Dexter: ‘Let’s Give The Boy A Hand’

Twists and turns from start to finish, is episode focuses solely on the Ice Truck Killer and is engrossing from start to an explosive finish.

I have understood the metaphorical subtext of Dexter’s theme. It’s this: everyone wears a mask to cover their true appearances, and Dexter is only the physical manifestation of this fact. I won’t mask my glee in discovering this fact, but it was something I should have known from learning of the premise.

This episode starts with the police finding an amputated hand in Petrey Beach (“Interesting handjob”). Dexter seems to remember the place…but he just can’t put his finger on it. The Ice Truck Killer is back, but this time there’s blood. Dexter realizes that The Killer’s game is becoming more personal than he expected. Doakes is in danger of being killed by Guerrero, Angel wants the perfect anniversary gift and Rita is having neighbor problems. It culminates in an explosive scene where the Killer hands a victim to Dexter gift wrapped…I won’t spoil it for you.

The first thing that I loved about this episode was how the writers used Halloween quite nicely as the backdrop. Dexter wasn’t alone in wearing a mask and his thoughts showed that. Another thing that I loved was how the Killer’s methods weaved in Dexter’s memories and how that affects him. There were quite a non-linear flashbacks here, but they all contained Harry’s lessons to Dexter about fitting and blending in. The final scene was the best, but it only strengthened Dexter’s beliefs in The Code of Harry.

Rita took a hard stance in this episode when her neighbor’s dog keeps yapping and her children can’t sleep. Dexter couldn’t do anything and she looked kick-ass in a Lara Croft costume. I can’t wait to see the confrontation between Dexter and the Killer simply because the Killer is raising the stakes and is making it more personal for Dexter. The subtext that surrounds Dexter is great only because the other characters don’t have the pieces of the puzzle that Dexter has.

All in all, Dexter is turning out to be a show I can’t wait to continue.

Advertisements

Dexter: "Popping Cherry"

It looks like the writers have a hold of the pacing of their show. Much better than “Crocodile”, this episode satisfies plot development and gives us a much more meatier flashback sequence.

I think I have identified the structure of a Dexter episode: Ice Truck Killer arc, individual criminal that Dexter targets, and a case that the police deal with, plus Dexter’s and Rita’s relationship, accompanied by a couple of subplots from subsidiary characters. Now that I have identified it, I think I’ll feel more comfortable with the show because familiarity breeds comfort. That’s why I love 24 and The Shield and Breaking Bad: Jack Bauer and Walter White (and Pinkman!), and Vic Mackey are characters that I enjoy watching simply because I have witnessed their actions and emotions for a long time and feel for them. That’s where great TV shows beat out great movies. It takes time to develop characters and only TV shows have it. But you can’t compare the two mediums anyway.

For me, “Popping Cherry” was like an icebreaker (seeing this line makes me think there’s a pun in icebreaker). It started off with this nice line from Dexter: “Most people have a hard time dealing with death, but I’m not most people; it’s the grief that makes me uncomfortable. Not because I’m a killer, really, I just don’t understand all that emotion. Which makes it tough to fake.” And then we moved on to the usual. Something I really liked about this episode was the fact that it showed us Dexter’s first “job”and how Harry explains to Dexter that his target is a bad person and must be stopped. There was dark humor when it happened, and it made me chuckle. It answered my question from the last post and it also fulfilled my expectation in the relationship between Laguerta and Deb. It is so typical of cop shows to pit a detective against a lieutenant (most famously between Vic and Aceveda) and I can’t wait to see a catfight between these women. I wonder why cop shows deal with serial killers who target only prostitutes? Why don’t they get different victims? Dutch on The Shield caught one, and now the Ice Truck Killer is on Dexter ( I haven’t seen any other cop related shows). Just something to make note of.

Another thing I liked in this episode was how Dexter dealt with two people: a guy from Rita’s past and his new target. Dexter’s target in this episode was a scrawny kid and when he tells Dexter that he killed someone who raped him, Dexter looks sympathetic, even empathetic. Was Dexter abused? Is that why he went to a foster home? But Dexter has rules, and he cannot kill someone who has killed for a purpose, as he does. I also like the chemistry between Dexter and Rita and her kids. The reason for this subplot (to me) is probably to show Dexter’s disconnected feelings and how that will change as the story goes on.

Good stuff from America’s favorite serial killer.

