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Month: May, 2011

Dexter, Season 1: Wrap Up.

            When I first heard I had to choose between a stack of selected shows to blog about for a class, I would have never thought the experience would have been as exciting as it has. As most people feared the thought of writing an entry in a self made blog after watching a number of different episodes from a show, I, on the other hand, did not. In fact, the thought of taking on such a project made me feel determined and almost thirsty for creativity.

             Although Dexter was not my first show of choice, it came in on my list as one of my top five picks. Before this assignment I had never seen a single episode of the show and I thought this factor would actually help. Because I was seeing everything for the first time, my reactions to each episode were completely real and fresh. Before continuing on to a new episode I would always blog about what I had seen, with the exception of one time where I tried to watch two episodes back to back and then blog… bad idea in my opinion. I noticed that writing directly after watching an episode was the most effective way to understand an episode in its entirety without confusing the timing of the story line. But enough about me and my writing process. This isn’t about me. This is about Dexter.

         

Dexter, Season 1.

           Our first impressions of Dexter are of a man who has a lot of control over his actions with a systematic lifestyle.  He seems to be somewhat of a neat freak who has his own way of doing things with very little room to change. But we soon find out the true fears and insecurities of our leading man when we start to see kinks within what we thought was a well oiled machine of a man.

           We are immediately shown that Dexter is a hero by day and a killer by night but the enthusiasm of the show is not just based on this one fact. The bigger mystery of the show is not who Dexter Morgan turns out to be, but in fact WHY Dexter Morgan is who he is? As each episode goes by, we watch Dexter kill others who have killed but struggle to understand why he has the desire to do so.

             Throughout the entire season we are on a wild goose chase to find out about a specific case regarding the Ice Truck Killer, who has been leaving items at his crime scenes that tie in with Dexter’s childhood. In time, we start to realize that the ITK is not only haunting Dexter with his past, but in fact is a part of his past. When Dexter realizes that the ITK knows about his secret life he is even more thrilled to find out who the master mind behind all of these killings are. As the ITK continues to kill and leave memories for Dexter to see, we watch Dex fight to start to understand why he thinks the way he does.

             By the end of the first season it is revealed that Dexter’s past has a huge force on the lack of normalcy in his life. Eventually all of the memories fall into place and the biggest mystery is discovered by Dexter and the audience together. Unknown to Dex, as a small child, he was a witness to the brutal murder of his mother where he was left waiting in the blood until the police found him days later. He watched as she was literally cut into pieces with what seems to be a chainsaw after a drug-deal went wrong. While Dexter is discovering his tragic past, he begins to discover himself.

             As if learning about the horror events of his biological mother and being present for the murder isn’t bad enough, it is also revealed that his biological father had been alive, after all this time thinking he had been dead. The biggest shocker of them all would have to be the discovery of the Ice Truck Killer first being revealed as Rudy, Dexter’s adopted sister, Debra’s boyfriend. The second biggest shocker was when it was revealed that Rudy, the Ice Truck Killer, is really Brain, Dexter’s long lost biological brother. In my opinion, the bigger of the two shocks was that the Ice Truck Killer was Debs boyfriend Rudy. Before it was revealed that “Rudy” was Dexter’s real brother I had a hunch so it wasn’t too surprising.

Dexter & Debra Morgan.

               Aside from our main story line of killings and crimes based off of Dexter and his past, there are plenty of other story lines that help the season flow with movement and passion. For me, one of the best characters on the show was Debra Morgan, Dexter’s adopted sister. I felt like her role helped us see the lack of feelings within Dexter on many different occasions along with adding comedic relief. Another relationship that helps us see another side of Dexter is the one he has with Rita, his girlfriend. The relationship between Rita and Dex starts off as a distraction to help him appear “normal” but soon enough the kind hearted Rita takes his heart by surprise.

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Dexter & Rita.

                Although Dexter has his sister Debs who always seems to want more of his attention as well as his loving girlfriend Rita, he still seems to keep who he truly is to himself. The only person throughout the entire show who we believe knows who Dexter really is, better than Dexter, is his adopted father Harry. From the beginning we are introduced to him as someone who seems to have molded Dexter into the person he has become. Whenever Dexter thinks back to crucial moments in his life it always involves Harry teaching him a lesson. Originally I was under the impression that Harry understood Dexter and was only trying to help him live the best “normal” life he could, under whatever circumstance he was under. After watching the first season in full, I am now left wondering why Harry kept Dexter’s past such a complete mystery. Could it be because he knew that if Dexter remembered, he would have turned out to be just like his traumatized brother Brian? I’d hope it were for reasons to protect Dexter.

