Dexter’s dilemma as a dad

By Dan Gigliotti

SPOILER ALERT

Before Rita’s death, Dexter was unburdened by the strict responsibilities of fatherhood. Now, those obligations are becoming more evident and, after the latest episode, they are clearly starting to take their toll.

Harry’s apparition reminds Dexter of the decision that he faces, putting his habit and his inherited children in his list of priorities. Astor and Cody move into his apartment with Deb and one of the them is unsettled by the new sleeping arrangements.

Astor objects to her temporary quarters, expressing wishes of being back home, as Dexter forgets to bring her belongings to his abode. Just when it appeared that she might be letting her guard down and accepting Dexter as her new parental figure, Astor is reminded of her lost mother and it devastates her.

This dynamic appears to be a driving theme at the onset of this season. Dexter will have to learn to share some of Astor’s distraught feelings with her if he is to earn her trust and fit into the parental role which he now finds himself in.

Cody is content with Dexter, but after skipping class to go home to the site of Rita’s death, Astor demands that they be allowed to move in with their grandparents. Dexter evokes his and Deb’s bond as siblings, assuring Cody that he is better off being by his sister’s side through this confusing time and they are sent to Orlando with Rita’s mother.

Dexter is troubled by the conflict arising with the children because he is genuinely wants to do the right thing for the kids, but doesn’t quite know how to go about it.

With the children gone, Dexter has the freedom to go back to work and reestablish a normal routine, although this could very well have a back-lashing effect. I wouldn’t doubt if their move allows Dexter to be consumed by his murderous instincts, unleashing a flurry of questionable killings which lead to more trouble than he already has.

He is certainly missed at Miami Metro Homicide, where Masuka has taken over as the blood-spatter analyst in his interim. The familiar group of detectives are involved in a new case, when a severed head is found amidst a ceremonial ring of candles and ornaments.

A local police officer suggests to Deb that it could be gang-related and it later becomes linked to another death, when a man is found with a fatal gunshot wound in his house and they woman is identified in a framed photograph with him.

I am eager to find out how this subplot will play out. In past seasons, the series has done well to carry on parallel story lines and this seems like one that may evolve.

Is this killing going to occupy detectives throughout the series? Will Dexter go back to work and begin to involve himself in avenging these latest deaths, as he used to doing?

Dexter is already on the prowl for his next victim. With more poise than last episode when he experienced a deathly, uncharacteristic out-lash, he is still not his typically-composed self.

He rents a moving van in preparation for the buying of a new home and finds that it is left with blood stains in the interior. After some swift analysis, he pins a man named Boyd Fowler, a dead-animal remover, for a slew of mischievous acts.

He can’t help himself but to sniff out Fowler for foul play, uncovering a woman’s dead body.

Now, Fowler is likely to be Dexter’s next victim. But will he be as sure-handed as he once was? He has been out of form for a long while now and he will quickly find himself catching more heat than he can imagine with the Officer Quinn and the federal agents looking for ‘Kyle Butler.’

Quinn is still curious about Rita’s case and gets a hold of sketches drawn of the curious ‘Kyle Butler.’ Quinn seems to be on his own chase, for the time-being, not only for the lead in the last Trinity murder case, but for his estranged object of eroticism, Deb.

Deb has never been able to resist the courting of any man and Quinn’s persistent pursuit of her affection is no exception. A stubborn Deb finally acknowledges their impassioned exchange from episode one and she accepts his offer to stay at his apartment, if only for a place to stay.

Throughout the episode, Angel questions whether to approach Maria about a large sum of money that she was keeping secret from him. At the end of the episode, he gets into an altercation at a bar in her defense, of which Masuka gets the worst of (poor Masuka!).

As is common with the Dexter series, the wheels of the subplots are beginning to turn. None, however, is bigger than Dexter’s preoccupation with murder and the questions of fatherhood that necessitate his top priorities.

How long will it be before Fowler is finished? Will Quinn continue to follow leads on Butler alone or will Deb start to entertain his notions as he entertains her?

And will Dexter find solace in single fatherhood or will his festering feelings of vengeance overflow?

What I do know is that I will be darkly dreaming about the next episode until Sunday comes back around.

Dan Gigliotti can be reached at [email protected]