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Dexter: If I Had a Hammer

Marriage counselor: "See what happens when you're honest? You get what you need."

Episodes like this one are why I'm into Dexter. It was intense, funny, fast-moving, insightful, and the action with Trinity all had a direct relationship to the character development of Dexter himself. That's what we're here for, isn't it?

Dexter now has a padlocked pink and green garden shed to call his own. I loved the sessions with the marriage counselor, and how Trinity's fractured lifestyle showed Dexter a new way to approach his own marriage. I liked that Rita was more of an individual character in her own right again, instead of just a blonde obstacle holding a baby and bleating at Dexter about his shortcomings. This isn't the first or even the second time that Dexter has found some important answers while on the edges of therapy. It's really too bad that he can't see a psychiatrist about his real problems. Think of all those killers whose lives could be saved.

Trinity, a.k.a. Arthur Mitchell, seems in desperate need of therapy, too. How does he keep his two lives compartmentalized? Does he have a split personality? Did he kill his sister, or was he just completely traumatized by her death? (Or both?) Why would he get into the bathtub with his victim if the victim represents his sister? Was his relationship with her an incestuous one? Interesting that while Dexter's core trauma was what happened to his mother, his closest relationship is also with his sister. I can already tell (it's obvious) that Dexter identifies too much with Trinity, since they're both serial killer family men with tragic pasts.

That last scene with Trinity recreating his bathtub murder ritual with his wife made me wonder if Trinity's killer persona is finally ready to take over every aspect of Trinity's life. Is he capable of killing his family, like Zoey Kruger? Did he really kill Lundy, after all, when it's so far outside the scope of his murder ritual? Lundy did recognize his killer, though. Maybe it was someone else Lundy knew.

In other news, Deb thought she could lie to put an end to an open case (like Harry did), but it just wasn't in her. And now she's after Trinity, too. It would be so cool if she and Dexter could work on the case together. You don't suppose that's where the plot is going? At least she doesn't sound suicidal any more.

I've been enjoying watching Angel and Maria twist in the wind as they tried to resolve their romantic problems. Angel was, as usual, a real sweetie, ready to fall on his sword to stay with Maria; it surprised me that Maria was ready to make the same sacrifice for Angel. It may actually be true love this time... except they just broke up for the sake of their jobs, and signed affidavits to prove it. I probably wouldn't be interested in a plotline like this if it were on another show, but we've been with these characters for a long time and I like them both. They're pretty much screwed, aren't they? So to speak?

Quinn showed his better side this week. He encouraged Deb to stick to her principles... when he doesn't seem able to stick to any, himself. Talk about compartmentalizing.

Bits and pieces:

-- Trinity is a high school teacher, a church deacon, and active in a habitat charity. The nickname Lundy gave him was more accurate than Lundy could have known. Gold acting stars for John Lithgow. All the complex and conflicting emotions that Trinity feels are right there on Lithgow's face, in every scene.

-- Dexter has such nerve when it comes to his dark passenger. Deliberately picking up that urn, knowing it could set Trinity off, was an easy move for Dexter. It would have taken tremendous courage for a "normal" person to do that.

-- The saliva and cremains were a big clue, just as I thought. What about the other two crime scenes? It's probably too late to get samples from them, right? I don't remember him leaving ash at the bathtub murder, either.

-- The Laura Moser tease has stretched out for six episodes now. Come on, already.

-- The Most Obvious Symbolism this week could be the lamp that Dexter wasn't allowed to plug in anywhere in "Rita's" house, telling us that Dexter has no place for himself there. Then again, maybe it was Trinity handing his murder weapon to Dexter. Okay, probably both.


Dexter: "How do you know so much about hammers?"
Masuka: "Not a tool I haven't played with, my friend."

Dexter: "I'm perfectly comfortable with bodily fluids: blood, snot, tears. But the emotions that go along with them? Not so much."

Counselor: "Who's Lilah?"
Dexter: "My sponsor."
Rita: (simultaneously) "The homicidal bitch he slept with."

Rita: "A breadmaker?"
Dexter: "We're always running out of bread."
Rita: "We're always running out of milk. Did you get me a cow, too?"
Something she enjoys, Dexter. Never an appliance. Unless she's told you a couple of times that she's always wanted one.

Dexter: "His history with her shapes who he is."
Masuka: "Like how my mother breastfed me until I was six, and now no one will ever match up?"
Please tell me he was kidding. How does Masuka manage to be so revolting but occasionally sympathetic? Okay, like Dexter. Question answered.

Dexter: "Thanks. (to himself) For giving me your murder weapon."

Solid episode. Three out of four stars,

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

1 comment:

  1. Wow. That was a brilliant episode. The scene with Trinity and his wife in the bath was just so well done. The flash of red near her head that looked like blood and then Trinity reaching for the knife looking object! I love this show!


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