Monday, January 10, 2011

My Review of Dexter's 5x02: "Hello Bandit"

Written by Scott Buck
Directed by John Dahl

Harry: “I thought the kids were your number one responsibility.”
Dexter: “They are.”
Harry: “But here you are in the middle of the night.”

You got to give Dexter something – he’s trying. It’s just shame that trying for Dexter is largely unorthodox at the same time. For Dexter, being a good father also means being able to kill at the same time, so the hell with Elliott and his patronising speeches about sacrifices. Even I wanted Dexter to stab the dolt during that scene.

The one thing I love about Dexter’s coping with grief is not only how in character it is for him but how it’s not bogging the series down in any respect. He genuinely wanted to do his best by Astor, Cody and Harrison in this episode and he was met with far too many obstacles to succeed.

Astor’s anger towards Dexter kept momentum this week and the girl made some rather valid pointers as well. She didn’t want to leave her family home but Dexter wanted to move somewhere else and staying at Deb meant that everyone was literally boxed in. There’s a reason why apartments aren’t meant for families this big.

But there was also the moment where Astor and Cody then snuck off school and went back to their home to see Rita’s bathtub. It’s definitely one of the strongest scenes in the episode and it was at this point that Dexter realised that he was fighting a losing battle with Astor. For me, because of that, it made more than enough sense that he let her and Cody move to Orlando with their grandparents.

I don’t know why but I actually hope it’s not the end of Astor and Cody as characters. I don’t need Dexter’s internal thoughts to tell me that he’s better with them and Harrison in his life but it did help and unlike last year where Harry’s berating got on my nerves, I find myself agreeing with him about how much Astor and Cody are needed in Dexter’s life.

Not to mention the fact that Dexter obviously feels a responsibility for them as well. Cody might have been more open with Dexter than Astor but it’s clear that from their last scene together, Astor doesn’t completely hate Dexter even if she does blame him for her mother’s death nonetheless. In other words, I hope we do see them again in the season.

As for the FBI strand from the first episode – it’s amazing how quickly that one was wrapped. I was almost surprised with how the two agents interviewing Dexter weren’t at least a tiny bit suspicious of him in relation to Rita’s death but I suppose that’s where Quinn is going to come in handy, right?

That’s also the thing that worries me. Thanks to Maria, Quinn’s got the perfect sketches of Kyle Butler and it can’t be long until he matches the pictures to Dexter and begins his own investigation. Much as that will obviously spell bad news for Dexter, I actually love the fact that the Arthur Mitchell is still lingering about the place, even if the character is no longer with us.

Of course, it’s not just Arthur Mitchell that’s giving Miami Metro work to do, there’s also the Santa Muerte cult and the decapitation of a young woman. The thing with her eyes and tongue being gouged out as well was surprisingly effective and was it me or am I sensing a slightly adversarial but friendly dynamic between Deb and that female cop on the case as well? As long as she doesn’t turn out to be another Yuki, I’ll be happy.

Speaking of Deb, the good sister thing might be tiring her out but damn, she deserves points for giving it a bash. For a girl who’s usually so emotionally explosive, Deb has been absolutely fantastic for Dexter and the kids in the past two episodes and I kind of wish that she would cut herself some slack. Deb’s not perfect but she’s definitely someone you’d want fighting your corner nonetheless.

As for the sex thing with her and Quinn, I’m still on the assumption that a relationship isn’t far off. I like that she’s actually being a little resistant and that Quinn’s not acting like a total dick but it’s pretty damn obvious that there’s going to be a repeat performance, even if Deb is trying to keep Quinn on his toes.

Something else that’s worth keeping us on our toes was creepy ass dead animal pick up guy, Boyd Fowler. I’m gonna assume here that’s Boyd’s just a side baddies until the real big bad of the season enters the fray but he’s certainly disturbing enough. Those girls in the water filled barrels? If experience has taught Dexter anything, its best not to prolong a kill, so here’s hoping that Dexter doesn’t feel he needs to learn anything off Boyd anytime soon.

Also in “Hello, Bandit”

The title comes from Boyd’s little dialogue about the dead raccoon that Dexter used to get to meet him.

Dexter (to himself): “They say there are seven stages of grief. I suppose killing a man with my bare hands in the men’s room was my way of working through the anger stage.”

Michael C. Hall has previously worked with Shawn Hatosy (Boyd) in Six Feet Under. Amazing how many guest stars from that series have appeared on this show, isn’t it?

Masuka: “We miss you brother.”
Dexter: “How’s handling the department by yourself?”
Masuka: “it’s a breeze.”

Elliott: “Forget about any free time, you just have to be there every morning, every evening, every weekend. Are you ready to do that, Dex? For the kids?”
Dexter: “Yes, Elliott, I’m ready to do that. For the kids.”

On the Maria/Angel subplot this week, I don’t see anything wrong with her having her own account but I do think maybe she should’ve told Angel at some point. How long have they been married for?

Cody: “I like it here. It’s like camping.”
Dexter (to himself): “Exactly. Boys are easier.”

Deb (to Quinn): “I came over here to sleep, not to have your fat little sausage fingers all over me.”

Santa Muerte means Holy Death and Deb/Masuka/Quinn seemed to think the husband killed the wife before killing himself. Chances are, it’ll be something or someone else responsible.

Dexter (re Astor/Cody): “While they’ll be seeing the grief counsellor, I’ll be getting my own kind of therapy.”

Speaking of therapy, that voice that kept shouting “Take It” (from Boyd’s self help tapes) sounded bloody familiar.

Angel (re splatter): “How’s it going on in there?”
Deb: “Masuka said he really likes working with blood.”

Astor: “I thought coming here would help but that was stupid.”
Dexter: “Well, I understand.”

Angel’s bar fight with the guy who accused Maria of being a sugar mama is definitely going to have repercussions next week.

Dexter (to Harry): “Just give me a minute.”

Chronology: None directly specified since the events of “My Bad”.

Definitely a strong second episode here. “Hello, Bandit” continues to tackle the fallout of last year quite nicely but apart from the Boyd and Santa Muerte plots, which are likely to be short terms ones, nothing is as yet developed for the next big bad for Dexter to face off with. Perhaps that’s a good thing for a few episodes at the moment.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

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