Dexter Season 3: Family Matters

Dex and Rita share a moment. Credit: Showtime
Dex and Rita share a moment. Credit: Showtime

By Elaine B
Has anyone else noticed that this is not the only Showtime series to throw a baby into the plotline to mix things up? First there was Weeds, where a child in the womb has likely saved pusher mom Nancy Botwin’s life since the one thing her druglord lover likes more than money and power is family. And there is also rumor that Californication will be taking the same path in the new season. It’s not Karen, mind you, at least according to actress Natascha McElhone. She told me her pregnancy did not figure into the plot while they were shooting the upcoming season because someone else was supposed to be pregnant. My bets are on Marcy, wife of Hank’s agent (but this, of course, is for a different blog).

One could say, as I did in an earlier blog on Dexter, that babies are a cop out and the cuteness factor will cause problems, but Rita making Dex a dad will up the tension in the already tense serial killer – make it easier for the Code of Harry to break down when he and, indirectly, his family or unborn child are threatened. And in this episode it also gives him a big excuse for being distracted, even though he is reluctant to tell anyone, or to commit to Rita or the child in any way. He’s not being bad, he’s just revealing how difficult it is for him to understand what is actually “good” in this case.

What ups the ante more in this episode is the fact that he now has a fanclub of one – Miguel Prado. Convinced that druglord Freebo killed his brother, Prado was out for blood. Smart enough to realize that Dexter was also troubled about the killing (since he’s the one who really killed the man – in self-defense) he works to form a bond and pull information out of him on Freebo’s whereabouts. He also has Freebo’s cell phone, and is working on his own search for the man.

It ends, of course, unexpectedly, with Miguel thanking Dex for killing the man, after Dex confesses and say it was self-defense. “Thank you. I didn’t think I could do it,” Prado says as Dex shows him the bloody knife, implying that he had intended to. While I love seeing Jimmy Smits just about anywhere, that line doesn’t ring quite true. To paraphrase Debs, whose foul mouth has gotten even fouler this season, “Miguel Prado couldn’t pull the trigger? Come on, we’re talking Jimmy f-ing Smits here.”

So now, for good or ill, Dexter may be stuck with a sidekick. Sure, Prado doesn’t know the extent of Dexter’s homicidal activities, and his acquiring the knowledge through this season may be the direction the series is headed. And with Rita pregnant and relying on Dex, I expect the Code will be seriously stretched if not completely broken.

And PS – I really hope they name the baby Harry. Dexter does not play well with others, and even in preschool the little tyke will be in trouble at recess.