Dexter: There's Something About Harry

Dexter: "Harry always said there were plenty of people who deserve to die. But no matter how hard I close my eyes and wish, Doakes isn't one of them."

Clever, clever Doakes. He was calculating and calm (at least up until the point where Dexter killed the drug dealer), playing every possible card he could think of with his deadly adversary, our hero. Like dropping that bombshell about Harry, which may have saved Doakes' life.

Dexter went ahead and framed Doakes with the kill tools, but it felt to me like Dexter was talking himself into it. Like, let's see. Who has the most to lose? There's Deb, Rita and the kids versus Doakes' lack of a social life, there's their comparable value to the community (which I thought was pretty funny), and so on. Yes, Doakes isn't dead yet and I can't see Dexter killing him in cold blood, but it just feels like Doakes' days are numbered. Dammit, I like Doakes.

Did Harry really commit suicide because of Dexter? It certainly appears that he did. And how did Dexter react, after the inevitable denial? Killing the drug dealer in front of Doakes was an interesting choice. Yes, a good kill spot isn't easy to find, but I think Dexter wanted Doakes' understanding and approval, as a sort of surrogate for Harry. Did Dexter actually think Doakes would understand? Probably. Dexter kept saying that Doakes was a killer like he was, again, like he was trying to convince himself. Doakes' reaction was like a slap in the face.

All those murders. Forty-six slides. Which made me immediately wonder if Doakes would have some air-tight alibi of sorts... and voila. How could Lundy just ignore that evidence, Maria screwing up with the phone call or not?

Lundy is an adult and knows full well that his job will eventually take him away from Miami, while Deb hadn't really thought about it and was acting like a petulant child. Lundy thought Deb would get tired of him. Actually, I think he's right. (Don't get me wrong: I love Deb. But she definitely has Issues.) Sort of on the opposite end of the romantic spectrum, Rita was tentatively opening the door again to Dexter. She said it was for the sake of her kids, but that was an excuse. Not that the kids aren't an important factor.

And the tiresome, lethal Lila just won't go away. (Jaime Murray must be an excellent actress because I absolutely despise Lila.) What on earth did Lila just do to Angel? And how will Dexter react when he finds out?

Bits and pieces:

-- Dexter compartmentalizes like nobody's business. Going to the beach with Rita, to the golf course to question Matthews, all the while that Doakes was in that cage.

-- Dexter, Rita, and Angel took the kids to the same beach with the crossed trees where Brian left the hand for Dexter.

-- In the flashbacks to the days right before Harry's death, the younger Dexter and Deb were played by Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter instead of the younger actors. I thought Michael C. Hall in particular did an amazing job as much younger, long-haired Dexter. Totally believable.

-- Maria was still loyal and steadfast to Doakes. It's a nice side of her. She has depth.

-- Lila got Angel to help her paint her apartment red. Her color choice? Not a surprise. Even her phone was red.

-- I'm late mentioning this, but Lila always wears clothes that are practically falling off her. I think that's an unconscious statement about her attitude toward life. She doesn't care what people think or how much they see of her. And she hates being contained.

Quotes: (and there were a lot of them this time)

Dexter: "My code requires a higher standard of proof than your city's laws. At zero cost to the taxpayer, if you ask me, I'm a bargain."

Lundy: "Don't ask, don't tell?"
Deb: "Works for the military."
Lundy: "Not really."

Deb: "You're gonna ream her, aren't you? Can I be there when you do it? It's kind of a hobby of mine."

Rita: "Are you still confused?"
Dexter: "I'm generally confused most of the time. But not about us."
That was sweet.

Dexter: "I remember when life was easy. When the only question I worried about was, who's next? Now it's, how can I dodge my protective detail? What should I do with my hostage?"

Vince: "All those times he called me lab geek, periwinkle, donkey fluffer. I'm just glad I took it lying down, you know?"

Dexter: "Doakes is a lot of things, but he's not an idiot. He won't come out of the shadows because of a grudge."
Deb: "Right. Because serial killers are so practical."
Dexter: "Actually, they are."

Dexter: "Got to give Deb credit for one thing. She knows how to express her feelings. If I was convicted as the Butcher, she's probably explode. It'd be a waste of a perfectly good cop. And sister."

Lundy: "I track killers. That's what I do. They tend to move around."

Angel: "Help me out, here. What does a seven year old girl like?"
Dexter: "Astor likes CNN."

Doakes: "I think you got a conscience."
Dexter: "Of course I have a conscience. I left you a place to shit, didn't I? (long pause) It's a small conscience."

Dexter: "I'm sure Special Ops taught you to rattle your captor. But I should warn you, Sergeant, you can't play on my feelings. I don't have any."
Doakes: "Oh, really. Who's lying now?"

Just like last season, the buildup to the season finale has been just excellent, practically redefining the meaning of suspense. Four out of four stars,

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

1 comment:

ChrisB said...

This was a fascinating exploration of Dexter's backstory. I expected the reveal to be that Harry told, or at least strongly hinted, that Dexter should kill Ryness. Instead, he had to witness the literal bloody truth of what his son has done.

I liked that Dexter was able to distinguish the fact that the code in the abstract was far different from the code in reality. Of course, that begs the question as to what Harry was really doing. He must have understand that he was tacitly giving Dexter permission to kill, as well as teaching him how to do it and get away with it.

The suicide, therefore, seems off to me. I can't imagine that someone with such an internal sense of self, duty and honor would do it. I think there is a deeper story and, if I had to guess, I think Matthews was lying through his teeth.