‘Dexter’: Adventures of Deb and Dex

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It felt like tonight’s episode, maybe not totally solid as a whole, was made up of plenty good parts. It was a good episode for Deb Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter). She got made lead detective on the Trinity case but moreover I liked Carpenter’s individual scenes -- Deb and Quinn (Desmond Harrington) engaged in a bit of mimed comedy in the police department and Deb facing down Quinn’s reporter girlfriend, Christine Hill (Courtney Ford), trying to steer her away from the Trinity-investigation-related DNA swab story. Deb needs to engage in more tough broad scenes with similarly tough broads as opposed to being the frustrated tomboy she often is.

Speaking of tough broads, even though I have a tough time believing Rita (Julie Benz) would flirt so hard with her neighbor while Dexter (Michael C. Hall) was out of town (at his alleged meterology conference), I did like, briefly, learning that she had a wild streak in her youth -- for so long Benz has been given the thankless role of the exhausted, exasperated, sweet and hurt Rita. Rita needs more of her own personality as opposed to just being Dexter’s wife.
It’s a little surprising, meanwhile, that Dexter hasn’t come to fear his current obsession, nemesis and role model Arthur Mitchell (John Lithgow) because, in case it wasn’t clear in previous episodes, Trinity Killer Arthur is totally nutballs. Sure, Dexter is also a serial killer but at least he has the decency to feel ‘uncomfortable’ when he realizes that he killed the wrong man. When Dexter, as ‘Kyle,’ confesses that he accidentally killed a man (in a hunting accident), this makes Arthur do a jig of glee next to his van before he shows Dexter the place where he accidentally caused his sister to die after she caught him ‘innocently’ watching her in the shower. Also, Arthur barged into the house where it happened despite the inconvenient truth that the house had new owners. ‘Feel better?’ Arthur beamed then, after confessing his sicko past to Dexter, and Dex seemed to realize that he and Trinity are even less the same than he might have thought.

Then, of course, Dexter rescued Arthur from his own self-inflicted death which raises a lot of questions, some for Dexter on the nature of cowardice and humanity, but to me, what it really means about Arthur -- is it possible he knew Dexter would be there for him before he stepped off the roof? And what will Arthur’s happy-go-lucky lease on life entail?

-- Claire Zulkey

Photo credit: Showtime