It’s Fall on Showtime, fellow Tvgasmers, and that means the return of one show–well, actually, it means the return of several shows, but only one that matters to me: Dexter.
Ah, Dexter. Dexter Morgan, who puts the killer in serial killer (the way we used to use ‘killer’ back in the 80s, of course). Last season left him brokenhearted and even more jaded than usual, after Julia Stiles’ five-head up and decided to quit the revenge business and bugger off back to Minnesota, or whatever icy hellhole she’d been trying to escape. After the way things went down with the whole Barrel Girls mess, I can hardly blame her, but it was sad that Dexter had to lose the one person who knew and accepted who he is. Well, aside from Lila, but that bitch was crazy, so she doesn’t count.
Season six opens straight into some action, with Dexter calling 911 to report a stabbing—his own stabbing. How did this happen? Has been become a pussy, what with all the falling in love and self-exploration and stuff he’s had to do in the last five seasons? Who in the world got the drop on Dexter? Turns out, no one did—but the two EMTs who arrive to assist him aren’t so lucky, because suddenly those arms fly up in a crisscross of hypodermic destiny, and Dexter lets us know that in the past year, his life has been perfect. The EMTs, it turns out, have been profiting from an organ-harvesting scheme, but one hit with the defibrillator paddles brings that little venture to a close, and the last we see of them is in a couple of bags being tossed off Slice of Life. It seems that Dexter has discovered he is able to endure, overcome, and grow stronger, smarter, and better, in the face of adversity since last we saw him. Well, bully for him.
I bet these guys were shocked by the sudden turn of events.
He’s also apparently learned you can’t keep a baby in a one-bedroom shoebox apartment, so, he bought the apartment next to his and expanded his living space, hiring Angel Batista’s scantily-clad sister as Harrison’s full time nanny. Blood Spatter Analysis must really pay the big bucks, because that man is a provider like no one’s business. Maybe he managed to sell the house he lived in with Rita and Co., but something tells me that whole murder in the bathtub deal drove the property value down a smidge. After some chitchat with Angel, Dex confirms the nanny will be available to watch Harrison the next night, while Dexter attends a high school reunion. When he sneaks in to check on Harrison, we see the Daddy Dexter for a moment, and see how normal and sweet his whole life could have been, if his childhood had been a little more idyllic and a little less blood-soaked and fucked beyond belief.
That sock monkey knows what’s up, though. You can see the fear in its eyes.
The next day is a big day for Harrison, as it turns out: Dexter has an interview at a prestigious Catholic preschool, where he hopes to enroll the little dude. He’s brought Deb along, and she immediately name-drops practically everyone on the force, letting the nun know point blank that her own safety and tat of the children is in the hands of her and Dexter’s co-workers. Oh, Deb. Only you would think to threaten a nun concerning a two year old’s preschool enrollment. Turns out, Batista recommended the place, and when the nun asks if Dexter is Catholic, he says no. Shocker. He does see the appeal of some rather sinister-looking stigmata, however, which I guess should come as no surprise. After grilling him for a moment, the nun comes to the surprising conclusion that old Dex is pretty much an atheist. This shouldn’t even warrant a blink from anyone who’s seen more than one episode of this series, but back at the car, Deb starts grilling him about his personal beliefs. She then has the nerve to inform him that his method of living life by following a set of behavioral rules sounds cold and empty. Okay, two things: first, if she had any idea at all just what sort of behavior Dexter was reining in on a daily basis, I’m thinking she’d shut her chatterhole right quick, and thank whatever deity she prays to he didn’t let old Brian do his moral thinking for him back in the first season. And second, this is Deb we’re talking about, judging someone for acting cold and empty? This woman, who has been known to shoot chipped ice from her poontang, is really giving him a lecture? Whatever, Deb, your heart died along with Inappropriate FBI Papaw, so keep it to yourself.
Of course, the real point of the chat is to remind Dexter that it’s not just about him anymore—he has to figure out what he wants Harrison to believe, and what values he wants to pass on. Naturally, he’s spent plenty of time pondering what he DOESN’T want to pass on—namely, anything at all related to his Dark Passenger. But he hasn’t given much thought to what he DOES want to pass on, either, and I get the feeling Alive Harry was too busy instructing Little Dexter in the art of managing his homicidal tendencies to really get down deep with the Bible study, or what have you.
After the preschool interview, everyone gathers at a Miami Metro Police ceremony, during which La Guerta is being promoted to captain, at long, long last. Knowing her, she probably fucked somebody up er chain of command to get this, because that woman has not had a single appropriate relationship in the entire history of this show. While the speeches drone on, Quinn shows up late reeking of mall cologne, and Deb snarks at him for a bit. During the whispered exchanges, we find out the two of them have been living together for the past year, which explains the familiar tone of her snark, as well as the fact that she saved him a seat. Aw. Anyway, Masuka butts in to ask if they think La Guerta is banging Deputy Chief Matthews. See? I so am not the only one who knows her game, but does this mean she’s no longer married to Batista?
