Sunday, October 11, 2009

Dexter, "Blinded by the Light": Won't you be my neighbor?

Quick spoilers for tonight's "Dexter" coming up just as soon as I play my Best of Bananarama tape...

Still not feeling all that inspired by the non-Lundy/Trinity portions of the season, but at least there was more of those two in this one, as we start to get a sense of how Trinity operates, and as Lundy gets into the heads of both Deb and Dexter. I like how ambiguously Keith Carradine plays Lundy's scenes with Dexter, so that it seems like he's always one Dexter misstep away from realizing what our man is all about, even though (for now) he's focused 100% on Trinity.

As for Dex's adventures with the neighborhood watch, it continues the defanging of the character: Oh, that wacky serial killer! He can't even sneak around his own neighborhood!" That said, I did like his problems with Astor, in that it's a reminder of how much Dexter is faking his emotional interactions with the world. He was great with kids, where the emotions are broader and easier to both understand and pretend to reciprocate, but teenagers are so hard to read - more volatile, and with more emotional gradations, than most adults. So it was at least vaguely interesting to see an unexpected complication to his life as Daddy Dexter.

But when the most memorable part of a storyline with the main character is Masuka's hilariously pimped-out truck, that ain't good.

What did everybody else think?

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

i haven't seen the show yet (west coast here) but i love bananarama!

Garron said...

I said this last week, but I still feel like they haven't utilized Jon Lithgow enough.

I also feel as if they're using this whole parenthood thing as more of a gimmicks than actually implementing it with the dark passenger into a storyline.

Really hope it goes somewhere. We're due for a good bad guy.

suncore598 said...

I think they're giving us bits and pieces of the Trinity killer on purpose, to slowly build him up as a Big Bad until him and Dexter meet face-to-face.

MrsB said...

Is it just me or does Astor only look like she's maybe 11 or 12? Way too young to be considered a "teen" or spending any time with a guy who's about to head to college.

Chris Littmann said...

In the history of dumb stories/characters on the show, the reporter that Quinn is having sex with is far and away the worst. Come to think of it, is it safe to say the Quinn stories are the dumbest from each of the last two seasons? Can we just excise him all together?

suncore598 said...

Well, I think you won't have to tolerate Quinn for long because I have a feeling we'll see the last of him in the next episode.

JamesG said...

I'm still not sure if this season has found it's identity yet. In addition to the Trinity killer, which seems to be the main focus, I don't know where this show is going with the vacation murders (awfully underwhelming response to two police officers being shot at), Dexter's new role as a parent, either love story, or Quinn's renewed antics as a bad cop. It just feels like there is no momentum and everything aside from Dexter killings and the Trinity scenes is filler.

One intriguing idea that someone else raised a week or two ago is the notion that Lundy is actually onto Dexter and that this is one of the reasons he's back in Miami. I had this in mind this week and thought he was possibly goading Dexter with the "lone wolf" speech and personal comparisons to Trinity. This season could become incredibly interesting if it turns out Lundy knows Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher and is hoping he'll get his proof through this case somehow.

Finally, some things that bothered me this week:

- According to Lundy's theory, Trinity has killed at least 45 people. Doesn't this seem like an unrealistically high number?

- Unless I'm not understanding things, Lundy is retired and no longer a member of the FBI. Why is he allowed unrestricted access to crime scenes and the Miami police station?

- As meticulous as Dexter is, he's walking around his neighborhood in a ski mask right after they initiate a new neighborhood watch? Extremely careless.

GabbyD said...

i liked the comedy this ep, with trying to cope with understanding other teens.

this might be a great "prequel" show-- dexter the teen years...

Kirchhoff said...

"Lundy is retired and no longer a member of the FBI..."

I was wondering the same thing. Lots of loose ends this season, and I think it's more attributable to lazy writing than anything else.

Same with the teenager's fingerprints ending up on the spray paint can, when his father ended up being the vandal.

As much as I've enjoyed this show in the past, I'm coming around to the argument that it needs to end before it becomes a sad parody of itself.

A major shoe needs to drop, like, NOW ... Deb or Rita or Lundy needs to figure out the existence of Dexter's dark passenger, and let's see the repercussions. That's what we all eventually want to see, so let's just get to it and enough with the yawn-worthy Birdbath Mysteries.

crone51 said...

