Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Review of Dexter's 3x03: "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"

Written by Scott Buck
Directed by John Dahl

Dexter (to Nathan): “I’m not like you. Nobody hurts my children.”

If there was a statement needed to cement your commitment as a parental figure, I’m not sure if (from a legal perspective) murdering a paedophile is the way to go about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m more than happy to see scum like Nathan taken off the streets, it’s just authorities frown on all forms of murder (except self-defence).

Dexter was worried that he wouldn’t make a good father to his unborn child but his skills with Cody and Astor really didn’t back up that fear. Even Dexter’s expertise in faking have their limitations and he’s more or less said on more than one occasion that he does care about what happens to children.

When it came to Nathan, there was no way about it though – the moment Dexter spotted him talking to Astor in the supermarket, he was justified in worrying. Nathan looked like trouble from the off and Dexter didn’t have to look hard to find the evidence to back up his theory.

Even on the beach there was a sense of worry. No-one takes photos of children unawares like that ever. Dexter was right to be suspicious but his confrontation with Nathan was new. Dexter sometimes vets out his victims, he rarely takes them aside and tells them that he knows all their sordid details.

He however did do that and I did think that maybe Dexter was try to give Nathan a chance to either get his sick urges until control or leave town. In the end, Dexter paying him a house call and killing him was the better option. Even if Nathan hadn’t personally attacked Dexter by taking photos of Astor, Nathan is still a danger to society.

Nathan’s serving as a plot device to get Dexter around the idea of a biological worked for me. It worked more than poor Dexter having to deal with yoga classes. Whatever happened to antenatal? Dexter’s sheer awkwardness over the whole debacle made me feel a little for him.

I noticed that throughout the episode, Rita insisted on not pressuring Dexter but was sort of pressuring him to make a decision. Not that I’m down on Rita for that, it’s just something that really stuck out for me. Dexter’s sending of positive energy made for a lovely moment.

Then there’s Deb’s reaction to the idea of becoming an auntie. By far, the funniest thing this show has ever done. No-one can send out a congratulations like Deb. This is one of the few times where her excessive swearing was incredibly sweet. I found myself giggling with it.

Deb was also another person who told Dexter to get into gear with becoming a father. The various slaps to the arms as well as telling him that he’s brilliant brother. Deb was on fine form with her brother and it was her way of being nice to him after he did something nice to her (he put up a missing photo of Tegan around so she’d get another clue).

With all the positives of family present and accounted for, Miguel’s kind of a bad representation on the friendship front. I mean, the guy really just kept pushing and pushing with Dexter here, especially on the whole Freebo debacle. Dexter seriously needs to watch himself with this bloke.

Wanting to know where Freebo’s body is was hardly unreasonable and even trying to bond with him over failed fathers could be natural but Dexter’s had too many bad luck with people that he’s ‘connected’ with (Brian/Rudy, Lila) and it’s very unlikely that Miguel is somehow going to buck the trend.

It is however very likely that he can make things ten times worse for Dexter. Even if he is an accessory to a murder, it’s still Dexter who would serve a longer jail sentence and even Miguel giving Dexter his blood stained shirt still doesn’t make me want to trust him in a massive hurry.

Dexter’s pondering on the nature of Miguel’s motive is good though. In an alternative reality, maybe Miguel would be genuinely trustworthy but in this one, I just can’t help feeling the opposite and soon enough if previews for upcoming episodes have shown me, Dexter will come around to the same way of thinking.

Even with all the stuff he knew and the platitudes about justice not getting served, Miguel had no problem standing aside and allowing Chicky Hines to take the rap for a DUI he didn’t commit. Maria herself looked pretty disgusted and even more so when she overheard Chicky’s lawyer talking to the press.

Deb on the other hand when she wasn’t happy for her brother, seemed determined to get more information from Anton as best she could. The only problem was that following Javier’s death, Anton wasn’t as eager to talk to him and going all hard ass on him in the bathroom wasn’t her best idea either.

Anton didn’t exactly make things easy on himself either. If Deb was too rash with him, it was only because Anton continued to goad her and lighting up a joint in front of her was dumb on his part. Did he really think she wouldn’t arrest him? Maybe Anton wanted to be arrested. He did express some fears about his safety during their heated confrontation. After all, Javier got skinned as well as Tegan.

As for Quinn, what the hell is his deal with Deb and Anton? Maybe he fancies Deb and it’s jealousy, maybe Anton’s more dangerous than we know and he’s worried for Deb or (more than likely) Anton has something on Quinn and Quinn would rather Deb not knowing. All are valid guesses on my part.

It is pretty likely that one of these guys will end up sleeping with Deb if not both of them. Anton’s little song tribute to Deb (Skinny Mean Bitch) generated a fair amount of laughs, especially given that even Deb was able to see the funny side of the whole thing. She even danced as a result of knowing what it meant exactly.

Also in “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”

The previously on bits for this episode were longer again. They always seem to be with this show.

Rita: “You do your grocery list alphabetically?”
Dexter: “How else would you do it?”

If it were me, probably listing it off with most important to least important. Or randomly write everything I remember and curse myself for the item I forgot.

Quinn: “You like milk or cream?”
Dexter: “Neither.”
Quinn: “Not exactly the chatty type, are you?”

Deb: “A baby? A motherfucking roly-poly, chubby cheeked shit machine? Are you kidding me?”
Dexter: “I’ve never heard it described in quite those words before, but yeah.”

I only just read in the May issue for Sky Magazine that Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter recently got married, so congratulations to them.

Sylvia (to Rita): “Men are such babies. They have to be carried kicking and screaming into fatherhood.”

Dexter (re Miguel): “Showing up late at night like this. Is it creepy or is it what friends do?”

During the meeting under the bridge, I was worried that Miguel might have found a hole in Dexter’s story. Luckily he hasn’t but I bet he will though.

Dexter: “My father was disgusted by me.”
Miguel: “Disgusted? No offence to the dead but your father’s an idiot.”

Anton (to Deb): “Looks like having conversations with you is dangerous for your health.”

I noticed that Chicky’s lawyer was played by the brilliant Anne Ramsay. Hopefully we’ll be seeing her in more episodes this season.

Deb (re Tegan): “I’m thinking of putting her picture on milk cartons.”
Dexter: “It’s a good idea.”
Deb: “Except no-one would ever drink milk again.”

Dexter: “What’s that for?”
Deb: “I know you, Dex; you’re the best brother in the world. You can do this. And if you don’t trust yourself, trust me. I’m the smart one in the family.”

Anton’s little ‘puta’ comment about Deb reminded me of LaGuerta frequently calling her that in Darkly Dreaming Dexter.

Quinn (re Masuka): “Who the fuck are his people?”
Angel: “I don’t know little scientists or something.”

Dexter: “So there it is. I’m gonna be a father and raise my child. It’s what any good man would do.”

Chronology: The day after “Finding Freebo”.

The first two episodes of this season were good but “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was much better. Rita’s pregnancy plot should bore me to tears but it doesn’t, the skinnings are obviously leading to something bad and Miguel is dangerous.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

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