Dexter recap: The Truth Will Make You Puke

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October 9, 2012 by Susan Miller

If you discover your brother is a serial killer, just follow Debra Morgan’s 5 easy steps to recovery: Run, Puke, Cry, Punch, Leave. Guaranteed to leave you feeling foolishly in control of changing him.

I still don’t have complete faith in the Dexter writers to not screw this up.  They’ve had promising episodes before, and then abandoned story lines or let them fizzle out for no apparent reason.  Quinn was supposed to be a very real threat to Dexter but then instead he just fell in love with Deb?  How convenient.  Crazy Lila was completely unstable and rejected by Dexter, but yet she still agreed to help him and happened to kill Doakes in the process?  And then he just killed her anyway?  Uh-huh.  The day after Dexter finished Lumen’s revenge plot, she gets to walk away forever? His kids got conveniently shipped off to their grandparents?  Trinity’s kids never saw a picture of Dexter or read about Rita’s death?  You get my point.  I have my doubts about their ability to do right by this story/season/series.

BUT – the second episode was really good.  Wendell’s death was surprising.  Viktor’s death looks like it will circle back in on Dexter.  That death will also re-open the Bay Harbor Butcher case.  LaGuerta is being sneaky and not telling anyone she’s investigating.  Louis WAS upset about his stupid game but is still committed to sticking around and causing problems.  Even what looked like the random story of the week – Wendell and his frosty swirl addiction – will continue next week with the introduction of Hannah (played by Chuck’s Sarah) who has a decidedly accomplice vibe.

Under Deb’s watchful eye, this is the closest Dexter will get to his beloved blood splatter.

How can Dexter survive without killing his way out?

Susan: He can’t, so I’m guessing that Hannah (new character introduced next week) will become Dexter’s accomplice.  The only reason that Deb didn’t arrest Dexter is because she didn’t want him in jail.  The only way for Dexter to avoid jail is to kill a lot of people this season who are sniffing around.  The Russian characters mean business, Louis is historically crazy, LaGuerta will stop at nothing to clear Doakes’ name and Dexter is too busy being reined in by Deb to find out about any of it.  With any luck he’ll be able to pit them against each other and Louis will the next one to end up with a screwdriver in his eye.  If not, Sarah/Hannah may need to return to her protective ways.

Steven: He will have to get smarter.  In the first season, Dexter only killed guilty murderers who had escaped the legal system, had fallen through the cracks and still possessed a possible threat to the people of Florida.  As it went along, however, everyone has become fair game.  Recently, the airport disposal of Koshka Brotherhood member, Viktor Baskov, shows us how far Dex has gotten away from his code.  The police are closing in on this particular killer, building a case and talking to witnesses, and we in the audience realize, “Oh, justice can’t be served, because that Viktor dude is in the bay…”  Instead of helping facilitate Justice, that most dubious of all virtues, Dexter is now directly impeding it.  His helpful solution has become a harmful problem, reaffirming the ideas that (a) Dexter is not in control, (b) that it is no longer working for him or society, and (c) that all other rules may soon be discarded.  What I loved about Season 2 was the tension.  He loved(ish) Rita and she was constantly on his case about the heroin addiction (fake, but still there was tension), and it made his killing more constrained.  He even tried to stop.  What has happened since Rita’s death is, in my humble opinion, an unrestrained spree with a few interesting guest stars.  I am excited for Dexter to take on himself again this season, and to see if the only person he actually loves will be able to help him win out in the end.

Is the Debra Morgan Clinic going to work?

Susan: Again, this is one of those things that I don’t trust the writers with.  It seemed like a very flimsy way to keep Dexter from killing, but then he actually did stop and call Deb with Louis in his trunk.  That was very unexpected and I think he will do everything in his power to keep his promise to Deb.  In past seasons, his promises have been broken easily, without consequence, usually in the episode after making them.  I hope this will be different, because I’ve seen enough of Dexter’s killing.  Now I want to see him struggle with not killing, and see him struggle to survive.  Basically, Dexter’s had it pretty easy the past four seasons.  I’m ready to see him struggle.

Steven: I feel like the entire series has been leading up to this question.  Is Dexter possessed impossibly by the Devil himself, or is he just an addict who can find a reprieve from these murderous tendencies?  In Season 2, Rita discovers that he’s an addict (well, sort of) and forces him to start attending Narcotics Anonymous.  He of course gets side tracked by a British pyromaniac, but the program of recovery is at least presented here.  Because Dex doesn’t recover, he almost dies by fire.
Next Dexter tries to recover by befriending the Trinity Killer (played magnificently by John Lithgow) who seems to be living a normal life post-serial killing.  Because he cannot get it together, Dexter loses Rita in a scene we will never forget.
The most recent incarnation of this theme came last season with Brother Sam (played surprisingly straight by Mos Def) who stands in stark contrast to the Doomsday killer (Colin Hanks).  Brother Sam is not only a former addict but also a killer himself, and has found solace in the Lord.  Because Dexter doesn’t recover Brother Sam is shot and killed (not really related, but I’m going to blame it on Dexter — why not?).
Why do I want the Clinic to sober up Dexter?  It’s a bit like reading Crime and Punishment.  At a certain point all you really want is for Raskolnikov to see the error of his ways and repent, because he’s just so miserable.  That is how I feel with Dex.  I also don’t want to realize that I’ve been rooting for an unrepentant serial killer for 6, now 7 seasons.  I will admit, a recovery ending would slightly redeem my love for this show.

Here’s a tip: if you’re dating a guy with a folder on his desktop labeled “Rants” – GET OUT AS FAST AS YOU CAN.

Stray Thoughts

I’m still a little concerned about Deb’s role.  For one, how is Dexter going to live at Deb’s while his son lives at his apartment?  Is Jamie just going to be there full-time now?  Will Louis be there full-time too?  Doesn’t she find it odd that he’s now sleeping at Deb’s?  What does Deb think about allowing her nephew to be raised by a serial killer?  Poor forgotten Harrison.  Talk about an abandoned story line.

Is Quinn really going to date another person of interest just to screw up a case?  And what was with their weird flirting?  The sexual dynamics of this show have always reminded me that it’s on Showtime instead of HBO.

Louis is going to kill Jamie, right?  And then hold Harrison hostage?  That has to be where this is headed.  If the writers really want to surprise us, this will happen in the next two episodes instead of the token season finale “use your son as bait and conscience” story line we’ve seen since Harrison was born.

I’m pretty sure I’ll never be able to eat spaghetti again.

Is Dexter just Harry’s Dark Passenger?

Fishing for Comments

Comment question of the week: Is Deb still safe from her brother’s Dark Passenger?

Comment theory of the week: I was talking about Dexter with a co-worker today and she presented an interesting theory.  What if all of Dexter’s story is actually taking place in Harry’s mind?  What if it’s a big long elaborate dream and at the end, poof! he just wakes up?  On a scale of one to infinity, how pissed would you be?

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