I am actually liking it a lot more this season than last season-well up until last night when I was yelling at Dexter, from the comfort of my couch, for prowling around the neighborhood at night. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. However, I love Lundy, love the affair between La Guerta and Battista ,and adore John Lithgow and hope they unleash him soon. He does evil really really well.

belidna said...

I also think this season is better than last season so far, in terms of keeping the plot to the main characters instead of concentrating too much on the new serial murderer. The return of Lundy is a definite plus - I like him more than maybe everyone else (other than Dexter) in the show.

But yes, I think I had it up to here with wacky Dexter. I really need to see Dexter kill some people, and be great at doing that.

JamesG said...

One other thing that bothered me. I've seen Michael C. Hall in person before. He's listed as 5'10 1/2 on imdb, but he's maybe 5'9 on a good day. The idea that he's such an imposing force that he can overpower Doakes and now now man-handle this neighbor in his garage is a bit ridiculous.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

The lighting in Dexter's house during the neighborhood watch meeting was great -- a little too bright for comfort, a little hazy at the edges of the frame -- and nicely captured how Dexter must have been feeling.

Anonymous said...

Joh Lithgow is awesome in this role. What scared me the most was watching him pour those two drinks and then a scene or two later seeing Lundy drinking with Deb at the bar. Yikes, I think Lundys' days are numbered.

Hatfield said...

JamesG, to be fair, Erik King, who played Doakes, wasn't especially tall either. Ripped, but not tall

hutch said...

I agree with others that the series has to have an end date. The writing has become increasingly sloppy. Dexter's voiceovers used to be interesting or a least clever for the most part. Now they do the heavy lifting in terms of plot advancement. Ditto Harry's all too frequent appearances. Logically, we should be seeing less of Harry, as Dexter has internalized Harry's (somewhat) moral code. Other characters, particulary Rita, are simply annoying. The writers insult the intelligence of their audience by simply glossing over the damage Rita sustained. She has become one-dimensional and narcissistic, and interestingly, looks ten years younger than she did in the first season.

deepdarksea said...

Dexter also know jijitsu and would be able to disarm a middle-aged man who probably doesn't do anything more than use a treadmill to keep his weight down. Dexter is hardly a weakling.

Justin said...

This episode actually made me angry. The moment with Trinity terrifying that woman into jumping was one of the more chilling things I've ever seen. To follow that with perhaps the most ridiculous (Neighborhood Nightstalker Dexter) was just plain painful. He's not going to shut up Harry's ghost by being that stupid, but he might tune out some viewers.

Anonymous said...

Dexter is a trained serial killer. He is capable of overpowering quite a few people.

Rita is a nuisance. Maybe they're building the season up to Dexter snapping and taking out his wife. She's really become quite annoying dictating Dexter's every move. I'm still convinced she might cheat on Dexter. Again, in this episode his annoying "lights" neighbor talks about stealing wives. They're throwing all the hints out there that it just might happen.

SJ said...

Dexter's change in expression when he sees Deb and Anton approach his bench is hilarious. It's like he's thinking "Oh Jesus what the fuck"

Chris T. said...

I am also subscribing to the theory that Lundy is onto Dexter. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that once it's made known Lundy is also tracking Dexter, he will be killed by Trinity. I hope before he bites it, he lets Deb in on his theory....she seems to believe in every single other hunch of Lundy.

Anonymous said...

what happened to the storyline from last season that rita had a marriage she lies about?

Anonymous said...

"Is it just me or does Astor only look like she's maybe 11 or 12? Way too young to be considered a "teen" or spending any time with a guy who's about to head to college."

I couldn't find her age on IMDB, the actress who plays Astor has a twin sister who won an award for children aged 5-11 in 2008, so she's no older than 12.

It's less creepy if you think of it as her having a crush on an 18 year old who never even thought of dating her.

"Same with the teenager's fingerprints ending up on the spray paint can, when his father ended up being the vandal."

That can make sense (no pun intended). If the father took his son's spray, which the son might use for non-vandalism purposes like art or something, then it would have the son's fingerprints. If the father used gloves, the father's fingerprints wouldn't be on their either (or maybe there were more sets of prints there, but Dexter just scanned the first one he found).

dez said...

