Dexter Pops It (And Not Well)

By Elaine B
First off, hooray to Showtime for realizing what a gem they have with this series and renewing it for another two years! This kind of support is always welcome by series writers because they know they keep a few loose ends at the close of the season, and long-range planning is always good whether you are plotting murder or merely murderous plots.

That being said, do you ever get the feeling that you are going to wind up really, really disappointed in this season of Dexter? Not because of anything that has happened so far, but because it seems that the writers may find themselves in a dead end with the whole Rita/baby/marriage thing. And if that happens, who will be left? Certainly not just Dexter, who needs that bit of normalcy in his life so desperately. But how will he handle his nocturnal wanderings, the box of blood slides, the weapons in a lock box in the closet he shares with Rita, especially with a baby screaming everyone awake at all hours? If he maintains his own apartment, will Rita wonder if there is another woman or some new addiction?

Dexter apparently was not thinking about any of this. Instead, after some time bonding with family man Prado, he thinks, “to be a brother, to have a friend, to have a wife, a family.” And in a burst of what he feels is logic – and we’re all pretty sure is real emotion – he asks Rita to marry him because, “you know, the baby and all.” He asks her in front of the kids, which is as romantic as a tuna fish sandwich. It also puts her on the spot and, of course, she says no.

And for an entire episode in which the only victim is some poor guy done in by a barista with a crush, Dexter is looking for a way to say what is in his heart. I may not be a guy, but I’ve had plenty of problems getting all mushy myself so I sympathize. Finally, after hearing the smitten barista’s confession and comment, “he was perfect. He completes me,” Dexter says nearly the same words to Rita (who has by now lost her job due to unexpected trips to the bathroom and hormonal mood swings) and she accepts.

It’s funny to have written so much about an episode without mentioning the problems Debs is having with her glory-hogging smooth-talking partner Quinn or Dexter’s own situation with Prado’s brother, Ramon. Prado wants to tell the hard-drinking hothead what really happened but Dexter is rightfully worried about doing so. With some clever maneuvering, he pushes Ramon over the edge so that even Prado does not trust him. It’s hard to know where this will end or if I even much care. Prado, for all of Jimmy Smits’ great looks and voice, is not so sympathetic a character that I would miss him when he’s gone. He’s either going to have to get more heroic, in which case Dexter may have to kill him, or more despicable, so that we won’t care if Dexter kills him. Or maybe, he’ll die doing something incredible, like saving Dexter’s life. Sooner or later, though, this plotline must reach its a bloody end.