Sure enough, the next thing we see is Matthews himself approaching a parked car, where La Guerta waits for him. However, it turns out he’s meeting her so she can fulfill her end of what seems to be a bargain. She hands over a thumb drive, taunting him about his name being discovered in the little black book of a prominent madam, and the pains she took to keep that little nugget out of the press. He tells her to lay off the self-righteousness; apparently, she dropped Batista like hot potato as soon as she realized their marriage would get in the way of her career. She starts denying it, but the old whoremonger Matthews doesn’t give a shit, and frankly, neither do I. She’s always been all about herself and her career before anything else on the face of the earth. Poor Angel.
Later on, everyone has returned to their workstations, and Masuka appears with a crop of lab-coated undergrads. Professor Masuka, as he is known to them, is apparently teaching some classes on the side, and giving them a guided tour of the station. Angel wastes no time hitting on the young blonde, and even gets a side-eye from Quinn for being so lame and old and obvious. I guess living with Deb has turned Quinn into the picture of morality all of a sudden. Eh, whatever, he’s stil cute. Dexter appears with his reunion suit, and Deb makes fun of him, wondering why someone who hated high school (surprise), is even bothering to go. “It’ll be good to catch up with some of the old friends,” he says, to which Deb responds: “You’re hoping to get laid.”
As we learn, however, Dexter’s reasons for attending his reunion have more to do with the needs of his Dark Passenger than his Little Passenger; once in his office, he pulls out a stack of photos. Janet Walker, formerly Janet McKellan, was a pretty brunette–a girl he knew. A girl who was nice to him back in the day, when he didn’t have any friends. She was the girlfriend of Joe Walker, who looks every inch like he would have been BFFs with Kirk Kelly and Ram Sweeney, if only he’d gone to Westerburg High. Anyway, Joe and Janet got married after high school and moved to Virginia, and Dexter had forgotten about them–until Janet turned up dead three years ago from an apparent suicide. Dexter, being Dexter, couldn’t leave it at that, and became obsessed with the blood that was found under her fingernails. Remembering the bruises he’d seen Joe inflict on her back in high school, Dexter’s now on a mission to get some blood from Joe to see if it matches the type found under Janet’s nails.
And then, out of nowhere, we’re in the Everglades, poling through the water with Edward James Olmos and Colin Hanks. EJO is droning on about how Florida water snakes give birth to live young instead of laying eggs, and you just know that has to be apropos to something. No way is that just one of those idle topics that get broached out of thin air. Sure enough, they snag a pregnant snake out of the swamp, and we get to see its babies slithering around under the skin. Yikes! All they’ll need, though, are seven of them. Have fun with that, Colin.
This could get awkward.
In a far more neutral and less slithery part of town, Dexter is reflecting on high school, how he was invisible, and how the experience combines all the warmest elements of a federal work camp and a third world poultry farm. Sounds about right to me. He spots Joe and prepares to gather evidence: he’s done some MacGyver trick to his class ring, adding a spike to it designed to turn a handshake into a DNA gathering maneuver. Far from being invisible now, though, Dexter finds himself beset on all sides by old classmates who are suddenly interested in being his bro. It seems that the sensational headlines surrounding Rita’s death, combined with the fact that Dexter hasn’t done half bad for himself since 1991, has made him the Man. Poor Dexter is so antisocial and awkward, though, he has no idea how to respond to the simplest, most banal questions. He even blows off the prom queen, and instead of heading for Joe, he escapes into the bathroom for a pep talk from Dead Harry. Harry tells him to soak up his newfound social status, and so he does. Adorable.
Just try not kill anyone in plain sight, okay Son?
Not to be distracted for too long, he finally manages to make it to Joe, who turns the handshake into a fist bump, inadvertently giving Dexter a sample of his own blood. They have one of those strange chats people have when they don’t really know or care about each other, but are forced to communicate. When Dexter brings up Janet, Joe sounds less than broken up–though he does have a well-rehearsed monologue about how devastated and angry he feels about losing his wife so early. The fact that he segues from that directly into a speech about how much he regrets not tapping the sweet ass of the prom queen sort of negates the sentiment, however. Joe’s penis leads him off to correct that oversight, leaving Dexter hanging without the handshake. He’s forced to sign up for the flag football game the next day, in hopes of getting another chance at some blood, and is immediately dragged onto the dance floor for Hammer Time. “I have no idea what hammer time is, or how it differs from regular time,” his voiceover tells us. My God, you just can’t help love him. As he dorks around the dance floor, a proud Harry gives him the thumbs up.
