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'Dexter': Someone like her

Dexter_404_0719a 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

Comments () | Archives (4)

great review,

Christina Cox, the killer lady cop, rocks. See her in a Canadian gem from years ago called "Better than Chocolate". She deserves more exposure than she has gotten down throught the years.

I agree - it was fantastic to see Dexter back in action. And while it was perhaps a bit heavy-handed to draw so many explicit connections between Dexter's suburban blues and Kruger's violent escapism, I loved that we were shaken out of the "can Dexter have a family?" side plot by Dexter's revelation of how much he wants his family *in the kill room* (like so many of Dexter's inner revelations which happen while he has someone else on the table).

And I guess I never thought twice about whether or not the shooter was Trinity. The look on Lundy's face had the surprised look of recognition... but then again, why didn't they show us the killer, since we, presumably should be in on the act? Maybe I need to rethink my certainty...

Thanks for a great summary and analysis!
[follow me on Twitter @themothchase]

Great analysis. I feel very much the same about this exceptional episode.

One of the interesting parts of this, the first act of season four, has been Dexter trying to understand his place in the suburban world. This episode put a nice conclusion to it all and set in motion a foundation for future episodes. When he has his "eureka" moment and says he'd rather his family know his secret than lose them, it became immediately clear to me that this statement will be put to the test in a very real and frightening way. Trailers for upcoming episodes imply as much.

As for Deb and Lundy's tragic shooting, I'm not sure I can buy the idea that Trinity shot them. First of all, Trinity's a ritualistic killer. He is still working on completing his cycle of murders. Secondly, there is no evidence he followed Lundy and learned which motel he was shacked up in. In fact, Trinity got on the bus and sped away. He had no starting point to follow Lundy. And finally, Trinity is above merely shooting a person from a distance. All of his murders thus far show a real penchant for being up close and personal.

My money is on the vacation killers. Deb and Lundy are at a motel for vacationing types. The vacation killers aren't just random assailants either; they have already been introduced, so it wouldn't be cheating to introduce a new bad guy.

Of course Trinity will be suspected because of Lundy's personal involvement on his case. Lundy also left a tape recorded journal entry that describes Trinity's appearance. My bet is that Dexter finds this recorder and uses it to track down our newest serial killer. Will he do it for revenge, though, curiosity, or out of admiration for a fellow craftsman?

Again, great analysis. So far this season's great, and it just keeps getting better!


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