One of the things I like about Dexter is the blend of drama and comedy. This episode was a great example.
We start with the drama. Deb falls asleep in the bath and has a nightmare. The water of her bath turns to blood. She sees Dexter asking her to join him. This is a strong visual doing a ton of heavy lifting. We have a reference to Rita’s death, Deb’s fear of being like him, and her complex feelings about him are blended in a matter of a few minutes.
Deb’s a bit of a drama bomb this episode. She dares to tell Dexter he should send Harrison to live with Cody and Astor. She even calls him selfish and blames him for Rita’s death. I mean, it’s not like Dexter’s never thought that himself.
When Deb’s not on the scene, though, things get funny. It starts with Dexter hunting Ray, the bull-man. Dexter finds a message left for him that says run. He thinks to himself that he doesn’t run. He makes other people run. Then, he sees Ray dressed in horns carrying a massive ax. He thinks to himself that he runs when chased by a bull coming after him with an ax. This seems like a good plan for him.
Later, when Dexter leaves a trap for Ray, he leaves a message of his own. Stay.
This death was unique. Dexter is letting go of his past. He doesn’t do any of his normal routines. Ray isn’t wrapped in plastic. Dexter doesn’t take a blood slide. He even goes the extra mile by burning his slide box along with Ray’s body.
There again, we see some great visual symbols. The smoke from the crematorium rises dark against the black night sky. It’s as though it’s saying that Dexter is dark, but the people he kills are much worse.
Maybe I’m just full of it. But I was moved.
I find Deb’s response to Dexter’s kills realistic. She doesn’t like it. But she understands it. And as Dexter shows her the horrors he prevents, she understands it more and more.
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