Sunday, May 03, 2009

My Review of Dexter's 3x02: "Finding Freebo"

Written by Melissa Rosenberg
Directed by Marcos Siega

Rita (to Dexter): “I’m not trying to pressure you but we have to make a decision before one is made for us.”

Parenthood. If there’s something that will definitely bring you out in cold sweats, it’s possibly that. We know that for all of his murderous ways that Dexter actually is pretty cool with children. You get him to babysit and not worry about him dispatching them.

However that’s not much of a cert for fatherhood. Rita’s pregnancy is certainly enough to get Dexter in a tail spin and when it’s confirmed for definite (because actual proof is needed to back up Rita’s realisation of old patterns); it’s also the last thing that Dexter really wanted to discuss.

Outside the hospital, he couldn’t get fast enough to work and even at Rita’s house, he still wasn’t able to talk to her about the potential of being a parent. Rita even made a half-baked attempt to try and get him to open up on their way to Miguel and Sylvia’s house and that still didn’t work.

Rita almost made a point of telling Sylvia that she was pregnant. Maybe because it was heavily playing on her mind or maybe it’s a depiction that aside from co-workers and occasional sitters for Cody and Astor, Rita doesn’t really have that many friends she can confide into.

Valerie Cruz (next to be seen in True Blood) is a good casting choice for the role of Sylvia and seems to work well along with Jimmy Smits. It’s also more likely that whatever friendship Rita and Sylvia will have is probably going to be healthier that the friendship Dexter finds himself being thrown into with Miguel.

Tension aside, it’s nice that Dexter and Rita didn’t have any explosive arguments or cross words with each other. When Rita stopped by Dexter’s apartment and started talking, I did at first think that she was going to suggest a termination in order to gauge Dexter’s reaction (the one thing he wasn’t giving her).

Instead she made the point of telling that she was keeping the child, in spite of the list of cons the both of them had earlier discussed. However she did give Dexter an out by telling him that his role in the baby’s life was his decision. While Rita’s not stupid, I doubt emotional blackmail factored into her discussion with Dexter.

As for being a good parent, I think we can vouch for that, especially when considering that the other parent (Paul, not Dexter) was a wife beating drug user. Rita’s certainly stepped out of the role of cute but dim girlfriend into something more with a backbone and personality.

Dexter spent a good part of this episode wondering whether or not his child would inherit the sociopath gene. Given that Dexter’s original father wasn’t a violent killer (if not exactly a law abiding citizen), there is the vague possibility that Dexter Jr could be a well adjusted child. Stranger things have happened and you’ve also got to remember that Rita’s there too.

When Dexter wasn’t brooding about impending fatherhood, the search for Freebo was also on his mind. There was a time when Dexter would bask in the incompetence of his own work place, only for them to now actually be more proactive in their search for Freebo as well.

Dexter had hoped that it was going to take them longer to link Oscar and Tegan’s murders and Freebo’s involvement but it seemed that Deb was doing her job just a little too well for Dexter’s liking. Isn’t it terrible when the police are actually good at their jobs? It’s certainly going to be problematic for Dexter if they get too good.

One big shining problem that came Dexter’s way this week was Miguel. Miguel’s suspicions of Dexter in the previous episode had signalled enough trouble but this week he was actively making a point in vetting Dexter out. That cosy little dinner incite had nothing to do with friendship or at least not the conventional kind.

When I meet up with friends, there’s usually chatter, pool, food, beverages (whether caffeinated or alcoholic). When Miguel met up with Dexter it was just so he could get an honest reaction in figuring out whether or not the police would end up catching Freebo.

There are a lot of things that can easily be called out on this show but Dexter being caught by Miguel after he murdered Freebo wasn’t one of them. I know Miguel was in the house while Dexter was getting busy on Freebo in the garage but I assumed (and hoped) that Dexter would escape and Miguel would just find Freebo’s corpse. Not so much apparently.

Miguel knowing that Dexter killed Freebo, even if he does believe it was in self-defence is trouble personified. Although Miguel intrigues me as a character (he could be a very interesting foil), I just don’t trust him and Dexter really is going to have to tread carefully with this guy.

