Dexter: Oops!

DEXTER (Season 4)By Elaine Bergstrom

My second-floor bedroom and its deck are in the rear of my home. They look down on the apartment building on the next street over. In its backyard, a neighbor installed a bright outdoor light. I don’t blame her. It gets very dark in the narrow space between garage and building, but I really hate how it shines in my window, ruins my view of the stars and sometimes keeps me awake at night. On insomniac nights, I used to contemplate BB guns or just sneaking over and popping the bulb until it occurred to me to simply put a deck chair between my window and the offending light. So I sympathized — a lot — with Dexter’s sudden act of rage that had him breaking out the infinitely more obnoxious motion detection lights his neighbor had installed. But sadly, acts of rage are not so good an idea in a neighborhood where everyone in on guard, including Rita who is sure to peg him for the vandal after seeing him … well, behaving like a vandal.

But by the time that stupid act occurred, Dexter had already had his patience stretched — by Rita, who insisted on driving him to work until his doctor said it was all right for him to get behind the wheel and torturing him on the way with bad music; by Lundy, who is still picking his brains about finding Trinity; by his paranoid new neighbors; and finally by Quinn, who exploded himself when Dexter said he didn’t care if Quinn was a “dirty cop.” Gee, Quinn, do you really think stealing money from dead tourists is ethical? And, if so, what else is ethical? Interesting developments to come.

And while Dexter’s kills are hampered by circumstance, Trinity’s are not, and watching John Lithgow as the killer talk a terrified mother into jumping to her death was creepy and horrific. (Do you suppose he would have pushed the woman if she hadn’t let go? ) Afterwards, we see just how unstable Trinity is. He is going to be a worthy adversary for Lundy, Debs and Dexter. Indeed, this may be the case where Dex does finally acquire a sidekick (Lundy?).

But what was best about last night’s episode was Dexter’s pithy comments on life in suburbia. They were hilarious because, his notion that he is an outsider is so terribly wrong. Who really knows how to make a good impression on new neighbors? Who knows how to say the right thing without a bit of forethought? What father had ever figured out how to deal with the emotions of the tween-age daughter? Dex is not so different from all of us — all too human, though far more flawed.

Up next, we can hope: Dex is in the doghouse and moves back in his apartment. Debs has had too much alone time with Anton and joins him.

Photo credit: Showtime