The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

An Enigma Wrapped in Plastic

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Two real gasp-worthy moments in this episode: first, Deb’s breakdown in the parking lot.  Never have I seen that type of crying performed so perfectly on screen; that deep in the chest, hysterical sobbing that most of us only manage once or twice in a lifetime outside of our hormonal teenage years. My chest actually ached just watching her, and I was reminded of how deeply scarred both Dexter and Deb are by their father’s attention and lack thereof. Both in their own way are broken.  Both in their own way cause brokenness around them as they both seek to emotionally make up for their father’s failings. And in this moment, amidst uncontrollable weeping, both in their own way faced up to the pain they inflict on others. It was a powerful scene.

Another Family-Man Serial Killer?
And of course, the second gasp moment: Trinity has a family! I did not see this one coming.  We’ve all assumed Trinity was a loner; that unlike Dexter, he had eschewed any normal human connections for the sake of bonding with his own dark passenger.  But now we learn that he’s not only a more successful serial killer than Dexter, he also seems to be a much more successful normal guy.  Not only does his family greet him with excitement and love, we know from previous episodes that he’s managed to keep a secret apartment secret – something Dex finally failed at in this episode – and that he is likely to have done so through countless moves around the country.  The name ‘Trinity’ itself is beginning to open up to refer to something so much more than sets of three killings.  Indeed, it’s beginning to refer also to the man’s own godlike abilities, and perhaps even the multiple sides of his own self…husband, father, teacher, deacon (ok, so who is as excited as me to see Lithgow in religious garb again? Cut loose, friends, footloose – kick off those Sunday shoes!). 

An Eternal Return to the Same
Lundy was right. There is something in those eyes, and Lithgow has developed the emotion at that level perfectly since the first episode.  At first the eyes held detachment, something inhuman.  But they began to reveal sadness, a sense of desperation.  In this episode they communicated boredom: having completed the first loop of his own eternal return of the same, he’s slmost bored with his compulsive need to repeat the ritual again and again.  And so now we know how much like Dexter he really is, he reminds us of Dex’s own strange journey through emotion, through relationships and into moments of hope. And he offers a chilling image of where Dex might end up – after all, it’s Dexter’s struggle to fit in that makes him able to be likeable. Were he so slick as Trinity, we would find it much more difficult to empathize.

Interactions with the Everyday
Finally, I can’t sign off without mentioning the lovely plot arc that had us see Trinity engage three different normal, everyday activities and interact with three normal, everyday folks.  He is wretchedly rude to the waitress and, although it scares us a little, she’s never in any real danger.  He is just plain strange with the guy in the hardware store who, again while it’s chilling in its weirdness, doesn’t put him close to danger either.  The only time Trinity manages to connect smoothly with strangers, then, is when he’s touring the building with the security guard and meeting the coffee guy – both of whom are in extreme danger! We often think about how close we came to danger – had I left my house 5 minutes earlier, it might have been me in that collision, for example. But we rarely think about how close we might be to real danger that holds no danger for us.  Trinity opened up a whole new realm of fear last night!

Kathryn is on vacation until tomorrow, so I need comments! Please post your thoughts – what was your favourite moment? Where will Maria transfer Angel? What is going to happen to Dexter’s apartment?  Who else loved seeing Astor’s room decorated with posters of Twilight’s Edward and happy unicorns?

 Posted by Natalie.

Written by themothchase

October 26, 2009 at 9:30 am

One Response

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  1. Oh, such an incredible episode! For my part, the scene in the parking lot was among the best this series has ever done. Carpenter was outstanding, she’s grown so much since season 1. The only way I can describe Hall’s performance (also outstanding) is desperate empathy. You can see just how much Dex understands Deb and how badly he needs her to know that. I seemed like a full confession was on the tip of his tongue, but even the partial admission is the most human connection we’ve seen Dexter make.


    October 28, 2009 at 1:51 pm

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