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'Dexter': Won't somebody please think of the children?

October 5, 2008 | 10:43 pm

Dexter You'd think that Dexter (Michael C. Hall), who, in his words, is not "in the business of giving life," would be a little more freaked out that he potentially spawned another little killer with his girlfriend, Rita (Julie Benz), but that wasn't the only thing on his mind during tonight's episode. While life may bloom, Dex has one to take, in the form of Freebo, the man he meant to kill last episode but let get away.  Not only was Freebo his man, he saw Dexter's face, so Dexter needed more urgently than usual to dispatch the bad guy before his colleagues at Miami Dade did. 

Rita's pregnancy is one of the biggest plot twists of the series so far, though, so while Dexter may be busy with other things, why is the show? I wanted to see more of Dexter picking out baby names and less of his always-irascible sister, Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), being hounded by the persistent and annoying gal from Internal Affairs or chasing down an unreliable informant. While I did enjoy Dexter pretending to be a drunk college student and using the word "ho-pad," come on!  Dexter as a potential father is infinitely more intriguing than even Dexter offing Freebo before coming face-to-face with ADA Miguel Prado (Jimmy Smits).

The writers of the show need to stop trying to force its viewers to care nearly as much about Dexter's co-workers. I've never found the character of Lt. Mari Laguerta (Lauren Velenz) anything more than irritating at best, and I care even less about her long-ago relationship with Prado. It was irritating, as a Dexter fan (the character, not the show, in this case), to have to sit through their backstory while I waited to see what Dexter would do about the two lives in his hands. As it turned out, Rita decided to keep li'l Dexter (with the father's role still to be determined) and Dexter did get his man, albeit with the slightly ridiculous development of Prado catching him post-murder and buying the excuse that Dexter was merely chasing down a "forensics lead" and had to kill the bad guy in self-defense. Add a little blood for future complications, and you've got a decently intriguing ending on your hands. But Prado is no Dexter, nor son of Dexter, and that was what I really wanted to see.

-- Claire Zulkey

(Photo by Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)