Monday, November 16, 2009

Jordan's Review: Dexter, Season 4, Episode 8: Road Kill

“Road Kill” provided an excellent opportunity for us to examine Arthur and Dexter, both individually and in the way they interact. When Dexter discovers that Arthur is heading to a build in Tampa, he fears that the cycle of murder is about to begin again, and so forces himself along so that he can kill Arthur before Arthur can kill anyone else. What follows gives us a bit more insight into Arthur, and into Dexter, but it also comes across mostly as another placeholder episode in a season full of them (last week’s episode, which I unfortunately missed reviewing, was arguably the most egregious offender in this category).

We learn that Arthur inadvertently caused his sister’s death, when she saw him watching her in the shower, got startled, and fell, shattering the glass and cutting her own leg. Her death lead to his mother’s suicide and left him with an abusive and alcoholic father whom he most likely killed. Thus, Trinity’s cycle was created. As Arthur shares all this with Dexter, he seems insanely desperate. He unburdens his dark secret and with it he seems to loosen his tenuous grip on sanity. As long as he has remained driven by his endless cycle, he has managed to seem sane, but when he thinks his life is over (as he plans to kill himself) he frees himself from his act and allows the maniac inside to come out and play. This results in him bursting into his childhood home, commandeering a family’s lunch and finally in his attempted suicide. But by episode’s end he has lost his death wish and found his cause all over again, putting him back on the path to Dexter’s table.

On the Dexter front we discover that he feels remorse for killing an innocent man, which moves him closer to aligning with the rest of the human race. This is exactly the opposite of where I want Dexter to go as a series, but it seems he is becoming more and more human as the show continues. Perhaps his reluctance to kill Trinity is a symptom of that, or possibly it comes from his desire to keep the monster in each of them alive against the crushing tension of societal assimilation. Looking at how the show has gone this season, my bets are on the former.

In the round up of irrelevant and boring plotlines this episode, Angel and LaGuerta are banging again, and the reporter is still digging for a story (what else do reporters do, after all?). And while Deb has been the most interesting plotline other than Dexter’s this season (As usual) the idea of someone else shooting her is kind of expected, and pretty annoying. Every suspect other than Trinity is a pretty big stretch. So who shot Lundy? Is it the reporter? She does need a story pretty badly, but that making her a murderer seems like the dumbest plot twist ever. Was it Quinn? He does like to steal money from crime scenes but how in God’s name would that lead to him shooting Deb? Whoever it was, I feel like it’s going to be a pretty large leap to buy their motivations, and, more importantly, to make me care.

Grade: B-


-“I really do need something to stab.” –Dexter, after talking to Quinn.

-I like the joke that no one gets Dexter’s science.

-“I’ve almost banged so much tail at those geekfests…”Poor, deluded Masuka.

-Apologies again for missing last week. time got the better of me.

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