Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dexter - Episode 4.7 - "Slack Tide"

A "slack tide" is when there is no tide at all. It's a restful calm before the storm.

That's what episode 7 of this outstanding season 4 was all about: the calm before the storm. Not much actually happened, but the seeds were sown for the season's endgame.

Here's a recap:

1. A girl's severed arm is found inside an alligator. She is a model who was last known to be working with a well-known celebrity horror photographer. The PD and Dexter all believe he's the guy.

2. Dexter makes an official enemy out of Detective Quinn when he shuts down Quinn's reporter-girlfriend. To put Quinn in place, Dex reminds him that he witnessed Quinn's crime scene theft earlier in the season. This sort of blackmail does not sit well with Quinn, who is now primed to go Sgt. Doakes on Dexter for the remainder of the season.

3. Deb meets one of her father's old informants and finds out that Dad was fucking pretty much all of his hot CIs. This case of "TMI" is enough to make her shut down that investigation. So, she dives head first into dead Lundy's investigation of the Trinity Killer.

4. And speaking of Trinity, Dexter gets much closer to him in this episode as he continues to seek advice from the geezer. This time he wants to know more about raising children. Trinity's response: give them something to do to get them the fuck out of the way. So, Dex does this by signing Cody up in the Sailor's Club and throwing a guitar at Astor.

5. Meanwhile, Dex and Trinity spend time together cutting down a tree, which Trinity later uses the wood for building a coffin.

This episode was very hit-and-miss for me, especially after the previous episode, "If I Had a Hammer." The scenes between Dex and Trinity, as usual, were riveting, especially the moment when Trinity hits a deer with his van, but can't find the ability to put the squirming thing out of its misery. What do we learn here about the old coot: he can slice up the femoral arteries of young girls in bathtubs, make middle-aged women jump off buildings, and bash in the brains of men with carpentry hammers, but he can't complete a mercy killing for a helpless deer?

I believe firmly now that Trinity is only capable of killing as a means to exorcise the demons in his past. The reason he forced himself to bathe in scalding water during the first episode, and the reason he allowed a man to beat the shit out of him in an alley were acts of self-flagellation. He's punishing himself for his sins, even though he's a slave to them. Trinity may just be more than a killer of "threes." His moniker may have something to do with the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost as well.

I hope the writer's go somewhere soon with the relationship between Batista and LaGuerta. I am getting annoyed by it, because it doesn't seem to have much to do with the main storyline and has become a distraction.

The same can be said for the storyline involving Quinn. He's being set-up as the new Doakes. The only difference is that Doakes, despite having major issues with Dexter, was actually lovable in that grumpy-old-man way. Quinn's a dipshit, who isn't interested in doing his job as much as he's interested in covering his own ass. There's a part of me that wants to see the fucker on Dex's kill table soon, even if it means violating the code.

And, lastly, speaking of the code. The twist at the end of the episode was stellar. Dexter made a HUGE mistake killing the photographer when it was really his assistant who was the murderer. It was good seeing the Miami Metro trumping Dex for once in detective work, but heartbreaking to watch Dex slump against the door in his lab under the weight of violating the code. How's he gonna deal with this one?

Next week? Hopefully Quinn dies (but not before we get to see the reporter's tits again), Deb gets a hot lead that puts her on the trail of Trinity, and Dex swaps trade secrets with Trinity.

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