Dexter s1:8 review

How do you get an 18 rating? Violence - check. Swearing - check. Sex - aha! That's what Dexter's been missing, clearly. Better make up for lost time, then...

Dexter

Oh well. I should’ve known they wouldn’t let me be smug for long – yup, we now know who the Ice Truck Killer is. I’m sort of glad, because if it wasn’t intentionally obvious, then it was just horrific writing. But no, we were supposed to be able to tell who he was, and now it’s been confirmed onscreen, so the final four episodes will just be a case of waiting for Dexter to catch on. I like this much more than I liked the way it was handled in the book, though there’s one element of the guy’s identity we don’t know yet, and I’ll keep schtum about that.

Though you’ve probably worked it out already, because it’s not a particularly hard thing to figure out. But still, I shan’t spoil it if you haven’t.

Anyway. Apparently, someone must have noticed that despite all the chopping up of bodies and rampant swearing, there’s been very little sex in Dexter thus far. So this week, everyone has sex. A lot. There’s very little actually happening in this episode, because it’s all character-driven stuff; and that’s a really nice change of pace for this show. What little plot there is is mostly wrapped up with Laguerta interrogating the wannabe-Ice Truck Killer, and Dexter’s Victim Of The Week. Happily, it’s not just any old Victim Of The Week; it’s actually an interesting one. Dexter’s initial crime scene was that of an apparent suicide; a business woman who shot herself in the face. But it’s not as clear cut as it sounds, because Dexter’s seen this before – three times in the last couple of years, successful women with everything going for them have randomly shot themselves. And they all had the same psychiatrist…

Cue lots and lots of scenes of Dexter chatting about his deep dark issues with a creepy shrink. I can’t quite decide if I like this, or whether the number of lines that will blatantly be lifted and shoved into trailers for the series annoy me. (See: “I’m a sociopath”, “I’m a serial killer” “I kill people”, etc.) Overall, I think I liked it, though the writers do seem to be taking Dexter in a weird direction. Instead of actually being the empty sociopath they kept telling us he was, he’s actually just a damaged man who’d quite like to be loved. Rather than having him be repulsed by sex and physical contact, he’s actually just afraid that if he has sex with Rita, he’ll open himself up to her and she’ll be scared by what she finds out enough to leave him. Which is sweet, if not quite in keeping with the person they keep telling us Dexter is. There’s a bit of a disconnect between what they say, and what they do, but I think this’ll be sorted out in series two.

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I want to ignore the Laguerta/wannabe killer subplot, but that would be a bit irresponsible. It’s just that, once again, this plot seems to make the police out to be utter incompetents, and I really don’t like it when they do that. There’s always some bizarre power play going on – between the officers themselves, and between the officers and the criminals – and this time, Laguerta seems to be… I can’t figure this out. She seems to think that the guy they’ve arrested might not be the Ice Truck Killer, which is pretty astute, for her, but she’s… arguing with him trying to get him to prove that he is? With bribes? Or… what? Is she trying to prove he is the guy, even though she thinks he actually isn’t, or what? Baffling. Either way, we know for sure now that he’s not the killer, so spending this amount of time on the wrong guy seems a bit daft.

My final thought for the week: the “Ice Truck Killer”? It’s a bit of a misnomer, isn’t it, considering he only used an ice truck in about one episode? I really wish I’d given him a clever name of my own. The guy mostly kills prostitutes, so you’d think someone would throw the word “ripper” in there somewhere, but they haven’t. Oh well, too late now.