Dexter season 3 episode 8 review

This week’s dose of Dexter is called ‘The Damage A Man Can Do’. And the show, amazingly, continues to get even better...

Dexter’s unique perspective on the human condition is always stalking each story, and this one is no exception. The caffeine-fuelled breakthrough that Debra made on the ‘skinner’ case has filled the office with tree surgeons, but another delicate operation is distracting Dexter. Although he wasn’t keen on Miguel’s supporting role in his pastime initially, he’s warmed to it. But now Miguel wants to become a full partner by killing his first target. This isn’t what Dexter wanted, or needs. But Miguel has ex-football player-turned-drug enforcer, Billy Fleeter, in his sights, and Dexter is mindful of the unintentional consequences of his actions.

Meanwhile, Debra discovers that Anton isn’t a registered informant, and that Joey pays him in cash, which isn’t the way Miami Police do things; there’s a rat being smelt here. And they have an abrasive exchange when he’s confronted. Who’s telling the truth, the evasive Joey or uber-bitch Yuki from Internal Affairs? Someone is being sparing with the truth, but who is it?

More worrying developments are afoot in the worryingly chummy relationship that Ellen Wolf and Lt. Maria LaGuerta. What is Maria up to? Something doesn’t make sense, but I get the suggestion that Maria is attracted to Ellen at some level.

Dexter and Miguel investigate Billy Fleeter’s home, looking for evidence, and finding it progresses the possibility that he’s going to become a missing person statistic. The Ghost of Harry is now making regular house calls on Dexter’s subconscious, making increasingly desperate pleas for him to not go down this path. Perhaps he’s right this time.

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There is a very dark humorous side to Dexter, best revealed in this story when he and Miguel go shopping. Obviously new to the murder game, Dexter dismisses his suggestion to shoot Billy; it leaves too much evidence, he points out, and pushes his shopping trolley away to put together a ‘starter kit’ for virgin-killer Miguel. He’s obviously out of his depth, while Dexter is the consummate expert.

Where he isn’t proficient is in relationships, which makes him the worst possible person for Debra to sound out about her ‘hypothetical’ relationship with Anton, after she cuts him loose as an informer and he then disappears. But at least Dexter manages to get a wedding ring bought with her help, before the hormonally-driven Rita kills him for not following instructions.

Dexter and Miguel stalk Billy to a gambling den, but then things go wrong when someone recognises Miguel, putting Dexter off the whole idea. It’s a connection he won’t sanction, and a risk that’s too great. Smits and Hall have one of their best character exchanges at the end of a pier when Miguel asks Dexter how may people he’s killed. This leads to a new understanding for both of them. Miguel is an emergent killer, but will Dexter help him hatch?

They abduct Billy and take him to a pre-prepared Dexter-special Killing Room. And… Miguel dispatches Billy… much to Dexter’s (and my) amazement. The Ghost of Harry warns Dexter he’s now responsible for whatever Miguel does, and that burden was more than he personally could bear. It doesn’t take long for us all to realise the prophetic nature of those words when, in the final scene, Miguel knocks on the door of Ellen Wolf! Eeeeeek!

In not sure what Scott Buck, who’s written six of the eight episodes this year, is having for breakfast, but I’d like some! The taut nature of his storytelling is just amazing. I might well need tranquilisers to get through the last four of this season…

Read our review of the previous episode here.

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