Dexter: Circle of Friends
(S01E07) OK, so here goes. It's not that I disliked this episode. It just got me very frustrated... angry actually. This is a such a smart, intelligent show and I'd like to think it's attracting viewers of the same caliber. So why go and and have an episode such as this one where anyone with half a brain could see right through it? Every other fan of Dexter has to know what I'm referring to.
From the very second they suggested it, there was never a second where you were going to get me to believe that Neil Perry was the Ice Truck Killer. If they answered that question at the half-way point of the season? I'm not sure I'd be too excited for the rest of the season then. The entire time I was waiting for the one moment where Neil and Dexter come face to face and Neil has no idea who he's looking at. We got it as the final scene of the episode. But c'mon... you knew that was coming. This was just filler and ultimately all it sets up is the scenario that Dexter has wanted anyway. He now has the freedom to hunt the Ice Truck Killer on his own because as far as LaGuerta and Co. are concerned, they got their man.
Of course, there are still plenty of questions. If Perry isn't the ITK, then how did he know about the methods used to kill all the prostitutes? He had photos and newspaper clippings of all the crime scenes. He even killed his mother, cut off her feet, and buried her in the backyard. He fits the bill, but there's no reason why it can't all be coincidence. Copy-cat killer? Maybe. Or perhaps he actually knows the real ITK, is being set-up, but rolls with it because he simply likes the attention. There are dozens of scenarios (and I'd love to hear what everyone else thinks), but it still boils down to one simple fact: he had no idea who Dexter was and the ITK definitely knows who Dexter is.
LaGuerta had a lot going on in this episode and she finally got what she had coming. She still rides Deb hard and it's starting to get old. She's clearly intimidated, especially since Matthews seems to be constantly praising Deb while at the same time scolding her. It just seems like LaGuerta goes out of her way to get at Deb. She put Angel in charge of the task force when it was clearly Deb's find and then she cut off Deb during the profile meeting. But as I said, the lieutenant got her due. She lives for the press conferences and loves taking the credit. But Matthews left her out of this one and took all the credit for Neil Perry. He's a bit of a slime-ball too but I liked this move.
I'm starting to enjoy Rita's story a bit more since her ex (Paul) is back. I love the interactions between him and Dexter. It's a safe bet that Dex will end up killing him, but will it be for a legit reason? If he starts beating Rita again, he's done. But will Dexter actually compromise his ethics and kill Paul simply because it will make Rita happy if he's gone? I'm not so sure.
I think it's starting to be clearer that Doakes has a bit of a thing for Deb. But now he needs to deal with Deb's romance with that prosthetics doctor. Those two seem like an odd match. Something is off about the doctor. I'm not sure what though.
Lastly, I wanted to talk about Dexter's relationship with Jeremy Downs. Did anyone else find it odd that Dexter found a connection with this kid? I thought they were completely different. They share that same empty feeling but I don't see much beyond that. You can make the argument that it's because Jeremy didn't have someone like Harry to guide him, but the fact remains that he killed in cold blood. I was surprised that Dexter seemed to be willing to cut the kid some slack because he saw himself in him. Didn't feel right to me.
The best scene in the episode happened early on though. The one between Dexter and Rita, when they were on her couch? I loved that exchange. Dexter kept trying to convince her that he had a dark side. Rita said he didn't hurt people. His response, after a long pause? Innocent people. I'll be curious to see how his motives and ethics change as he hunts the ITK on his own now.