I never sullied my enjoyment of Dexter by doing anything as rash as reading the books. So unlike Sarah I’m still enjoying, possibly with the exception of Pushing Daisies, the most idiosyncratic show on US TV.
It poses the pivotal question about Dexter: is he a good person doing bad things, or a bad person doing good things? Frankly I don’t care, as long as it takes me along for the ride.
Episode three moves Dexter’s world on a pace from the first two, which in many respects tied up events played out for the most-part in season one.
He has two big problems on his hands: the discovery of his handwork on the ocean floor – now accentuated by the ultra efficient Federal agent determined to solve that case – and the white lie he told about being an addict at the end of episode 2.
Actually it wasn’t a total fabrication, because Dexter is addicted to killing people, and not controlled substances as Rita assumes. She forces him to confront his ‘addiction’ by attending a self-help social experience, where he meets the entirely yummy Jaime Murray. Yes! That Miss Murray, from the Brit conman caper show Hustle! Will she become a show regular? I hope so, personally.
The look that Rita has on her face after seeing her potential rival for Dexter’s affections is actually worth the price of admission here, as is a resolution of Sgt Doakes trailing him each night.
As with many of the better Dexter episodes there are enough twists and turns in this one to make most fans happy, and Dexter manages to dispatch a wonderfully duplicitous car salesman despite his hectic schedule.
Where Dexter is at his best is when his thoughts subtitle the events around him. Like when his sister is seconded into the Bayside Butcher case by Agent Lundy: “I wish my own sister weren’t hunting me. It makes for an awkward family dynamic.”
It does, but it also makes for some very entertaining TV.