"Circle of Friends" is the seventh episode of the first season for the television seriesDexter, and the 7th episode of the series as a whole. It introduces Mark Pellegrino as Paul Bennett. The Ice Truck Killer is supposedly identified, but Dexter is skeptical. Meanwhile, Rita must deal with the return of her menacing, recently paroled ex-husband.
Debra and Angel identify the Ice Truck Killer as Neil Perry, a taxidermist with a history of mental illness and violence. After tracking down Perry to a sleazy motel, Debra and Angel arrest him where he gleefully confesses to the crimes. But when Dexter later meets Perry, something about his confession does not sit right with him. Lt. LaGuerta sees the arrest of Perry as a way to further advance her political career, but feels betrayed when her superior, Captain Matthews takes the credit. Debra begins to have a meeting of minds with Rudy, the prosthetic manufacturer who works at the hospital, and asks him on a date. Meanwhile, Rita must try to adjust herself when Paul, her violent-tempered and recently paroled husband, shows up and throws his weight around by attempting to be compassionate to their children, Astor and Cody. Also, Dexter tries to cover up his past mistake when Jeremy Downs, one victim whom Dexter allowed to escape, is arrested again for a murder charge. Dexter confronts him in a police interrogation room and asks Jeremy why he killed again. Jeremy admits that he can't feel anything (like Dexter), and he thought that killing would bring him something different. Dexter explains to Jeremy that he is the same way, and tells him only to kill people who deserve to die.
Meanwhile, Rita stands up to Paul and tells him that if he can handle supervised visits for 6 months, then she might consider letting him have unsupervised visitation. She then hands him divorce papers agreeing that he will follow these orders, and Paul submits very quickly and signs them. Rita, very surprised that Paul didn't put up a fight, smiles. Dexter wants to give Jeremy more of a guiding light, but when he goes into prison for a visit, he finds that Jeremy committed suicide. He took Dexter's advice and killed someone who deserved to die. Dexter, disappointed that the Ice Truck Killer was nothing more than a mentally disturbed psycho, requests to see him so he can ask questions. Neil walks into the room and Dexter says "Hi." Neil replies "Who the fuck are you?" Dexter, realizing Neil is not the Ice Truck Killer, then looks into the camera and grins in relief, and the episode ends.