Sunday, July 05, 2009

My Review of Dexter's 3x11: "I Had A Dream"

Written by Lauren Gussis And Chic Eglee
Directed by Marcos Siega

Dexter: “What did you say in your bachelor party speech? Friends are always honest.”
Miguel: “Friends forgive. Friends forgive.”
Dexter: “But I don’t forgive you. And I don’t get to have friends.”

Okay, was there anyone who thought that maybe for a nanosecond that Miguel would make it out of this season alive? Yeah, didn’t think so. That being said, I did think that it would be in the finale that Miguel would meet his untimely end and not the episode before it.

The opening scene of this episode is wonderful in it’s tension. Dexter genuinely thinks that with him being tied up in the trunk of a car that Miguel has won. The interesting part is that without the Harry bit, we really should’ve seen it coming. How else would you get Dexter to go to his bachelor party?

It’s probably not best to kidnap the groom, especially when the groom in question has a highly impressive body count that you’ll never see on his resume. I did laugh when Masuka got punched in the face, proving that some good deeds can get you punished for a lot.

Miguel at Dexter’s bachelor party had some defining moments. Both men were desperate to keep up appearances but as soon as Miguel started talking about friendship and forgiveness, I just knew that he was trying to appeal to Dexter’s better nature.

Miguel might have the Skinner in his pocket but he knows that Dexter’s a killer and he also probably knew that Dexter was going to end him. Trying to appeal to Dexter’s better nature was pointless. Even I was cheering on Dexter talking about killing Miguel and yeah, I’m aware that that’s somewhat disturbed.

Miguel however is a deserving victim for Dexter. He had no reason other than pettiness when he killed Ellen Wolf and he made some serious threats to Dexter and the few people that Dexter cared about. Plus if Miguel hadn’t been bumped off this week, then it might have been Maria.

Maria certainly has come leaps and bounds from the vapid woman she was in the first few episodes of Season One. She had already figured out that Miguel had killed Ellen and spent this episode siding up to him so she could evidence. In other words, Maria was being competent.

It’s usually when Maria acts like a professional that someone like Captain Matthews comes down and bulldozes her. Surprisingly the writers actually avoided doing that. Instead they actually wrote some delightful scenes between her and Dexter, the kind that make you hope that the fourth season will give you more.

Dexter isn’t particularly friendly with Maria most of the time. I don’t think he hates her but he never seemed to be as friendly with her as he is with everyone else on the series. Because of their mutual in bringing Miguel to justice, they bonded and it was interesting.

I liked seeing Maria confiding in Dexter about her fears with Miguel and even telling him that the psycho AD was Ellen’s killer when Dexter was able to prove it. At one point, Dexter was even gonna provide her with more clues. Instead he saved her life and she’ll never know.

Miguel’s plan to use a drunken Ramon as an alibi wasn’t the smartest one he could’ve thought of. I loved how Dexter was able to trick Miguel into falling straight into his trap. As death scenes go, Miguel’s is certainly interesting.

There’s no overt emotiveness like there was when Dexter had to kill Brian/Rudy but like Lila, Miguel did teach Dexter a lesson – he can’t have friends. Telling Miguel that he killed Oscar was a touch spiteful so it’s a good job that Miguel is definitely dead. That being said, Dexter should probably watch out for Ramon who isn’t above a little torture himself.

If you want an emotional link in this episode then it came perfectly with Dexter telling Deb about Harry’s affair with a CI. He didn’t specify that it was with Laura Moser but he better not be surprised when Deb pieces that bit herself. I loved Deb’s reaction to Dexter about secrets. It’s so perfectly in character for her.

Also touching was the fact that Dexter asked Deb to be his best man. I know there are probably some viewers out there who wondered why he didn’t do that in the first place but it felt rather earned here. Deb is probably the closest person that Dexter can be honest with. Maybe not about his killing tendencies, especially if you’ve read the books but she’s pretty close.

Speaking of Deb, anyone else feel like shedding a tear when Anton told her about the true extent of his ordeal with the Skinner? I certainly did. Anton might not be perfect but him and Deb are a good pairing and he does genuinely care for her. She also seems to feel the same way given her lack of enthusiasm of carpooling with Quinn.

Quinn’s another character I can’t figure out. Both him and Deb have had a love/hate relationship all season long and it’s easy for that to translate into a sexual one. He’s clearly not a bad person but I’d rather Deb with Anton than Quinn. I don’t think I’m alone in that sentiment.

