Let's Give the Boy a Hand

"Let's Give The Boy A Hand"
Dexter episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 4
Directed by Robert Lieberman
Written by Drew Z. Greenberg
Production code 104
Original air date October 22, 2006 (2006-10-22)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology

"Let's Give the Boy a Hand" is the fourth episode of the first season of the American television drama series Dexter. It premiered on October 22, 2006 on Showtime in the United States. The episode was written by Drew Z. Greenberg and directed by Robert Lieberman. The Ice Truck Killer starts leaving body parts of his latest victim at locations related to Dexter's childhood, making him confront his dark personal history. Meanwhile Rita confronts a neighbor with a noisy dog that is keeping her children up at night. Lieutenant LaGuerta seeks to comfort the mother of the latest Ice Truck Killer victim and the pressure on Sergeant Doakes escalates when Guerrero's associates begin following him.


In the opening sequence a severed male hand is found at the beach. It is unknown whether this is the work of the Ice Truck Killer or not. While investigating the hand, Doakes spots Guerrero's men watching him. After discovering the hand belongs to Tony Tucci (LaGuerta's Ice Truck Killer suspect) the Lieutenant visits his mother in an attempt to make amends for branding him a killer on television. She promises to bring him home, dead or alive.

Dexter remembers that this is a beach he came to as a child. During a flashback scene, Harry, his foster father, lectures him on the importance of faking emotions to make other people happy. Back at his apartment, Dexter looks through an old family photo album. It appears that the Ice Truck Killer broke into his apartment to get to know him, not just leave doll parts.

Debra is forced to watch through boxes of surveillance tapes by LaGuerta, who continues to make life miserable for her. Kara's brother continues to taunt Doakes about how he's going to get himself killed. Doakes lets him know that Ricky wouldn't come out of cover to give Kara a divorce and that he's the reason she was killed.

Another body part is found. This time a severed foot by an old soccer field where Dexter played as a child. He tells Doakes that the killer is sending a message that is more important than the ritual, but cannot tell him what, or why. After analysis of the foot, Dexter determines that Tucci is still alive and is systematically having his limbs removed by the Ice Truck Killer. LaGuerta phones Tony's mother to tell her that her son may still be alive and that they just have to find him.

Angel asks Dexter for his advice on an anniversary gift to give his wife. He continues to ask for advice from Dexter on various gifts before asking Debra who tells him "she'll love it." It transpires, however that Angel and his wife have been separated for three months due to "something he did." His wife suggests he see his little girl before he leaves and he gives her the gift, a "Key to my Heart" necklace, instead.

Rita and her children are being kept awake at night by a neighbor's dog. When both Rita and Dexter are met with mockery and derision from the neighbor (who appears to also be neglecting the dog by keeping it outside all day) Rita takes the dog and drives it to a friend's house to live with her and her daughters. Rita then goes to Dexter's that evening and performs oral sex on him, before inadvertently cluing him in on the pattern the Ice Truck Killer is taking - leaving body parts at locations in which Dexter was previously photographed with his father.

Doakes is kidnapped as soon as he gets home by Guerrero's men. As Guerrero moves in to finish Doakes off, the police burst in and arrest them. Using him as bait was the plan all along.

Dexter follows the clues to an abandoned hospital (another flashback from his past). Whilst searching the hospital Dexter finds the victim, waiting for him to make the final kill. The man begs for death, but Dexter cannot kill an innocent man. He makes an anonymous tip to Debra and leaves.


"Let's Give the Boy a Hand" was written by Drew Z. Greenberg and directed by Robert Lieberman. Drew Greenberg was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award for the Best Dramatic Series for his work on Dexter in February 2008.[1][2] Filming took place on the beach of Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the north tip of South Beach Park.[3] and in various places across Miami and Los Angeles.


Eric Goldman of IGN gave the episode 9.0/10 and said of it that: "This was a very strong episode overall, that contained a lot of clever, dark comedy." He also praised the main plot: "The personal touches the killer was doing just for Dexter were a very intriguing aspect of this episode, and gave a natural narrative "in" to the flashbacks we saw of Dexter's childhood this week, as he recalled what was occurring when each photo was taken."[4]

Sarah Dobbs of Den of Geek remarked that "there's some nice characterization here". She also praises the sub-plot involving Angel, "It's nice because it's all so cleverly handled."[5]


  1. "2008 Writers Guild Awards Television & Radio Nominees Announced". WGA. 2007. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
  2. Perry, Byron (2007-12-12). "WGA Announce TV and Radio Nominees". Variety. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
  3. Wayne, Gary (2009). "Dexter Filming Locations, Season 1: The Severed Hand". Seeing-Stars.com. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
  4. Goldman, Eric (2006). ""Dexter" Let's Give the Boy a Hand Review". IGN. Retrieved 2009-12-13.
  5. Dobbs, Sarah (2007). "Dexter S1:4 Review". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
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