Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Review of Dexter's 6x01: "Those Kinds Of Things"

Written by Scott Buck
Directed by John Dahl

Dexter (to Joe): “What would Jesus have done? Seriously now?”

It’s amazing that we’ve actually long enough within this show’s lifespan and the character of Dexter that it’s only now where religion seems to have finally been addressed at all. I’m not sure if it’s necessarily a good thing as such but like with many a plot I have uncertainty about, I shall do my best to keep an open mind.

Let’s start the religious spiel into Dexter’s personal life. I get that Angel’s a great friend and his attempts of explaining God were reasonable enough but why does Dexter think it’s a good idea to send Harrison to a school run by nuns? Does he really think that a sense of enlightenment and rules will keep Harrison on the straight and narrow? I just don’t think that Dexter would be that naive on the matter.

I did however find it rather interesting when Deb broached Dexter’s own little guidelines with Harrison halfway through the episode. It’s time like this where I do hope and wonder that Deb is beginning to see deeper and deeper into who her brother really is but the more she does, the more it will inevitably change the way she sees him entirely altogether. I don’t know if I’m sure that I want a Deb who isn’t on her brother’s side even if her reactions would be understandable in the circumstance.

Dexter blew it with the nun initially when he openly admitted to having a lack of a religious belief in anything but somehow managed to redeem himself and get Harrison into the school by being a bit more honest and appealing towards the nun in question. At least that’s one worry in terms of religion that Dexter can stroke off the list.

Too bad for him that another one comes in the shape of a Professor Gellar and his creepy little acolyte named Travis Marshall (occasionally Wikipedia can deliver the accurate goods) who certainly made an impression in this first episode alone. I’m not sure if they’re going to usurp the likes of Brian Moser or Arthur Mitchell but they’d definitely give Jordan Chase a run for his money.

Watching them capture a pregnant water snake to steal it’s babies and then put them inside an unfortunate vendor that Travis decided to machete to death was a new level of disgusting for this show. It also gave Deb another appropriate reaction as well. Holy Frankenfuck anyone? I’m not exactly sure what these two have intended for Miami but whatever has begun, I’m sure it’s going to give Dexter no end of worries in the next few weeks, that’s for sure.

Also keeping with the religious overtones of this episode – Dexter went to his high school reunion and got to achieve a lot of things. He got a memorable encounter with a hot girl named Trisha and he probably fulfilled every geek’s fantasy by getting to kill a mean jock named Joe Walker towards the end of the episode.

Dexter at his school reunion was definitely a good highlight of the episode but there seemed to a lot more focus on it than I thought there would be. The bad dancing and myriad of people who wanted to talk to Dexter (mainly about Rita) was all well and good but it was his final confrontation with Joe that was a personal highlight.

Not just because Joe was killed for abusing and murdering his wife Janet but because Joe was pretty happy to talk about repenting before Dexter did him in. Funny, how Joe seemed to be okay about killing his wife and repenting for it but not believing that Dexter couldn’t repent for killing him in the end.

Elsewhere when Dexter wasn’t bumping mean jocks off, it seemed that he bought the apartment next door to him and Angel’s sister Jamie wound up becoming Harrison’s babysitter. I didn’t even know that Angel had a sister but it was funny how the episode had both Dexter and Angel correcting the audience and a waiter about who Jamie was to them on seperate occasions.

As for the character, Jamie seems nice enough and probably had more dialogue in this one episode than Sonya did in all of the previous season but I can’t help but wonder if we really need the character, unless they’re setting her up for something more in the next few weeks. I kind of hope so but I’m not sure what though.

As for Angel – divorced from Maria, really show? I was hoping they would’ve worked through their problems rather than throw the towel in. Still, it was nice that Maria actually made Angel into a Lieutenant after blackmailing Chief Deputy Matthews into making her a Captain.

If Matthews was a more likeable character and Maria’s history was different, I might actually have felt sorry for the former and appalled by the latter but them are the breaks when it comes to this show. I don’t doubt that Matthews will find a way to get his own back on Maria pretty soon in the same way I don’t doubt that Maria will do something to annoy the other main characters as well.

Last but not least – Quinn and Masuka. They didn’t really seem to have much to do in this one but with the former trying to find a way to propose to Deb while helping her with a gunman at a restaurant and the latter choosing a smart intern and then having to settle for a hot one instead. I’m pretty sure they’ll get more to do later in the season anyways.

Also in “Those Kinds Of Things”

The Previously On bit was longer than usual with a recap of the first five seasons, which really does show how much has happened on the series.

Dexter (to himself): “There are times in our lives where everything seems to go wrong.”

The opening scene was interesting – Dexter killing the EMT’s Ben and Roger but not in the same ritualistic manner that he later did with Joe.

Nun: “What do you believe in Mr Morgan?”
Dexter: “Nothing. I don’t believe in anything.”

Matthews: “Watch your back, Maria; you’re playing with the big boys now.”

From the dialogue we had at the end, it turns out that though they’re siblings, both Angel and Jamie did not live with each other.

Harry: “Put all those things together and it makes you ...”
Dexter: “... Popular.”
Harry: “How does it feel?”
Dexter: “I hate it.”

Maria: “Okay, my motives are not unselfish. I need someone who I can trust, someone who has my back.”
Angel: “I don’t know. I’m someone who needs to be on the streets.”

There were a few cult actors in this one. Brea Grant from Heroes is Ryan, the attractive intern for Masuka, Edward James Olmos from Battlestar Galactica is Professor Gellar and Travis Marshall is played by Colin Hanks from Roswell.

Angel (re belief in God): “It’s very hard to put into words.”
Dexter (to himself): “Because it makes no sense.”

Deb: “How do you know Greek?”
Quinn: “I dated some sorority chick back in the day.”
Deb: “Of course you did.”

Standout music: MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This”, purely for Dexter’s awkward dancing and hammer time references in the episode.

Dexter (re Joe): “Fast reflexes. I hate jocks.”

Travis: “So, it’s begun?”
Gellar: “Yes, it’s begun.”

Chronology: I read somewhere that nearly a year has passed since “The Big One”, which would seem to explain a lot of the changes in this episode.

As an opening story went, “Those Kinds Of Things” isn’t necessarily the best one we’ve ever had on the show but it was definitely interesting enough and had plenty of good moments. I’m not sure if the religion theme can be sustained throughout the season or how Gellar and his protégé will pan out as villains but I am looking forward to finding out on both counts.

Rating: 8 out of 10

No comments: