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'Dexter': An innocent (if obnoxious) man

November 9, 2009 |  8:36 am

Dexter_407_0394 While I do love it when "Dexter" picks up a plot line and lets it gather momentum quickly, there's a big difference between how it was handled on "Dex Takes a Holiday," in which we learned why police Officer Zoey Kruger (Christina Cox) must die and enjoyed Dexter (Michael C. Hall)  toying with this prey. Tonight's episode, in which Dexter killed a fashion photographer whose violent art allegedly spilled into real life, lacked the same edge. Possibly it's because the whole "violent artist must be violent" plot line has been covered before (I can think of a "Law & Order" episode, for instance, that followed this plot) and also because I can't imagine Dexter being offended by graphic photography and accepting that as evidence of evil. Even the character of John Farrow as a sarcastic, snobbish hard-partying Brit seemed cliche. Of course in the end the true story was that Dexter killed Farrow and found out, via some actual detective work by the police department, that he got the wrong man. I'm not so interested in figuring out what Dexter will do next but learning what made him go off his game. 

Perhaps it has something to do with Dexter disobeying Harry (James Remar) and going out and actively finding a father figure in Arthur/Trinity. I wish the whole episode could be Dexter and Trinity -- Trinity brings something out of Dexter that we don't see that often, almost a playful violence (see the way he wielded the chainsaw in the woods). I'm loving John Lithgow as Trinity, too -- he seems like he's having a lot of fun alternately playing Arthur as a man full of shame, violence and sometimes old-fashioned peevishness. I'm sure Arthur, while glad not to have been killed by a chainsaw, would agree that Dexter should have listened to his own father by now, too.

I'm looking forward to the final showdown between Quinn (Desmond Harrington) and Dexter -- Quinn's been an obnoxious character since he debuted (someone in HR at the Miami Metro Police Department is a bad judge of character) but moreover he just makes me miss Doakes (Erik King), who possessed a brand of coldness that even Dexter clearly delighted in and who wasn't just some jerk. 

Once again, an episode of "Dexter" can get one or two things done really well but leave you wanting more for the rest.

-- Claire Zulkey

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