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'Dexter' recap: An evening full of wonders!

October 9, 2011 | 10:01 pm

Dexter_602_1246 One of the biggest issues I’ve had with “Dexter” in seasons past is how comparatively weak the Miami Police Department storylines are compared to the rest of the show — they’re murder cops, after all, not accountants. Why did they have to be so dull? But from what I’ve seen so far, Dexter’s co-workers are getting better treatment in Season 6.

First, finally, Deb Morgan has had a good (if intense) day. Poor Deb was always getting shot at or her boyfriend was being tortured or her other boyfriend wanted to murder her brother, but Sunday she’s an Internet sensation (thanks to video posted online of her taking down the bar shooter), Quinn proposed and Deputy Chief Matthews offered her a promotion to lieutenant. LaGuerta had assumed that Batista would get the promotion due to her blackmailing the deputy, but Matthews appointed Deb, mostly just to rub it in LaGuerta’s face. Did LaGuerta want to promote Batista in order to keep tabs on him? To make herself feel better for their split?

I like Maria LaGuerta as a bad guy on “Dexter” much more than as someone we’re supposed to root for. When the series first began, Dexter described her as something of a more sinister yet clueless character, but as the show progressed, she became more sympathetic and pathetic at the same time. We were supposed to care about her love life and personal life, but I could never get invested in her. This possible switch of LaGuerta to a semi-villain is a welcome one: The show is more interesting with a scheming kind of woman in it. And since I like thinking of Maria as the bad guy, I was glad she didn’t get her way when it came to Batista’s promotion.

After being given the promotion, Deb protests that it belongs to Batista, eventually seeking out his blessing before accepting it, which relieves her of looking like she was betraying her friend. Angel, to his credit, seemed sad but perhaps slightly relieved at the prospect of not being promoted, plus he actually got the opportunity to call Maria out on her never-successful plotting.

As for the proposal (I love the idea of opening a fridge and finding a nice cold diamond ring inside), Deb declines, citing a desire to keep things the same as they have been, so Quinn’s angry, but when is Quinn not angry about something? I personally hate Quinn and hated them as a couple, so good riddance. I wish the show could find a way to capture Quinn’s dark side and give him the charisma of Doakes (RIP), rather than just have him be a constant glowering irritant.

Meanwhile, Mos’ character Brother Sam is introduced as an ex-con who claims to help rehabilitate other former criminals via his auto shop. Dexter prepares to attack him for an old murder, but Brother Sam admits to his crime up-front and discusses trying to make right with the world (sound familiar?) so Dexter hangs back, intrigued. The two of them unexpectedly become a team when they’re forced to defend themselves from a bad guy who’s not a fan of Sam or his reformed employees. I liked Mos Sunday night — his character had that Mos laconic coolness, but he was convincing enough that I wasn’t thinking the whole time, “That’s Mos Def” (because I am having a hard time getting used to just “Mos.”)

I am having a harder time doing that with Colin Hanks. I really like Colin Hanks, but it weirds me out, whenever I watch him act, how much he looks like his father. It’s distracting, like he’s wearing a Tom Hanks mask. However, watching Hanks turn into this pathetic squirming sycophant to Edward James Olmos is rather fascinating. We see a bit of his character’s backstory Sunday night, as Travis Marshall visits his sister, who expresses concern over never seeing her brother anymore. Olmos’ character tells Hanks he must never see his sister, however, because she’s unworthy. To prove how much he means business, Olmos touches himself with a hot poker and Hanks grovels. Do we think that Olmos’ character is a real person, or possibly a Harry to Hanks’ Dexter? That was just one of the questions left unanswered Sunday night: Is Brother Sam a good guy or a bad guy or somewhere in between? Is Deb’s promotion going to turn out to be a disaster or will she, as she hopes, make Dexter proud? And is that cute intern really into Masuka?

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--Claire Zulkey
twitter.com/Zulkey

Colin Hanks as Travis Marshall and Edward James Olmos as Professor Gellar. Photo: Randy Tepper/Showtime.

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