Review: Dexter - Lost Boys
by Danny Gallagher, posted Nov 30th 2009 2:32AM
(S04E10) "No one's ever going to hurt you again ... especially me." - Dexter to his infant son, Harrison
Every season, Dexter manages to learn something from every one of his various victims and kills: the origins of his "Dark Passenger," the need for humanity to have a silent hero, why you shouldn't share your serial killing secrets with your best friend.
This season's big lesson seems to be the deepest and most important of all: his family. Dexter kept Arthur Mitchell, the Trinity Killer (although after tonight, he should be redubbed the Trinity Plus One Killer since we learned that Lundy missed a crucial piece of his serial killings), on a long leash hoping to learn how to juggle his family mask and his private hobby, something Arthur has managed to do for more than 30 years. Unfortunately, the lesson he learned was a harsh one: your family is either a family or a mask and can be both. That and don't follow Arthur Mitchell's advice, ever.
Once again, Dexter finds himself learning from his mistakes in the previous episode by moving his kill prep room to a shipping container, a nice short homage to the first season. Cody, Dexter's stepson, fell through the skylight of the shed where he kept all of his kill tools and blood slides, so he decided to move his whole operation "off campus." But just like all the good episodes, it immediately kicks into high gear without bothering to go through those wimpy first, second or third gears by unveiling a surprise: Trinity does not kill in threes.
It seems when Arthur patterned his kills after his family, Agent Lundy and Dexter forgot to include one important person: Arthur Mitchell. Dexter thinks that Trinity is tracking another woman to start his killing of threes all over again but soon learns he's actually tracking the young boy. The whole opening scene of Arthur abducting the young boy and attempting to play with him as himself in a fallout shelter has great pacing that builds a great deal of suspense all the way to the end. It also makes for a much better and more believable surprise than, say, the Christine-daughter connection. It doesn't come out of nowhere and feels like it belongs with the character.
Speaking of which, Christine finally has a longer face-to-face with her "father" and not only reveals that she knows her father is a killer, but that she shot and killed Lundy and shot Debra in order to throw both of them off his tail. It has its pros and cons. Making Christine an accomplice gave Debra and Batista some obstacles to work around, both with Christine and her boyfriend, Quinn. But it stills feels tacked on and more unnecessarily shocking than a bug zapper hooked up to a car battery. It would have worked a hell of a lot better if it happened earlier in the season.
However, now that the two are related and Christine has officially been fingered as the shooter by Miami Metro (or so we're led to believe by the final scene, I wouldn't put anything past this show as far as I can throw), it once again sets up an interesting race between Dexter and Debra to get to the true treasure first. The connection between Arthur and Christine might seem more than a little coincidental, but it has set in motion a nice ticking clock scenario.
But before all that comes crashing to an end, Dexter has a very touching scene with his infant son Harrison who helps him realize just how much his family means to him, maybe enough to give up his second life as a serial killer forever. Of course, not before Arthur is 100 feet below sea level in a double wrapped garbage bag, I hope.
- Masuka tried to tell Dexter about the canoodling he saw his neighbor having with his wife almost the entire episode. He's clearly a much more caring and friendly character than his fake-male-macho persona may hope he leads others to believe. I'm also glad he didn't spring it on him in the very next episode. It's better to let the lovey-dovey subplot lines stew than get in the way of the more interesting ones. And speaking of useless lovey-dovey plotlines...
- Batista and Laguerta continue their closed door love-fest but make a reference to it in this episode. I still don't get what this is about or is leading to, and I really don't care. If I want plotlines about office romances that go horribly out of control, I'll watch the Lifetime Network, which is to say, never.