location: The Weather Convention
What is it supposed to be on the show?
A. A convention
at a hotel.
Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?
A. In Tampa,
Q. When did we see it on the show?
A. In Episode 8 (of Season 4), "Road Kill".
Dexter takes time off his police work to secretly stalk the Trinity Killer (Arthur Mitchell) on a trip to Tampa.
As an excuse for the time off, he tells his boss that he's going to a convention on weather (the "East Coast Meteorological Conference"), to learn more about how the elements could affect his blood spatter investigations.
What he really does is to convince Arthur to take him along on his trip to Tampa, knowing that the Trinity Killer plans to begin another round of murders once he's away from home.
Dexter & Trinity end up staying at a Tampa hotel. But to maintain his cover, Dexter needs to show up, at least once, at that weather convention.
He tries to sneak away to attend the convention, but Arthur surprises him by insisting that they go take a look at his childhood home, the scene of his first (accidental) killing.
After that side-trip, Dexter cons Arthur into stopping at a hotel coffee shop for a meal, then excuses himself to use the restroom, and once out of Trinity's sight, heads for the weathermen's convention, which is being held in the lobby.
There, he signs in as an attendee. Then he spots a local weatherman, Sonny Skies, and talks him into letting Dexter shoot a photo of them together (saying his wife loves him).
He emails the photo to Rita as an alibi, proof that he was at the convention.
Then he returns to the coffee shop, where he find Arthur disturbing a family of perfect strangers, regaling them with the story of his childhood traumas.
Q. What is it actually in real life?
A. A hotel lobby - just not in Tampa.
Q. Where can I find it in real life?
A. Despite the fact that Dexter has to sneak away from his hotel to go to this convention, these scenes (as well as the scenes of the coffee shop) were actually shot in the very same "Tampa" hotel where Dexter & Arthur are staying.
It's the SeaPort Marina Hotel, at 6400 E. Pacific Coast Highway, in Long Beach, CA.
That's at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and 2nd Street, near the Alamitos Bay Marina, and just over the bridge from Naples Island (where they have filmed a number of scenes over the years).
I shot the photo below in 2007.
Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?
A. I drove past this hotel on August 24, 2009, long before the 4th season started, and noticed that the parking lot was filled with the usual white trucks & trailers signifying a film shoot. And then I spotted the "Dexter" signs posted nearby. So, once the season's new episodes started airing, I just I kept an eye out for the hotel, and spotted it in Episode 8.
I Googled for images of the hotel's lobby to
see if they matched what we saw on the show. They did.
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