Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Review of Dexter's 4x06: "If I Had A Hammer"

Written by Lauren Gussis
Directed by Romeo Tirone

Therapist (to Dexter/Rita): “See, what happens when you’re honest? You get what you need.”

So, if I’m super-super-super honest in one moment, I’ll give a lifetime supply of my favourites foods? I have a feeling the answer is probably no there. Honesty is the best policy and being handed a murder weapon can go both ways for Dexter if he’s not bloody careful.

Dexter and Trinity finally meeting was a long time coming and it was as satisfying as I had hoped it would be. Like Dexter, Trinity’s excellent at hiding in plain sight but unlike Dexter, he’s actually a lot better than him with doing so. If I didn’t notice better, there would be no way in hell that I would suspect a sweet community helping deacon of being a psycho killer.

I remember watching the latest incarnation of Sherlock a few weeks ago where there was the commentary on Moriarty’s ability of hiding in plain sight and if Dexter didn’t know who he was looking for, then Arthur Mitchell would’ve slid under the radar. Now Dexter’s made damn sure he’s with Arthur’s radar and that could go either way for him.

I thought it was a little premature for Dexter to be testing Arthur’s resolve and holding Vera’s ashes wasn’t the smartest of ideas for Dexter. Arthur just about managed to stop himself from properly lashing out on Dexter but even then, it’s a little suspect that Arthur would hold back on a complete stranger.

A couple of theories behind this could be that perhaps Arthur spots something of himself inside Dexter. It wouldn’t be the first time that someone’s really spotted Dexter’s dark passenger but if Dexter thinks that holding off killing Arthur is a good idea, then he’s wrong. There might be a lot from Arthur that Dexter can learn but there’s also a lot that can go wrong as well, especially when Arthur learns who his new friend is.

As for the depiction of Arthur’s family life – it’s a hard one to tell really. His son came across as someone rather conditioned to praise his father in an unusual manner and the scene where Arthur stepped into the bathtub with his wife gave me the creeps because I did actually think that he was going to kill her, even though he does appear to love her – something which didn’t escape Dexter’s attention either.

The one thing that Dexter did learn from Trinity/Arthur this week was the power of sharing. He helped on Arthur’s community based project and by opening up to Rita during their second therapy session, he managed to get himself a nice shed in their house in order for him to hide all his dark passenger stuff.

With any luck then, we can go through the rest of the season where Dexter and Rita aren’t arguing over secrets being kept and the like. It’s not that I don’t realise that Rita has a point but I just hate the way that she’s been largely reduced to a nag this season and this episode finally did seem to do us all a favour and snap her out of it.

Speaking of snapping, I keep waiting for the moment where Deb’s grief Lundy would result in her snapping at someone but I guess the closest that’s going to happen was with her little alone time incident with Nikki of all people. And even that wasn’t as disastrous as it could’ve been.

I personally don’t feel sorry for Nikki as a character, not even when Deb laid into her but at the same time, I was glad that Nikki’s words stopped Deb from behaving recklessly as did Quinn’s to a lesser extent. Now that Deb knows that Lundy’s tape were stolen, Trinity killed Lundy and who seemingly was sleeping with Harry, things are somewhat looking up for the character, even if Dexter isn’t particularly happy about Deb’s stellar police work.

Something I’m not happy with was the way that Maria and Angel had their hands forced into breaking up. I think that had been Mathews plan all along for whatever reasons he has (spite, lust for Maria?) and it sucks because while I might be in a minority, Maria and Angel are pretty good couple and better than another steamy session with Quinn and Christine any day of the week.

Quinn and Christine – the only weak link in an otherwise good episode. The more I see them together, the less I care. Eventually though, Christine is probably going to cross the type of line that really will put Quinn in a bad position at the station. Until then, I guess it’s just more mindless tedium between the pair of them. Ugh.

Also in “If I Had A Hammer”

You got to admire Arthur/Trinity’s confidence with the very public way he kept using the hammer in this episode. Now it’s Dexter’s problem.

Dexter: “I could go for a sandwich.”
Rita: “We’re out of bread.”
Dexter (to himself): “She has to forgive me for my apartment eventually, doesn’t she?”

In an attempt to win people over, Dexter got Astor a DVD player, Cody a DS, Harrison a baby grow and Rita a bread maker. Rita’s comments on that one were actually funny.

Dexter: “How do you know so much about hammers?”
Masuka: “There’s not a tool I haven’t played with my friend.”

Rita (re Dexter): “I hoped he would change.”
Therapist: “When you married your ex-husband, did you think he would change too?”

I noticed that the therapist was played by Nip/Tuck actress Roma Maffia in this episode. I wouldn’t mind seeing her again.

Deb (re phone call): “That wasn’t work, that was way personal.”
Angel: “Come on, for you, same difference.”

Nikki (to Deb, re Lundy): “No matter how many times you ask me, it’s not going to change. I didn’t shoot you, I didn’t kill that old man.”

Masuka was on fine form this episode by managing to figure out that the ashes left behind were female. Dexter even slipped up trying to conceal that from Masuka.

Rita: “A bread maker?”
Dexter: “We’re always running out of bread.”
Rita: “We’re always running out of milk, did you get me a cow too?”

Angel: “What do we do?”
Maria: “I don’t know. We’re supposed to decide what’s more important – our jobs or each other?”

We learned here that Trinity’s first kill relates to his sister, his second to his mother and his third to his father in this episode.

Dexter: “We both have skeletons, which means we both get a closet to keep them in. Arthur has a closet.”

Chronology: Two days after “Dirty Harry” and this was the first episode not to feature Harry in it this season.

I loved this one a lot. “If I Had A Hammer” definitely moved things along in a nice order and with Dexter and Trinity within proximity of each other, the next few weeks should be something of a rollercoaster ride. All I hope is that Deb doesn’t become a potential victim of Arthur’s at the same time.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

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