It's less creepy if you think of it as her having a crush on an 18 year old who never even thought of dating her.

I had a phase like that when I was her age. Trying to act and look older than I was to get an older boy's attention is a very pre-teen thing for girls to do, in my experience. The older boys generally tended to look at girls my age as kid sister material, which is the sense I got from Jesse and Astor's interaction. He probably also felt good about having a young girl's adoration, given his crappy home life, but I don't think there was anything sexual about his attentions to Astor (or Dexter would be going after him regardless of who the real vandal was).

Anonymous said...

I think this was a bad epi almost all around, save for Lundy, Deb and the scene w/ Deb and Dex where they are lamenting living with people.

Rita is absolutely annoying now. Kind of cliche that she suddenly gets a ring and a baby and immediately becomes the Alpha Male. And no new mom ever sleeps through a crying baby while the dad awakes. It's not biologically true.

I don't think Lundy suspects Dexter but sees a simpatico in Dexter's persona.

N'hood watch - sooooo dumb. Can we please move onto more pressing issues? I think Dexter would feel more a part of the n'hood if his home were vandalized like the others were, not singled out and found out. And Rita giving him that look as the cliffhanger - as if I care. She'll no doubt be proud of him showing some backbone and breaking those annoying lights.

I actually fast-forwarded the whole murder/suicide scene - too gruesome to watch stuff like that. We don't need to see it.


Someone else mentioned Lundy being target #3 for Lithgow. I think you're onto something.

Q Ball said...

The murder/suicide scene too brutal to watch?

That was one of the only effective scenes in the episode, chilling, but true to Dexter.

I'm not blaming you per say, but viewers who cannot handle the themes and roots of Dexter is one of the main reasons the show has gone downhill. The creators try to pander to the viewers with weaker stomachs and have in turn, turned their titular morally ambiguous lead into a lovable antihero.

Dexter is at its best when the dark aspects of serial killers are juxtaposed with Dexter's quest for normalcy. There should be more scenes like Trinity's chilling second kill.

Hatfield said...

After finally watching this episode, I'm convinced Lundy will be victim number 3. He said it would be a man, Quinn made the mistake of telling his lame (but totally hot) reporter fling about Lundy being in town, and it works perfectly as proof that Lundy was right. After he's gone, only Deb and Dexter will know about Trinity, thus making it harder to investigate, and somehow Dexter will run afoul of Trinity.

I really hope I'm wrong, especially since Lundy said the man would be bludgeoned, but he's operating on his own, and that's never a good idea in these situations.

Susan said...

I am still highly engaged with this series because for the most part, the characters are well played (esp. Dexter, Deborah, and the cop crew) and the guest stars well chosen (Lithgow and Carradine are especially worth watching this season). But there are elements that are starting to wear thin. The family stuff is weak, including this week's neighborhood line, and Deb's love affairs are tiresome.

But I'm liking this guess that Lundy is either/and on to Dexter, a target of Trinity.

Alex Mullane said...

Again, I agree that the whole neighbourhood watch fiasco continued the trend of "defanging" Dexter. I'm sure that's probably where the show is heading... His family and friends, his journey into being a normal human... And just as be becomes comfortable in that, he will be found out.

It makes sense. But it isn't fun to watch. It's not what I really want to see week in week out.

However as long as Carradine is being awesome, and Lithgow is being downright terrifying... For those scenes alone I will continue watching.

The murder/suicide was chilling, and Trinity pouring the drink for "nobody"... Really creepy, gave some indication of quite how disturbed this guy is. Brilliant stuff.

Even one scene of that quality a week and I'll still watch.

Fritz Novak said...

I don't think the point of the neighborhood watch stuff is to "de-fang" or humanize Dexter...it's to reinforce how much of a struggle normal social interactions are to him. Outside the urban jungle of Miami, which gave him enough space and anonymity to track people and follow them into dingy locations, he's even more out of his element. Also, it's to show that his stock response to any problem is still to don a mask and do some psycho shit. While there's definitely a comic underpinning to the chase scenes, they're not there to make Dexter into a lovable rascal. They point out that outside understanding the mentality of sociopaths and the physics of murder, he's really not as bright as he imagines.