             Overall, I thought ShowTime’s Dexter was a real treat to watch. If it weren’t for this assignment and the luck of the draw of being assigned this particular show, I don’t think I would have ever given it a chance. If I had to rate the show in it’s entirety of a season I would rate it a 4. Aside from the mystery factor, some of my favorite parts of the show were the supporting plots that helped the main story move along with ease. I felt like there were a lot of good side stories with an awesome cast to deliver them. Although the show is focused on the character of Dexter, I believe the cast of the Miami Police Department helped bring laughs and a lot of color to the show as a whole.

             For the record, I’ve always been one to record things down whether it be in a hand written journal or a document saved on Microsoft Word but never an assigned blog. The thought of having to dissect something in my own way and sharing it with the world made this assignment out to be a hobby rather than school work, except for the deadlines of course.  I found myself writing to an audience rather than a professor somewhere critiquing my work. Either way, I hope you liked it.

Dexter, Episode 12: Born Free.

                And so, everything falls into place. Leading up to the finale of the first season of Dexter we have been on a wild goose chase trying to figure out who has been haunting Dexter with his past and more importantly, why? Just a few episodes back we got the answer as to who was behind all of the killings and clues of Dexter’s childhood but we weren’t given enough hints to find out why… or were we?

Biological Brothers.

             Surprisingly enough, I had a hunch as to why Rudy, now revealed as Brian Moser, was related to Dexter. When I realized Rudy was ITK I immediately felt bad for Deb because she was dating him but I didn’t think about how it tied in with Dexter. As I said back in episode 9, I had a feeling that there would be a twist involving Rudy and Dexter being related. What lead me to this hunch was knowing that Rudy was the ITK and also knowing that he was involved with the killing of Joe Driscoll, Dexter’s biological father. It has been obvious throughout most of the killings that ITK was aware of whom Dexter really was but we never quite understood why? It all makes perfect sense now.

One in the same?

               To watch Dexter approach his deceased mothers home and have Rudy walk outside declaring they are brothers was epic. I must say, there was a part of me that almost rooted for Rudy and Dexter in becoming a kill team but the only thing that held me back from really wanting that was Debs… Pretty much the same reason Dexter didn’t go along with it. Now that I sit here and think about it, I think it’s a pretty awesome idea that I was torn between the two scenarios our leading man Dexter was caught in between.

                What I am still left questioning is why Harry wanted to keep the fact that Dexter had a brother a complete secret. I understand “Rudy” seemed to be more traumatized from the whole experience, probably because he was older, but how could that be reason enough to want to erase a relative from someone’s life? I can’t imagine a child living through the scene of his mother being killed but I would think if two siblings witnessed it together, they would be able to help each other get through it. It also makes me wonder how Dexter avoided being checked out by doctors or having any therapy after the murder of his mother. Did Harry really think that such a huge event in a person’s life, 3 years old or not, wouldn’t come up eventually?

                Some great parts of this episode were when we watch Dexter and Doakes go head to head in the storage yard, and then watching Dexter get visibly angry at his brother while he’s on the chopping block. These were both funny parts because we saw Dexter jump out of his normal, composed self. Another thing I liked about this episode was the female power. Watching Debs stand up for Dexter when Doakes was questioning him felt appropriate especially after we watched Dex choose Deb over his biological brother. Another good female moment was when Lieutenant LaGuerta and her transfer replacement have a quick moment where they seem to be on the same page about their work and going against the Captain.

The Hero.

           I was so looking forward to watching this episode, especially after the way the episode before this left us hanging. Maybe because I started watching Born Free on a high after tuning into Truth Be Told but I was disappointed. Maybe I was disappointed because the big BOOM of the finale was finding out that Rudy was Dexter’s long lost brother and I had already suspected that. Either way, I wasn’t completely thrilled at the end of the show and I had hoped to be. Bonus part of the episode: The fantasy parade at the end where people are shouting out heroic things to Dexter as confetti flies through the air and Deb is smiling by his side.

              Overall I rank Born Free a 4, even though 3 would rhyme.

Dexter, Episode 11: Truth Be Told.

                I don’t think I made it past the first name of the credits before I opened up a new document to start writing about this episode. As Truth Be Told came to an end, I felt my jaw drop. Now that I think about it, I wonder why I was in so much shock. I knew who the Ice Truck Killer was since about four episodes back, but the thought of everyone else knowing who he was left me feeling overwhelmed with excitement.

                As the episode is titled, Truth Be Told, the viewers find out many truths to a number of different secrets. For starters, and the main event of the episode, is when both Dexter and Debs find out that Rudy is the Ice Truck Killer. Dexter found out about Rudy when he finally got enough puzzle pieces to put the picture together. If only he would have figured it out sooner.