Dexter: "Crocodile"

Multi-layered writing and the introduction of an awesome credits sequence, this episode shows why Dexter is a good show to watch.

“Crocodile” was a fun episode to watch. The first thing that made my eyes get glued to the screen was the cool credits sequence that the Dexter team have made involving Dexter’s morning routine. It’s filled with close-ups and tongue-in-cheek references to his double life, but it’s also filled with cool close-ups that aren’t in TV shows. That said, the rest of the episode was as enjoyable.

The multi-layered structure of this episode must be how all the other Dexter episodes will be, and I love how it jumps from one sub-plot to the next with ease. Dexter’s voice-over adds to humor at points like when Deb asks him about the fingernails (Tag, Dexter, you’re it). A character I have started to like is Dexter’s colleague Angel, because the show doesn’t portray him as a dumbass cop to whom Dexter has to explain everything, but as a cop who helps Dexter in investigations.

There were two high points for me in this episode. One, Deb getting promoted and two, Dexter questioning his principles about killing and whether he should blatantly break them for the benefit of the world. That was resolved simplistically. Number one brings up questions like how is Deb going to handle herself without Dexter giving inputs half the time? And how is her relationship with Laguerta going to change? A subplot I’m eager to watch develop is Dexter’s relationship with Rita. How will the writers build it? One thing I was disappointed with was the flashbacks of the episode. I didn’t feel it was resolved right. Did Dexter’s father use Dexter to kill the guy who killed his partner? Or did Dexter’s father kill him? A resolution like that would’ve provided more insight into how Dexter evolved into such a sophisticated murderer…but it doesn’t matter. This show is fledgling and even the writers were new to it.

Overall, I understand that the finale will be Dexter’s meeting with the Ice Truck Killer, but the writers have created one hell of an antagonist for this show. Can’t wait for the next one.

Dexter S01E01: "Dexter"

So I am now revamping my dormant site into a record of anything I have read or watched…or maybe even heard. I see a lot of stuff in a single year…I must as well make a note of what I saw when. So whatever I see from now on goes straight in the blog, regardless of the circumstances. I may break this rule in a couple of days.

I just saw the pilot for the hit series Dexter. I’d never seen it before, but since I had watched the Emmys in the morning, I came across it. My love for American television has been renewed by The Shield and more recently Breaking Bad, after I was sad to see good ‘ol Jack say goodbye in the series finale of 24. I’ve tried out 16 episodes of Lost, but I got out of it…I think I need to watch it after the whole hype about the final episode. I experimented with Twin Peaks, Leverage, and even Weeds before I had a movie phase…and now I think I’m ready for a new drama series and that may be Dexter. If not, I’ll move on to the HBO saga The Sopranos (of which I have the DVDs for the first 2 seasons, or start watching Damages, because I love Glenn Close after Season 4 of The Shield (which is personally my fave season). But getting back to this one…

I’ve never reviewed a TV episode before, so I honestly do not know how to start…First off, I like Dexter. I think it’s a show that’s dark, but quirky, different and interesting. It has an intriguing log line: a “good” serial killer. It’s a show that basks in gray sunlight. Moral lines are broken by a protagonist that kills and enjoys it. And the pilot, I hope, sets the tone for the season.

Dexter starts off with Dexter Morgan on one of his midnight jaunts. He’s a blood splatter expert a.k.a forensics in Miami and he’s good at what he does because of his hobby: serial killing. But Dexter doesn’t target innocent people and children. And that’s where the audience watches as the show treads morally gray territory. The pilot introduces not only the characters that make up Dexter’s life: his sis, his girlfriend, his late father and his boss among many others, but also a rival that might be better than even Dexter himself…

Dexter has some fresh material to stand on, apart from it’s premise. It stars Michael C. Hall as Dexter, and you may have seen him in Six Feet Under. Here, he plays Dexter cold, calculated and detached, with dashes of black humor. He plays a complex character and it will be interesting to see how his personality develops throughout the season. Another entertaining addition to Dexter is Dexter’s voice-over, which is noir-ish and insightful. This is Dexter’s story, and no one else’s. The Miami setting adds to the flavor of the pilot, drugs will play an important part in the crimes I guess…the supporting characters are also entertaining, notably Sgt. Doakes, Deb and Harry Morgan, Dexter’s dad.

Overall, the pilot was refreshing after my hiatus from U.S. drama. Let’s see how it goes.