Friday, September 17, 2010

My Review of Dexter's 4x04: "Dex Takes A Holiday"

Written by Melissa Rosenberg And Wendy West
Directed by John Dahl

Zoey: “I asked you nicely to leave me alone.”
Dexter: “You threatened me.”
Zoey: “You think that was a threat?”
Dexter: “What, are you gonna murder me too? Like you murdered your family, your own daughter?”

The one thing that’s been noticeable about this show is that Dexter hasn’t been seen to kill that many female villains in this series and since Lila, we haven’t exactly been given any for him to go toe to toe, well until now that is.

I have to admit that I like Christina Cox as an actress and as a guest star; she was a perfect fit for the role of Zoey. Zoey served as an obvious mirror to Dexter and was responsible for the death of her own husband and daughter and just Dexter, she’s every bit as clever at creating a narrative to make sure that no-one suspected her.

Okay, another blood spatter guy certainly suspected and had no issue with voicing his concerns to Dexter and Dexter certainly wasted no time in doing his own research. Of course, he was going to find a trace of police gloves in the garbage disposal but normally, while anyone would’ve realised the game was up, Zoey wasn’t going to give up that easily.

She certainly showed a lot of gumption by threatening Dexter twice before her own botched attempt of killing him in his own home. When Dexter finally killed her in the episode, I sighed because truth be told, I actually liked the character.

Zoey might have been a nutter who preferred to get rid of her own family to regain her freedom but she was an interesting character that easily could’ve lasted another episode or two. Heck, even the brief flirting between her and Dexter and the insights she had with him were better than Dexter’s usual moments with Harry.

Dexter understood exactly why Zoey killed her family but his own skewered morality didn’t accept her actions to the core. The most telling moment of the episode came when Dexter admitted that he would risk Rita and the kids learning of his secret life than losing them. If this revelation had occurred in the first season, I don’t know if I would entirely have believed Dexter but right now, I absolutely do.

Dexter might have his doubts about juggling everything in the air but it’s clear that he doesn’t want to be alone anymore. He might have started the episode relieved that Rita and the kids were going on vacation without him but he was certainly glad to have them home safe and sound by the end of this one as well. Maybe now Harry might ease up with the goading he’s been so far this season.

Speaking of goading, why did the episode have to end that way? Both Deb and Lundy finally realised they wanted each other and both were gunned down. I’m not worried about Deb one bit – she’s safe but I fear that Lundy probably is dead and while I expected him to die, I was hoping that it would happen later in the season rather than this early.

As for the gunman – it has to be Trinity, right? I know this show is good at confounding expectations but I just can’t see anyone else doing it. Trinity himself deliberately aroused Lundy’s attention when he felt that he was about to get caught and even the most organised of killers will act out of their cycle for self-preservation.

Still, it does serve as a kick in the teeth. Deb had finally made the right decision about her romantic life and her happiness gets shattered. I remember when I watching the second season of this how much I worried about the professional aspects of her and Lundy hooking up but all these last four episodes have done was to show how good they are together. Now she’s going lose the guy she loves and may or may not stay in a relationship with Anton, whom she cares about and doesn’t love.

Also on the love angle, I found myself more annoyed with Christine’s declaration of love to Quinn. Why would anyone fall in love with Quinn? He’s a complete fuckwad as Deb would put and his blabbermouth has only caused problems at the station. I didn’t even feel all that bad when Quinn dumped Christine because I have a feeling that if she’s not a Trinity victim that she’ll find some way of getting her claws back into the idiot detective.

Better handled this week though was the Maria and Angel relationship. I’m actually finding it a little better, if only for Maria wanting to tell the brass about her and Angel and the latter’s reluctance to label what they have. I’m probably in a minority of people who actually care about this coupling but I don’t think it’s a bad relationship. Both Maria and Angel do seem to want their relationship to be more than a fling, so that’s something that works in their favour, doesn’t it?

Also, I just had to laugh at both Maria and Angel seeking Dexter out for relationship advice. Granted, Deb was largely with Lundy (or avoiding him) and I think you’d have to be pretty desperate to ask either Quinn or Masuka for relationship advice but you know there’s something telling when Dexter of all people is seen as the guru for love problems. Dexter himself didn’t even see that one coming.

Also in “Dex Takes A Holiday”

I’m actually a little surprised that Rita wasn’t all that bothered in the end about Dexter smashing up the security light. You’d think she would’ve made a bigger deal out of it.

Dexter (to himself): “Everyone needs a vacation. In my case, it’s time off for bad behaviour but I intend to make the most of this family trip they’re taking without me.”

The guy who played the other blood spatter analyst also played Father Jack in Six Feet Under.

Lundy: “Do you ever feel like you’re this close to nabbing somebody?”
Dexter: “Sometime in the next 72 hours.”
Lundy: “It’s a good feeling.”

Maria (re relationship): “So, this could be just a passing thing?”
Angel: “It’s not a passing thing.”
Maria: “Then what is it?”

Anton sensed quite obviously that Deb was being drawn more and more to Lundy this week, which was the most obvious hint this week that she and Lundy were going to have sex.

Zoey (to Dexter): “If you were my husband, I’d hang on you. You’re so handy.”

Angel: “Painted mugs?”
Dexter: “It’s a metaphor.”
Angel: “For what?”

Cody, Astor and Harrison all made Dexter an ‘I Love Daddy’ mug that Zoey smashed when she attacked Dexter in his home.

Zoey: “I’m not going anywhere.”
Dexter: “I know something about creating a narrative too.”

Deb (to Lundy): “I knew from the second I saw you at the station, I knew how I felt. Its how I always felt. I just wouldn’t admit because I’m a fuckwad.”

Chronology: Some time after “Blinded By The Light”

Easily the best episode of the season. “Dex Takes A Holiday” worked for the lack of Rita, the Deb/Lundy scenes together, Trinity continuing his killer patterns and obviously the back and forth with Dexter and Zoey. Shame about the lack of Masuka though, We could’ve used some inappropriate wisecracks.

Rating: 10 out of 10.


Nat said...

Like some of my other favourite scenes from the show, I loved it when Dexter finally realised that he loves Rita and the kids and doesn't want to lose them. Despite Harry's goading, it's been clear for a while that this isn't just an act, esepcially now Harrison is in the mix.

I quite enjoy the Angel/Maria storyline; it suits the pair and makes it a lot more interesting. I actually think that from their point of view, Dexter is a logical person to ask, since he's the only one in the department in a happy, successful relationship. Plus he's good at keeping secrets and not judging people.

shawnlunn2002 said...

I don't get why others online seem to dislike Angel/Maria, they're a believable couple to me. I wished that Zoey had a lasted a bit longer, she was an interesting adversary.