So much for getting laid.
Ooo, we’re back to the two serpent charmers themselves, EJO and Colin, and they appear to be staking out a roadside fruit vendor. Colin grabs a bag from the trunk and crosses the street, spitting out the following: “In the midst of the street was the Tree of Life which bears twelve manner of fruit and yielded her fruit every month.” This is apparently from the Book of Revelation, 22:2 (yeah, I looked it up). Uh oh. He asks for some oranges, and when the poor vendor turns to get them, Colin drags out a machete.
Cut (heh) to La Guerta’s office, where she’s packing her stuff. Angel wanders in and they have a little awkward chat, during which we learn that they’ve agreed to still be friends, that she wants to promote Batista to Lieutenant, and she wants him in the office because she wants him to have her back, even though he prefers his current gig. This woman is incapable of an unselfish action.
She’s also incapable of dressing accordingly in a professional environment.
Dexter is using some down time in the office to prepare for his football game, hilariously studying terms and rules on the Internet. Deb interrupts him, saying they’ve got a situation, and we follow them down to the fruit stand, where nothing is left of the vendor but his intestines in the fruit scale. Ew. Masuka has brought his class along, and announces he’ll be selecting an intern. Deb and Quinn agree that he’ll probably choose the hottie.
When I asked for blood oranges, this isn’t what I had in–aw, forget it.
Masuka and Dexter do their forensic thing, and Dexter’s blood droplets lead them down a trail to the scene of the disembowelment. They determine that it was done post-mortem, or at least post-head trauma, but are stuck as to a motive. In the middle of everything, Quinn asks Deb if they can talk later, over dinner, and Deb being Deb, she asks why. He tells her she’s being weird; she says he’s being weird and stupid, and she sort of has a point, because he’s visibly nervous about being direct. Before he can answer her questions, she lets him know flat out that if he’s gone and bought another big screen TV for their apartment, he shouldn’t expect her to pay for half. Unable to cope, he scampers off. Looks like someone has the pre-engagement jitters. Come on, that’s no spoiler–it’s too obvious. Dexter announces he has to leave to get to his flag football game, and Deb is left wondering if everyone in her life has gone crazy.
Seriously, if I find another TV in the place, I will fuck your shit up.
Dexter on a football field looks about as out of place as you’d expect. He’s planning to wait until Joe is at the bottom of a tackle pile and sneak in a lancet jab in order to get the sample, but he’s not factoring in the prowess Joe still possesses, or the fact that he himself is a dunce on the field. He gets clotheslined and breaks his lancet, ruining his plan. Not to be so easily deterred, Dead Harry shows up and suggests an accidental elbow to the face, which works just dandy and is plenty satisfying. Sure enough, back at the lab we find Joe is a match for the blood under Janet’s fingernails, and that Dexter has a solid date for the last night of the reunion.
As he’s leaving, Angel asks how Harrison’s preschool interview went, and they have a very revealing conversation about why Angel thinks it’s necessary for kids to be exposed to multiple crucifixes in the course of their lives. Dexter wants to know why looking at a dead man nailed to a cross would be good for children, and Angel tells him that God has put a desire for Himself in every person. Dexter wants to know how we know there is a God, and Angel is sort of lost on how to answer that. He uses the morality inside people as proof that God exists, and says it’s all about faith, which is something you feel, not something you can explain. “It’s very hard to put into words,” he says, to which Dexter’s voiceover replies “because it makes no sense.” HA! But instead of being outwardly, rude, he just thanks Angel and hightails it out. Instead of following Dexter, though, we follow Angel, who’s taking his sister to dinner. They discuss how wonderful Dexter is, and how sad it is about the whole Rita-dead-in-a-bathtub thing. Angel’s sister mentions that Dexter frequently disappears at night and goes out on his boat, and she thinks that he’s trying to keep Harrison from witnessing the pain he still suffers. Angel says he needs a hobby. Then he orders champagne to celebrate his promotion to lieutenant, which I guess he accepted for the salary bump. Then he gets uncomfortable because his sister is wearing skimpy stuff, and he doesn’t want anyone to think she’s his girlfriend or a prostitute. Dude, issues.
Maybe when his raise goes through he can afford to buy a new goddamn hat already.
