Dexter: Father Knows Best
(S01E09) At this point I'm pretty convinced that it's impossible for this show to have a bad episode. In my opinion, this was probably the slowest episode of the season and it was still outstanding. I say "slow" because well... it was. It took the whole hour to reveal just a few tiny things that easily could have been cleared up in minutes. Not that these things weren't important. They are. It just felt a little drawn out to me.
The entire story of Dexter and his actual biological father really isn't all that essential if you think about it. The only purpose it served was to bring everyone together. This wasn't exactly your typical family get-together though.
So despite what Harry told Dex as a boy, his father was alive (until recently). He didn't die in some tragic accident as Dexter had been led to believe. His name was Joe Driscoll, he loved bowling, and he probably spent some time in prison. Sounds like a great guy... sort of. So now at this point, knowing what we know about Rudy, raise your hand if you suspected him as the man who killed Joe. Especially after Dexter heard the coroner's lousy reasoning. Especially after Joe's neighbor said a "cable guy" resembling Rudy stopped by the other day. Could it have been made more obvious? Then to top it off, the connection many have assumed about Dexter and Rudy was thrown right at us. They're probably brothers. Right after Dexter said something along the lines of "there's nothing that connects me to Joe," it cut to a shot of Rudy making that eerie smirk. He's freaky.
Don't get me wrong, it sounds like I'm bashing here. I'm not. I'm just horribly passionate about this show right now and I feel like there had to have been a better way to reveal what I think most folks had a hunch on anyway.
For the most part, I think I enjoyed the other stories in this episode more than Dexter's problems. The background on Doakes, his military involvement with tracking Haitian death squads, and Angel's honesty made for a great little sub-plot that resolved itself by the end of the episode. I really like those two. I was surprised there was no follow up on LaGuerta and Neil Perry though.
Paul got me thinking in this episode too. I'm starting to think that neither Rita nor Deb will find out what Dexter does. What if Paul somehow does? He could track Dexter and he certainly holds a grudge against him. This would certainly give Dexter a reason to kill Paul but I could be way off here. Paul's time could be up. After she hit him with the bat and took off with the kids, I think we can assume Rita called the cops on her ex-husband.
I found myself really disliking Deb. I understand her dedication to Harry but she had no reason to get all angry and whiny when Dexter tried looking into Joe's background. He had every reason to want closure, to at least know if this man (his father!) was murdered... since he was.
Despite all my criticism here, I'm still loving this show. Now that we have a clear picture of who Rudy is and what he wants, it makes it that much more exciting. What is his exact endgame though? Is he actually Dexter's brother? Does he want him dead? Does he want to partner up with him? We'll see.