Dexter season 4 episode 2 review

John Lithgow shows signs of getting down to business, as Dexter season 4 starts slotting things into place...

4.2 Remains To Be Seen

The season four opener signalled a sea of change in the world of Dexter. Fatherhood was taking its toll on him, and his alternate existence. However, it also went back to the core of this story, and the key question: how long can Dexter keep doing this and not get caught?

When he fell asleep at the wheel with a vehicle full of incriminating evidence the answer appeared to be not much longer!

Remains To Be Seen starts with Dexter being extracted from his wrecked car, and as consciousness returns so does the realisation that if they find the other disassembled passenger of the vehicle, Benny Gomez, then the game will be up.

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Amazingly, he appears almost uninjured from flipping the car on its roof, but bruised or not, he needs to get to that evidence before it becomes admissible. If only Frank ‘rockstar FBI profiler’ Lundy wasn’t waiting for him when he turns up at work. It’s been a long night, and it could be a longer day.

Meanwhile, John Lithgow, the Trinity Killer, is enjoying the Florida sunshine and presumably looking for new victims.

Finally, Dexter gets to his car and finds his killing kit, but not Benny Gomez, who it seems left the scene of the crime during the accident. Dexter needs to find him fast, and then Angel rings with some work for him to do! Someone keeps killing tourists, and it’s bad for trade.

Dexter gets to the accident scene, but there are no body parts, and he can’t recall what happened to Benny. He needs to backtrack to the boxing arena, but the tourist crime scene awaits him.

Meanwhile, Debra is getting reacquainted with Frank Lundy, as she’s working the bathtub murder that’s pivotal to Frank’s Trinity investigation. Is he really retired? Are FBI agents allowed to pursue old cases in this fashion when they’re no longer part of the Bureau? I’m having a hard time accepting this, but that’s what he keeps telling everyone. And then he tells Debra about a ‘hush-hush taskforce’ which sounds like pure BS. Somehow he manages to get under Debra’s skin, and she dumps a date with Anton to have one with Lundy. What’s Frank up to, really?

But actually this is part of a theme that this episode develops about relationships and how sometimes you need to put them on hold to function. Joey has his sexy reporter, Maria has Angel, and Debra has Frank.

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Dexter’s voyage of personal discovery takes him to the boxing arena and then the pharmacy where he picked up Harrison’s medicine, the last place he remembers visiting. The ghost of Harry tags along to keep vigil, which doesn’t exactly reduce the pressure on Dexter to find Benny.

What’s he’s not thinking much about is Rita, who is heading his way when she actually sees the condition of the vehicle that Dexter described as a ‘fender bender’.

After she’s been to the office, Dexter gets in his product placement earner for Red Bull and has a minor spat with Joey on the way out of the office. He saw Joey take some money from a crime scene, and Joey’s a worried man.

Now, for the first time, we get to see the smooth operator that Trinity can be, as he intercepts his next victim on her way home with shopping. There is something wonderful about Lithgow; he’s smart, charming with all the sincerity of a bible salesman. The dog he uses to meet her isn’t even his. Luckily for her this is a first contact mission and not her last moments, but her life expectancy has just dropped about 35 years or more.

Dexter goes back to the boxing arena for a final time, and suddenly it clicks where Benny is, as he never actually left that scene. He’s suspended inside a punch bag high in the ceiling space. He takes him on a deep sea fishing adventure, and returns home for some well earned sleep. Shame Harrison Morgan doesn’t know about that part of the plan.

Overall, a nicely honed story, where plot and character development are kept simmering gently. No great shockers or twists, but the tension ramping that is the signature of this series has started already.

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Lithgow has such potential, and the plates-spinning nature of Dexter’s life look destined to collide. As Trinity has been killing people for 30 years or more, is there something that Dexter can learn from him? Or are we on a countdown to him being revealed as a serial killer?

Next week Dexter decides to get serious with a local vandal, while Trinity becomes less charming and more lethal.

Read Billy’s take on the season opener here.