Review: Dexter - Dirty Harry
by Danny Gallagher, posted Oct 26th 2009 9:00AM
(S04E05) - "If anyone has ever deserved to be on your table, it's this son of a bitch." - Harry to Dexter
Shows like Dexter are like Heinz Ketchup, good things come to those who wait.
The last few episodes, well, weren't the best of the season, maybe even of the series. They interspersed bits and pieces of the Trinity Killer's true identity with a bunch of dry and pointless plots surrounding the rest of the characters from Batista and Laguerta's closed door relationship to Quinn's "back door" policy with his nosy reporter girlfriend (not that kind sickos).
But it's finally starting to pay off with this week's episode. Some of those dull plotlines have brought together what appear to be some much needed closure and we finally learn another piece of the Trinity Killer's picture and it's starting to look like a Normal Rockwell as opposed to a blood-spattered Jackson Pollock.
Giving the Trinity Killer a family puts a whole new spin on Dexter's hunt. It doesn't change the fact he has to die, but it does give it some very unique collateral damage since Dexter has a family of his own. He's having to deal with a whole range of complex emotions, which must be hard to do for a guy who has none and that's where Michael C. Hall gives off more sparks than a foil ball in a microwave.
From the opening scene where he thinks his sister has been killed to the closing moments where he's dangerously close to losing Rita and his kids, he looks like a man lost within his own body. His facial expressions look confused as if he doesn't know what happy or sad is supposed to look like and when he does have genuine feelings, he feels as though he doesn't realize what he is or who he is becoming.
Those moments have gotten bigger since the beginning of the season, as if they are slowly transforming within him and turning him into a human being. It almost feels as if he could one day lose his "Dark Passenger." I've never been this disappointed at the possibility of seeing evil go away since Dallas traded Terrell Owens to Buffalo.
Speaking of "jump the shark" moments, Debra's potential death scene in last week's episode was far from it. Her follow-up performance as a confused, distraught woman who feels responsible for causing Lundy's death and breaking her former boyfriend's heart was very moving and deeply emotional.
Anyone with a family has had to watch that moment where they punish themselves for something extremely tragic that was no fault of their own, and Jennifer Carpenter absolutely nailed it. She started slow, simmering her emotions in a light sauce but then exploded into a baked Alaska of tears and genuine sorrow.
Who knows if the Emmy people will recognize it, but she would get my nomination for a Best Supporting Actress nod if I had any sway or power over television land...and I don't. Sorry.
[Watch clips of Dexter on SlashControl.]