It’s been an up and down week for Dexter (the series) and Dexter (the killer), too.
First, the bad news. Indiana teenager Andrew Conley (17) has been charged in the murder of his 10-year-old brother Conner. Conley says he felt compelled to kill and that he felt like Dexter afterwards. However, the troubled teen also confessed to having these feelings since he was in the 8th grade, well before Dexter aired. Noted child psychologist Dr. Lisa Boesky says of his act, “It’s rarely something that happens overnight. This is not caused by a television show or a fight with their parents. This is typically indicative of a serious disturbance. And clearly in cases like this, it indicates that something is seriously wrong.”
Now, the good news. Sunday night’s episode, “Hello, Dexter Morgan,” set a ratings high for Showtime. More than 2 million viewers watched the lead in to what may be the most shocking season finale in the history of the series. It also sealed in my mind an Emmy for John Lithgow. If anyone thinks he doesn’t deserve it, just consider the menace he exuded as he walked through the Miami Metro police department in search of the real Kyle Butler or those mercurial shifts of expression from good to evil, Arthur to Trinity.
Sadly, the episode dragged in the middle, but not by much. Setting up a fall guy to take the police’s suspicion away from Arthur was an interesting touch, but a bit out of character for Dexter — though, given that Trinity knows what he looks like, Dexter really had no other choice. Christine’s confession, sans naming her father, was a bit far out, too. If she was in such despair over his rejection, why not tell the truth before killing herself?
However, her death may be a setup. After all, once her building knows what she did, won’t the person whose cellphone Christine used to call daddy come forward? Once she knows the truth, won’t Debs go after Arthur? I can’t help but wonder if this is the episode where Debs gets to rescue her brother. It would be a perfect final touch.
I am not sure what purpose the newlyweds serve in this story, beyond comic relief. And I am finding Rita less annoying as this season went on. I truly loved it when Dex slugged his neighbor, then looks astonished that he would do such a thing. A beautiful touch for a character on the journey to becoming human — again.