Dexter is back and it’s wasting no time getting the ball rolling on this season’s theme. There was also a sizable body count, with four people killed off by the end of the episode, and not all of them were Dexter’s victims. The series seems to be at a great jumping off point for another season as each of the characters move forward, together or apart.
The episode couldn’t have started on a better (or darker) note as Dexter appeared to be dying of a stab wound. We soon learn that this is all a rouse to lure two unsuspecting paramedics to the middle of nowhere, where Dexter would pay them back for their misdeeds. Allowing or actively helping people die as part of a scheme to harvest organs is a pretty disgusting way to earn money. It’s also a very creative way to set up Dexter’s first two victims of the season. Seeing him zap them to death with defibrillators was a nice shift from Dexter’s preferred method of stabbing his victims to death.
Welcome back, Dexter fans! As long as there are evil-doers out there, Dexter will be at work! Or at the very least, as long as there are bad people out there, Dexter has an outlet to channel his dark passenger’s desires. So, the good people of Miami can rest easier knowing organ-thieving paramedics are taking the brunt of Dexter’s issues.
The set-up for Dexter’s big kill du jour was his 20-Year high school reunion. Dexter clued us in on Janet Walker, a girl he remembered from high school that was always nice to him. Growing up as somewhat of an outcast, or at the very least, a loner, it’s reasonable to think Dexter would hold a special place in his heart for the few people who might have bothered to be nice to him during his adolescence. In this case, Janet Walker was one of them and since learning of her death, which was ruled a suicide, Dexter had reason to suspect that her husband Joe Walker actually killed her. Maybe his memory of having been ignored and dismissed by the jock-ish Joe in high school caused a bit of bias on Dexter’s part. But he wasn’t about to kill the guy without knowing for sure, so a big part of his involvement at the reunion was fueled by his need to get a blood sample from Joe.
Dexter’s reunion was a great way to re-introduce the character to us and remind us that while he presents himself as a normal human being, he’s anything but underneath it all. Watching Dexter line-dance to “You Can’t Touch This” demonstrated that beautifully. Dexter also proved to be a prime example of the quiet loner in high school, who shows up at their reunion as a successful, handsome, achiever. Everyone wanted to talk to him, especially the women. Dexter even managed to get a little action in the science classroom with Tricia, a woman who credits her academic success to cheating off of Dexter. She repaid him with some oral pleasure and gave him an opportunity to get Joe on his own.
The blood-work confirmed that Joe killed his wife, or at the very least, his blood matched the blood found under Janet’s fingernails. Joe confirmed that he killed his wife, only after Dexter had him strapped down to a scoreboard and prepped for the kill. For all Joe’s ranting and raving about God, not to mention his Jesus tattoo, he didn’t seem to have any qualms about killing Janet to save himself the cost of a divorce. Although from Dexter’s memory of her bruises, it’s likely that rage played a part on Joe’s decision to end the marriage via “death do us part.”
Dexter killed Joe with a hammer, once again deviating from his preferred knife method, though he did stab Joe afterward.
While Dexter was busy revisiting his past, we were introduced to Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos’ characters Travis and Professor Gellar. These two are clearly up to no good. While Gellar appeared to be steering the ship, Travis was the one to get his hands dirty tonight, helping to catch some Florida Water Snakes and killing a man selling oranges on the side of the road. The body of the man washed up on shore with greek lettering carved into his chest and seven snakes tucked away inside his body.
Both Gellar and Travis quoted Revelations tonight. I won’t pretend to be a bible scholar, so I can’t offer any interpretation or history of the quotes, however by what Travis was quoting (“In the midst of the street is the tree of life, which bears twelve manner of fruits and yielded her fruit every month.”), my guess is that the man was chosen for the kill because of what he was selling and where. The street was by a river, which may be relevant to the quote. As for the seven snakes, Gellar later quoted another Revelations chapter about a snake with seven heads. I don’t know where to take any of this other than that it’s obviously religiously related.
Other notable moments:
Masuka’s teaching a bunch of aspiring forensic scientists, which includes Brea Grant’s character Ryan. Grant has appeared in Heroes and Friday Night Lights. In Dexter, she’s clearly caught the eye of more than one male at Miami Metro Homicide already.
LaGuerta was promoted to Captain after blackmailing Deputy Chief Matthews. It’s unsurprising that LaGuerta used shady means to advance herself. She’s proven to be fairly capable at her job, but also very willing to step on other people to get ahead.
LaGuerta and Batista are divorced, which is is sad but makes sense. I thought they were a good match for about five-seconds, but in the end, I think LaGuerta’s best match is someone who will put their career ahead of their personal life as she does. That’s not Batista. He deserves someone that appreciates him and loves him more than they do their job.
Harrison is going to pre-school! Batista got Dexter and Harrison an interview at the Catholic school where Batista’s kid went. It was interesting to see Dexter’s reaction to the crucifix, which is one of the strongest symbols of the Catholic faith. While Dexter connected with the goriness of the image, as Batista later explained, the sight of Jesus on the cross represents the sacrifice Christ made. Batista didn’t do so well at explaining how faith works, however Dexter’s curiosity toward the Church and believers is an interesting path for the series to follow. We know the only thing he believes in is his code because that’s the only thing he was raised to believe in, and for good reason. Whether or not he finds faith in something beyond that remains to be seen.
Quinn spent most of the episode building up the courage to ask Deb to marry him, but he never got to do it because some man showed up at the restaurant where they were having dinner and began shooting at people. Deb, being the mega-cop that she is, took the man down, with Quinn’s assistance (though she seemed to have the situation mostly under control by the time he got there). Will Quinn pop the question and when? I suppose the bigger question will be, will Deb say yes?
Until next week!
Showtime posted the full first episode online and you can watch it here!.