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Dexter: Seeing Red

Doakes: "Something finally got to you. I guess you're human, after all."

Three-year-old Dexter saw his mother dismembered with a chain saw. As far as heavy-duty revelations go, that's massive. Unthinkable, in fact. (And I thought I had a rough childhood.)

And it raises oh, so many questions. If Dexter experienced such an extreme trauma at such an early age, it stands to reason that the trauma may have made him what he is; after all, he has been recreating and analyzing that event his entire adult life. When a child experiences major trauma, they tend to remain children emotionally unless they get therapy. Dexter closed down at the age of three. There are constant hints that Dexter does have feelings; they're just mostly suppressed. I think the ultimate message of this episode was that Dexter isn't a sociopath, after all. His comfort level with children and his focus on taking out those who victimize them makes sense now.

Dexter showed his feelings a lot in this episode. He kept saying it was low blood sugar and joked about puking and breath mints, but he was completely thrown by that bloody hotel room, literally in shock. Debra observed that the last time Dexter showed this much emotion was when Harry died, and she was angry and jealous that Dexter shared his pain with, of all people, Rudy the Ice Truck Killer instead of her.

I thought Dexter was good at multi-tasking, but Rudy was all over the place manipulating things behind the scenes: befriending Dexter and cooking him dinner, stabbing Angel, showing up with roses and telling Deb he loved her. Somehow, Rudy knew what happened to Dexter as a toddler, and he even specifically used a chain saw to recreate the blood spatter from the original crime scene. Rudy told Dexter about his own repressed memories of watching his mother die when he was four, although it was certainly fabricated because it conflicts with what he told Deb. (The Ice Truck Killer lied. What a shocker.)

I have to say again that it says volumes about Dexter that with all of this incredible trauma going on, he was still consistently kind and supportive toward Rita. Of course, he did finally lose it, but not with her. I absolutely loved Dexter hauling off and whacking Paul in the head with a frying pan. No premeditation, no consideration – Dexter just lost it. And Dexter never just loses it. His expression was just so funny. He was looking down at Paul like he couldn't comprehend how that just happened.

And then he didn't kill Paul; he stuck to his code, after all. Three strikes, life in prison, was it just that easy to get rid of the bastard? Paul may not deserve life in prison for his crimes, but I certainly have no sympathy for him. Filing charges against Rita after trying to rape and beat her took unbelievable nerve. And we all know he'd never leave her alone if he got out. Plus, if he's in prison, he'll be safe from Dexter. :)

I bet Dexter connects strongly with Rita because they're both victims. Dexter as a victim. We don't tend to think of someone so scary as a victim, but he most certainly is. What really got to me was his mother telling him to close his eyes and not to watch her die. Dexter's mother loved him. Wow.

Bits and pieces:

-- That bloody hotel room was pretty impressive. This was the episode when I knew for sure they filmed in Los Angeles, because I know that exterior; I've been in that hotel. I bet they filmed that bloody interior on a sound stage, though, because a hotel probably wouldn't let a television crew do that to one of their rooms.

-- Poor Deb was rejected by Rudy in favor of Dexter. Shades of Harry favoring Dexter. She didn't even pretend to take it well.

-- While out unsuccessfully trying to pick up girls, Angel stumbled over an ex-hooker with a prosthetic hand that had different color nail polish on each finger. Which was why Rudy stabbed him. Angel is a good cop. I like Angel. I really hope Rudy didn't kill him.

-- We still don't know what 103 means. I thought it might be Dexter's apartment number, but that's 10 B.

-- The music in this episode reminded me of the music in Deadwood.

-- Maria got her revenge on the Captain. She told the press about the ITK case being reopened without telling the Captain first. That probably wasn't a smart move on her part.


Dexter: "It's a little watery for jam."
Clerk: "Maybe you should open it."
Dexter: "What if there's an airborne toxin in there waiting to be released?"
Clerk: (pause) "I've got to wash my hands."
Dexter: "So gullible."

Dexter: "Maybe it's some sort of promotional gag. Stay the weekend, you get a jar of blood."

Dexter: "A jar of blood. Dramatic, cryptic, playful. Could it be him?"

Dexter: "Now I'm really curious. He's been gone so long he had to be planning a splashy return. But a crime scene, just for me?" Splashy return. Dexter puns.

Dexter: "Masuka was looking for you. Something about drinks at the Bel Canto?"
Debra: "Yeah, I told him I had a yeast infection."
Dexter: "That's a bit of an over-share."

Angel: "Nina loved Neil Diamond. Song Sung Blue? September Morn? Oh my god, Kentucky Woman? You gotta love that shit."

Dexter: "My sister's right. I don't share my problems with her, or with anybody. Harry taught me that. Secrecy, self-reliance, and a well-stocked cupboard of Hefty bags."

Rita: "Where were you?"
Dexter: "Taking out the trash."

I think this one deserves four out of four stars,

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


  1. Awesome, the look in Dexter´s face after hitting Paul is really priceless.

  2. What is becoming much more clear with each passing episode is that Dexter is an unreliable narrator. He is constantly telling us that he feels nothing, yet he shows us just the opposite.

    By hitting Paul, we learn that he cares enough about Rita and the kids that he can lose control. By just ensuring that Paul goes to jail, the respect and love he felt for Harry are reinforced. The look on his face when Debra is confronting him shows us that he cares that she is upset; he is just unsure how to reach out to her.

    We also saw Rudy's weak spot. The whole scene with Debra so fascinating I watched it twice. All Rudy cares about is Dexter's reaction to the blood room. He is so immune to Debra that her being half naked and on top of him fails to generate the usual reaction. By going to Dexter's house, he revealed to us exactly how much Dexter's reactions are what is driving him to do all this.

    Of course, that just raises more questions. Why does he care so much? How does he know things about Dexter that Dexter doesn't?

    On top of all this, we have Angel getting too close to the truth and Maria taking a stand against her boss that I can't see ending well. A truly inspired hour of television.


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