Monday, March 17, 2008

Playing in the Human League on ‘Dexter’

By LillyKat
PTR Staff Writer

Last week, we learned the Icetruck Killer doesn’t know Dex as well as he thinks.

This week, we learned he’s a lozenge eater.

As Dex said: “How human of him.”

Yes, it was all about humanness this week on Dexter.

As Dex woefully tried to figure out the nuances of being with Rita post-consummation their relationship, we got flashbacks of prom night Dex being given serious pointers from Harry on the science of emotionally connecting with a woman.

Harry: “This is going to be a tough one for you.”
Dex: “I can fake it.”
Harry: “You can learn to fake a lot of things … this one will be tough.”

There was something poignant about prom night Dex returning home, with all seemingly having gone well, yet posing the question: would he ever be able to really feel it for real? That, matched with present day Dex pondering with Rita what they want out of life – contentment, comfort and … wait for it … normalcy.

We sometimes get so caught up in the genius of Dex – how he can anticipate, blend, perfect, outsmart, outmaneuver – that we forget it is a chore for him to just exist amongst the rest of us on a daily basis. Yes, we have the internal dialogue to remind us. Yes, we have those strangely absent gazes, those awkward moments of what-do-I-say-now. Yet, somewhere inside is this guy just wondering how it all works in the big league game of life – which, ironically, many of us non-serial killer types also spend time pondering.

But it wasn’t just Dex pausing for human reflection this week.

There was Deb, earning yet another gold star for breaking through Tony Tucci’s mental block and having him remember some key details on being held captive by the Icetruck Killer. Something chilling about Tucci's reenactment of being blindfolded and mentally having to relive the horror of being … well, cut up into small portions. Score one for the rookie on the homicide squad. Lilly Rush would be proud. (And no, Deb, let’s not sacrifice our personal life for work. We already have one PTR favorite homicide detective who has gone over the edge and of whom we’re trying to rally back from the depths of two-plus seasons of despair; you, Deb, are forbidden from going down that route and succumbing to the Lilly Rush Syndrome).

There was Detective Batista, still trying to pretend he’s happily married only to have the truth be revealed to Dex as he tries to unload Batista at home to an unsuspecting wife after a night out of drinking. Appearances really can be deceiving, eh? Dex isn’t the only one pretending to be something he’s not.

And then there were Dex’s victim(s) this week – the made-for-each pair of Jorge and Valerie Castillo, lowlife human traffickers (gee, aren't they all?) who specialize in screwing over the families of unsuspecting Cuban immigrants who have paid a hefty fee to get the rest of their family members out of Cuba. Seems Jorge and Valerie have this habit of asking for even more money once said family members arrive, which, of course, is more than can be paid. Thus, the recently arrived family immigrants tend to disappear and wash up on South Beach looking as though they just served 100 years before the mast on the Flying Dutchman.

Can I just say I was counting down the minutes until Dex sliced and diced this pair? Is that bad? And yet, how oddball clever was it to have Dex asking these two for relationship advice given his own conundrum of all-things Rita. Too. Darn. Funny.

But cutting (sorry, no pun intended) the kill session short? Leaving Valerie to be dumped into the ocean in full body form? And who exactly was watching Dex load the bodies into the trunk of his car in the first place?!?!?!

“Deviating from the plan may have been ill-advised. But sometimes you just have to take a risk. After all, isn’t that what relationships are all about.”

Oy. What would Harry say.

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...

Something in next week's previews gave me the thought that maybe that was the ice truck killer in the trunk of that car. I'm probably way off but it remains to be seen.

TVFan said...

I got the same impression from the ad. Plus, he was who I pegged as the trunk spy during the episode anyway. I know it's wrong on some level, but I really hope that Dexter's haste with this husband/wife duo doesn't get him in trouble. Miami (and the rest of the country) needs him to take care of the scum.

I thought the flashbacks were pretty brilliant this week (I always enjoy them anyway). They were definitely poignant and borderline depressing. It's hard to understand what it's like to never feel anything, and watching Dex ask his father that question really hit that point home.

Also, I enjoyed the Rita subplot because it was something that we all can relate to -- trying to make relationships work. It's about finding that connection and I liked how they finally discovered theirs at the end.