Monday, July 13, 2009

My Review of Dexter's 3x12: "Do You Take Dexter Morgan?"

Written by Scott Buck
Directed by Keith Gordon

Dexter (on being tied up): “Such a familiar situation, such an unfamiliar perspective.”

This week’s been a distraction with the latest episode of Dollhouse and that whole Torchwood five parter spectacle so apologies for this being slightly later than usual. As season enders go however, I enjoyed this one a lot.

With Miguel dead, things could only escalate for Dexter. It’s not like offed a random no mark. Miguel for all his faults was a key player and his death was naturally going to arouse a lot of suspicion.

Everyone else seemed content with the idea of blaming the Skinner for Miguel and rationing that Miguel’s pursuit of Freebo may have factored into it. The only person who actually thought to blame Dexter was Ramon but that guy’s had a stick wedged up his arse all season.

Ramon got told by Miguel to protect him from Dexter and with Miguel dead, it would make sense that Ramon would lay the blame on Dexter’s door. Blaming Dexter was one thing. Trashing his apartment, slashing up his wedding suit and then pointing a gun at him during a public event. He should be lucky that Dexter opted to reason rather than kill him.

A part of me did wonder if Dexter was going to go for the whole Prado trifecta and kill off Ramon but with the latter in police custody, he didn’t get his shot. Reasoning with Ramon surprisingly worked in the end, especially when Ramon revealed a little more about his dynamic with Miguel.

So a lot of Ramon’s reckless and violent behaviour this season had to do with him tying up Miguel’s loose ends? Did Miguel tell him to kidnap and torture a bloke? Maybe Dexter was hypocritical in giving Ramon such sage advice but considering what the alternative was, he made the right choice here.

As for the Skinner. If the finale had a disappointing element, then it involved the defeat of this bloke. I’ve said enough times that the Skinner was such an impersonal threat to Dexter and I think that’s why I haven’t found him as compelling as Rudy, Lila or Miguel, even in light of what he did to Anton.

Kidnapping Dexter on his wedding day was an inevitability I guess but when he was trying to scare Dexter, I just found his whistling to be more annoying than threatening. Similarly Dexter wasn’t that scared of King but more of the fact that he mightn’t get the chance to enjoy married life or fatherhood.

I loved that Dexter got the opportunity to out-psych the Skinner. Gloating about Freebo’s death and even throwing in the fact that Miguel was using the Skinner to bump off Dexter all threw the Skinner off balance. Their fight was even short lived with Dexter snapping his neck and gashing some skin off him.

Deb got to make a wry joke about the Skinner getting his just desserts but I’m really impressed with how quickly Dexter was able to get out of that building. That being said, wouldn’t it in some ways have made more sense if the face-off had been Deb and the Skinner, rather than Dexter and the Skinner?

Deb was also a dominating factor in the finale. All season long we’ve heard everything about Deb getting her shield. This episode had Angel all quick to give her the recommendation but when he found out about Deb sleeping with Anton, the danger of her not getting it reared it’s ugly head.

Deb didn’t exactly make matters any better by telling Angel that she knew how he really met Barbara as well. That was a low blow for Deb but I did like that she was instantly apologetic for it as much as I liked that Angel took it upon himself to tell Maria the truth about Barbara as well.

Maria’s reaction caught me off guard. With the knowledge, I guess Angel seeking solace with hookers wouldn’t be a big deal but still Maria did let him off with it. I’m not criticising that part but it’s interesting. Similarly interesting is the way she dealt with Deb sleeping with Anton.

Maria and Deb have never exactly been the best of friends but if Angel could be forgiven, wouldn’t Deb be similarly deserving? In TV land, it always seems that you can’t have the two things you desire. You can either get one and lose the other or simply lose both.

Deb in this instance became a rarity – she got both her and shield and Anton and I don’t care about logistics because while sleeping with a CI might be unprofessional, Deb has more than proved that she’s a deserving detective and even Maria acknowledged that freely.

As for Anton, I loved the way that Deb confessed to Maria about how she really felt for him. Okay, so it was similar to how she did with Dexter in the previous episode but it still had the right effect and I liked that Anton didn’t reject. If he’s still around by the last episode of the fourth season, then that really will be progress for the girl.

As for the wedding, it happened at the very last minute and at the right time. Rita lying to Dexter about being married before would be an issue on any other show. Dexter himself did seem a little annoyed that she lied to him but in the end, he let her off due to the fact that his secrets are far worse than hers.

I was actually surprised to see Sylvia in this episode as well. Unlike Ramon who was basically going nuts, Sylvia showed no emotion at all over Miguel’s death. I know they were separated at the time but isn’t that just a little strange? Still if there’s one thing Sylvia has contributed this season, it’s been giving Rita someone to interact with outside of Dexter. For that alone, I think she should come back next season.

Dexter’s scenes with Harry in this episode were deliberately cathartic. All season long Dexter’s been annoyed with the lies and secrets that Harry shrouded him in. Here, he finally let go and it did him the world of good. It certainly helped during those scenes with the Skinner if nothing else.

Also in “Do You Take Dexter Morgan?”

