Dexter season 2 episode 4 review

As Dexter moves away from the source material that inspired the series, is there a danger it's all going to run off the rails?

Dexter's back. And he hasn't changed...

Ever had that weird feeling of instability that occurs when your finely crafted model of the universe turns out to be a misrepresentation? Much like that time when, having enjoyed the 1938 version of Robin Hood, I asked my father if we could go an see an Errol Flynn movie at the cinema, only to be informed that he’d died before I was born?

I’m having that same sensation with Dexter, which having worked within a set of rules I understood completely now appears to be spiralling out of control.

In the first season I marvelled at the character’s single-minded pursuit of his mission, despite all the unexpected events that threatened to derail him. But introduce one sexy lady, with a fascination for the dead, and maybe even how they became that way, and Dexter is converted into an a highly unpredictable sociopath, and not the by-the-rules killer we’ve come to love.

This instability worries me because, while I appreciate the value of not being able to guess what comes next, I’m very concerned that this might take the show and character off in a direction that trashes what they’ve achieved so far. Much as I find myself drawn, Dexter-like, to Jaime Murray as ex-junkie proto-sociopath Lila, she has the potential to entirely destabilise this show, and not in an entertaining way. Perhaps I’m being paranoid, time will tell.

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I won’t give too much away about the plot in this episode, but I will offer that Dexter’s attempt to scupper the evidence in Bay Harbor Butcher case fails miserably. And that the common thread connecting all Dexter’s victims leaves many people wondering if leaving this serial killer free might do more good than harm.

From what I understand the TV show now has no connection to the second novel, Dearly Devoted Dexter, so we’re in uncharted waters for even those that get time to read the books. Adrift in a world of possibilities, but circling inexorably towards the mistake that ends Dexter’s dual careers.

How much longer can Dexter go on before it becomes too much of a stretch to believe he hasn’t been caught and revealed? I’d never thought about this before, but as much as I like it, I’m not sure I want to see season 3.

But maybe episode 5 might change my mind on that point.