A. In Episode 12, the finale of Season 7, "Surprise, Motherf**ker!"
This is a flashback to before the first episode of Dexter, illustrating how & why Sgt. Doakes came to suspect that there was something wrong with Dexter.
We see them at a crime scene down on the docks.
body of a female victim lies on the ground, near a tugboat.
Doakes stands near the body, while Dexter is up at the top of the
gangplank leading from the boat to the dock.
to analyze the blood spattter and to enthusiastically describe how the crime went down -
colorfully detailing how the murderer chased and caught the victim,
stabbing her, how her blood spurted when he slashed her throat...
for Dexter, this time he failed to conceal his gleeful excitement over
the bloodshed, and the observant Sgt. Doakes sees it, and jumps to the
right conclusion: that Dexter likes the bloodshed too much.
scene ties in with a later flashback, at the police station, where
Dexter slips up again around Doakes, accidentally quoting the journal
of a serial killer. Doakes angrily declares that there's
something off about Dexter, that "it's all an act", and that one day he
will find out what Dexter is hiding.)
What is it actually in real life?
A. A dock at a harbor.
Where can I find it in real life?
This scene was shot on what appears to be a temporary/floating dock, at
the end of a larger permanent dock on the south side of Pier C, at the Port of Long Beach.
Maps indicate the property belongs to Pacific Tugboat Service, at 1512 Pier C Street, in Long Beach.
And it's about a mile north of the dock where they filmed Dexter's scene with Isaak aboard the ship Fearless.
Take a look at the background of the scene in this screenshot:
The camera is looking southwest.
You can see, in the background, a dome, a bridge, and four smokestacks.
That giant dome is the Georgia-Pacific gypsum plant,
at 1401 W. Water St., on Pier D, where raw gypsum ore is shipped in,
stored inside the dome, and then processed into products like plaster &
The bridge is the Gerald Desmond Bridge (on Ocean Blvd). It's slated to be demolished soon, and replaced with a higher, more modern bridge.
The four smokestacks seen beyond the
bridge are on the east side of Terminal Island, just north of the Desmond Bridge. According to my Press-Telegram pal, Tim Grobaty, they are part of the old Edison power plant (no longer owned by Edison), at 2665 W Seaside Blvd, which is now used only during emergency brown-out situations.
All of this is seen while Doakes' dock off Pier C is seen in the foreground.
Here is a Google aerial photo, with the floating dock location marked with a red arrow:
A. Those three landmarks in the background: the giant
dome, the Desmond bridge, and the smokestacks, were more than enough to
allow me to pinpoint the location, since they had already filmed
multiple scenes at the Port of Long Beach. The only tricky part
came when Bing's aerial photos didn't show that floating dock. But fortunately, Google's photos did. (Obviously, they were shot on different dates.)