Anonymous said...

I'm not under the impression that Lundy is on Trinity's radar. It seems to me that he is re-enacting a trauma with his parents ... his mother's suicide, perhaps, and then his subsequent murder of his father. He did call the suburban mom "Mommy" or something after she jumped, right? I think the next victim will be any man that fits his type, but meant to represent good ol' dad.

Anonymous said...

To the poster that commented the murder scene was too gruesome, why the heck are yo watching Dexter? This is about a serial killer. It's not tea time with Mr.Rogers. It's supposed to be repelling yet attractive. The best moments of the show is when they've got us conflicted. Why are we so attracted to such a sick sick man? In those moments the show succeeds phenomenally. A crucial role in that phase is the disgust factor. Get over yourself and watch another show.

OldDarth said...

I agree with the belief that Lundy will be victim #3 for the Trinity Killer. As for Dexter being careless let's not forget all the stress, sleep deprivation, and recent concussion he has been under.

John Lithgow is worth the price of admission alone. He is fantastically charming and creepy. Can't wait for the showdown between him and Dexter.

Jill said...

I agree that the murder/suicide was the most terrifying thing I've ever seen on this show.

A couple of things:

1) Lundy looks to be drinking something similar to the glass poured by Trinity in the scene where the former is drinking with Deb.

2) "It doesn't work that way" -- spoken by Trinity before his 2nd victim jumps. Echoes of ITK from Season 1?

3) This is the first season we've seen one of Dexter's nemeses actually kill. We never saw Rudy/Brian ever actually kill someone.

I think the Wisteria Lane sense we're getting of the neighborhood (Dexter's laboratory??) is deliberate. It's like a cross between Desperate Housewives and those Enzyte commercials on cable, with the hyper and yet washed-out colors, the lantern-jawed men and their Stepford women in sundresses. It's meant to showcase Dexter as a Stranger in a Strange Land; the Serial Killer from Another Planet. It's more than a bit sledgehammerish, with echoes of The Twilight Zone, but I think that's what they're doing.

Agreed that Lundy will be victim #3. Unfortunately for Deb, Anton will have taken a hike by then.

Swagger said...

I think that the Trinity killer kills in 3s to mimic the deaths in his own family and specifically how they each individually died.
His 'sister' was his first kill. She committed suicide.
His 'mother' was his second kill. She also committed suicide.
Remember he scattered some ashes near the body?
His 'father' will be an older man. Perhaps his father was an alcoholic , hence the drink? Hence the drink last ep. Lundy seems like a good choice:
--> Quinn was blabin to reporter chick about this Trinity killer stuff, she is gunna publish it and mention Lundy. Trinity is gunna take Lundy out because he fit the criteria and is on to him. I assume that Trinity killed his father, maybe bludgen him to death?

On another note, Quinn is going to die half way through the season. It might be Doaks all over again, but I think Quinn is gunna actually find out. I imagine Harry appearing and being like ' do it Dex , you have too, for Rita, Cody , girl and Harrison ' .

/monolgue.

erin said...

I'm late to the season, but I wanted to say I agree with Fritz--I didn't see the neighborhood watch as a way to defang Dexter (although the show has done that in the past), but more to show how with each step Dex takes to have a "normal" life, the more the surrounding complications with that life trap him. Lots of neighborhoods have community watches, to keep the bad guys out, and Dex chose this life (which Harry wouldn't have approved of) without fully realizing how much it would impact his true life. They delved into that last season with Rita being upset how at how much time he spent on his own, and I think they're successfully doing that this season as well. He's slowly being suffocated, but it's a life he chose, and now he's got his own child and he doesn't know how to balance it.

I will agree the running around in the mask was dumb, and I kept waiting for the teenage son to walk in on him and his Dad in the garage and surprise Dexter. So that was silly. But I like how Dexter, especially in that beginning pool scene (and how gorgeous was that set???) still is just so awkward and forced...he doesn't even KNOW how awkward he seems! It wouldn't surprise me if a couple of his neighbors just thought he was a complete weirdo.

I'm enjoying this season and I appreciate the writers' excellent use of its guest stars (including Smits last year). It raises the level of the show, without a doubt.