Before I talk about last night's "Dexter" there is a little anecdote I'd like to share. On the commentary track for the DVD/Blu-ray of the James Bond flick "Goldfinger" the commentator describes how, in the movie's early scenes set in a Miami hotel, the director and producers made sure that no little children or families were seen in the background. Only couples, single men and single women (all attractive) were photographed having fun in the background while Bond went about his business of taunting Goldfinger and seducing his assistant. In the James Bond universe, the DVD commentator paraphrased, the removal of families is a subliminal cue to the audience to accept that in this fictitious world of Bond only sexy people w/o children or families were allowed to interact in his playground of pleasure... or words to that effect.
I mention this because, during 'Blinded By The Light,' it dawned on me that a subtext to this season of "Dexter" (in addition to the ongoing Dexter-Trinity confrontation-in-the-making) is COUPLES
. Think about it.
Dexter and Rita; Dexter and Harry (duh!); Dexter and Harrison (whose receding into the background rather quickly); Dexter and Deborah. Deborah and Anton; Deborah and (her unresolves issues with) Lundy; Deborah and the-still-unfound-truth about-Harry's-female-informant (Deb tracking another couple: Harry and Dex's bio mom); Deborah and (her new kitchenette best friend) Laguerta. Laguerta and Batista (this should have been the obvious clue from the season premiere). Quinn and the female reporter (BTW, she can interview me anytime!
). Trinity and his empty chair (which ties up with Trinity and the woman he killed in the S4 premiere) sharing a drink; Trinity and the woman he talked into jumping (hell, the victim and her unseen husband that knew she had been diagnosed with a disease make another couple). The widowed neighbor and his son (bonus couples: the widowed neighbor and his dead wife whose passing triggered his vandalism rage, plus Cody and the teenage rebel... these two were clearly bonding even if they never spoke or were seen alone together). S***, even the tourist killer that Laguerta and Batista were tracking down had an old female flame as his partner when the two of them shot together at the cops. Then there's Dex and Lundy (united by fate); Lundy and Trinity (hunter and hunted) and the biggie the whole season is leading up to: Dexter and Trinity. Couples, couples, couples
... the only couples missing from this episode of "Dexter" was Fred.
only Mazuka doesn't fit this 'couples' theory amongst the regulars, but how can he afford to when he obviously spends an awful lot of coin on that sweet ride of his?
Man, I loved that Mazuka and Dex didn't exchange words when the former gave the latter a ride to his house but the camera angles, the car and the engine roar (combined with our knowledge of Mazuka over the years) came together for perhaps the biggest laugh I've had in "Dexter" for a while. It also ties up with that humongous gun that Mazuka brought to the parking lot when Dex was slashed by his mother's killer in Season 2. And you know what they say about small forensic lab technicians that carry big guns and drive big showy monster trucks, right?
Oddly enough, the scene where Mazuka talks to Deborah about the latter's feelings toward Lundy (while they were testing dummies) was remarkably sober and not played for laughs. I expected the typical Mazuka unkind remark and Deb's cutting comeback, and neither of them happened. Maybe the truck visual joke was all that was needed, but I was momentarily taken aback that the producers gave C.S. Lee a chance to make his character look like a normal human being for a change. Good for them.
BTW, another subtext from last night's episode: CARS
. Dex a prisoner of his wife's driving him to work. Mazuka's ride. Deb's convertible. Quinn's souped-up car (with back-hurting bass speakers). Even Trinity's victim driving her Minivan. Since Miami (and L.A. where "Dexter" is actually filmed) are commutter cities it was nice of the show's producers to spend a little quality time with the character's ride where they spend a lot of their time. OK, back to my couples theory below.]
Deborah's conversation with Dex on her convertible kind-of crystalized this line of thought to me. All of these couples are hanging by one delicate thread or another when they're clearly all people that are meant to be loners or at least not with the one they're with. Laguerta and Batista? Tension at work. Quinn and the reporter? Just a little massage and he gives away another serial killer headline to her sex partner (and, by virtue of the media frenzy that will ensue, more tension on the covert Laguerta-Batista relationship). Anton's reaction to the photos of Trinity's killings? Makes it obvious he doesn't belong in his girlfriend's police work, but do Deborah and Lundy actually make a better couple? The biggie is of course Dexter and Rita, and that final scene of her catching Dex breaking the spotlight seems like an ominous sign that they're not meant to be together as a couple. Loved the way they showed that vandal neighbor was incapable of dealing with the absence of a loved one, which contrasted sharply with the cool customer demeanor Dex and Trinity used to handle their problem. Both serial killers used the threat of harming a loved one (Trinity by threatening the woman's husband and kids; Dex by threatening the man's troubled kid) to get what they wanted. This mirror image of both characters using intimidation was a chilling reminder that, despite the chuckles and likable characters, this season of "Dexter" has two repugnant human beings doing some nasty stuff to other people.
How Dex chooses to deal with Trinity once he discovers who he is and has a heart-to-heart with him will have an impact on how the rest of the series unfolds (not assuming, as many of us expect, that Deborah finds out the truth about his brother). It's obvious that Dex admires Trinity's handiwork (and yet-to-be-known code) but he's also noticing the toll it has taken on the man (per Lundy's guesses: no relationships, constant movement, etc.) to go unnoticed for all these years. This could cause Dex to reflect whether it's worth it to keep his 'dark passenger' in good standing for him to become a loner that, like Trinity, will spend his entire life 'on the run.' I still predict that, given the show's season 5 (already planned) and the short lifespan of 'special guest star' on premium cable TV shows, the show will end with Dex separating from Rita and the kids in order for him to go undisturbed about his nighttime activities. That mention John Lithgow made at the San Diego Comicon a few months back about him knowing a season ending secret that will shake the building to its foundations has me spinning my wheels though. Could Trinity somehow be related to Rita (one of the ex-husbands maybe) or someone else in Dexter's life? Damn it, here I go again speculating openly only to be proven a fool a few months from now when S4 wraps up.
BTW, that neighbor Elliott that gives Dex's kids a ride to school might end up on a petrie dish if (as I suspect) the man is doing something inappropriate to the neighborhood kids. Might explain Astor's suddenly changed and dour demeanor toward Dex and her whole family.
And was it not beautiful the way Dexter got rid of Quinn looking up on him by him playing the 'I'm a dumb lab technician' card that has served him so well all these years? Quinn = the new Doakes, confirmed.