In terms of the other relationships, how interesting is it that Masuka has finally found a woman who likes him? Hey if he can get lucky, there really does have to be someone for everyone out there after all. Angel and Barbara also maintain a level of sweetness that only a genuine sourpuss would scowl at.

Rita however just seems to be constantly in wedding mode but I did like her comments about Miguel and bringing Dexter some bagels, given that it’s usually him delivering food to all and sundry. Will she still do that when they’re married?

Also in “I Had A Dream”

I’m gonna go on a limb and say that this episode isn’t named after a certain ABBA ditty, right?

Dexter: “So this is how it ends. I pictured it a thousand ways but never like this, me bound in the trunk of a car. I’m so fucked.”

In regards to this wedding, are we actually gonna see any of Rita’s family (excluding Cody/Astor of course)?

Miguel: “Friends are always honest with each other. They can see past their differences. When they have a conflict, friends are there to forgive. A true friend whom to bury the hatchet because friendship is a sacred bond built on trust and Dex, I have learned so much from you about trust.”

Masuka: “Ow, what am I, the Morgan family punching bag?”
Deb: “Thanks for not inviting to me to Dexter’s party you ass.”

As fitting as Deb would’ve been at Dexter’s bachelor party, shouldn’t she have been at Rita’s hen night along with Sylvia?

Dexter: “Dad, I got it. Miguel dies, people notice.”
Harry: “Which means you can’t just make him disappear.”
Dexter: “So I’ll pin it on someone else.”

Anton: “Debra, I could hear it, y’know? The sound of the blade cutting into me. I didn’t, the sound of me screaming like it was somebody else and I remember thinking, ‘that guy screaming is gonna die’.”

Can we please get back that woman who Deb went to get files on all of Harry’s attractive female CI’s for next season? She was a lot of fun.

Masuka (re Tammy): “The problem is she likes me. I mean, there’s gotta be something wrong with her, right?”
Angel: “I’ll let you know when the server is up.”

Maria: “Do you ever get a voice inside nagging at you?”
Dexter: “I’m aware of the phenomenon.”

It turns out that Masuka donates sperm as his way of giving back to society. Won’t someone think of the children?

Masuka (re Tammy): “That means she’s got issues, so she’s not out of my league.”
Angel: “Happy to help.”

Dexter (re Harry/Laura): “I didn’t know if I -”
Deb: “- Should tell? Yes. Whenever you have an earth shattering, ball crushing, mind fuck of a secret you should tell your fucking sister.”

Quinn got one seriously nasty slash to the face from the Skinner. I’m surprised he wasn’t as damaged as he looked.

Miguel: “I accept you. I accept you, Dexter, like a brother.”
Dexter: “I killed my brother. I killed yours too.”

It was interesting that Dexter not only had a picture of Ellen on display but also one of Maria as well. It also made sense given what Miguel was prepared to do to Maria.

“I Had A Dream” delivered punch after punch after punch. Full of excellent tension, beautiful character moments and while I’ll be surprised if the finale is a genuine cop out, I’m wondering how Dexter finishing off the Skinner is going to have the same impact given how impersonal the villain has been.

Rating: 9 out of 10.


Nat said...

Great review :)

I must admit I was a little disappointed that Dexter was only being kidnapped for his bachelor party and nothing else, it kind of negated the drama of the previous episodes ending a bit!

I was also a little surprised that they killed Miguel in this episode, but I guess that means there are loose ends to tie up which would make sense.

I loved Deb being asked to be the best man. I thought Dexter should've asked her before but with various comments (how she wanted to go to the bachelor party, Angel commenting on her language, Rita questioning Dexter's choice) it did seem to fit more here.

I'm guessing Quinn will stick around till next season and we'll see him and Debra together then, but I'm with you I like her with Anton- that scene between them was heartbreaking.

I liked that Maria figured out about Miguel; it was a slight stretch for the character as she never seemed that good at investigative work before, but she must've got her stripes somehow. Its good to see her get involved. Glad she wasn't offed though, would've been a shame to lose her.

shawnlunn2002 said...

Thanks. I've signed on to follow your blog. You should post something in it from time to time.

Dexter and Miguel's last scene was great and this season has been wonderfully solid.

I have to see the finale on Sunday (missed it due to Torchwood) but I'm sure it'll be a cracker.