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'Dexter': Thanks (for giving me your murder weapon)

November 1, 2009 | 10:00 pm
Dexter_406_0306 I've said this before, but sometimes "Dexter" suffers from the spectacular nature of its own premise. While I was watching tonight's episode I was sort of hoping for a little more "action," but it wasn't until I thought a bit more about it later I realized how neatly this season has explored another side of Dexter's (Michael C. Hall's) personality and how it builds even on the fact-finding episodes. 

While Dexter was hanging out with Trinity Killer Arthur Mitchell (John Lithgow), the Neil Young song "Old Man" (with its lyric "Take a look at my life") might as well have been playing.  Of course in Dexter's mind, as he investigated Mitchell's charity housebuilding and "tacky but normal" home, he scoped out Mitchell the killer, seeing how he hung out in everyday life.  Dexter was also simultaneously taking a few notes for his own use as his own wife, Rita (Julie Benz), insisted on marriage counseling thanks to his recently revealed secret apartment.  But at the same time, Dexter could have been looking at a future version of himself.  Family man, a little strangely earnest, happily married with kids, protective brother, murderer.  Even Dexter recounting Arthur's morning routine was a bit of a callback to the show's opening montage, which the series likes to recall every now and then.

The episode in general was strikingly directed by Romeo Tirone -- I couldn't help but take notice of a beautiful close-up of Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Vélez), frankly the most captivated I've been by her since the early episodes of the show before she got swept away by a series of poorly informed romantic and professional choices.  Same with the shot of Dexter wielding a circular saw, thinking "Ready or not, here I come" as he gazed at Mitchell.  We didn't get to see him wield a weapon tonight, just weigh it in his hands.

-- Claire Zulkey

Photo: John Lithgow, left, as Arthur Mitchell and Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan. Credit: Randy Tepper / Showtime