Dexter is called to a crime scene at the abandoned hospital where, last night, the Ice Truck Killer left security guard Tony Tucci (Brad William Henke) strapped to a table for Dexter to kill. Instead, Dexter had reported the crime scene and Tucci had been hospitalized after the Killer had amputated his hand and leg. Debra and Sgt. James Doakes (Erik King) question Tucci when he wakes up in hospital, but Doakes is unimpressed with Debra's ways of extracting information from Tucci. He disapproves of her suggestion to blindfold Tucci to help him to remember his encounter with the Killer, but after she confronts him about his attitude toward her, he agrees to blindfold Tucci, who remembers that the Killer used throat lozenges. They return to the crime scene and find a lozenge wrapper, on which forensics expert Vince Masuka (C.S. Lee) finds a partial fingerprint.
Dexter's girlfriend Rita Bennett (Julie Benz) comforts her upset co-worker, Yelina (Monique Curnen), and learns that Yelina's fiancé, who was immigrating from Cuba illegally with the help of a coyote, is missing. Rita asks Dexter to look into the problem using his police connections, and he finds a list of subjects from a past police case. He investigates Jorge Castillo, a salvage yard owner, and after Yelina's fiancé washes up dead on a beach, he discovers that Castillo is murdering the smuggled immigrants who cannot pay for their freedom. Dexter leads Castillo into a trailer in his salvage yard, but as he prepares to kill him, Castillo's wife Valerie (Valerie Dillman) arrives. Dexter realizes that the couple is working together, and decides to kill both Jorge and Valerie in the trailer. After killing them, he dumps their bodies in the ocean and frees their Cuban prisoners, not noticing the person watching him from the trunk of a car in the yard.
In flashbacks, a teenage Dexter (Devon Graye) learns how to fake a romantic relationship with a girl from his father Harry (James Remar).
The line Dexter says to Castillo in Spanish translates to "Perhaps the fish find you." He says this in response to Castillo claiming he only owns a rowboat with a hole in it.
- Michael C. Hall: Dexter Morgan
- Julie Benz: Rita Bennett
- Jennifer Carpenter: Debra Morgan
- Erik King: James Doakes
- Lauren Vélez: María LaGuerta]
- David Zayas: Angel Batista
- James Remar: Harry Morgan
- C. S. Lee: Vince Masuka
- Christian Camargo: Rudy Cooper
- Sam Witwer: Neil Perry
- Brad William Henke: Tony Tucci
- Jose Zuniga: Jorge Castillo
- Angela Alvarado Rosa: Nina Batista
- Monique Gabriela Curnen: Yelina
- Valerie Dillman: Valerie Castillo
- Scott MacDonald: Officer Gerard
- Lizette Carrion: Shanda
- Minerva Garcia: Mariel
- Ashley Rose Orr: Mindy Taylor
- Devon Graye: Teenage Dexter
- Josh Daugherty: Morgue Attendant
- June Angela: Doctor
- Terry Woodberry: Tech
- Carmen Olivares: Attractive Woman #1
- Norma Fontana: Attractive Woman #2
- Allysa Tacher: Screaming Jogger
"Love American Style" attracted 6.7 million viewers when broadcast on CBS in March 2008, 18 months after its original broadcast on Showtime. IGN's Eric Goldman felt that the episode's juggling of multiple storylines was "satisfying," and that the scene in which Dexter prepares to kill Castillo was "terrific." Though he praised Debra and Doakes' storyline with Tucci, he wrote that "it was a bit disappointing to then see Deb be a bit too quickly vindicated at the end." Paula Paige, writing for TV Guide, said that the episode:
"will go down in cable history as Dexter's finest [episode] to date."
She was pleased with Debra's character development and the "downright stylish" cinematography, but thought that Jorge and Valerie's final, passionate words to each other were "too much for me." Ray Ellis of Blogcritics believed that the episode "takes the series into a more three-dimensional direction." He described the episode's subplots and themes as what "make Dexter compelling," and wrote that Debra's character reached a more "empathic level" in the episode. TV Squad critic Keith McDuffee praised the increasing complexity of Dexter's relationship with his father through flashbacks, and thought that Dexter's voiceovers were "the best thing about this show." Jeff Lindsay, author of Darkly Dreaming Dexter upon which the show is based, was initially upset with the episode's plot. In an interview, he said that:
I was about to be really unhappy with [the episode]. But the twist at the end," referring to the person watching Dexter from the car trunk, "That was wonderful."