By Elaine Bergstrom
As a vampire aficionado, I spend a lot of time contemplating creatures of the night and lamenting the lack of any great ones on television now that the True Blood season has ended. Vampire Diaries‘ Damon has the potential to be wonderful, but he’s unfortunately stuck in a series aimed to appeal to Gossip Girl and Twilight fans rather than to those of us who recall the days of Spike, Angel and even the delightfully playful Henry Fitzroy from Blood Ties.
So I find vampires where I can and at present two of the best are found in Dexter. The Trinity Killer and Dexter are two sides of the same vampiric nature. They each need to kill to survive. So what if the killer is human and capable of surviving direct sunlight, he still has that need to kill to be whole. And so what if their nature isn’t supernatural; something made them the way they are, changed forever to be more or less than human.
You also see that vampire nature at work in the exquisite vengeance film The Brave One, in which radio commentator Erica Bain (Jodi Foster) survives a brutal beating and becomes a one-woman vigilante force in New York City. I thought of Dex while watching it, because both he and Bain survived horrific events that changed them, and both responded in similar ways. But Bain is aware of how she loses more of her humanity with every kill. Dexter revels in it but is selective in his victims. And, as Dexter notes, Trinity is a “different” monster altogether, one for whom the ritual (including, apparently, inciting someone to beat him up before the final of his three murders) is everything, the act of killing perhaps only a small part of his need.
Thoughts on “Dex Takes A Holiday”:
Other than expressing some admiration for Trinity’s decades-long killing spree and annoyance at having been drawn into Lundy’s obsession, Trinity has stayed off Dexter’s radar. That will likely change following the explosive ending to this week’s episode. It’s also likely that Miami Metro will finally take Lundy’s serial killer seriously now that Lundy is no longer able to continue his quest.
Last week’s episode had an explosive ending, too — at least for the Dexter-Rita relationship. But instead of delving into Rita’s suspicions about her new hubby, Rita takes the kids off to a wedding leaving Dexter home alone. Of course, when the wife’s away, the Dex will slay, and — having just watched the series premiere of Blood Ties for the umpteenth time the night before just to get my vampire fix — I immediately recognized Christina Cox (Vicki Nelson on Blood Ties) as Zoey, the hard-as-nails family killing cop, conveniently dropped into Dexter’s web just when he has some time to kill. Zoey put up a good fight and happily, for those who relish those pithy exchanges between Dexter and his victims, she has some words of wisdom for Dex, who she comes to know pretty well by the time she is wrapped on the table like a slab of leftover cheese. You’re going to have to choose between your family’s lives and yours, she tells him. “I’d rather risk them knowing the truth than lose them,” he responds. “That’s the difference between us.”
And so, he rushes home to clean up the house before his family arrives and to nestle down with a frazzled Rita, whom he clearly loves even if he isn’t sure what love is (Memo to Dex: Is anyone really sure?). But the stage is set for his downfall. Rita may be a bit of a bubblebrain, but she is not a complete fool. Dexter’s journey has been a quest to shake off the darkness laid on him by his past, and in no small measure by his real dark passenger, Harry Morgan, and reclaim his humanity. So what will happen to him when Rita finally learns the truth about the sweet guy she married?
Photo credit: Showtime