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'Dexter': 'Hello, Dexter Morgan'

December 6, 2009 | 10:00 pm
Dexter_411_0548 Last week, I said that I hoped the season didn't end with a traditional Dexter (Michael C. Hall) hunt-kill, and I certainly seem to have gotten what I wanted.

It was one of those rare episodes that ran on all cylinders, tense from the start with a police interrogation of Christine Hill (Courtney Ford), the Trinity Killer's daughter.  I've loved the pairing of Deb Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter) and Hill, and I liked the show's little indicators of the women's parallel lives, including, tonight, their similar hairstyles and shirt colors. Poor Christina, though: First she discovered her father's a killer, then she tried to impress him by following in his footsteps, only to be rewarded with the comforting thoughts, "You're a stupid girl! Always getting in the way. You've ruined everything.  I'm sorry you were ever born!" and then, "Do not call me again ever."  These words ringing in her ears and with Deb's understandable refusal to forgive her for shooting her and Lundy (Keith Carradine), Christine took her own life. I would rather have seen her try to take down dear old Dad, myself.

I wonder if Dexter's insistence on killing Trinity himself will hurt him at any point, with the police so close to getting the actual murderer. I don't recall him working so hard to throw the detectives off the scent for another kill -- his tampering with evidence and misleading the investigation seem almost more dangerous than tangling with Arthur Mitchell (John Lithgow) himself.  I loved how Dexter threatened to expose Arthur as a pedophile and Arthur's offense at being called that.  A serial killer, yes, but a pedophile? Never!

Even the relationship of Batista (David Zayas) and Laguerta (Lauren Vélez) popped, with their spontaneous, defiant marriage in order to finally cut through the red tape of their professional relationship. I still think one of them will end up dead by the end of the season though.  Or both?

While Dexter was exasperated by Batista's urgent call to have him come in to work only to serve as a witness to their marriage, Dexter and Rita's (Julie Benz) marriage nicely bookended the lovebirds'. Rita confessed to Dexter that the neighbor kissed her, and Dexter obviously wanted to move on, partially because he had other things on his mind, also because jealousy was not one of his main M.O.'s.  It seemed to me that Dexter punched Elliot (Rick Peters) simply because it seemed to be the thing that was expected of him, not so much because he really wanted to, but it also happened to show Rita that he cared. 

But between Dexter and Arthur, the episode turned into "who's chasing whom?"  Dexter wanted to catch Arthur, Arthur wanted to murder "Kyle Butler" and did, and Dexter tried to catch him in the act.  Eventually, Arthur tracked Dexter down at the police department, confidently cruising through the halls, until they spotted each other through the windows and came face to face, only to have Arthur say, "Hey, you're wearing purple too!" Or something along those lines.

So how do we think the Arthur-Dexter showdown will end? 

-- Claire Zulkey

Photo: David Zayas as Angel Batista, Lauren Vélez as Lt. Maria Laguerta, and Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan. Credit: Randy Tepper / Showtime