Dexter season 4 episode 5 review

Billy finds enough dark passengers in Dexter for a bus to move in the fifth episode, Dirty Harry...

4.5 Dirty Harry

After the adrenalin rush of episode four’s dramatic ending, I was sort of expecting this story to be something of a lighter affair, but nothing could have been further from the truth.

Dirty Harry starts the next morning with Dexter approaching the crime scene where Debra and Frank Lundy were brutally gunned down. This could have been a quiet start, but immediately Dexter is confronted by a police officer exceeding the limits of his intelligence, and coming close to making a mistake that might end his life.

With the tension now pre-loaded into the system, the story carries this throughout, with almost everyone in the cast being a coiled spring to some degree.

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As was hinted at last week, Debra is badly hurt but not fatally injured. My money is still on Anton as the assassin, as I can’t see what Trinity had to gain by leaving Debra alive. It’s also not his MO, guns, so that rules him out for me.

Lithgow is growing nicely into the character(s) of Arthur Mitchell, and has a lovely line with a future victim who offers him coffee when he says, “No, caffeine makes me a different person.”

He’s not kidding. His dark passenger is determined to complete the ritual killing that represents his own family’s demise.So is the key to unlock this case to discover their original deaths?

If Debra being an emotional and physical wreck wasn’t enough for Dexter to handle, Rita is also on his case when she discovers that he never relinquished his apartment, despite telling her he did. One can appreciate that this doesn’t go down well, but she’s got a real bee in her bonnet about him lying.

Another character who is pushing Dexter’s buttons to a degree is the ghost of Harry, who in this story transforms from being the voice of reason and control into the one demanding action and vengeance. With all this cross-talking going on in his head, it’s enough to make him psychopathic, if he wasn’t already.

For once Dexter gets his wires crossed in respect of the killer of Lundy and attacker of Debra, and goes after Trinity. He knows when and where he’ll strike so it’s not like they’re not going to meet at some point. He gets to witness (and record?) the death of Trinity’s third killing via the security system in the building where it happens, and trails him back to his home. The real twist occurs when Dexter discovers that Arthur’s survival mechanism is frighteningly similar to his own. Cocooned in the heart of his loving family, he hides in plain sight.

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I could be entirely wrong, but my mind keeps jumping to women he got to jump off the building and the man Dexter disabled by threatening his children. Will Arthur’s undoing be his family, and Dexter’s threat to kill them? We’re not at the halfway point yet, but there is something in this, I’m sure.

My only real concern in this story was how appropriate Rita’s behaviour was in respect of the apartment. She entirely ignored the seriousness of what happened to Debra, and just went for Dexter. She’s never been a very sensitive person, but even for her this seems remarkably selfish. Given all that’s going on, I’d been inclined to let her chill, but Dexter seems determined to keep every plate spinning at full speed.

This episode significantly cranked the tension up, probably higher than it’s been for some time, and given the succulent trailer for the next story, things don’t exactly calm down soon.

In the next Dexter, he and Trinity finally meet face-to-face, in the beautifully entitled, If I Had A Hammer.

I can’t wait!

If I had a hammer I’d hammer in the morning I’d hammer in the evening All over this land I’d hammer out danger I’d hammer out a warning I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters All over this land

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Read Billy’s take on episode 4 here.