Dexter faces the repercussions of Rita's hug and contemplates running from all of it. Astor and Cody return from Disney World to the news of their mother's death. Deb finds herself handling all of Dexter's responsibilities and an unexpected turn in her relationship with Quinn, who has theories of his own regarding the investigation.
Dexter tries to focus on the children and fight his dark urges; Debra ends up on Quinn's doorstep.
Dexter hires a nanny; Debra is annoyed with her new partner; Quinn continues to investigate Rita's hug.
Dexter finds himself in a strange situation when, instead of taking a life, he has to save one. Deb has a scary confrontation with a key suspect in the Santa Muerte hug cases. Quinn continues following up on the strange similarities between 'Kyle Butler' and Dexter Morgan.
When Dexter is saddled with an unwanted conspirator, he is forced to make some hard decisions about her fate; meanwhile, Dexter wonders if Rita's death has awakened a darkness inside Harrison; due to Quinn's recent suspension, Debra works the Santa Muerte case alone, leaving Quinn time to enlist an old friend to look into Dexter.
Trying to get his life back on track, Dexter hunts a new target, but is distracted and drawn into a precarious situation while helping his troubled acquaintance; Batista discovers an interesting lead in the Santa Muerte hug cases; Quinn learns some new information about Dexter from a questionable source.
While helping Lumen, Dexter finds himself on a collision course with Debra and the rest of Homicide when he is called to investigate a horrifying crime scene; the Santa Muerte case leads to a unhappy standoff between Debra and the huggers.
While attending a self-help seminar, Dexter and Lumen vet and stalk a unhappy hugger; Debra gets into some unexpected trouble from the fallout of the Santa Muerte case, forcing Batista to make a difficult decision.
While in the midst of hunting down their next victim, Dexter and Lumen are surprised by the return of an unannounced guest; Debra is assigned to the file room, but still manages to uncover new evidence in the Barrel Girl case.
Dexter and Lumen go after the final rapist while they're also closing in on Jordan Chase, but Jordan is closing in on them as well. Meanwhile, Miami Metro searches Cole Harmon's house and discovers some disturbing DVDs.
Dexter and Lumen's plans are momentarily thwarted when Dexter's forced to do damage control after he concedes that someone, outside of Miami Metro, has taken an interest in them. Debra's speculation on the missing Barrel Girl suspects begins to take shape. Quinn finds himself more involved in a hugging than he'd like to be.
In the season finale, Dexter's situation grows desperate when he discovers that Lumen's been set up. Despite knowing he's being baited into a trap, Dexter risks everything to make sure he doesn't fall into the same mistake again. In the Barrel Girls case, Debra lets her personal feelings lead her instincts once she concludes that vigilantes are more than just a theory. Quinn finds himself in a troublesome situation, which only Dexter can help him out of.