Dexter: Love American Style

Dexter: "It always comes to this when sex is introduced. Small talk no longer cuts it. Eventually she'll call me a science project and slam the door in my face."

Dexter spent a lot of this episode saying that he longed to be alone – even post-apocalyptic alone – so that he would no longer have to pretend to be someone he is not. And yet, he also spent the entire episode fretting about losing Rita and trying to find a way to connect to her.

Accidentally choosing Terms of Endearment when he was out looking for a light comedy made me laugh out loud. So did Dexter trying to take Angel's advice and awkwardly trying to reciprocate with oral sex. (Rita's reaction was also really funny.) When did Dexter's struggle to fake normalcy start making me laugh? When did I start rooting for Dexter? I was actually pulling for him to take out Mr. and Mrs. Coyote, too.

Dexter told Rita the truth about his dreams. He wants to feel normal. Rita has the same dream. And just like that, they connected. I really liked the expression on Dexter's face. It was subtle (Michael C. Hall is almost always subtle in his portrayal of Dexter), but it said a lot, like even sharing such a small part of the truth with Rita was something Dexter found almost impossible to do. It was a big risk for him, and it paid off. For Dexter, as well as for us, the audience. One step closer to humanity for Dexter.

It was oddly funny that Dexter discovered the answer to his dilemma by cross-examining his two latest victims. And I thought the search for evidence left by the Ice Truck Killer sort of resembled Dexter's search for any clue at all about how to hang on to Rita. An entire roomful of cops obsessing about a plastic wrapper was a hoot.

To continue our "there's someone out there for everyone" theme, both the unfortunate Tony Tucci and Rudy, the prosthetics guy at the hospital, were flirting with Debra. As usual, leading with her heart, Debra recruited her hooker friend Shonda to make Tony feel a whole lot better and give him some confidence back. That was sweet of her.

There was a witness to Dexter's latest homicide hiding in the trunk of a car. Dexter has been seen. Oooh, cliffhanger.

Bits and pieces:

-- Love American Style was an old TV show that was about anyone being able to find romance. (Or so I'm told. I've never seen it.) By extension, we have Dexter, who doesn't understand it but feels compelled to seek it out. If Dexter can find love, anyone can.

-- I loved the candles that Dexter used to lure Jorge Castillo to his well-deserved end. They looked like a religious landing strip, like Dexter was ushering Castillo on his flight out of town to Hell. Which, in a sense, he was.

-- Dexter let the people trapped in the garage go. Again, something he didn't have to do. I noticed that when Dexter was talking about innocent men, women and children, he put an emphasis on children.

-- Tony Tucci was a total sweetie. Good performance there. Especially his reaction to the blindfold.

-- We got a semi-good look at Dexter's box of slides. It looked like there are forty or fifty of them. That's a lot of slides.

-- The nameplate on Rita's Hotel said, "Z Hotel." Z Hotel? Like "The Hotel" with a bad French accent?

-- Dexter used the alias, Dave Cutler.

-- Doakes was nasty to Debra, until she fought back. And then he gave her a chance, and it paid off. And then he praised her. Doakes can be a prick, but he's fair.

-- Vince Masuka is a fun character. He's so unfeeling about the gross-out details of his job and the tragedy surrounding the victims, so his fear of rats was amusing. A lab rat afraid of rats.

Quotes:

Dexter: "Ever since the blow job, she assumes we've taken it to the next level. She doesn't know yet I don't have a next level."

Debra: (on phone) "Yeah, I did call an hour ago. But there's a killer out there who's into whores and security guards. But I bet nurses are next."

Cop: "Freedom's just another word for one more way to get fucked."

Woman: "Come on! How can you not dance to this?"
Dexter: "It's a gift."

Angel: "Don't go down that emotional road. Just go down on her."
La passion. But Angel's wife is divorcing him. He's not exactly a fount of wisdom, Dexter.

Dexter: "Maybe if I don't blink, my eyes will tear up."
Rita was sobbing away at Terms of Endearment, and Dexter was completely lost. I thought this line in particular was laugh out loud funny.

Angel: "Hey. After two months of finding fuck all in this case, a lozenge wrapper is the damn holy grail."
Dexter (to himself) "My favorite serial killer is a lozenge eater. How human of him."
Dexter was disappointed. I think it was more that the Ice Truck Killer had left a clue than the lozenges. Dexter thinks of the Ice Truck Killer as superhuman. Superkiller.

Dexter: "I want to someday be content. Just to feel comfortable, like everyone else. I want..."
Rita: "A normal life."
Dexter: "Yeah. A normal life."
Rita: "That's all I want. Just that."

Rita: "I'll take boring."
Dexter: "Average."
Rita: "Ordinary."
Dexter: "It's weird, huh?"
Rita: "Yeah."

Three stars,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amazing episode, again! Dexter really has feelings for Rita and I think he´s a closeted human being.

ChrisB said...

Amazing. I watched this episode hoping that Dexter would find a way to connect with Rita, that he would be able to experience "the real thing" with her. He has so convinced himself that he cannot love, that he cannot connect, it is almost as if the self-fulfilling prophesy is happening to him. But, at the end, he does connect in a very real, very sweet way. Am I really wanting something good to happen to a man who has killed dozens of people??

I am concerned about Dexter dumping this week's bodies into the ocean. Those things have a way of washing up, don't they? Although, no one seems to take the death of a Cuban too seriously, so maybe he'll be all right.