I have to admit, 'Dexter' is drawing out my inner mark. Three weeks in and still no ridiculous high spots. My inner mark is shitting on this season so far. But then I calm myself down and look at this season from the writers' standpoint. Season 4 was end to end crazyness, season 5 started with perhaps the biggest 'O' of 'Dexter' history when Lumen witnessed Dexter in mid kill. The show has to slow down before the fans become too accustomed to a highspot every week. The one problem I do still have with this season is that with no real highspots I feel like there hasn't really been a ton of depth either and it kinda feels like they're throwing a couple episodes at us until the season really starts.
That being said, I'd rather watch this season of 'Dexter' than any season of anything else so 'Dexter' at it's worst is still pretty damn good, they've just spoiled us with a ridiculous previous 2 seasons. Also, being slow doesn't mean that there's been nothing going on. Because on a second watch of this week's installment I picked up a lot that I either missed or just didn't think about the first time around.
This week we were introduced to Dexter's serial killer scrapbook. And also to the serial killer that inspired him to become what he is today, The Tooth Fairy. The way Dex goes about getting his information and using and positioning other people to put himself into situations where he can get what he needs is always so good. He smoothly finds a way to find out which retirees are from Oregon, gets the receptionist to step out of the room and finds his man. Flawless. As smooth as Dexter is with collecting and verifying his evidence, he's equally sloppy in how he deals with his victims. Dexter never fails to underestimate other serial killers. From the Ice Truck Killer, to Doakes, to Lila, to Miguel Prado, to Trinity, to Jordan Chase, and others that I'm not mentioning for the sake of keeping this article within a readable size.
Dexter's biggest mistakes are always made when dealing with other serial killers. He throws together a fake name and back story and just kind of assumes that everything he's looking into about his target is not being reciprocated. However, as sloppy as he gets and as deep as he digs himself into these holes, he always stays calm and finds a way out. He lets the other guy think they're in control and think that Dexter is rattled and incapable of fighting back and once their guard is down, the Dark Defender pounces. Tooth Fairy thinks he's figured Dexter out, puts a gun to his head and tells him to drive, Dex appears rattled but car crashes his way out of it and saran wraps that old wrinkly motherfucker.
On that note I'll segue into another aspect of this season that I'm really digging. Brother Sam really interests me, though I'm surprised that he and Dexter haven't gotten closer than they are. I'm also surprised -and a little disappointed- that Dexter hasn't used Brother Sam as a way to find out how Christianity could suit Dexter with his lifestyle being.... well.... the way it is. I have no doubt that throughout the season we will see Dexter reach out to Brother Sam to teach him how to embrace his spiritual side. They're doing a great job though of giving us enough of Brother Sam for us to like him and to know basically what he's about while at the same time not completely revealing the cards in his hand so we don't know if in the end this is a guy Dex needs to align himself with, distance himself from or a guy who needs a slice mark on his cheek. Either way; I'm eating up the Brother Sam stuff, but hey, who doesn't like everything Mos Def does?
Keeping on the subject of religion and keeping with positives about this season, how fucking good is Edward James Olmos? 'Dexter's villain casting is second to NO ONE. Christopher Nolan and his Dark Knight trilogy ain't got shit on 'Dexter's bad guys. Olmos is creepy as fuck but at the same time you look at him and think 'seems like a pretty nice guy'. If that's not what they were going for with Professor Gellar than I dunno. To Travis he comes across so genuine, so intelligent, so spiritually enlightened, so caring. And really portrays that to us as viewers, but at the same time lets us as viewers simultaneously see him objectively as a creepy, psychotic, controlling weirdo that is trying to act out what he believes his God would and should do to sinners. I know we don't see nearly as much of him each episode but to me he's approaching John Lithgow good. If he can get THERE, I don't know. But I'm enjoying Gellar and to a lesser extent, Travis.
I have to transition from a huge O in Edward James 'O'lmos to a NO for Masuka's intern. I know Dan hyphen E hyphen O is feeling her, but I can't back my fellow bro up on this one. Her face bugs me. Her voice bugs me. Her body doesn't. But her character also bugs me. With the show introducing so many new characters so fast this season, we need to know what they're about and really I have no clue with this bitch. She's a hoe, but only sometimes. She likes Masuka, but she might just be using him to steal shit. I dunno, with so many unfamiliars I want to just be able to cling to a couple of them and know what they're like and if you want to throw a curveball later in the season, I'm okay with that, but give me something to hold onto until then. With Brother Sam on the fence between good an evil, Travis obviously not being his own person, Deb, Quinn, Batista and LaGuerta all going through changes I need someone to cling to as a constant. Maybe the whole point is that Dexter's world is being flipped around him, even Harrison is changing and growing and Dexter is also in our shoes with nobody to ground him. I'm actually buck down with that, so I retract my NO.
Now that I think of it, everyone's world is being disturbed and flipped. As LaGuerta tries to establish control both above and beneath her, Matthews does whatever he wants and it's apparent Deb is going to do the same. Though with Deb standing her ground against LaGuerta and against Quinn she's also having her world rocked and trying to figure out what she's supposed to do and what she wants to do as Lieutenant is proving to be really tough. I think it's only going to get tougher when the big, black, super solve rate, Mike Anderson dude gets a Doakes-like inkling about Dex and Deb has to decide between her job and her brother. Because let's face it, black people don't like Dexter. In that case, Dex needs to watch Brother Sam.
So no high spots (except for the horseriding corpse army that ended this week), but if you calm your inner mark you'll find the highlights of the show and realize that you don't need a car crash, a witnessed murder or a 'Hi, Dad' every episode, because 'Dexter' is a great fucking show without that. So until next week Dexterians, remember, if your name is Dexter, all black people want you dead. Avoid them at all costs.