By Elaine B
All three seasons have featured the theme of Dexter seeking validation for his acts. First there was the acceptance by his stepfather dominating Season 1, along with the tragic attempt to reach out to a young killer and help him find his own code, ending with that marvelous moment when Dexter imagines how the people of Miami would cheer if they knew that he had brought down the Ice Truck Killer. In Season 2 there are the times his face light up when his future mother-in-law and occasional news commentators say that the city should give the Bay Harbor Butcher a medal for doing what the police could not.
So it’s no surprise that the theme comes back this season, stronger than ever, as Dexter finds what might have been a true friend, the sidekick he has always wanted to have. In the beginning, it looked like it could actually go well. Miguel knew what Dexter had done, he accepted. But letting him in? Well, Dex knew what Harry would think and Harry was right. Dexter wasn’t created, he was likely born with the craving to kill, but he was also molded, in a very twisted way that may have him one day damning Harry for what he did. It was done by a man, who like Miguel, had a need for shortcuts and an instrument he thought could be used to that end. The Code took years to teach and you cannot start teaching it to an adult.
But he does, and in one of the most heart-stopping moments in a series filled with them, he lets Miguel inside a kill room, and hands him the knife. Justice, he tells the victim when he asks who they are. It is no mere coincidence that Miguel is dressed in black with just a hint of white at the collar, as if he is some dark priest. Indeed he is – Dexter’s darker side. And after Miguel plunges the knife in, Dex asks, “How do you feel?” And Miguel answers, “Fantastic” in such a perfect tone that we know what Dexter does not, not yet at least – he had unleashed a killer. There are only three more episodes of Dexter left, so things must move quickly now. The questions in this end game are simple: Miguel has only had one kill. Will he know enough to keep from being a suspect in the disappearance of Ellen Wolf? Dexter, who has already bent The Code once this season – killing a pedophile who was stalking his kids – will he bend it again? And how will that bloody shirt figure in?
Just guesses, but I am expecting that LaGuerta will be in peril from Miguel and Dexter will come to her defense. I am guessing that killing Miguel will be harder for Dexter to do than killing his brother. I am guessing that the wedding will go off without a hitch (and without Miguel) and I am guessing that Anton is going to need a lot of skin grafts. Truly, Jimmy Smits has so dominated this season that the subplots have become meaningless. And, though Dexter’s mistakes have been almost laughable, this may be the best season yet.