Dexter: Dirty Harry

Dexter: "I may not know who shot my sister or why her life was spared, but I do know I won't be returning the favor."

This season has been about Dexter dealing with his new and unexpected role of husband and father – so it shouldn't have surprised me that Trinity is a family man, too. Will it make a difference to Dexter? Probably not. But it might make Trinity a bit harder to take out.

Things with Rita have screeched to a halt. I've said it before, but I think that now that Rita knows Dexter is a very good liar, he needs to tell her some truths. Is there anything wrong with him telling her he needs some privacy and space of his own? He's been so careful about appearing to be the perfect husband and father (after a few years of masquerading as the perfect boyfriend) that he's boxed himself into an emotional corner. Break free a bit, Dexter. Before you break free a lot.

Should Dexter break up with Rita? Rita and Deb are Dexter's touchstones, the people that make him (mostly) real. What does Dexter really want? I think he wants a family for the wrong reasons – as in a mostly futile attempt to recreate the closeness he had with Harry. Maybe he should break up with Rita. Maybe that realization will be how this season ends.

Dexter is close to his sister, though. The best moments in this episode were by far and away Dexter's scenes with Deb. I was right that Dexter would be frantic when he found out she'd been shot. Dexter rarely shows emotion, but he lost his temper and actually threatened the cop who was keeping him away from her. And he told her the truth in that parking lot – that he was the broken one, not her. Dexter is right to be concerned about Deb, because she sounded outright suicidal. The raw emotion she revealed to Dexter was so intense that she didn't even notice that he opened up to her a little in return, something he never does. She's convinced that it was her fault Lundy was killed. (When actually, it was Quinn's.)

Quinn went back to his deceptive reporter girlfriend, ready to give her another leaked headline and make another fatal mistake. Really. Does Quinn have any redeeming qualities whatsoever? Why did they give us such a one-dimensional character to dislike? Characters on Dexter usually have more depth.

Finally, Angel is a sharp detective; I really liked the clever way he dealt with the vacation murderer, who is now off the streets. Maria's need for open disclosure (need for control of the relationship, too?) has just gotten Angel a transfer that nobody wants. At least the fallacy that they just solved Lundy's murder will give Dexter a clear field to track down Trinity.

Except there are seven more episodes in season four. It can't be that simple.

Bits and pieces:

-- What did the title of the episode mean? Is it that Dexter's dark passenger, in the form of invisible Harry, is on a Clint Eastwood sort of vendetta right now? I think I just answered my own question. Never mind.

-- The locked trunk was a nice touch. It was like Harry continuing to protect Dexter from beyond the grave.

-- Was this the right time for Deb to break up with Anton? Her sense of honor wouldn't allow her to lie to him, but she really needs more love and support right now than Dexter and Rita – especially Dexter – can give her.

-- The hotel where Deb and Lundy were shot and where Deb and Dexter had that emotional conversation in the parking lot was the same LA hotel where Brian created that room of blood back in season one. I've been there a couple of times and members of my family have stayed there. The parking lot has been used for other scenes in the series, too, so they use it a lot. It's a very picturesque hotel, with a great view of the water. http://www.marinadelreyhotel.com/

-- This week's Most Obvious Symbolism was probably the burst pipe in Dexter's apartment that represented his secret life. Is Dexter going to appease Rita by giving the apartment to Deb?

-- Gold acting stars to Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall, our husband and wife brother and sister. That scene in the parking lot was outstanding. It's not easy to portray such strong emotion and deep despair so convincingly. The Dexter/Deb scenes have always been my favorite in this series.

-- Not the dreaded webisode, please! Showtime has done some animated webisodes called "Dexter: Early Cuts." So far, I have wanted to love webisodes but have found them to be painful as well as pointless. If someone sees "Dexter: Early Cuts," could you post your opinion here?

Quotes:

Dexter: "If Deb dies, I'll be ... lost."

Rita: "Can I see her?"
Dexter: "She's peeing. With Anton."

Deb: "I'm broken."
Dexter: "No, you're not. I am."

Masuka: "If my face was all over the media for shooting a cop and a fed, I'd be digging a fucking hole all the way to China. (pause) No one fucking go there."

Dexter: "See? I have nothing to hide. (to himself) Except for the syringes, scalpels and bone saw hidden in that secret drawer underneath."

Another good episode. Are there bad Dexter episodes? Three stars,

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

4 comments:

Serena + Pumpkin said...

I love Dexter, and so far this season has been far and away better than season 3, but I have to admit that I think the Harry hallucinations (? Not sure what to call them) are a cheap plot trick. Dexter already does voice overs, I feel like the writers could find a better way to express his thoughts. Or maybe even how he struggles to not
express them to other people. We spent the first 3 seasons with Dex seeking someone he could share his thoughts with. I find it hard to believe that he can be satisfied with Harry delusions that he knows is real.

As far as the Deb scene goes, Mrs. Hall better start writing her Emmy acceptance speech. Superb. I like the slow, raw burn, rather than the expected anguished crying.

Serena + Pumpkin said...

Aha! The word I'm looking for is visions!

Henrik Bennetter said...

Dear lord this was an intense episode! And the scene with Deb and Dex in the parking lot!? I cried. I actually cried. I never cry.
Jennifer Carpenter just rose another ten notches on my favorite actress-ladder!

Anonymous said...

Poor Bud. Ten seasons of JAG and you end up getting pummeled in the head by the guy of 3rd Rock from the Sun.