Sunday, August 29, 2010

My Review of Dexter's 4x02: "Remains To Be Seen"

Written by Charles H. Eglee
Directed by Brian Kirk

Harry: “If you don’t fix this screw up, Harrison’s only memory of his father will be you behind bars.”
Dexter: “It’s not a screw up, I just can’t remember.”

Oh Dexter, there was a time when your attention to detail was almost as unnerving as your precision in dismembering your victims. All through this episode, I had to urge for Dexter to get his shit together but the constant appearances of Harry in this one made sure that I didn’t need to.

With a crash as colossal as Dexter’s in the previous, I almost thought that he would be a little hospital bound and as soon as he starting mentioning Benito during his confused state, I also wondered if the game was going to be up for him. Even Dexter himself was fully convinced that he was going to go to the slammer for this.

The hospital stuff was dealt with in such a quick speed that the episode didn’t really process anyone’s reactions to Dexter being involved in a crash. Apart from Rita later on when she confronted him over lying about the seriousness of his accident, no-one seemed to be aware or that interested in Dexter almost being killed.

In some ways though, that did work in Dexter’s favour. He was clearly more desperate than usual to keep Rita away from his work place and he certainly had moments where he lost his patience with both Masuka and Quinn due to the stress he was going through. Harry’s constant taunting also didn’t help matters.

In fact the way, Harry was used in this episode was both rather clever and supremely annoying. I got that it was a way of highlighting Dexter’s struggle with juggling so many plates in the air (work, fatherhood, killing baddies, etc) but it did seem to be a rather tacked on way of getting the point across as well.

However it did pay off in the end when Dexter realised that he had hidden Benito’s body in the punching bag of his new lair. That was actually one of the best moments in the episode and also rather obvious as well, come to think about it. That being said, Dexter is going to need to get himself together but if things like Benito are going to cause him trouble, then he’s really screwed for what lies ahead, isn’t he?

Lundy being back in the picture in a lot of ways is bad for Dexter. Lundy has that air of suspicion with some of his dialogue with Dexter and the fact that he’s obsessive enough to try and bag Trinity could mean that he might notice something amiss with his former girlfriend’s brother as well.

And then there is Trinity. I can see why John Lithgow bagged an Emmy recently because although Trinity has yet to interact with Dexter, he’s shaping up into a wonderful foe already. I feel in two episodes that as a viewer, I know about him than I ever did with anything concerning the Skinner.

In this episode alone, it was pretty distressing watching how he was selecting poor Tarla as a future victim. He was at the pier while she was there with her family and then later, he contrived to make sure that the both of them had a conversation. I think this is also one of the few times where the show has drawn some real sympathy for the victim – apart from maybe Ellen last season.

Of course, Trinity wasn’t the only bad guy focus of the week as well. There were still the tourist murders and despite Dexter not being on his game at first, he did manage to trace a suspect – Johnny Rose by tracing syphilis to the victim. Now even I’m impressed with Dexter and this tourist killer does make for a decent enough mini-arc for the next few episodes.

As for the interpersonal stuff this year, there are some pros and cons with the characters. Out of all the regulars, he’s my least favourite of the bunch and his pillow talk with Christine along with stealing cash from a victim’s safe haven’t done exactly much to endear in the slightest as a character.

That being said, I get the impression that he’s also being set up as a foil for Dexter. There’s already a mutual hostility growing between the two of them and when Dexter rejected Quinn’s attempts to be friend, Quinn certainly began to look at him in a suspicious manner. Though whether or not this will mean that Quinn will end up having a similar fate to Doakes is interesting. Sometimes Quinn is enough to actually make me miss Doakes.

Speaking of something I missed – I really forgot how excellent the chemistry between Deb and Lundy really was. Their pairing in Season 2 had some mixed moments but both Jennifer Carpenter and Keith Carradine were wonderful in this episode that a) I almost want Deb to dump Anton for Lundy and b) I have a nasty feeling that Lundy could be a casualty this season.

Seeing the pair of them interviewing Eddie Noonan and coming up with the mutual conclusion that he was innocent was a little thing but a good affectation of how well they connect. Deb also showed a great sense of disappointment when Lundy didn’t seem to want to get back with her and when Anton came back as well, she practically went into guilty conscience mode by trying to smooth him over this week.

Also when it comes to the smoothing over, I’m still on the fence about Maria and Angel as a pairing. I think they’re sensible to keep their relationship secret for a while but Maria didn’t help matters by getting Angel to step down from the tourist case in the manner that she did. Things like that and the way she was asking Deb for advice aren’t going to help her in the long run but either way, I’ll still watch her and Angel with an open mind.

Also in “Remains To Be Seen”

If John Lithgow is going to be in every single episode this season, why don’t they just make him a regular instead of a guest star?

Female Paramedic: “It’s never as bad as it looks.”
Dexter: “Oh, I’m sure it’s pretty worse.”

Dexter lied to the doctor about Rita being a trained nurse in order to avoid staying in overnight. Rita also folded too quickly when Dexter insisted that he’d phone the hospital to prove he was alright.

Dexter: “I got to go to work and I need one slow day at the job where nobody gets murdered. I already have a killer to clean up – me!”

Masuka: “My keen sense of smell’s telling me you’re wearing new perfume. Anything to do with the return of one special agent Frank Lundy?”
Deb: “I already have a boyfriend who happens to be coming into town tonight and if you smell me again, I’ll punch you in the throat.”

Deb joked about having a previous college experience after Frances gave her another file to look over.

Deb: “I’m sorry this is too fucking weird.”
Lundy: “I can get a sandwich if that makes you comfortable.”
Deb: “No, us!”

Trinity (to little boy): “You better catch up with your mom. You don’t wanna lose her.”

How much of Astor’s rebellious streak will we have to deal with this season and given that Tarla became a target for Trinity, what are the odds that Rita won’t be?

Maria: “So watch the pillow talk with that woman.”
Quinn: “No a problem, lieutenant, talking isn’t what we do best anyway.”

Dexter: “I didn’t want you to worry.”
Rita: “Not doing a good job. I’m worried sick about you.”

Harry was dressed as a cop during one of his appearances in this episode, tying into the last time Dexter forgot something important – Laura Moser’s death.

Lundy: “Your life has changed in so many ways.”
Dexter: “I see that now.”
Lundy: “Trinity is going to kill again. Soon.”

Chronology: Exactly from where “Living The Dream” left off.

Not a bad episode in parts but “Remains To Be Seen” didn’t leave me as engaged as the opening episode did. Okay, I liked anything involving Lundy and Trinity’s certainly a good villain but we’ve had stronger episodes.

Rating: 7 out of 10.


Nat said...

John Lithgow is so fantastic as Trinity- but the whole storyline is really creeping me out I must admit.

It was a little weird (and convenient) that practically no-one knew about the car crash, especially Deb.

shawnlunn2002 said...

I was surprised with no-one knowing the car crash either. Seemed a bit strange for this show. As for Trinity, yeah, he's brilliantly creepy.