While Angel is busy trying not to turn into his father, Dexter returns to the preschool to accost the nun and apologize for being an ignorant atheist. He assures her that he really wants Harrison to have a normal, good childhood, and he thinks the school would be a good place to start. From that little scene, we arrive on the beach at what I think is supposed to be early the next morning, except the sun is rising in the west, so it looks like they fucked up a bit during filming. In any case, a jogger finds the body of the poor, intestineless fruit vendor washed up on shore, and soon enough Dexter and his kit arrive at the scene. Masuka has his intern, who turns out to be the fat, hairy dude, photographing the scene. When everyone questions why Masuka isn’t being trailed by the blonde piece, he’s insulted that they think he’d pick an intern based on breasts and buttocks instead of high test scores. Maybe because they’ve met you, Masuka? I mean, I love you for eternity, but you’re a pervy little bald man, and don’t try to tell me otherwise.
What? Fat men need love, too.
They determine that the body is that of their fruit vendor, and that he was stabbed to death and then dumped–but dumped obviously, right offshore, as if the killer wanted him to be found. When they raise his shirt, they see his stomach has been carved open and sewn shut in the shape of Greek letters: Alpha and Omega. Hilariously, Quinn only knows this because he used to bang sorority girls. Then holy shit! There’s something moving underneath the Greek alphabet, and in case you forgot about those seven snakes, allow me to refresh your memory. Dexter snips open one of the stitches, and Deb says it best:
“Holy freakin’ fuck! Snakes!”
They come slithering out, and Dexter and Masuka bag the little bastards before they can get away. Fatty intern drops into a dead faint, disqualifying himself from the intership.
But WHY were the dudes intestines replaced with snakes? No one knows, but Dexter does recognize a fellow pro: this is no amateur job. Someone went to considerable effort to collect freshwater snakes, disembowel a man, deposit said snakes where his guts used to be, and sew that shit up with some Greek letters. Understatement.
Speaking of efforts, Dexter is suddenly back at the reunion, going over his strategy to corner Joe and deliver some justice. On the way in, though, he’s waylaid by the prom queen herself, Trisha, who thanks him for being smart enough to copy off of back in the day. She then drags him into a science lab and delivers a belated thank you gift in the form of a full on hummer. Well, well, well. Go Dexter, I guess. Nice orgasm noise, by the way (not really). As she redresses herself (and since all she did was hum, I’m not sure why the dress needed to come off, but whatever), he snags her cell phone out of her purse, and they part ways. He immediately sends a steamy text to Joe, telling him to meet “Trisha” in the groundskeeper’s shack to make some new memories. Joe skedaddles off like his ass is on fire, of course, and it’s just sad. I mean, it’s really too easy. Doesn’t take more than a hint or two to make a man do absolutely anything on the face of the earth, does it?
But when Dexter tries his usual blitz attack sedation jump (the technical term for that maneuver, thank you), Joe’s jock reflexes are too good. Dexter misses, then resorts to a creepy monotone school cheer, followed by wrasslin’ Joe to the floor, old school style.
Joe wakes up cling wrapped to the scoreboard, and Dexter easily gets him to admit to killing Janet. The asshole didn’t want to go through the expense of a divorce, so he killed his wife, instead. What a catch. When Dexter sees Joe wears a crucifix and has a badly drawn Jesus tat on his pec, he wants to know how Joe can reconcile what he did with the tenets of Christianity. Joe babbles some stuff about God’s forgiveness in the face of true repentance, being smited by swords and rocks and thunder, and blah blah blah. Dexter’s respose? “Thunder’s just a noise—it would be lightening.” Then he smacks a ranting Joe in the head with…wait for it…a hammer. Because it’s Hammer Time! Oh, Dexter.
With the big kill goal accomplished for this episode, we can go hang out with Deb and Quinn, who are having dinner i a restaurant. Quinn is unable to focus on Deb’s work chat, and is so distracted he almost drinks the candle, then buggers off to the bathroom to practice his marriage proposal in the mirror. See, too obvious. Considering the last proposal she got ended with her strapped to a killin’ table, I’m thinking she might not take kindly to the idea of this. Yeah, she’s probably just going to kick him right in the balls. But it turns out to be moot, because some dude runs into the place packin’ heat and starts shooting up the joint. Deb returns fire, and she and Quinn take the guy down as some other guy captures it on his phone. Okay, I guess we’ll learn more about this next week.
In the meantime, let’s enjoy the totally psychotic bromance.
Dexter is shown in the closing monologue dropping Harrison off at his preschool, talking about how he’s fine believing in nothing. Cut to EJO and Colin, talking about seven headed serpents rising from the sea, and how It Has Begun, whatever It is…I can only assume they mean the apocalypse, or some such shit. Anyway, Dexter knows he has a son now, and has to be open to Harrison learning about faith, because he might grow up to be the kind of person who wants to think about those kinds of things.
I can’t wait for the rest of the season to unfold! It looks like it’s going to be awesome. Stay with me for the recaps, if you please!