Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Catching Up with 'Dexter'

By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

I owe Dexter Morgan and Co. an apology.

I'm not really avoiding him.

Er, them.

It's amazing how much DVR time one does NOT have when one is holding down multiple occupations.

So goes the life of this particular writer these days.

But perhaps what is most frustrating for me is that this season continues to impress. Thus, I'm feeling even worse for falling behind on covering life at Miami Metro Homicide.

(Ne'er mind I'm wondering why my lapse in covering the show couldn't have happened LAST year, when I was already bored to tears by the time we reached this point in the season).

So where are we?

I have to say I'm happy Deb is now back at work after ... well, let's just call it her recovery.

And her breakdown.

I'm not sure I wanted to have her moping around for an inordinate amount of time. Focusing her energies on catching the Trinity Killer WHILE still being in mourning is much stronger play.

And taking Dex's apartment is a big step - for both she and her brother.

This is really the first time we're going to be able to see Deb living by herself, being settled, being ... well, just Deb. As for Dexter, giving up his apartment to his sister seems to be requiring some extra effort. Looks like the idea of having the newly constructed "Dexter's Domain" shed in the backyard of Camp Morgan isn't quite the same as having the apartment (gee, ya' think?).

But turning Quinn into the next Sergeant Doakes ...? Not so much. Please, folks. We already did the someone-on-the-squad-is-suspicious-of-Dex routine. No one is ever going to do it as good - or intensely - as Doakes (or Erik King). Quite frankly, I'm finding the Quinn character pretty useless at this point. Not to mention Desmond Harrington is seemingly unconvincing in his sudden fixation on Dexter. Yeah, okay, so he stole money from a crime scene and Dex spotted the deed. Yeah, okay, so he's trying to kiss arse to cover his own. But suddenly going after Dex? Like, did I miss something?

John Lithgow continues to be so redonkulously good as the Trinity Killer - FAR more convincing than Jimmy Smits ever was as Miguel Prado. I never bought Prado's secret life of serial killerness, but Lithgow has redefined it for me. I was a little hesitant (or would that be concerned?) he and Dexter were going to become BFFs, but that actually has NOT happened. Instead, their relationship is this this arm's length distance that is friendly without being Prado redux.


What intrigues me, though, is the vigor with which James Remar's Harry is adamant at Dex's killing this season. I'm not sure we've ever seen the character portrayed in this light. He's been far more controlled, calculated, instructor-like. We've never really seen him saying, "Kill him now!" It's a nice twist (not to mention we get to see lots of James in the episodes, and that is never a bad thing).

Laguerta and Batista ... meh. It's okay. Still cute. It's interesting to see these characters being so cutesy, warm and fuzzy. We seem to be delving into the personal of a lot of the characters this year, which is not a bad thing. I like it - particularly because it's not being overdone.

As for Rita and Co. and/or the "work" that is being done on the marriage ... I confess I like Rita being more pensive and concerned. Julie Benz has some serious do-not-f**k-with-me looks. And yet, I'm still finding this all somewhat of a leap of faith. Like, I just don't get how we suddenly had problems in the marriage because of the new baby. Strain, maybe. Awkwardness, sure. But therapy?

And yet, in all honesty, I think I'd rather watch uncertainty and rockiness as opposed to happy-go-lucky (ahem, last season). It is far more engaging to see a person - or persons - struggle to co-exist.

Particularly with that someone is Dexter Morgan.

New episodes of Dexter air Sunday at 9 p.m. on Showtime. Check out the official Dexter Web site for the inside scoop on the series. You can follow the show on Twitter: Twitter.com/sho_dexter; or, become a fan on Facebook: Facebook.com/Dexter.

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