor blood of types AB-, A-, B-, and 0-, making it a preferable blood type to have for a person on the receiving end of a transfusion.
  • Poor ADR: When Dexter breaks into the morgue by simply opening the window, he whispers to himself "Small towns...", but his lips do not move accordingly.

This one is for the superfans, tell the newbie fans what they're missin' out on!

Showtime Original Series: DexterIN THE SHOWTIME SERIES
In the CBS Broadcast of DexterIN THE CBS BROADCAST
  • Swearing
  • Rita is almost raped at the end

  • No swearing
  • The scene is cut dramatically.

Episode 8: Shrink Wrap Dexter Season 1 Episode Guides Episode 10: Seeing Red

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Latest page update: made by dexterbabe , Jun 4 2011, 7:26 PM EDT (about this update About This Update dexterbabe Edited by dexterbabe

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dexterbabe What did he say? 0 Jun 4 2011, 7:22 PM EDT by dexterbabe
Thread started: Jun 4 2011, 7:22 PM EDT  Watch
When Dexter is talking to Deb outside and he's sitting on the car. What does he say? "Five hours of my ninety-five my whole life?" Huh?
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kpontis Song 2 Nov 6 2008, 12:07 PM EST by Multiple44
Thread started: Oct 2 2007, 6:04 PM EDT  Watch
Anybody know what that song was where it was just a guitar playing?
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