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Dexter: Runaway

"I hate being vulnerable."

Back in the Dexter of old, the story would start slowly and heat up as the season progressed. Everything just got warmer.

Yay for Angel Batista! Wasn't it nice to see him again? And because he talked with Angela at the cop conference (and because Harrison got stoned and let something slip at the Kill List party), Angela now knows that her nice, quiet boyfriend is in fact not Jim Lindsey, but the late Dexter Morgan.

How will Angela take this revelation? She isn't a straitlaced, conventional sort of cop, and Dexter had a very good reason to disappear. And of course, there's no reason Angela should put together Batista's description of the Bay Harbor Butcher with Dexter himself. I'm looking forward to seeing how this plays out.

Dexter's relationship with "Deb" is still my favorite part of the series, and the emotional violence and honesty in their every exchange is so striking, an excellent writing choice to show Dexter's internal struggle. Dexter feels lonely as well as vulnerable, and continues to find active parenthood confusing. He wants to confide in Harrison, while intellectually he knows it isn't an option. But I really want them to talk – about everything, but especially about Rita. (Couldn't they bring Julie Benz back somehow?)

Harrison said he carried that razor because he was robbed when he was homeless, but the second time, he was "ready." Has he already killed someone who attacked him? Did he indeed attack Ethan on purpose? Harrison thinks Dexter doesn't give a damn about him. He has no idea that Dexter would kill for him. That he did kill for him.

(Let's pause for a moment. What vet worth her salt would just say help yourself to ketamine and syringes, even to a friend? And Dexter skipped way too many steps and let his rage take over with the drug dealer. What happened to days and days of vetting and stalking in order to do it right?)

I've been wondering what to make of Harrison's behavior at the Kill List party. Like Dexter, Harrison didn't seem that interested in girls coming on to him. The thing with the girl asking him to carve an H into her ankle was bizarre. Was he more intrigued by blood than sex? But then again, Audrey sent Harrison the link to Molly's serial killer podcast because she thought it was funny. I thought that was why Harrison stopped texting her, even though he clearly likes her.


Speaking of serial killers, a ha. Or, we knew it all the time. Despite the show's valiant efforts to make us think the Runaway Killer could be Olsen, the reveal that it was Kurt Caldwell all along was no surprise. He's giving me major Trinity vibes, too, like his trauma is rooted in childhood and any shakeup in his kill scenario freaks him out. When green-haired Chloe took off her top and wagged her boobies at him, he didn't know how to react. Chloe was smart and had courage. I thought she was actually going to outwit him. Guess you can't outwit a hunting rifle.

Does Kurt have multiple personalities or something? He seems like such a sweetie most of the time. Dancing to "Runaway" with Tess the barmaid. Buying runaway Harrison a hot meal and offering him a job. Or was he vetting Harrison as a victim? Is it only women that Kurt kills? Kurt was so freaked by Chloe running toward him instead of away that he was practically sobbing and hitting himself. "This is not the way it's supposed to happen! You ruined everything!"

Was Kurt's kindness the reason Harrison went back to Dexter instead of leaving town?

Bits:

— Molly and Angela made an interesting and surprisingly effective pair of investigators. Thanks to Molly, Angela also now knows that someone was using Matt's credit cards in that New York hotel. Have we seen that guy before?

— Loved the bit with the couch pillow that Dexter angrily sliced with Harrison's razor and then turned upside down to conceal the cut. The cut is still there, after all. A perfect metaphor for Dexter himself.

— This was a good episode for Logan, a good guy and a good cop. He pretty much has the Angel Batista role in the reboot, doesn't he?

— Dexter is fast and efficient, but when Logan showed up, Dexter got dead Jasper dressed and into position pretty quickly. And where did he get the photos of those eighteen people who OD'd?

— Harrison must believe that Trinity is still alive.

Quotes:

Deb: "What Harry did to you was child abuse. Teaching you to become a serial killer, and how to get away with it? Look where the fuck that got us."

Dexter: "Every day I walk around this world faking it. Knowing if someone, if anyone knew the truth about me, they'd throw me in the deepest darkest pit they could find. It's so fucking lonely."

Chloe: "Yeah. I could fucking die and go to heaven."

Dexter: "They say having a kid is the most vulnerable thing you can do. I hate being vulnerable."

Dexter: (walking through Jasper's house) "Hell, I should kill this guy just because of the wallpaper."


Angel: "I like your style. Aggressive, almost bossy."
Angela: "I have a boyfriend."
Angel: "Can he handle you?"
Angela: "He chops his own wood."
Very like Angel to hit on Angela. This is the guy who married Maria LaGuerta, after all.

Good episode. Three out of four free bottles of ketamine,

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

4 comments:

  1. It was cool but jarring to see Angel pop up again. He was just so blatantly bringing in the endgame that it ruined my immersion lol.
    "Hey incidentally I've been thinking about the Trinity case... it's similar to this. Also there was a detective on it named Debra, she was a good friend." But what does that have to do with- "Nothing, really. But she had a brother, who had a son, named... Harrison. OK bye"
    Why did he even call Angela aggressive, almost bossy lol? That came out of nowhere too, nothing about her interaction with him should give that impression. Women just can't be sensibly blunt I guess.

    Having said that I really was glad to see him again, considering my annoyance with his lame subplots should've spoiled my affection of the character.

    I lol'd at the dog barking at Dexter and him going "Heh... still got it." Also RIP the awesome green-haired chick, that was an interestingly weird turn and one of the few things that didn't feel rote.

    Harrison's become a little shit though, and Debra's snarling at Dex even when they're in agreement with each other! But I get it, that's a very accurate manifestation of guilt.

    Clancy Brown's still great... Kurt's definitely an oddball. He might genuinely be a nice guy with that Pay It Forward mentality but crippled with a dark impulse he can't help but obey.

    I guess the stage is finally being set for an ending, which is almost a shame... I really don't want that reporter to have the satisfaction of capturing him. I hope it's mostly Angela. But I guess it's also still possible Harrison might kill everyone to let Dexter escape again. Holding out hope.

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  2. My reading of Kurt is that he vets targets for the sin of being worthless the same way dexter vets targets for the sin of murder. Kurt (from his point of view) gives his victims every chance to stop running away and actually try and do something with their lives. If they ignore his advice and insist on refusing to improve, he probably rationalizes that nothing is lost by taking their lives for his enjoyment. There's probably something meaningful in the fact that he literally makes them run away before shooting them dead.

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  3. Onigirli, you have a point about the coincidence level. I know I often just react like a giggly fan and was just happy to see Angel Batista again. I always liked him. :)

    Diogo, that is an excellent theory and makes sense. Kurt was certainly extremely disturbed that Chloe didn't run away so he couldn't shoot her in the back.

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  4. I've been thinking since episode 1 that Angela Bishop's name is an allusion to Angel Batista. So I was happy to see the scene with the two of them together in this episode.

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