                The biggest lead in the case was from the help of Detective Batista. Like I had said in episodes 10 blog, Batista was onto something when he went to Rudy’s office to ask him more about prosthetics. With Rudy feeling pressured by Angel’s curiosity he took it upon himself to try and get rid of him last episode but was unsuccessful. The good news that comes from Batista being stabbed was the link between the blood found on him from his attacker, ITK/Rudy. By the time the lab results come back and Dexter is completely convinced about Rudy, it is too late to warn Deb.

                Unfortunately for Deb, Rudy reveals himself as ITK, as he declares her as his next victim. Poor Debs thought she was taking a break from the ITK case to meet with her boyfriend, soon to be fiancé, but then finds out that her future husband IS the ICE TRUCK KILLER!! What a proposal story that’ll be. As I watched the episode I really didn’t think that Rudy was going to reveal himself so soon but I guess he had no other choice because he was becoming more of a target.

                As if this truth hitting the surface isn’t enough to make an episode worth watching, they don’t stop there. Another mystery that we have slowly been learning about is about Dexter’s past, especially his parents. Last episode we found out about his biological dad, Joe, who had JUST recently died and his mother who was killed in front of him years ago. Between Batista being stabbed, his new found queasiness for blood, Cody (Rita’s son) running away and him finding out Harry has lied to him, Dexter is starting to feel emotions he had never wanted to face. We watch him become curious about his past and why he feels, or shall I say why he has struggled to feel, any type of these emotions.

                More truths? I have more. Batista’s wife makes it clear that she wants their marriage to be over after he feels like they have made progress. Bummer. I can only hope his character gets out of the hospital and finds a new love interest. Another minor truth, Doakes is coming closer to the truth of Dexter being different then everyone else but still hasn’t fully figured out what it is. Doakes always had a suspicion on Dexter but the more time that goes by the more questions he starts to ask Dex.

                I can’t imagine how the ITK/Rudy finding is going to play out. This can’t be the end of Debs. Not only is she one of my favorite characters but she is too much involved in the show to be killed off the first season… I hope. I am really enjoying the plot and watching these characters put the puzzle pieces together is both entertaining and torture! Bonus of this episode: The elves at the crime scene bickering. It took me away from the drama for a few seconds to laugh.

                Overall, best episode yet! I rate Truth Be Told a 5… Truth be told.

Dexter, Episode 10: Seeing Red.

            Although this episode is titled “Seeing Red”, I think there are many other better titles they could have gone with. If I had to sum up episode 10 in three words they would be, BLOOD, BOYS and BONDING. There was more blood and bonding between the boys more than ever before.

            This episode, like most of the others, didn’t leave much room for wandering eyes on my part. Because the plot has gone off in so many directions with many different stories, I wanted to make sure I paid attention to every minute. At this point in the show, a lot of separate stories are somehow overlapping. I am finding that most of the missing pieces of certain stories are to be found intertwined with other stories involving other characters.

            Right from the start we are reminded about the Ice Truck Killer when a jar of blood with a little something inside is sent to the homicide unit. We find a hotel key with the number 103 which happens to appear more than once in this particular crime. Immediately Dexter is called in to investigate what seems to be another clue from ITK himself. I thought, as I’m sure most viewers would, that Dexter would be excited to see what was next in the ITK killing spree but I was very surprised for his reaction. Before walking into the hotel room to see the crime scene, Dexter was warned that it wasn’t pretty, but of course a little blood never hurt Dexter. The surprising part was when he actually opened the door and stepped foot into the room of blood. Our blood friendly, leading man lost it. In every which way. He mentally and emotionally looked shocked and physically fainted.

Dexter, after he fainted in the blood bath.

            Throughout the episode, between flashbacks and some unexpected “bonding” between Dexter and Rudy, we start to find out why room 103 was so hard for Dexter to take in. Oddly enough, Dexter finds some kind of comfort within talking to Rudy because this is the most he has talked about his private life to anyone that we’ve seen. Over some porterhouses and beers, Dexter reveals to Rudy that he was flooded with unwanted and disturbing memories of his past as he entered the room of 103. We later find out that both Rudy and Dexter witnessed their mothers dying at a very young age. Apparently Rudy watched as his mother was hit by a truck and Dexter was in the room for when his mother was murdered.

            Meanwhile, Debs starts to become jealous of the relationship her brother and Rudy are now developing on both accounts. She is bothered by her boyfriend choosing to hang out with her brother on a night that she wants to talk to him and she is also hurt by the fact that Dexter has opened up to Rudy more than he had to her, ever. When the relationship comes to a roadblock she quickly falls back into the lies that Rudy feeds to her. Rudy pulls the “I love you” card which naïve Debs believed, even though Rudy’s real objective to stay close to Deb has nothing to do with love or Deb, but instead, it has to do with Dexter.

Rudy, at his day job.

