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So we're on episode three, "Blinded by the Light," in season four of the one (enjoyable) trick pony that is Dexter. It's early, sure, but there's no sign season four won't follow the same slow, eventually tense burn of the previous two. I seem to remember the first season being more exciting than this, so I'm a tad wary of the particularly similar plot elements that keep popping up. I'll try to hold the episode up for its own merits.
Dexter is immersed in the public suburban life he initially used as a distractionary tactic to hide his dark side. Rita, after finding out his car accident gave him a concussion, is in full mommy-mode here. No more driving for Dexter, so he's stuck at home, taking part in neighborly cookouts. He soon finds himself in a Neighborhood Watch, complete with motion-sensor lights on residences, set up to combat a local hooligan vandalizing neighborhood homes. Michael C. Hall is really at his worst here, I hate to say. He's so awkward around people that I really don't understand why anyone talks to him when they don't have to. Anyway, the one person he suspects is Jesse Brightman, son of down-on-his-luck Andy Brightman. Jesse is a tele-typical teen dimwit, and Dexter is perturbed by the way daughter Astor is taking to him. Dexter plays the out of touch dad a couple of times, which really isn't why I started watching this show.
Let's sidestep. Early in the episode, we get to see the Trinity Killer's second murder in his latest capsule of three. Carla, whom he stalked last episode, is "forced" to jump off the sixth story of a dilapidated warehouse building. Lithgow plays it sensitively, talking her off as a means of keeping her children and husband safe. That no physical foul play was involved sets up conflicting opinions down at Miami Homicide as far as cause of death is concerned. Debra, under the tutelage of retired Special Agent Lundy, only sees it as a puzzle piece, and short-sighted Quinn wants it to be nothing but a suicide. Dexter, except for an inner thought about Trinity's "code", doesn't really seem to be invested in the case. Debra finds an identical incident thirty years before, which fuels both fires as reputable/non-reputable information. Lundy's presence is slightly off-putting to Debra's boyfriend Anton, I do believe. I think he knows what's up.
Meanwhile, Laguerta and Batista's little love affair is in full uninteresting swing. A lead comes in about the "Vacation Murderer" suspect, and they go to a seedy hotel to investigate, and after a bit of personal seediness, are in turn shot at by suspect Rose and his lady friend. Due to the timely issues, someone just might find out about this untorrid tryst. Who cares? Laguerta takes Debra off of her Trinity work to focus more on Rose.
Quinn, in a friendly act, gives Dexter two high-price Miami Dolphin tickets, which Dexter immediately gives away. When Quinn finds out, he confronts Dexter, and takes an enormous offense to being referred to as a "dirty" cop, for taking cash money from an evidence bag. Quinn tells Dexter he can't understand because he's not a cop, and then later vocally complains about Dexter while being massaged by his nude reporter fling. I guess this plotline is going to continue on in this fashion. Maybe he'll follow the path of Doakes from seasons one and two. They should just blow him up now.
Oh yeah, so after doing some un-police work fingering Jesse as the neighborhood vandal, Dexter takes matters into his own hands (whyyyy?), and dons a ski mask to trail Jesse once his father leaves to attend a "poker game." The Neighborhood Watch stumbles upon him and chases him through many yards. Not looking a gift horse in the mouth, Dexter tries this tactic again later, actually breaking into the Brightman house to scare Jesse, but finds him asleep. It seems the money-troubled widower Andy is really the one behind the spray-painting and bike-ruining going on, using everyone else's over-indulgence as a motive.
There's a scene where Dexter mentally connects with the "lone wolf" mantra that Agent Lundy blabs about. Another scene shows Dexter and Debra connect under the pressure of loved ones suppressing the notion of self. There's an enjoyably creepy scene where the Trinity Killer sits at a small memorial table (I assume for his mother or wife), and pours a glass of water for himself, and a glass of booze for an absent guest. Lithgow gives some good work here, alternately sated and horrified by the things he does.
And that's about it. Dexter chases a teen and tries to be the "cool" dad as his wife preaches about his safety. Two cops are in love, and another cop is torn between last season's Feeb lover, and a jazz musician. Because those things are what you think about when you think about Dexter. The Trinity Killer angle is probably going to work itself out in a way that can be compared to any of the previous seasons' antagonists. I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to be interested in anymore. Maybe next week, Astor will open up a lemonade stand, and someone will be spiking the lemonade with pink lemonade, and there Dexter will be to take the case. Good ol' wishy-washy Dexter.