Also speaking of treading carefully, Deb seems to be on a slippery slope. Although she’s always been the ambitious type, she really seems to be even more fixated on getting her shield more and more this season; to the point where I think she’s gonna mess up.

I’m not sure about Quinn as a character but I’m also uncertain that it would be wise for Deb to spy on him as well. Plus it doesn’t help that Yuki’s a massive bitch. Seriously, there’s someone lacking people skills in a big way and using Harry in a bid to try and get Deb to play ball is just low.

At least Deb got some results with Tegan, like actually finding out whom she was and that there was a link to Freebo. Of course, it’s also very interesting that Quinn wasn’t best pleased when Anton actually delivered the good. Now, that’s jealousy that could either be professional or personal but either way, both Quinn and Anton seem to fancy Deb. That part is certainly clear.

As for Masuka, I had to delight in him getting published but is there any chance we might actually get a snippet on the article he wrote about the Bay Harbour Butcher. Maria’s scenes with Miguel had some interesting moments. She did look pretty sad when Miguel kept things purely platonic and while Angel talked about the cons of his new position, I did love his little scene with Dexter on fatherhood.

Also in “Finding Freebo”

I don’t think there’s anyone who hasn’t seen this episode and realised that the title is a nice little play on “Finding Nemo”. Still, at least Nemo didn’t get gutted whereas Freebo certainly did.

Dexter (re Tegan): “I already saw what I saw and it was nothing.”
Deb: “Well, see what you see again.”

Masuka’s little shrine made for a funny moment in the episode as did Dexter’s pointed response on crucifixions.

Deb: “You’re gonna give me a shield for being a snitch.”
Yuki: “No, for being an honest cop, Deborah, like your father.”

Anton: “You know there is more to life than policing.”
Deb: “So I’ve heard.”

Anton plays the guitar in a band when he’s not doing snitch work on drug dealers. He also poked fun at Deb’s swearing.

Deb: “What the fuck is scrap-booking?”
Dexter: “The tradition of putting photos and memorabilia into family keepsake albums along with relevant journaling.”
Deb: “I don’t even want to know how you know that.”

Harry: “I always wanted to be a grandfather.”
Dexter: “I think we’re all better off without you.”

Naturally Dexter’s dream of a normal child would be skewered; though I’m surprised the kid only went after Astor. In the books, it’s both her and Cody that display sociopathic tendencies.

Deb: “You’re a little young to be in business for yourself.”
Javier: “I’m a wonder kid.”

Masuka: “I got the call. I’m getting published.”
Dexter: “Congratulations, the shrine must’ve worked.”

Maria had to tell Miguel that his conviction for Chicky Hynes was wrong. Miguel looked like he wanted to flip on Maria but instead he chose to thank her for being honest with him.

Rita: “Having this child is a huge mistake. I weighed up all the pros and cons and all I’ve got are the cons.”
Dexter: “I was thinking the same thing.”
Rita: “I’m keeping it.”

Rita (to Dexter): “This child is happening but your role in its life is entirely up to you.”

Rita’s list of cons included expense, sagging boobs and in Dexter’s dreams, was that a syringe rattler Harry had with the baby?

Freebo: “What the hell is this?”
Dexter: “Show and tell. It’s been so long since you killed them, I thought you’d forgotten.”

Chronology: More or less a day or two since “Our Father”.

“Finding Freebo” certainly livened things up a little. Dexter works better when he’s on the hunt for someone and the pursuit of Freebo was entertaining enough. The Miguel plot however pushed the episode and it’ll be interesting to see how that develops.

Rating: 8 out of 10.


Nat said...

Good review. I really enjoyed this episode.
I like the pregnancy storyline, Dexter and his brother developed the murderous thing from being stuck in that container with their dead mother, so there's no reason why Dexter Jr won't turn out normal. Dexter's fears are justified though, being stepdad is one thing, but an actual father is a lot more pressure. I loved his scene with Angel though- so cute!!

I'm sure Dexter could've thought of another way to get around Miguel, but I guess its all in the name of drama (much like Dexter admitting to having a drug addiction to Rita last season) It will be interesting to see how the 'friendship' plays out.

shawnlunn2002 said...

Wow, I just spotted your comment. Glad you enjoyed the episode.