Jimmy Smits appeared in one scene in this episode as Miguel, with no dialogue. I don’t remember if he was credited though.

Dexter: “We all react in different ways to death. Some like Ramon choose anger, others cling to ritual.”

The latter comment was referring to Maria praying beside Miguel’s corpse.

Dexter: “That was awkward. I don’t think I’ve ever been asked to leave a funeral.”
Rita: “Ramon didn’t ask you to leave. He pushed you out the door.”

Dexter: “Cody and Astor are charms too?”
Rita: “Like I said, that’s my loving mother.”

Rita got married at 16 to a guy named John Ackerman and seemingly the marriage was annulled. Oh and her middle name is Ann.

Harry: “Miguel warned you that his death wasn’t going to be the end of things.”
Dexter: “So, his plan was to make me hire out a housekeeper?”

Dexter: “Dad would be proud. It still means something no matter how flawed he was.”
Deb: “Yeah, look at us. You’re getting married, I’m making detective. The Morgans are gonna be alright.”

That cool file lady from the previous episode was called Frances. I don’t know if Deb read yet that the CI Harry was sleeping with was Laura Moser. She soon will though.

Dexter (re Miguel): “He was a hero to some.”
Maria: “He was a cold blooded killer. He murdered my friend and now he’s got an interchange.”

Dexter: “You can call me whatever you want.”
Cody: “I think we’ll just call you Dexter.”
Dexter: “Sounds good.”

Dexter said to Harry that he was having a son. At first I thought of Cody, but then realised the baby obviously.

Quinn: “Heard you busted Ramon Prado again.”
Deb: “Yeah, the Prados must love me.”

Ramon (to Dexter, re Miguel): “He fucking told you that? It was me who did that to our father. He took it from me, made it his story, part of his goddamn legend.”

We learned in this episode that the Skinner/George King’s real name is Jorge Orozco and that he headed up an interrogation UNIT, so torture pretty much his forte.

Dexter (to Ramon): “I know I’ve been there. The sins of the father go on and on. From kid to kid to kid, unless someone chooses to end them.”

Maria (to Deb, re her shield): “You’re one of the smartest, one of the hardworking, most annoying, pain in the ass cops in my department and you’ve earned this.”

Cute little scene with Maria enjoying cupcakes with Deb. I think Dexter and his donuts are about to get usurped.

Skinner: “I could kill you now.”
Dexter: “If you can convince yourself I’m lying. That you need to skin me to get information out of me.”
Skinner: “You are lying. You do know where he is.”
Dexter: “Miguel Prado tell you that? He wanted me dead, so he used you, played on your obsession. Probably wasn’t too hard. I mean, you’re a little single minded.”

Cop (re Skinner): “Jesus, officer. Scraped his fucking skin.”
Deb: “Yeah, what goes around, comes around and that’s detective.”

Chronology: Not sure but given that Rita evidently doesn’t look like she’s halfway through her pregnancy, it’s hard to tell.

“Do You Take Dexter Morgan?” feels a little lighter for a finale but you know, what? This was actually a lot better than some heavy packed season enders. The Skinner’s death may not have been exciting but there was plenty in this episode that was and I can’t wait for the next season.

Rating: 9 out of 10.


Nat said...

A lot of people were upset with such a 'quiet' finale but I think it worked really well. Miguels death was bound to have consequences so it was was that he was killed off before hand so that these could be fully dealt with. The Skinner thing wasn't as powerful as it could've been but I thought it was a pretty decent way to end the season.

I really liked this finale because there were a lot of sweet moments, Deb getting her shield and getting back together with Anton; Dexter fighting for his life to be therefore his son, forgiving Harry, getting married and his vows. Plus it was nice to see everyone happy at the wedding, thought it made for a nice finale.

Great review, will you be doing a s3 blog??

shawnlunn2002 said...

I was reading that on TWOP, som people really didn't like the episode but I can't fathom why.

Yes, it was a quiet finale but quiet shouldn't equate terrible either.

The Skinner wasn't the best threat we had this season but Miguel certainly made up for that.

I'm glad Deb got her shield and Anton. Too many times on TV shows, it's a case of you can have one but not the other or you can't have either of them. I'm glad that Deb got both the promotion and the man.

Dexter forgiving Harry was cathartic but believable. I think he's began to accept that Harry was flawed.

Season 3 blog, yes for TV Tome but I'll be doing a basics blog for here like I did with Brothers And Sisters, Desperate Housewives and Nip/Tuck. And I'll also be doing a Six Feet Under one as well.

Speaking of which, have you seen any more of the series? Trust me, Season 5 is just ... awesome. I think it's the best television i've ever watched in my life.

Thanks for commenting on my reviews, you always have some brilliant stuff to say.

Nat said...

Yeah I'm pleased Deb got both, she's been so unlucky, its will be nice to see her happy for once (though not sure how long it will last into s4)

No I haven't got round to watching anymore of SFU yet. I'm about halfway through s2. I'll prob start it up again soon as I don't have much TV to watch. I'll blog about it when I do. I need to watch Dollhouse as well- lots of catching up to do!!