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TV Review: DEXTER - The Dark Defender 2.5

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

I talked in my last review of Dexter’s “See-Through” that maybe season two was going to be a little like the first with things building to a point before one impressive episode changed the course of the whole season. Finally in season two I think I’ve found that magic episode in “The Dark Defender”, he may be our hero who lives in the shadows but now Dexter or The Bay Harbour Butcher has been outed by Special Agent Frank Lundy to the public as a serial killer with a difference, the Bay Harbour dude only kills criminals a move which seems to have gone down well with the vigilante loving Miami public, especially as all the law abiding ones know they now have nothing to fear from Miami’s latest killer with some of them even putting him up on a pedestal and naming him The Dark Defender.

I really feel like this is the episode where season two arrived, before this I would watch an episode and think, ah well, another one down the hatch. After taking in this one I just kept the DVD rolling and now find myself way ahead of the reviews with only two episodes of this season left to watch, like season one, once the main story got going it really is relentless and keeps you gripped.

I’ve been reviewing Dexter for three nearly four seasons now and I have often passed comment on just how good of an actor Michael C Hall is, and in this episode that is one thing which races to the surface. Dexter has so many issues to deal with here that a mere normal actor would struggle to display the emotion of a character who has just found out something imperative from his past. I am of course talking about Harry’s old case files and the fact that Dexter now knows that one of the three men responsible for killing his mother is still alive and well, running a bar in Naples, Florida. That’s cause for a road
trip with Narcotics Anonymous sponsor Lilia to visit Santos Jimenez and what you expect to be another Dexter kill table scene. That is what you get but having peered behind his mask Lilia is all to aware of what Dexter’s urges will force him to do to Jimenez and she manages to talk him back to the hotel. Not quite what I expected but hey, she is rehabilitating him after all.

Speaking of Lilia is she really the psycho I made reference to in earlier reviews, no doubt she has a dark passenger of her own, she did after all admit to burning down a house knowing full well someone was in there. But, is she really crazy? Or is she really trying to help The Dark Defender overcome his killer urges? I of course already know but really don’t want to give to much away in relation to Lilia just yet.

It’s a massive battle of emotions for Dexter as “The Dark Defender”, this is after all his pipe dream of people accepting him for who he really is, a serial killer who works within the constraints of a very strict code instilled on him by his step father Harry. Not for the first time this episode Dexter brought the code into question as he learnt of the reason behind his mothers fate, Laura Moser was an informant for Harry and the pair were also having an affair, he knew Dexter long before the ship container, couldn’t protect Laura and felt compelled to take Dexter under his wing. Quite why he only picked up Dexter and not Brian Moser (The Ice Truck Killer) that day is anyone’s guess, but have you noticed in the flashbacks that Dexter is always with his mother when they go to see Harry? His older brother Brian is nowhere to be seen.

Something which I really enjoyed during the first season of Dexter were the flashback’s to Dexter and Debra’s childhood’s and so far in this season it’s not something that I have talked about, I feel now it’s right to do so not because they have been boring before but I just noticed something during this episode. How un-cool does Michael C Hall look as a spotty teenager with a retro 80’s hairstyle? Second to that there is Jennifer Carpenter also in make-up as a teenager, I bet they had some fun doing those scenes.

The best bit of the episode came at the very end as you would expect, just when you think Dexter is taking the extra precautions necessary in cleaning his boat, we learn that Agent Lundy has had video surveillance equipment fitted at the marina and Dexter may have just played right into his hands.

If I had anything bad to say about this episode it would only involve Rita’s mother Gail (JoBeth Williams) who quite frankly is a pain in the ass, asides from that “The Dark Defender” is the best episode yet of Dexter’s second season, the fall out of the Ice Truck Killer investigation seems to be dealt with and now we enter a battle of wits between Dexter, Agent Lundy and the ever more suspicious Sgt Doakes.
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