Dexter Hits Bottom As His Bodies Rise

Posted by Elaine B.

(Warning: contains spoilers)
Like every Dexter fan, I anxiously awaited the moment when our good-guy killer would return and say “Tonight’s the night.” Unfortunately, this season that means bowling, bowling and more bowling and, in spite of the team shirts that proclaim “Bowl till you bleed,” there is a world of difference between a split and a slice. Knowing how long it has been to the minute since he last killed (his brother), Dex is getting hinkey. The only severed body part he has to play with is the Barbie doll head his brother left as a sick calling card.

It’s the fault of Doakes, who has made tailing Dexter his raison d’être, all because he suspects our hero of SOMETHING. Doakes is the glowering presence at the bowling alley bar, the lights in the rearview on an empty street, the eyes looking over Dex’s shoulder at the station house. Doakes needs a hobby, a girlfriend, anything to keep him occupied elsewhere so the sordid streets of Miami can be just a little bit safer thanks to Dex.

Then, Doakes takes a night off. Is he out glowering at young gangbangers? Coaching little league? No matter, it does give Dex a chance to claim a victim, and in a parallel to the first episode of the series, he has spotted another deadly man of the cloth. Here it is a blind voodoo priest who arranges hits for the right amount of cash. And in the moment when his knife falls on his plastic wrapped victim, Dex can’t do it. Pity on the disabled? Doakes putting him off his game? Does the audience of clucking chickens in the priest’s back room distract him? Remorse for killing his brother? Let’s say, yes, but mostly to the last. You don’t just wipe out your blood kin and escape with the id intact.

Debs is free, and even more keyed up than her brother. Unable to live alone and haunted by her terrible taste in men (even Doakes would be a huge improvement), she’s moved in with Dex. This puts her in uncomfortable proximity to his slide collection and her nocturnal wakefulness has her asking a lot of questions about her brother’s late hours. I find myself worrying about the consumer reports on the brand of air conditioner Dex uses. She’s that close.

Dex has only one thought on his mind — Rita. But there is no comfort there, either, since her ex-husband has planted the notion in her naive mind that Dexter might have set him up. Of course he did, and for good reason. But Rita can’t see that, or maybe she can and chooses to ignore it. No matter. When she won’t help her ex get out of slammer, he manages to find a way to check out permanently, via some assistance from cons way more deadly than he ever was. Didn’t the really nasty killers — as opposed to his ex-wife beating — notice that he might have been a scumbag but at least he loved his kids? So now Rita is that close, too.

With nothing else to do, Dex hones his skills on a new target, a local gang enforcer named Little Chino — in much the same way that Little John of Robin Hood fame earned his name. Dex bags him with a double dose of syringe-delivered knockout juice, but in another moment of carelessness, misjudges the amount of duct tape necessary to keep a big man down. Dexter’s id is drowning under the weight of his bruised ego.

But that isn’t the worst of his problems. That is caused by a group of treasure-hunting divers who mistake his bagged body parts for underwater loot. Thirty bodies and the count is rising. Debs is in ecstasy. Maybe bagging a bigger killer than her Ice Truck-ex can give her some peace. Perhaps, but what of her brother, who can feel the adrenaline rush of the law closing in? He likes it.

So what will the citizens of Miami think when they discover whose bodies those are? Will they still loathe their killer, or grudgingly praise him? Will Dex start leaving markings on his victims, a la Zorro? So many questions and a whole season of answers.

About Elaine Bergstrom 212 Articles
Feature writer, writing coach and novelist (12 published, another on the way) in the genre of horror/vampire fiction