            As Rudy is blending in better with the Morgan family, he is not easily falling under the radar with everyone. Detective Angel Batista recognizes a familiar clue from the ITK case when he sees a woman with a prosthetic hand at a club. When he questions the woman for having her prosthetic fingernails polished different colors she claimed that she liked the look after a night with an old client who had a fetish with them. Batista’s wheels start to turn and he thinks to ask Rudy if he can help him find out more because he is a prosthetic specialist. Because Batista only had a hunch, Rudy soon realized that he wasn’t close enough to linking him to the killings, thankfully, because I’m beginning to really like Batista.

            Lastly, Rita is once again struggling to keep Paul, the father of her children under his best behavior. For the past couple of episodes he has been making improvements in order to keep visitation rights to their kids but since Rita cancelled one visitation right he has fell off the wagon. After a night of Paul showing up to the house drunk and ready to wake up the kids, Rita hits him over the head and is charged with assault. Dexter’s feelings for Rita are becoming more and more serious as we watch him take matters into his own hands to remove Paul from Rita’s life, only temporarily. Yup. He didn’t kill. Could this be true love? Has Dexter really got a heart? He just might.

            Overall I rate this episode a 4. There were a couple of twists and turns and I was never left disappointed. A bonus of the episode? Lieutenant Laguerta going against the Capitan and revealing that the ITK investigation is re opened after he ordered her to keep her mouth shut. Kick ass move.

Dexter, Episode 9: Daddy Knows Best.

             As I logged into my Netflix account, I started to think about where I had left off with the show that I had just recently gained a liking for. It’s been less than a month since the last batch of episodes I had watched but I was ready to get started with my last assigned set. I decided to read my last blog over just so I can remember where I had left off. I was soon reminded that episode 8 left me wanting more, which eagerly lead me to continue the end of this project.

             I got into my usual Dexter watch mode by hopping in bed with my laptop and headphones, leaving nothing to distract me. In this particular episode we are introduced to a huge puzzle piece that had been missing from Dexter’s life. When Dex first got the letter stating his biological father died, he took it as some kind of mistake. Apparently Dexter’s biological father had been alive for all of this time and he was unaware of it thanks to Harry, his adopted father. According to both Dexter and Debs, Harry had told them that Dexter’s dad had died years ago and they both believed everything he had ever said to them.

Dexter viewing his biological father, Joe Driscoll.

             There are two interesting things about the news of Dexter’s biological father being alive for that long and him not knowing it. First off, it makes me wonder, If Harry lied to Dexter about his biological father, it must be for a good enough reason. From all of the flashbacks we have seen of the two of them and from how highly praised Harry is from both Debs and Dex, he seemed like a good father to them. I wonder what the real reason was for Harry to have not only hid the truth but helped keep it hidden from his son for what he thought to be the rest of his life. Secondly, finding out who Dexter’s biological father is can also lead us closer into finding out why Dexter is the way he is.

             Because Dexter was left with his biological father’s house, he and Rita (her idea to come) decide to take a ride over there to check the place and clear it out. As they are rummaging through Joe Driscoll’s, Dexter’s real father’s name, things they are surprised to find Debs and Rudy there for “support”. When Dexter opens the door he is greeted by Rudy who immediately goes in for a hug and reveals that he has been waiting to meet him for so long. To their knowledge, Rudy would want to meet Dexter because he is the brother of his girlfriend but we all know that Rudy has other things on his agenda.

              With the visit to Dexter’s dead father’s house turning into a couples bonding trip, one of my favorite moments, not only in this episode but probably from the whole season so far happens. Dexter, Debs and their two significant others are seen looking through old boxes and memories of Joe Driscoll when Rudy plays an old record he finds and a dance break happens. We see Debs let loose again for the second time in the show and we watch Dexter take some time to find a groove into something most people find to be normal. The dance break was awesome. Hands down.

Neighbor.

             Another part worth mentioning is the tie that Rudy has with the killing of Joe, Dexter’s biological father. When Dexter and Rita first pull up to his “dads” house, they are greeted by the neighbor from across the way. To try and get a lead about his father, Dexter asks the old woman some questions regarding who she has seen recently come in and out. The neighbor mentions a cable guy stopping by last week but Dexter looks past it, unaware that that is a missing link to the killing of his dad. I, too, over looked this information until the couples left the house the next day and the little old lady identifies the “cable guy” as Rudy, but too late for anyone to hear her.

             Overall I find this episode to be a good one. I enjoyed watching the Morgan siblings get closer with the help of their lovers. There is also an excitement in the thought of finding out more about Dexter through finding his biological father. Rudy is becoming more and more involved with the bizarre strings that have been happening. A part of me feels like there could be a strange twist where Rudy and Dexter are related somehow, I rate this episode a 4.5. It would have been just a 4 if it weren’t for the dance break.