'Dexter': Someone like her
What I loved most about tonight's episode of "Dexter" was how our hero (Michael C. Hall) was able to execute a meaningful kill, and yet it only took one episode for us to greet and say goodbye to the worthy victim.
It was, thus, a juicy episode that involved quality, economical writing. For a while there on the show, it felt like Dexter was killing a handful of random people per season and saving up for one big exciting kill at the end. But tonight, as the Trinity and Vacation murderers roamed the streets, Dexter took down a real bad guy his way.
Only the guy was a gal.
This was another thing I had just recently contemplated before tonight's episode: Dexter's been murdering a bunch of men lately. Aside from killing Lila (Jaime Murray) and Camilla (Margo Martindale), his victims were largely men. Not there there's anything wrong with it, but, you know how it is with murders -- it gets old. Although it's certainly not mandatory that Dex have something going on with each of his female victims, I loved the sexual tension between Dexter and Zoey Kruger, the cop about to get away with murdering her husband and child. We met as he was pretending to scope out her open house, and they flirted from the beginning, but the semi-sarcastic flirting continued throughout the episode, even as she figured out that Dexter worked for the police department, was as sly as she was and, finally, a murderer as well. Even their physical fighting was fun. It was enjoyable seeing Dexter as a playfully evil bad guy for once (I loved his final scene with Zoey -- "What is it with you and rape? Nobody's raping anybody") and her defiance throughout the entire episode.
What's more, it was simply a suspenseful episode. It took a second for me to figure out that Dexter was in his house waiting for the cop to break in and stage his death. And thanks to the nice exposition of their similarities as murderers with families on the side, the back-and-forth circled neatly back to Dexter considering -- and being touchingly surprised by -- his own status as a family man.
Dexter's interactions with Zoey were fun enough, but can we talk about Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) for a second? Has there been a woman on television with worse luck in her personal relationships? Season 1, she dates the Ice Truck Killer. Season 3, her boyfriend is the victim of another killer. Season 4, she's suddenly back with the man she loved and lost from Season 2, and then they both get shot. She really should try packing it up and moving to a nice quiet town. Who do we think was the trigger man, by the way? Antoine? The Trinity Killer? Frank Lundy's secret wife?
I love the Trinity Killer so far, but his presence was tertiary to the plot on tonight's episode, which means that more has got to come from Angel (David Batista) and Maria's (Lauren Vélez) relationship, because so far as a storyline this season, it's dragging. But I can put up with it when it means that the majority of the episode is as tense and enticing as tonight's.
-- Claire Zulkey
Photo: Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan and Christina Cox as Zoe Kruger. Credit: Randy Tepper / Showtime