Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Review of Dexter's 3x09: "About Last Night"

Written by Melissa Rosenberg And Seth Reynolds
Directed by Tim Hunter

Sylvia: “When you’ve been married as long as we have, you know when your husband is lying.”
Dexter (to himself): “Something to look forward to.”

For someone as usually perceptive as Dexter, he should’ve spotted a long time ago that Miguel was a loose cannon. It’s at this point in the season where things heat up. In the first year, Rudy was getting close to Dexter and the second had Dexter discover that Lila was unhinged.

Miguel’s unhinged behaviour has become apparent in the last few episodes and after showing up on Ellen’s doorstep in the previous episode, there’s no mystery as to what happened next. I know a few people thought that Miguel and Ellen might have actually been in cahoots together but I watched that scene again and she looked uneasy when he paid her a house call.

Harry taunted Dexter on both Ellen and Miguel disappearing at the same time and it wasn’t until Dexter dug an unopened grave that he found her body. Damn it, no more Anne Ramsay on this series and more misery for Maria. First Doakes, now Ellen. Is Maria bad luck for people?

I’m kidding but thanks to the discovery Dexter has begun to realise how dangerous Miguel actually is. I also think for the first time this season, I properly and passionately loathe Miguel, even though Jimmy Smits continues to knock it out of the ballpark with the character.

Miguel made the mistake of thinking he was untouchable. His attempts of apologising to Dexter about taking on a solo project were blatantly insincere and even when Dexter attempted to prove a point to Miguel by leading the authorities to Ellen’s body in his own roundabout way; Miguel was still not getting the message.

Miguel has pretty thrown the trust issue at Dexter in order to gain it and to influence Dexter’s decision a fair amount of times this season. It should’ve been obvious that he would never have given Dexter a blood stained shirt that would incriminate him in Freebo’s murder.

Giving Dexter a shirt covered in Bovine surprised me, though I’m also surprised in retrospect that Dexter didn’t analyse the blood on the shirt until now. Dexter piecing together that Miguel was using him made for a powerful moment. It also yet again shows that Dexter does feel emotion and rage is pretty fucking powerful to feel. I so can’t wait to see how this rage is gonna play out.

Miguel’s pretty pissed on Dexter’s respect all over the shop and when he went to sympathise with Maria over Ellen’s death, I found myself quite disgusted watching that scene. Perhaps Maria will be smart enough to piece together that Miguel bumped off her new pal.

When he wasn’t bumping off Ellen, Miguel also managed to frak up things for Deb and Quinn regarding George King. Mystery solved – King’s the Skinner and Miguel made it possible for him to roam the streets again. Of course Miguel might be stupid enough to think he can take down the Skinner but he could easily end up becoming a victim of him as well if Dexter fails to kill him.

It was nice at this point that we’re finally getting in deeper with the Skinner and though he’s a good threat, he’s no Rudy. I even think Lila is better than him but I think one of the reasons why the Skinner isn’t as successful is given how little we’ve had of him at the start of the season and also how dominating Miguel has become these last few episodes as well.

Poor Anton was the latest victim of madman King but surprisingly enough, the scenes where he was getting skinned weren’t as gory as you’d expect. I sure would like to know why the Skinner is doing what he does and why he’s targeting certain people. I assume that with Anton, it’s because he was a CI but why did he go after the others, like Tegan for starters?

Deb lost her cool more than a few times in this episode. I love the girl to bits but she has been reckless in the handling of this case and she played into King’s hands with her violent outburst during the questioning section this week. It’s a good job that she had both Quinn and Maria to pull her back at different points.

Quinn sort of came into his own this episode. It’s also his fault that Anton was put in harm’s way so I liked that he drove a car into King’s hideout to rescue the guy. When he and Deb weren’t arguing over their collective screw ups in this case, they actually made some headway in their working relationship. If Anton’s done as a character, then that probably paves the way for Quinn to sweep Deb off her feet.

With three episodes left, I’m wondering how things are going to fare out for Dexter and Rita and baby on the way. Rita’s been spending the last few episodes either as a sounding board for Sylvia or channelling her inner Bridezilla to Dexter’s derision so in some ways this episode didn’t offer her anything new. It’s a shame because Julie Benz should get more to do on this show.

However Rita did at least get one intriguing scene with Miguel where she told him that he was being an idiot. It’s fairly obvious that Miguel isn’t used to being talked down to and if it wasn’t for wanting to keep Dexter onside, I have a feeling he probably would’ve ripped Rita a new one for sticking her oar in.

As for Angel and Barbara, they still seem to be the happiest couple right now on the show. Funnily enough, even spending time with Masuka hasn’t given Barbara the urge to leg it. As for Masuka commenting on Barbara being the ‘wikipedia of perv’, maybe it indicates something serious or maybe it’s just a defence mechanism that Barbara uses to deal with men like Vince. I’m sure we’ll find out sooner rather than later on that one.

Also in “About Last Night”

This season keeps playing with Harry as a fantasy figure. Getting him to wave Ellen’s hand was so inappropriately funny.

Dexter (to Deb): “Anton’s a big guy, lot of skin. That’s supposed to be comforting.”

Did I hear right in King saying that he owed Freebo money? Is that why he murdered Tegan?

Anton: “I can find you money.”
King: “I don’t want your money. I owe Freebo that money. This is about respect.”

Masuka (to Angel/Barbara): “Hey, get a room. Actually don’t.”

Harry, Miguel and Dexter were all singing the same song at one point in this episode, it’s was kind of disconcerting.

Rita (re Sylvia): “Either way you violated her trust.”
Miguel: “I just needed space. I have everything falling apart for me right now. Oscar, Ramon, my cases.”

Dexter (re Ellen): “She wasn’t guilty.”
Miguel: “Apparently we have a different definition of the word.”

Was Anne Ramsay even credited for this episode? I know all she had to do was play a corpse but I don’t remember seeing her name in the end credits.

Dexter (re George King/Skinner): “I hope we meet again. I’d like to get to know you better but how well can you know someone? How much do you wanna know?”

Dexter (re Miguel): “I didn’t create a monster, I was used by one. He used me.”

Dexter’s imaginary blow up reminded me of Six Feet Under when some of the characters used to do that as well.

“About Last Night” continues to set into motion both Miguel and the Skinner plots and while it’s obvious that both are going to be killed by the finale, it’s certainly going to be interesting getting there.

Rating: 9 out of 10.


Nat said...

I loved this episode. Dexter realising that Miguel was playing him was very powerful stuff especially his fantasy rage- very SFU you're right there.

I'm glad they found Anton, it would've been awful for Deb if they hadn't- she really doesn't have the best luck with men!

I think the Skinner loaned Freebo money- at least thats what I heard, but I'm not totally sure. I'd also be interested to find out why he's skinning people instead of other torture methods.

I kind of like that they've had two 'baddies' this season in the form of the skinner and Miguel- both whom Dexter brought out of the woodwork when he killed Oscar and then Freebo. It means Miguel has been able to develop as a character without interference from the police largely.

shawnlunn2002 said...

You're catching up brilliantly. I've just seen I Had A Dream. Um, excellent.