Dexter s1:3 review

Dexter's the main character, and he's a serial killer. Have we mentioned that, at all, yet? He only kills bad guys, you know...

Dexter. An undersold gem?

I’m still having issues with Michael C. Hall’s portrayal of Dexter. I’m trying not to, but I can’t help but feel he’s just the wrong shape. He’s too… bulky, and athletic-looking. I guess maybe it’d be harder to believe that he could kill all these people if he were weedier, but on the other hand, he’s supposed to be a lab technician. Wouldn’t you expect him to be sort of… less beefy, maybe?

He does look good in the promo shots, though, I’ll give him that.

The other thing is that he still misdelivers lines. I swear he eats the full stops between sentences somewhere and mashes them into one line instead of two. But then I don’t have the script in front of me, so who am I to judge? Aside from a TV critic, of course. So, let’s see…

Dexter’s Victim Of The Week is this floppy-haired kid who’s just been released from a juvenile detention centre for killing a man a couple of years ago. Dexter thinks he’s mocking the system, gloating that he wasn’t put away for long and plotting to make another move – a theory which is somewhat reinforced when Dexter stalks the kid to an antiques market where he buys a nasty-looking hunting knife then waves it around like a maniac. Subtle, real subtle.

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The flashback thread running alongside this narrative explains Dexter’s first ever murder of a human being: a nurse at the hospital his father was taken to who fancied herself as a bit of an angel of mercy type, doling out morphine to patients like it was going out of fashion. The message of the week (they really love to shove those down the viewer’s throat, don’t they?) is that Dexter only kills in order to save lives; he only kills people who are going to kill other people.

Except since it’s episode 3, they’re still telling us this rather than showing us; and when Dexter spares his victim after finding out he, too, only kills people who deserve it, it’s not really the revelation the writers think it is. Which is a pity, because a few episodes later, it might have worked. Oh well.

So, that’s two plot threads there; we’ve also got something bizarre going on with Doakes. Seems the cop-killer storyline from last week isn’t quite exhausted, and it’s about to get more complicated since not only was the murdered woman Doakes was knocking off the wife of the murdered cop, but she’s also the sister of another Miami cop, and everyone’s very angry, and they all put on clown masks and run about, and what the hell is the point of this subplot? Someone really should’ve cut this nonsense out.

At the same time, we’ve got Deb being forced back into her Vice uniform to interview some prostitutes about what they may or may not have seen with reference to the Ice Truck Killer’s newest victim; I actually almost forgot he was even still around with everything else that’s going on – he’s left a new body at the town hockey rink, and the night watchman’s gone missing. Laguerta declares a city-wide manhunt for said watchman, even though everyone already knows he’s obviously not the killer and she’s an idiot, because that is, after all, the point of Laguerta, except I don’t care. And Rita’s got issues with her ex-husband, and with child support services, and generally being long-suffering, because that’s the point of Rita… It’s ever so slightly exhausting, because the threads are all completely unrelated and there’s never really time to develop any of them satisfactorily. This episode was, like its predecessors, a complete mess.

The crocodile was awesome, though. Points for that.

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