Dexter season 3 episode 3 review

Dexter doesn’t sing the title song “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” in the latest episode, but he’s showing all his alpha male pride instincts.

The last Dexter left our charmingly psychopathic pal in something of a bind. Miguel Prado knows he killed Freebo, even if he’s not fully informed as to the darker details of how, and more specifically why.

But it doesn’t take long for Miguel’s attempts to ingratiate himself with Dexter to grind. He’s a loose end and one whose friends he could well do without. But as was hinted at before there is an ulterior purpose in Miguel’s interest in his brother’s death, but what that might be isn’t yet for our eyes.

That’s one side of the story, but also there is an ongoing change to do with the ‘code’ that Harry once set Dexter, the rules that keeps getting broken and revised. Harry created them to protect Dexter, and going off-mission always has unfortunate consequences.

Originally Dexter could only despatch those that kill themselves. Those Harry said the law had trouble cornering and Dexter was better at stopping, permanently.

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But now Dexter is feeling less constrained by Harry’s rules, and is developing his own work ethics about who dies, and why, and when.

Shopping with Rita and her children he encounters an opportunist paedophile that would normally be outside of Dexter’s remit, as he’s not a killer. But with his first child on the way Dexter’s predator instincts are starting to break surface. Running into him again at the beach for a second time is a big mistake for this man, although he just doesn’t realise quite how bad yet.

A second body that turned up with skin missing wasn’t the work of Freebo, and Dexter must do some work to get his sister and department back on track for the deaths of both Teegan and now a guy Debra previously interviewed. By the end of the show he manages that, cleans up his local sex offender and keeps Miguel and Rita happy – no wonder he’s looking a little stressed.

I’ve alluded to in the previous shows this season that the best scenes here are the intersections of Dexter and Miguel. Jimmy Smits is a homicidal scenery eater and plays wonderfully off the placid and unemotional Michael C. Hall. They get three scenes in this story, and they’re more electric each time. You know that Miguel won’t be alive at the end of season 3, but it’s glorious while it lasts.

Miguel is certainly divisive and manipulating, but where is he steering Dexter, and why? I’m almost convinced he knows the truth about Dexter, but how?

So far this season has a direction and purpose that season 2 didn’t quite maintain. There’s much tighter plot development, and I’m enjoying it more.

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We’re only at episode three, and we’re moving up through the gears. By the time the mid-season comes along I can see already this show will be in overdrive.

Read our review of the previous episode here.