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'Dexter': 'About Last Night'

November 23, 2008 | 10:01 pm

Dexter It's official: "Dexter" has turned me into a monster. While I wondered whether the excess gore on tonight's episode, specifically Anton's (David Ramsay) stripped flesh and Ellen Wolf's (Anne Ramsay) cadaver in its various forms (being waved by Harry, being dug up by Dexter (Michael C. Hall) or on the medical examiner's stretcher), was really necessary, I at the same time found that all the ickiness helped contribute to one of the best episodes of the season. 

The tension of Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) and Quinn (Desmond Harrington) tracking down CI (and Deb paramour) Anton before he got skinned to death  wasn't just the only thrill of the episode. Miguel Prado (Jimmy Smits) succeeded where everyone else before him failed: He made Dexter Morgan "feel something real." Unfortunately for Miguel, that thing is anger and betrayal. After Dexter let Miguel into his murdering world  (so long as he obeyed the Code of Harry), Miguel went and did Thing 1 that you're not supposed to do: murder an innocent person -- in this case defender Wolf.  Miguel lied to Dexter about the murder, lied again about ensuring his trust (with a shirt covered in cow's blood, not his from the Freebo murder) and then generally revealed that he'd be disingenuous pretty much the whole time Dexter had known him. 

How Dexter will handle the situation will be interesting. Not only has Miguel been insincere with Dexter for some time, he dragged Rita into it by giving her the same bogus line he did Dexter about being "very wise." So far in this series, Rita's been relatively out of harm's way, for being with a serial killer -- will Miguel be her first real danger?

On a side note, the episode reminded me of two other recent classic cable TV dramas. All the time Dexter spent in the cemetery of course reminded me of Michael C. Hall in "Six Feet Under," and Miguel and Dexter whistling "Camptown Races" in a sinister manner reminded me of Omar Little (Michael K. Williams) whistling "The Farmer in the Dell" on "The Wire." But Omar did it better. That said, while this particular season of "Dexter" was slow going in the beginning, by now it seems to be racing to a very dramatic finish.

-- Claire Zulkey

(Photo courtesy Showtime)