Dexter s1:9 review

The killer's closing the net - actually, he's practically dancing around wearing a t-shirt that says "I kill whores" under Dexter's nose. And smug old Dexter hasn't even noticed...

Dexter. Reading the news about the episode leak...

Is anyone else really, really, really annoyed by Deb? She’s unbearable. Unbearable. She’s just a horrible brat who whines all the time about how she doesn’t get promoted and can’t keep a boyfriend – because she’s rubbish at her job and she’s really annoying. She pretty much deserves everything she gets.

Anyway, now we know who the killer is, it’s all turning into an elaborate game of cat and mouse – with Dexter in the role of mouse, something he’s really not accustomed to. Another odd thing about this episode is that half of it has been shifted out of Miami, about five hours up the motorway – something is about to rock Dexter’s world in a way he never would have expected. He’s been left a house in his father’s will. Yeah, his real father, the one his adopted father had told him was dead. Turns out dependable Harry lied; and since most of Dexter’s life is based on following Harry’s teachings, this causes a bit of a problem. Or, it would, if Deb would shut her mouth for long enough for Dexter to hear himself think.

Obviously an episode about Dexter’s real family and adopted family is going to feature a lot of flashbacks. And it does indeed feature a lot of flashbacks. Dexter can’t believe that Harry would have lied to him, but DNA tests don’t lie. The next thing Dexter can’t believe is that his real father died of natural causes, because apparently blood spatter analysis requires you to know everything about everything related to medicine. (Maybe it does? Anyone know?) In the course of his investigations, he breaks into a morgue, has a chat with a mad little old lady, and goes for a nice drive with the Ice Truck Killer. Deb, meanwhile, goes absolutely apeshit, aside from a peaceful interlude where she dances like a moron instead of helping to pack. She really is pointless; she’s now replaced Rita as my most disliked character.

Speaking of Rita – every time Paul turns up and does something threatening and no-one calls the police, I’ve been scrawling “RESTRAINING ORDER” across my notebook. A quick tally shows I’ve currently done this seven times, with one added “CALL THE POLICE!” These people are stupid. Especially Paul.

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The theme this week, in case anyone missed it, was “honesty.” Which is where the Laguerta/wannabe killer and bizarre Doakes/Angel subplots come in. It’s odd that the fake killer has chosen to ridicule Laguerta over how she got her promotion, because every time they tell that story, it sounds like she actually deserved it. Which, um, isn’t really very humiliating. Can’t this nonsense be over yet? I’m really bored of the smug pretend-Ice Truck Killer.

I’m not particularly drawn into Doakes subplot, either – by the end of the episode, we’ve gathered that while he was in the military, he encountered some particularly brutal and evil people; he spotted one in Miami; he shot the guy. Except the lies Doakes is telling don’t make sense; okay, he has to lie because he was wrong to shoot the guy (except in Dexter logic, which is a cool parallel I didn’t notice till I came to type this very sentence) but he’s lying in really obvious ways that can be proven to be false. Couldn’t he just concede that he was standing somewhere else when he shot the guy? What difference does it make, other than to make it really obvious he’s lying? ARGH.

I can’t decide if I like this episode or not. There are some wonderful touches – like when Dexter calls Mousaka and says “Hi, it’s Dexter Morgan” and gets a quick “Dude, I know your last name” in response; and yet there’s some utter nonsense in there, too. I also can’t decide how I feel about the blatant Jeff Lindsay shoutout: “…making sure dear Dexter’s dealing decently with his dead dad” is not a sentence anyone would say in real life, but it made me laugh. What the hell, I’m in a good mood; this can go on the good list.