Dexter: Dex Takes a Holiday

Kruger: "Look at you. What kind of father does this? What kind of husband?"
Dexter: "Not the kind that kills his family."

What a terrific episode. And it even had a shocker of an ending.

It was a genuine holiday for Dexter, a picnic in the park, a day at the beach; he had a wonderful time stalking Officer Kruger, psyching her out, manipulating her, getting her to confess, and killing her. He wasn't afraid of her or worried that she might get the upper hand, even for a moment. That scene in the men's room in particular when she had a gun literally to his head and he was almost gleefully telling her what forensic evidence she would leave behind if she killed him was about as sexy as Dexter gets; he seemed completely turned on. I even thought for a moment that Dexter would have sex with her, but that would have been too far out of character.

This latest adventure in murder beautifully addressed Dexter's feelings of claustrophobia and entrapment, and answered the question of whether or not Dexter could ever kill his wife and children. It was an interesting choice of victim for Dexter, certainly one that his subconscious chose for him. (It was also a reflection of the Trinity murders.) Dexter was relieved to discover that this kind of murder is not in him. I never thought it was.

Okay, time to address the big topic. I didn't want to put it in the opening paragraph for fear of spoiling people who haven't seen the episode yet.

They've been signaling like mad that Lundy was going to die, and sure enough. Why now? Because he's been around long enough for us to care about him again, and I most certainly did. Because Deb was madly in love with a good man who was genuinely gone on her, and we certainly can't have that. Lundy will never get to enjoy his retirement activities of fishing, traveling, canoodling with his much younger honey, and hunting down serial killers for fun. It had to happen eventually, but I liked him, dammit.

Shooting Deb at the same time was a big mistake on Trinity's part. (I think Dexter is mildly fond of Lundy, too.) Deb's brush with death (I refuse to believe she'll die) is going to infuriate Dexter and focus his full attention on Trinity, and Dexter is even better at hunting down killers than Lundy was. I was thinking that it was oddly fitting that Lundy met his end the way he did; he may have just set the solving of his greatest case in motion by becoming one of Trinity's victims.

Angel and Maria separately confessing their affair to Dexter and asking for his advice was pretty funny, mostly because of Dexter's subtle discomfort, amusement and confusion. I swear I could see what Dexter was thinking on his face. What should I say to them? What would a normal person say in a situation like this? Why couldn't they ask someone else? I thought Angel was really funny, too.

And Quinn... what an idiot. (Deb even said that to him during the episode: "News flash, Quinn, you're an idiot.") It was Quinn's fault that Lundy was killed. Last season, it was Quinn's laziness that got Anton captured and nearly killed by King. Ah, if only Quinn were a murderer so that Dexter could take him out. Maybe Internal Affairs will get him, after all.

Bits and pieces:

-- The episode titles are always clever, but I really liked this little tribute to "Death Takes a Holiday." Time off for bad behavior.

-- Christina Cox, who did a wonderful job as Zoey Kruger (like Freddie Kruger), was the star of a Canadian vampire series called Blood Ties that (coincidentally) I just tried this past weekend. She and Michael C. Hall had terrific acting chemistry.

-- Great music in this episode. I particularly love the over the top Cuban dance music; they've used it a number of times before.

-- The position of Lundy's and Deb's bodies looked a lot like the second Trinity victim, as well as the dummies they were dropping to simulate the circumstances of her murder.

-- Dexter didn't even listen to his phone message from Lundy about Trinity. Maybe he should have, huh?

-- Trinity, acting like a child, provoked a fight outside a bar and told the man who beat him, "It's your fault." Maybe Trinity still is emotionally a child, like Dexter, because of when his trauma occurred. Did Trinity's father cause the deaths of his sister and mother?

-- Did Trinity take Lundy's watch? Or was it something else?

-- Lundy called Anton "Ashton." As in Kutcher, I assume.

-- Dexter killed Kruger in her own daughter's bedroom, on flowered pink sheets.

-- This week's Most Obvious Symbolism was the "I Love Dad" mug that Dexter broke while bringing down Kruger. Coming in second was the dripping faucet in his old apartment.

Quotes:

Rita: "I'm your wife. I want to know what's going on inside you."
Dexter: (to himself) "I don't think you do."

Maria: "Where's Masuka?"
Dexter: "On vacation."
Deb: "He's probably in Mexico taking a donkey show tour."

Dexter: "Next thing you know, you're moving in, your life is gone, it's just kids and neighbors, painted mugs..."
Angel: "Painted mugs?"
Dexter: "It's a metaphor."
Angel: "For what?"

Maria: "I know everything."
Dexter: (to himself) "I'm going to choose not to misinterpret that."

Deb: "I'm a fuckwad."
Lundy: "You're not a fuckwad."

Deb: "Don't go disappearing on me again."
Lundy: "Not a..."

Best episode of the season, at least so far. Four stars,

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

7 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Does anyone know where I can find Dexter screencaps that go up quickly after an episode airs? I've been having the worst time trying to find them.

CyberYork said...

You are so right. That one was great. I´m hooked again. And I´m hoping that Deb will survive. She´s my favorite character. Beside Dexter.

But I don´t think that Trinity shot Deb and Lundy. Guns are not his style. But the killer was gun-happy. And he took Lundy´s watch and his keys or his wallet out of his pocket. So I guess the Vacation Murderer strikes again.

Serena + Pumpkin said...

I figured that Lundy was toast as soon as I saw his pic on the front page. I *knew* with absolute certainty that something would happen once he admitted his feelings for Deb in the diner.

I don't love Antoine, but Lundy and Deb gives me the creeps. I love Lundy as a character, especially as an intellectual nemesis for Dexter, but the romantic thing is just too Freudian.

I also thought that there was some hot sexual tension between Dexter and Kruger. It wouldn't have been out of character for Dexter - remember how badly he sought someone to relate to in Seasons 1 - 3? But in a way, they consumated their relationship. For two killers, the stalking and threats were like foreplay, and the ultimate act was murder.

Billie Doux said...

CyberYork: I don't think it was the Vacation Murderer because Lundy recognized his killer.

Serena: I always thought that Dexter doesn't associate sex with murder at all, unlike some killers. I noticed Zoey Kruger kept bringing up rape, although I think she did that because she thought she could get control over Dexter if sex came into it.

Serena + Pumpkin said...

I don't think it's because the sex/power of rape is a motivating factor for Dexter, like many other killers. I think the act of murder for him is like the act of sex for everyone else. The stalking, the hunting - it's foreplay, and the blade into the heart is the penetration. Haven't you ever wondered why Dexter kills with a knife rather than any other method?

Sex is supposed to be the ultimate pleasure partially because we're biologically motivated to procreate. I think that Dex takes his by ending life rather than creating it.

It's why I think sex meant nothing to him before, and his increased pleasure in sex, along with him becoming a dad, and missing his family, show how he is slowly becoming like everyone else. Very interesting direction.

My 2c.

Claire said...

Great review again Billie.

One thing a few people have picked up on, and I'll mention here because I know you are a Six Feet Under fan, is that the guy playing the blood spatter analyst at the other PD is the same guy who played Father Jack in SFU and who married David and Keith in the SFU finale.

No wonder I saw what looked like genuine rapport between him and MCH - it was a reunion of sorts for them.

Billie Doux said...

Thanks, Claire. I knew he looked familiar, but I couldn't place him. Of course it was Father Jack!