What a rollercoaster episode this turned out to be. And like any rollercoaster it had its peaks but also some seriously steep falls. For starters what I feared from last episode has come true: Harry Morgan was sleeping with Dexter's biological mother.
I'm sorry but between this sordid revelation that compromises the backstory of Dex's origin (I liked the idea of Harry as an average cop that took Dexter into his family out of pity for how he found him and his older brother), the re-surfacing knowledge of Laguerta's relationship with Doakes (which indirectly ties with her scheme to get her old job back) and Dexter's own eventual infidelity with Lila last night's "Dexter" resembled a daytime melodrama more than the creepy-cool show I've known and loved. You have to admire that "Dexter's" characters are such a well-developed and complex bunch (brought to life by excellent actors) that, when Dexter and Lila starting doing it, I screamed at the top of my lungs 'NO DEXTER, DON'T DO IT!!!'
(even though it was 1:30 in the morning and I'm sure it would wake up the neighbors) because I knew Rita would eventually find out and it would hurt her. At least its somewhat realistic that Dex would feel a natural (emotional as well as physical) attraction to a female specimen like Lila that he can confide more intimate stuff with than Rita. Dexter's deliberate truth slip about him and Lila to Rita was, in effect, Dexter's version of the same break-up Rita put on him earlier and shows that he's playing by a different set of rules now when it comes to his own happiness. Our boy is becoming selfish in his 'late blooming' years.
Yes, my fragile little mind is concerned and worried about the state of mind of fictitious TV characters. I need to get a life... OHH GREAT, THE VOICES ARE BACK!!!
-- I swear I had to pause the DVR at that moment because the intense fit of laughter that line caused in me (actually it wasn't the line as much as the way Michael C. Hall's tone of voice changed when saying it) surely woke up the neighbors if my previous scream to Dex to stop doin' Lila didn't.
I also found the copycat Bay Harbor Butcher killer an unbelievable plot device for Dexter to kill somebody because he had to do it instead of feeling a need in him to kill. Wouldn't the police put a tail on the alleged BHB copycat (or watch his house) even if they couldn't get a search warrant? This could blossom into something big down the road (i.e. Dexter becoming an unremorseful serial killer, ala Henry from "Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer") since Dex's disenchantment with Harry and his code are clearly taking a toll on his devotion to Harry's rules. Maybe Lundy is on to Dexter and this phony BHB copycat (who turned out to be a real bad guy) was set-up by Lundy to lure Dexter out, to prove that Dex's his guy when the threat of FBI men "raining" over Miami was made clear. Or this was too convenient a series of coincidences to get Dex to kill somebody to appease the viewers that want blood and guts more often. You know, like in "The Sopranos" when they had to whack a no-name minor character every few episodes to keep the blood-thirsty viewers from bolting. Also the idea that Dexter could erase his videotaped marina clean-up with a Jr. high school fire drill (and hide behind a desk chair) stretched credulity a little too much for me. At least it was an excuse for the funniest moment of the entire episode: Mazuka in a red jacket with red glowing directional lights (in the middle of the day!!!
) threatening to use his 'hose' if anybody didn't leave immediately.
In fact Mazuka was "en fuego" throughout this episode (to make up for his absence from last week's "The Dark Avenger") with some pretty nasty and hilarious jokes. It wasn't random off-color humor though. Mazuka's obnoxiousness served the purpose of giving Lundy a plausible excuse to Deborah for him choosing to have Dex join his team (whether that's true will become evident in a few weeks). It also highlighted just how much Deb still has issues of jealousy from when she and Dex were kids and Harry showed more attention to Dex. I bet the writers of the show wish they hadn't done that episode in Season 1 where Dex finds out his biological dad has passed away. It's a too-covenient plot device that, thankfully, they cannot erase and have to live by for future episodes. That seems to be the unifying theme of "Dex, Lies and Videotape": the screw-ups from the past come back to haunt future generations to come in ways that could (or, in the case of Harry, tried to) negatively affect their present. Rita choosing bad men to love (and her allowing her dominating Mom to push her around), Deb's inability to be in a long-term relationship, Doakes never being able to back off (it could cost him his life) costing his relationship with Laguerta, etc. Heck, who isn't sleeping with who in this show except for poor Batista?
Alas, there was some good stuff in "Dex, Lies and Videotape." We finally got another one-on-one between Dexter and Doakes, and it was every bit as intense as the Colts-Patriots game earlier that day. There's no way Doakes backs off his suspicions of Dex now (he smelled the fear in Dexter's non-characteristic desperate plea, ala Bruce Banner before someone beat him up to become the Hulk) which means these two are headed for a showdown. I wasn't sure if the Dexter we knew was capable of killing Doakes to protect his secrets, but this new Dex that can kill because he has to and is slipping away from Harry's Code would have no problem ridding himself of the nasty brute cop that's been pushing his buttons since forever. Lila is Lady McBeth in the flesh and is unleashing in Dex the repressed sexual lust he used to supress by killing people. Where these two are headed will be fascinating to watch since Dexter, unlike most conventional TV heroes that struggle with temptation but eventually do the right thing and don't stray from the righteous path (all before the next commercial break for detergent and the next Walmart sale), has not only gleefully embraced the dark side Lila represents but sacrificed his relationship with Rita (at least for now) without consideration for her feelings.
All along since this show started I've wondered what would it be like if Dexter Morgan were an amoral killer, a cold-blooded but self-controlled butcher of innocent and guilty alike just like Michael Rooker's character from "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer." It has been done before. David Chase turned Tony Soprano from a somewhat likable gangster early in "The Sopranos" run into a cold and detached monster without any likable trace (which audiences still sympathized with despite his criminal/murderous action). Could this be the direction "Dexter" is headed? Would we still like Dexter as much as we do if he were to kill Rita's mother to keep her away from Rita? Or Batista if he came close to finding out who he really is? Last night's episode at the very least hinted that the code of Harry is becoming optional to Dexter as opposed to mandatory the more he learns about his foster father's "Sex, Lies and (Audio)Tape."