Refocusing the Priorities
How can one write about this episode without starting at the end? The look on Frank Lundy’s face as he catches sight of Trinity over his shoulder just before the bullet hits Deb’s gut was as surprised and horrified as I felt. As much as Lundy could sometimes annoy me and as much as I did not want a repeat of season 2’s cat-and-mouse with the resident serial killer and serial killer catcher, I did not want to see Lundy go, especially not helpless on the pavement, the supposed victim of some random robbery.Still, Lundy’s passing seems necessary to allow Dex to regain the focus he has been lacking this season. Which is really what this episode seemed to be about. It is a testament to how well the show has conveyed the trapped, exhausted, harried quality of Dexter’s family life that I could almost physically feel the exhilaration of his freedom when he was finally given 72 hours to pursue his dark hobby. The heavy-handedness of his choice of prey aside (thanks, Harry/Dexter’s conscience, for pointing out to us the parallels between Kruger’s violent escapism and Dexter’s suburban blues), I loved watching him back in action – especially taking Kruger down in his own kitchen with a pent up adrenaline that bordered on cocky. For the first few episodes I was intrigued by the Trinity killer, but couldn’t really imagine him as a proper nemesis for Dexter, mostly because I worried Dexter wasn’t up to the task. His return to his home away from home seemed to do the job of realigning his priorities and setting him up for the showdown that is to come.
Best of all, I loved that this new sense of focus came, as it so often does for Dexter, in the kill room as he realizes for himself just how much he values his family. I was beginning to worry that the whole season would revolve around the “can Dexter have a family?” debate and I was relieved and pleasantly surprised that Dexter finally seemed to put some of those voices behind him: as he said to Harry “You didn’t raise a loner.” Dexter’s increased certainty that he both wants and needs his family, even with the possibility that it makes his life more complicated, also means that those family relations can start being real and complicated themselves, and not just stereotypical fill-in for the woes of modern family life in general. If the preview for next week is any indicator, Rita might just get a bit more interesting and Dexter might actually have to start fighting for the relationships he’s just realized he wants.
Perhaps this is another theme, what with Deb watching Lundy die just as they have confessed their love and desire to stay together: you lose what you have just as soon as you realize you want it.
Posted by Kathryn.