Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dexter -- Episode 5.03 -- "Practically Perfect"

"Let's see...dark or white meat?"

While far from perfect, last night's episode of Dexter was much more engaging than the previous week's installment.

Dexter gets a nanny whom Deb is skeptical of, despite the fact that she's, as Dexter puts it, "practically perfect." At the same time, Dex is also in hot pursuit of his new kill target, Boyd Fowler. This sub-plot moves along very fast, which was welcome after last week's glacier.

In non-Dexter plots, Deb gets a lead on the Santa Muerte murders, leading her and the new upstart, Cira, to a religious trinket salesman. Unfortunately, after Cira interviews him, the guy winds up dead, Santa Muerte-style.

Quinn is making headway on his creepy obsession with Dexter by putting a make on the Kyle-Butler illustration and tries to call in a favor with the FBI* to talk with Arthur Mitchell's family.

* Quinn has never struck me as a particularly competent detective -- he had a CI working for him under the table and he has been caught stealing from crime scenes. How, then, does he have enough pull within the FBI to get them to do him a solid like letting him talk to the Mitchell family?

And, of course, we needed to get our weekly dose of Angel/Maria goodness. This week, Angel is wearing his battle scars from the fight at the end of the last episode with pride. He claims the situation with the other guy -- a fellow officer -- is resolved. Turns out he was wrong and Internal Affairs alerts LaGuerta that the other officer is in critical condition and is pressing charges against Angel. Again, I'm not sure what this has to do with the main storyline -- it just feels like a pedestrian distraction from Dexter's significantly more interesting life.

The episode ends with a cool twist. Dexter kills Boyd, but apparently Boyd has another victim hanging around, trapped in his house. She sees everything, and now Dexter has another mess to clean up. Pretty cool.

There's not much to say about this episode other than it introduces Julia Stiles and re-established the show's unique brand of dark humor that had been sorely lacking in the season's first two episodes.

Here are some highlights:

1. Dexter and Harrison visit the grief counselor. At one point, Harrison pops the head off of a Ken doll and begins crying.

2. Dexter getting shot with a tranq gun immediately

2. Masuka continues to get some good moments. In this episode he tells LaGuerta that Angel is a hero, a knight in shining armor because Angel defended her honor, then says "You should be polishing his lance." The great thing was, Masuka didn't mean it in a perverted way, for a change. LaGuerta's reaction was possibly her best acting in the last season or so.

3. The way Deb tells off Quinn after he mentions the word marriage in his continual effort to torment her for having sex with him was classic.

4. I don't know where the writers are headed with the Santa Muerte killings, but I love the way they display their victims. Heads severed, eyes and tongue cut out with machete. Very clever, and gross.

Overall, this episode of Dexter gives us the feeling that the writer's have something interesting in store for us. Let's hope they make good on their promise.

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