Monday, February 25, 2008

(Not) Seeing Blood on ‘Dexter’

By LillyKat
PTR Staff Writer

“Blood is my (life) job.”
Not so much for the Icetruck Killer, eh?

This plays ingeniously off Dexter Morgan.

He is, after all, blood-obsessed.

But alas, last night’s episode of Dexter on CBS was just as much about Dex and the Icetruck Killer (who we’ll call IK for short) as it was about Sgt. Doakes and Lt. Laguerta trying to find the killer of an undercover officer who’s wife just also happens to be having an affair with Sgt. Doakes.

Ouch. Got all that?

When said undercover cop turns up dead and wifey also ends up being not so lucky … well, things get a little touch and go between Doakes and Laguerta not to mention within the Miami Metro Police Department as a whole. Never let it be said that cop killers aren’t treated with the same disgust and vengeance in all precincts on all shows (and in real life, for that matter).

Cops do not take the killing of one of their own lightly.

Dex’s “victim” this week was Matt Chambers – charming corporate prep guy with a serious drinking problem.

And killing problem.

He keeps leaving his hit-and-run victims for dead all over the continental United States. He escapes his crimes in one state only to commit the same crime in another. Well, welcome to Miami, Florida, Matt - your last stop on the start-over-again trail.

Allow me to segue (badly) into talking about Jennifer Carpenter in this episode.

Now, anyone who saw The Exorcism of Emily Rose knows how good of an actress she is (for the record, I am still in awe of her performance in that film – it was unbelievable).

But, as we start to really flesh out (no pun intended) Deborah ‘Deb’ Morgan, we see this fabulous sense of toughness balanced against huge insecurities. Worse, I'm afraid, than Lilly Rush ever displayed (and Lil's lapse into endless depression and despair from the third season onwards is trying my patience, getting on my nerves and making me wonder what the heck happened to her balance).

But alas, I digress. Carpenter has this way about her that I really enjoy watching. She makes Deb likable whilst showcasing a consistent display of insecurity and flawed behavior.

She struggles to make her way in the footsteps of her famous cop of a father. She’s not twitchy, but there is this noticeable nervousness - it's like she’s unsure and sure at the same time. She constantly searches for confidence, yet can assume – almost seamlessly – a mentoring role with her oddball brother. As such, she has no problem putting Dex in his place, or rattling off a perfect one-liner to Masuka, but she looks like a schoolgirl ready to be scolded whilst standing before Lt. Laguerta.

It’s all this conflict - both internal and external - that makes Deb my second favorite character on the show.

And this week, Deb finally gets herself out of Vice and into much-requested Homicide thanks to her handy finding of IK's … well, icetruck - complete with frozen block of ice displaying nicely severed, bloodless fingertips of IK’s latest victim.

Note the painted nail polish on the fingertips - the same pattern left on the substantially altered Barbie doll in Dex's freezer, which IK is leaving as a tag-your-it-let’s-play token for Dex.

The games have only just begun.

The first season of Dexter airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on CBS. Check out Showtime's official Dexter Web site for the inside scoop on the series.


suekola44 said...

I found this episode to be a little less creepy than the first one. Dexter is quite a multi-faceted character and this is quite a show! I don't know who gives me the creeps more, Dexter or the ice truck killer. I'm really fascinated by the whole concept.

LillyKat said...

Hey suekola! I'm glad you are tuning into this show! I definitely got hooked from the get-go, and rest assured not all the eps are creepy. And even when they are, Dex is most entertaining. :)