Dexter Episode (3) Season (6) Review of "Smokey and the Bandit"
By Time Spiral
October 17th, 2011, Tampa - **SPOILERS**
Previously on Dexter ... with multiple allusions to fairy tales we dive even deeper into Dexter's struggle with religion and what he will pass to his son as his legacy. The Wright storyline is explored and we're all left wondering, is he a wolf in sheep's clothing? Travis's character was revealed a little bit, but his dark shepherd remains a mystery. Deb was promoted to Lt. and Quinn is all sorts of screwed up. In my review of Dexter's Episode (2) Once Upon a Time, I can say nothing but good things. How did Dexter do with this week's follow up episode: Smokey and the Bandit? Read on to find out.
I'm free! Wait ... Now what do I do? Dumbest captive ever.
Travis's latest victim is not dead. Instead he's shackled by chains to a plate bolted into the concrete. Being captured while taking a jog through the park at night, this man's fate now seems bleak as a large crucifix (a recurring visual image in this season), in the serial killers' dilapidated church-lair, stares him down, reminding him of impending doom.
Sheer terror grants this man strength, and vigilance, but apparently at the cost of intelligence. He breaks free from the bolted plate! Wandering through the lair he is confronted with a bucking horse and he is thrown back in shock. He is immediately recaptured by the ever present serial killing couple.
Maybe I'm being too hard on the guy, but he has got to be the dumbest captive ever. Who knows how you'd really react in a scenario like that, but I'd like to think the very first thing I'd think about is how to arm myself. The second thing is, "can I escape from the room I'm in right now?" Uhm ... you're surrounded by windows, dude. That was bad. They probably could have cut that whole sequence (but he needed to be pure, or something).
Deb vets a new hire and tells LaGuerta to shove it
Deb is on the verge of a breakdown. It's day two and she can barely handle the pressure. Dexter calms her down, and she receives some sagely advise from Miss. LaGuerta, *cough*, I mean Batista (That was great!). Quinn is obviously pissed and Deb starts to show some guts by standing up to LaGuerta.
It appears they're introducing a new character. Mike Anderson (played by Billy Brown). How long is he going to stick around? Is he filling the shoes of believability because Deb needs to replace her position, or does he have a vital role in this arc? It's too early to tell.
Fairy Tales, and Monsters ... Dexter is living in a fantasy world.
The allusions to fairy tales in the season have been plentiful so far. The title of episode two, "Once Upon a Time ...", the readings of fairy tells to his son, the questioning of himself and Brother Sam, as well as alluding to the only way a happy ending is possible ... They continued down that path with Dexter coming across an inspirational serial killer: The Tooth Fairy.
I cannot help but wonder if all these allusions to fairy tells are also supposed to highlight Dexter's inherent opposition to religion, which is similarly fairy-tale like.
After Dexter discovers the dead hooker's broken tooth he quickly becomes excited. Rifling through his killer scrapbook, with his Dark Passenger over his shoulder, he discovers the clippings of one Tooth Fairy - still at large. Through a series a relatively hilarious encounters Dexter finds that vetting this man is a little too easy.
Of course its too easy! Dexter makes a critical mistake ...
After a round of golf, a six pack, some dirty magazines, and a box filled with damning evidence, Dexter is certain this is his man. Just as Dexter is starting to consider that he might be getting played by this old man, he picks him up for another errand to discover he's the victim of a more nefarious plan.
Too easy. Dexter wrecks his car, and the Tooth Fairy's gun goes off. Dexter is berated by the Tooth Fairy's predictions. "This is what you have to look forward to!" Dexter is furious. He can barely control himself. He learns that the Tooth Fairy is a bitter old man, cynical, who hates his son, and is excited that they will learn the truth about him. Dexter will have no part in gratifying this bastard of a man, so he decides to suffocate him and leave his body to be found.
I absolutely hated that decision, unless they use it to get Quinn back on Dexter's trail. The whole thing is way too sloppy. Dexter shows up out of nowhere, hangs out with this guy, crashes his vehicle, a gun is fired in his vehicle, he breaks into his apartment, then decides to suffocate the guy and leave his body ... That has got to be one of the sloppiest Dexter killings yet, and I think it's going to come back and bite him. It almost has to.
REPENT, that's what I'm talking about!
Anyone get that reference? Eh, oh well ... Ask in the comments if you must know.
We learn a little bit more about Travis and his dark shepherd (who has not been identified as the Professor in the show yet, although everyone knows that's what he is called. Until that happens, due to his role, he is the dark shepherd.) and the episode ends with the fate of the poor runner displayed on the streets, and on the backs of four horses. It is absolutely grotesque!
Before the fantastic end-scene, Travis commands his prisoner to repent. Repent for your sins, and you must believe it! he continuously demands of his prisoner. After the prisoner's failed escape attempt the dark shepherd reveals that he is "ready."
Travis is definitely the fall-guy in this relationship. We learn that he was selected by this mysterious older man and when he references that "too much is on the line," you cannot help but think that their scheme is rather grandiose. But, I had a lot of trouble believing that whole arc in this episode. Without more character development I'm worried that both Travis and the Dark Shepherd are just going to fall flat. Granted, it's still early in the season, but so far these two are not doing it for me. They're clearly conjuring up some twisted religious-apocalypse-based super crime, but why? Will Travis go along with it? Are they going to continue to strain the relationship with the dark shepherd? This arc is struggling right now. Let's see if they can tone it up, soon.
Dexter drops his box. Chaos. Just chaos ...
The Tooth Fairy really got to Dexter. You can tell. He broke protocol by leaving the body. This is a huge mistake! But it gets worse. Frazzled, and doubting himself, he gets ready to place the slide in its proper, numbered, slot in his box (mirrored by the Tooth Fairy's box).
Carelessly, he fumbles and drops the box. The slides spill out and crash to the ground. Some of them even crack and break. You can see it on his face. He is crushed. He is mortified. He can feel the chaos brewing and closing in on him.
This was a powerful scene and although it did not get a lot of screen-time I think it is obvious how critically important this scene is. Dexter is falling apart. Trying to put his feet on firmer ground, with his son, and his legacy, he finds himself in uncharted territory. Will the Tooth Fairy, his childhood inspiration, ultimately be his undoing?
Let's find out next week, on Dexter.
Be peaceful on your way,
Closing thoughts and looking forward ...
- The set up next week to refocus on the Wright storyline. Where is this going?
- So far Ryan Chambers (Brea Grant) is basically just eye-candy, but are her purposes more nefarious than we are being led to believe?
- Quinn appears genuinely distraught. Is he going to catch wind of Dexter's latest mistake or just writhe around like a fool?
- How can Dexter be so careless with the killing of the Tooth Fairy! What did you think of that?
- The four horsemen of the apocalypse. The scene itself was extremely cool, but this serial killing duo took a turn for the worse this week. How can they turn them around? I'm not sure, but right now it's a little too unbelievable.
- Colin Hanks has got some chops, sure, but he's not really being given the chance to develop his character. Too bad. Do you think that will change? Will they reintroduce his sister into the plot? I think it is virtually guaranteed.
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