Dexter Comes Unglued, And So Do The Series Writers

At the end of episode 5 our hero is on his docked boat in the middle of the night using a UV light to find all the incriminating bloodstains so he can scrub them away, while somewhere above him a security camera is recording his every move. Are the writers really so dense that they don’t realize that Dexter is way smarter than that? OR, is his lapse of intelligence due to what happened to him earlier in the episode, when he began a journey of twisted self-exploration that ended with him confronting the man who helped kill his mother? He went so he could talk to the man, and say “You stole my life, and I’m not the person I’m supposed to be.” Yep, he actually got the words out before he grabbed a baseball bat and added some pithy punctuation.

So why the screaming at the set? Because Dexter had lost his cool, acting like a man in a homicidal mania, not the cold-blooded killer he usually is. He would have been seen at the bar, someone at the station would remember that he took the file on his mother’s murder, Lila might freak (OK, not this last, but the rest), and our “Dark Defender” would be caught and the series would come to a premature and far from fitting end.

BUT, he left the man (barely) alive and went back to the hotel room where he’d left Lila and, while being held in her arms, his head resting on her bare and very shapely thighs, she tells him how she killed the man who made her a junkie by burning his house down while he was passed out inside it. “You didn’t do anything wrong,” he tells her, conveniently missing the point that the unintentional killing drove her into recovery.

The attack, and the scene with Lila which followed, should earn Hall the Emmy he so richly deserves, even if the maniacal cleaning which followed was a letdown in logic as was his own idea that “Every hero needs a sidekick.” But not her, Dex, not her.

She’s already proven she has no idea what recovery is all about. For example, you do not “confront those who wronged you,” you “make amends to those you have wronged.” And wouldn’t the real thing have made for a marvelous scene? Picture Dex in the makeshift tent morgue, speaking to his victims, telling them, “You were scum, you deserved to die. But I’m sorry I took that hacksaw to your throat.” Or, he could put post-it notes on their toe tags. Maybe that’s coming.

So there are some questions about Dex’s biological father. Is it the man who left him the house last season, or is it Harry? No matter, Harry is not the saint Dex (and Debs) thought he was, and the more his stellar memory is tarnished, the less likely Dex is to follow the code.

Lila might be right in this. Maybe we are all just people – part good and part bad.

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