Dexter: The Damage a Man Can Do

Dexter: "How do you feel?"
Miguel: "Fantastic."

The Skinner has taken Anton. Miguel is about to kill Ellen Wolf. Things aren't going well, are they?

It's hard to attribute weakness to Dexter since he's so strong and focused, but he does indeed have a weakness or two. He wants a friend – a real friend who knows him right down to the details of his darkness. Like Harry, but much more so. And Dexter wants it so badly that he has gone farther than he should have with Miguel. All that arguing with imaginary Harry. All that talk about the Butterfly Effect. Dexter knows what he's done, and knows there will be a price.

This is a difficult time for Dexter. He's joking about it, mostly to himself, but getting married and having a baby is a big step for anyone, much less someone with a massive secret life who doesn't believe he's capable of love. Being a teacher and taking on a protege is a bit like having a child. I wonder if impending fatherhood is another reason Dexter felt so compelled to go all the way to the kill room with Miguel?

To continue the analogy, Miguel was so excited about the kill that he was acting almost like a kid. He even looked like a priestly acolyte carrying out a bizarre religious ceremony, and seemed to be praying after he made the killing blow. I loved that they put the victim on a wheel of fortune and in a room full of slot machines to point out that Dexter was taking a huge gamble. What blatant symbolism. (Loved them shopping for Miguel's "starter kit," too.)

I knew Anton would be a Skinner victim; the writers have been telegraphing it for several episodes. That tree trimmer Mario that Deb and Quinn picked up was terrified of his boss, George King, so he's probably the guy. Will they stop him before he fillets Anton? And can I put in a preemptive bid for no explicit torture scenes in the next episode, please?

One last thing. In the first two seasons, the entire cast was involved in the main plot line. This season, the two big plot threads aren't connected at all. (That we know of, anyway. I think we'd know by now if they were.) The Miguel plot is complex and fascinating, but I keep wanting Dexter to get involved in the Skinner case. It's like Dexter is so involved with Miguel that he's not paying attention to something he should be paying attention to, if you know what I mean.

Bits and pieces:

-- Maria and Ellen have become friends. Maria is about to lose another friend. Poor Maria.

-- Miguel nearly killed his abusive father. I knew there was a reason they kept mentioning Miguel's father.

-- Quinn really does deserve to be bounced from the force. Cutting corners can be criminal when it costs someone their life. Possibly two lives, if Anton dies.

-- The engagement ring subplot again emphasized that Dexter doesn't "get it." Deb had to tell him what to do.

-- Sort of far from the point, but all the messages Deb left on Anton's phone could be incriminating. She might not get her shield if they know she's been sleeping with an informant and not reporting the drugs he had in his cereal box.

-- At least Angel's happy. Barbara's not a psychopath, or zonked out on pregnancy hormones. As far as we know, anyway.

Quotes:

Miguel: "What channel is ESPN over here?"
Dexter: "I think it's a big number."

Harry: "Am I forgetting something, Dexter? Was there one final lesson where I said, go now far and wide and preach the code, my son? I don't think so."

Dexter: "Hey. You know anything about wedding rings?"
Deb: "Yeah. Wedding rings and nuclear fission are, like, my secret specialties."

Dexter: "We know he bludgeons people to death, so look for something... bludgeony."

Dexter: "I tell Miguel to be inconspicuous and what does he do? Shows up looking like the Unibomber."

Deb: "Just buy her a beautiful romantic I love you with all of my heart fucking engagement ring. And Dex? Size matters."

Another excellent episode. And I'm again reaching that part of the season where I'm questioning my ratings. At least three stars, possibly four out of four? What would you rate it?

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

5 comments:

Peter said...

It really seemed that when Ellen opened the door to Miguel, she was almost smiling as if she expected Miguel. Is it possible that the whole Miguel and Ellen hostility is fake and that there is something more going on?
I really enjoyed the scene in the kitchen where Dexter and Aster (sp?) tried to decipher Rita's hormone induced rant. Dexter is accustomed to not understanding human emotions; it was kind of a sweet moment when he shared that with someone else.
"We know he bludgeons people to death, so look for something... bludgeony." - BuffySpeak lives.

shawnlunn2002 said...

Dexter, Harry might not to be the biggest supporter of you having friends but Miguel is trouble.

Dexter's smart so how come he hasn't figured that out. The Billy Fleeter things should've been a wakeup call. Maybe Ellen will.

Did Miguel decide to bump off Ellen? I could buy into it, given that he's becoming unhinged. I liked Ellen and Maria, so I'll be sad to see her go.

Deb's led Anton into harms way with the Skinner, who didn't see that coming?

Angel and Barbara were sweet together, Rita got annoying and Quinn's reveal wasn't as big as I thought it would be, 9/10.

Anonymous said...

hey billie. just wanted to say i love how observant of metaphor you are for this series, it really feels like peeling back another layer of the episodes when i read your reviews. I love this show so much, keep on writing

Billie Doux said...

Thank you so much, Anon. What a lovely comment.

ChrisB said...

Like Peter, I got the sense that Ellen was waiting for Miguel. Could she be the one with whom he is having an affair? I will be sorry if she dies. I really like the friendship between Maria and her.