Dexter and Miguel have officially hit a rough patch, as the lawyer defied the serial killer by doing something much worse than the other ever did. This may sound like a bad lawyer joke, but it was actually the premise of one the best episode in this series' canon.

It turns out that the bit of homicide hinted at in the previous episode actually happened: Miguel went ahead and offed the innocent-according-to-Dexter Ellen Wolf. The forensics inspector quickly solved the case, discovering blood traces and ultimately the body, underneath a freshly dug grave.

This would eventually lead to a murder investigation that threatened to jeopardize the soon-to-be-cracked skinner case. Debra's instincts are right when she suspects the jovial tree trimmer of putting knife to flesh, but first she must figure out a way to get the drop on him.

She and Quinn bring him in for questioning, but don't get anywhere with him inside the interview room. Making matters worse is Miguel's unwillingness to help the investigation. Turns out he'd rather take care of the perpetrator himself than have traditional justice served. Dexter decides it's time to teach Miguel a lesson.

While a normal friendship would usually see this situation resulting in a mild practical joke, in the world of Dexter a lesson involves unearthing a murdered corpse so Miguel realizes he's not untouchable. But, yes, it was all in good fun: Dexter made sure Miguel wouldn't get caught.

But Dexter did not have the upper hand on Miguel, even after his elaborate ruse. It seems Miguel's supposed bloody shirt from the killing of FreeBo is actually stained with cow's blood. This was always supposed to be Dexter's insurance policy should Miguel ever turn on him, since it implicated the ADA as well as the serial killer. Now it seems their relationship has become very tenuous, and one wrong move could spell jail for Dexter.

Jail is more in the future of the skinner. Debra's hunch was right when she figured on George King as the tree-trimming psychopath. Using a ruse of her own, she tracked down the skinner's den of torture to find Antoine just before he was about to have the final bit of flesh removed. The only problem is that the skinner is still on the loose.

This was an unusually cohesive episode for Dexter. One which saw essentially one universal story connect all the threads we've been following throughout the season. It worked very well, allowing the show to function at a breathless pace without losing its humor or any of the psychological elements being fostered this year.

Of course, there was little Rita. Dexter's fiancée has been surprisingly absent all year. She only appeared in three scenes, and all were very short. As the wedding nears she has to figure more into the main plot of these episodes. Right?

Dexter Cast: Michael C. Hall / Julie Benz / Jimmy Smits / Jennifer Carpenter / Erik King / Lauren Vélez / David Zayas / James Remar / C.S. Lee / more

Story by Andrew Payne

Starpulse contributing writer