Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Review of Dexter's 5x08: "Take It"

Written by Manny Coto And Wendy West
Directed by Romeo Tirone

Dexter (to Lumen): “You said I done this before, that’s true. This is what I am. When I was a child, my mother was murdered in front of me, it shattered me. I’ve done this ever since because for the longest time, it was the only way I could feel unbroken and then Rita was killed and none of this made any sense, til now.”

There have been plenty of times over the last decade where Michael C. Hall has really impressed, whether it’s been on Six Feet Under or Dexter and as an acting tour de force went, this episode was certainly up their with some of his best work on both shows. He really is every much the leading man any show could be proud of.

One of the reasons why I’ve found it so incredibly difficult to criticise the developing relationship between Dexter and Lumen isn’t just down to Hall’s dynamic with Julia Stiles, but it’s due to the writing at all. Dexter and Lumen should feel rushed, they should feel wrong but even with the odds against them, something about them feels right in a way.

Lumen is aware of the fact that Dexter kills but until this episode, she wasn’t really aware of the fact of what motivated Dexter into doing it or even the pleasure that he gets from it. I should be willing the woman to run for the hills, because if Nina’s revulsion to Mitchell in Being Human is anything to go by, then its best not to support the serial killer of the piece but it comes to Lumen, I just can’t.

I loved that when Lumen found out that Dexter gets off on murder that she was horrified by it. Lumen might have a bit of a dark passenger herself but she’s no Miguel and when she’s exacted her vengeance on all of her attackers, I’m not sure that she’s going to be taking up serial killing as a permanent side project. However the interesting part was seeing her react to Dexter in ritual mode.

The disbelief and weirdness of getting everything to prepare a kill room was one thing but the look she gave Dexter when he took a sample of Cole’s blood for his slide collection was another. It was very telling that Dexter offered it to Lumen, mainly because for me, it’s possibly him properly acknowledging that this is Lumen’s journey more than his own at the moment.

I can’t exactly say that I was sorry to see Cole end up a dead man in this episode. Dexter and Lumen really had no option and given that Cole tried to kill Lumen, I’d say that Dexter’s timing was pretty spot on. It is however a little too bad that Cole didn’t pass off some useful information to either Dexter or Lumen before meeting his swift demise but at least they got lucky in another way.

I already knew that Jordan Chase was going to end up being revealed as the man who would be ‘Tick, Tick, Tick’ but I didn’t think he would actually let it slip to Dexter himself. Nice that he did, which means in another four weeks, his appointment with the slide collection won’t be a moment too soon.

Jordan is definitely being shaped up as a rather interesting villain as well. His interest in Rita’s death and the Trinity killer stuff probably should’ve sent alarm bells off for Dexter but I actually did like the fact that he got Dexter to open up about Rita’s death, even if it was at a self-help seminar with a packed crowd. Dexter needed to release that and that is at least one good thing that Jordan has done. That being said, it’ll never cancel out the awful things he’s done to Lumen and countless other women mind.

Speaking of awful things, after this episode, I seriously wanted to bitch-slap Maria around the place. She screwed up big time and when Deb didn’t want to play ball, LaGuerta hung her out to dry. Damn, Maria. I get that her career is always going to be a big thing for her, priority wise but Deb did not deserve that and I was also disappointed that Sierra actually backed her up as well.

Strangely enough though, I was relieved that Angel chose Deb’s side over Maria and even more surprised with Quinn. He’s never going to be my favourite character but this episode only continued to prove that he does actually love Deb (something Liddy is happy to needle Quinn about), despite his unhealthy interest in Dexter. I hate to admit it but I think I actually want Quinn and Deb to last now but more importantly, I want Maria to get a comeuppance as well for screwing Deb over.

Also when it comes to comeuppances, Quinn really got his this week with Liddy. Never hire a bent officer to do your own dirty work. I knew it was going to end in tears (and smashed coffee pots) with Liddy and despite Quinn’s dislike of Dexter, he might need him soon enough. Liddy taking those pictures of Dexter and Lumen dumping Cole’s body was definitely another genius end scene as well.

Also in “Take It”

This episode had the strangest opening with Jordan’s little primal video to follow his mostly primal rant.

Quinn (re Carlos Fuentes): “Don’t tell me you feel bad about killing him.”
Deb: “I don’t. That’s the problem.”

I found Deb’s conversation with Dexter about feeling nothing for killing Fuentes interesting as for a bit, Dexter was able to reveal to her about himself that he usually could.

Jordan: “I have some bad news for everyone. You’re all going to die.”
Dexter (to himself): “Some of us sooner than others.”

Deb (to Maria): “I was the detective in charge. If you want to fuck somebody over, here’s your scapegoat.”

Three episodes in and still no Harry. Is it wrong that I actually think the show is working better without him recently?

Deb: “I always thought if I landed a bullet, it would bother me. That it would be a burden to take another life. They don’t issue guns to lab geeks, so you have no idea what I’m talking about.”
Dexter: “I can imagine.”
Deb: “I don’t feel bad, me of all people. I don’t feel anything. Maybe I’ve just run out.”

Lumen: “What do you get out of this?”
Dexter: “I like knowing that the men that did this to you won’t do it to anyone else.”

I should’ve mentioned the subplot with Lumen reuniting with her fiancée Owen and rejecting his offer to travel around the world. He seemed like a nice guy but I think Lumen made the right decision by not meeting him.

Quinn: “Fucking motherfucker.”
Liddy (re Deb): “You two are starting to sound more alike every day. Must be love.”

Jordan: “It’s what I tell my clients. Tick, tick, tick, that’s the sound of your life running out.”
Dexter (to himself): “My primal instincts were right. Jordan’s one of them.”

Chronology: Nearly three months after Rita’s death in “The Getaway”. The timing on this show is certainly strange.

An incredible episode. “Take It” certainly offered a lot to be taken with (I know, terrible pun) and this season is definitely hitting it’s stride with nearly every plot – Dexter/Lumen/Jordan, Deb vs. Maria and Quinn/Liddy. It’s hard not to be pleased at the moment.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

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