location: The Gas Station
Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?
A. A gas station.
Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?
Q. When did we see it on the show?
A. In Episode 4 (of Season 4), "Dex Takes a Holiday".
Dexter is gathering evidence about a murderous female cop, Zoe Kruger, but she has found out about his private investigation, and is now trying to turn the tables on him.
Dexter baits her by letting her think she is stalking him.
In this scene, Dexter is out for a drive, and we see him pull into a gas station. Zoe Kruger, driving her cop car, pulls in right after him.
Spotting her, Dexter gets out of his car, goes into the men's room, and waits for her to confront him.
She doesn't disappoint.
Moments later, she's in the room with him, threatening and trying to intimidate him. When Dexter makes it clear that he knows that she murdered her family, and has evidence to prove it, she turns violent. She pulls out her gun, puts it to his head, and begins concocting a story about how she shot him in self-defense.
But Dexter, the blood-spatter expert, is able to convince her that shooting him there would be a bad idea, since the resulting blood evidence would prove it wasn't self-defense.
She reluctantly lets him go, pretending that she doesn't care if he tells. But Dexter knows that she really plans to finish the job later, at his house, where she can pretend that a burglar killed him.
Right on time, Zoe shows up at Dexter's house, but is surprised by Dexter, who is lying in wait for her. After a brief struggle, she winds up on his table. Another blood slide to add to his collection...
Q. What is it actually in real life?
A. A gas station. But nowhere near Miami.
Q. Where can I find it in real life?
A. It is actually the Econo Gas station, at 3605 E. 7th Street, Long Beach, CA.
That's at the northeast corner of E. 7th Street & Loma Avenue. (The camera was looking east in the shot where Dexter pulls into the station.)
I shot the photos below in November 2009.
On the other hand, the driving scene immediately preceding Dexter's arrival at the gas station (where he catches a glimpse of her cop car in his rear-view mirror) was shot 30 miles away, in Hollywood. He's actually driving south on Cahuenga Blvd. That red brick building you glimpse just before he turns into the gas station is located at 742 N Cahuenga. The round-topped white buiding (glimpsed at the very start of the scene) is Ren-Mar Studio, at Cahuenga Blvd & Waring Ave.
Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?
A. This was tricky. There are, of course, a zillion gas stations in greater Los Angeles. But I noticed that there was a large "Burgers" sign in the background, and it looked like it had a red roof. Unfortunately, there are almost as many red-roofed burger stands in L.A. as there are gas stations, but I figured that finding the two side-by-side would be an easier task.
What I didn't realize is that the red roof didn't belong to the burger stand. It was actually the roof of another building in between the burger stand and the gas station. So I wasted a lot of time looking for that combo.
But on my second round of searching, I began looking at every burger stand in Long Beach (Dexter's favorite hunting ground) and while looking at aerial photos of Jim's Burgers, I chanced to spot the Econo gas station nearby. Google StreetView gave me a great look at it, verifying that it was the same place.
I later went there in person and shot the photos you see above.
As for the driving
scene on the way to the gas station, that was tracked down by a fan, Geoff.
Dexter screenshots from the show and all related characters & elements
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