Dexter 3.04 "All in the Family"

Just like Dexter has to live a double life as both a serial killer and a cop, the show Dexter has had to do double time as both a show about a serial killer and a cop show. Since cop shows are a dime a dozen and we happen to live in an age of really good cop shows like The Shield and The Wire, Dexter's Miami PD just isn't that exciting. Obviously the draw of Dexter is the serial killer show (have there ever been any other shows about serial killers?). Part of watching Dexter is dutifully putting up with the less interesting stuff at the precinct in between Dexter's much more interesting extracurricular activities. Like any show with a season-long arc, there have to be occasional stretches dedicated to moving the pieces around and setting up what comes next.

For the most part, that's what we got from this episode. Dexter's response to his new-found acceptance of his future role as a father is to clumsily propose to Rita after blurting out to her kids that she's pregnant. The show is at it's best when it shows Dexter blundering with illogical human emotions, leaving it up to the viewer to decide if it's because he's an emotionless serial killer who is faking it or because he's a normal guy who sometimes deals with delicate situations by planting his foot firmly in his mouth. Later in the episode he tries an equally oafish proposal which Rita literally reacts to by puking. Thanks to the deluded lovesick psycho in the episode's B-story (more on that later) he figures out that if he wants Rita to marry him he's going to have to come with a better performance and, at last, gives her a “standing-outside-the-house-with-a-boom-box-playing-'In Your Eyes'” moment with a speech about banana splits and lemon trees and pizza nights that could come straight out of a Kate Hudson movie.

Back to the deluded lovesick psycho. This week we get to see Dexter earn his paycheck as a blood splatter expert when he proves that the unknown assailant who bashed a victims head in must have been about the same height and weight as Debra, which means, duh da duh... the girlfriend they've been interrogating must have done it. It turns out she wasn't so much a girlfriend as a crazy lady who photoshopped pictures of herself and the deceased together and somehow convinced herself that they were a couple.

Aside from the CSI-lite B-plot, we also get to see Angel almost get stung after picking up a hooker who, whoopsie, turns out to be a undercover cop. From her reaction to his soul-baring confession of his loneliness chances are we've just met Angel's new love interest. It's also looks like soon we'll see Debra hook up with the guitar-playing CI, as well as flipping on Quinn who got on her bad side by letting her play bad cop so he could swoop in and sweet-talk the psycho head-basher into revealing what she had done.

On the wheel-spinning front, the Chicky Hines subplot keeps building without really going anywhere and Miguel and Ramon Prado continued to be Dexter's new best friend and rage uncontrollably, respectively. No new indications that either one of them might be the skin-stealing killer, as was mentioned in the comments last week, but it still looks to be a pretty solid theory. Me, I'm hoping it's actually Masuka, venting his rage that no matter what he says everybody assumes that he's making perverted comments. Payback for little scientists everywhere.

John Shelton

Writer/Podcast Host/Professor

Born and raised in the back of a video store, Shelton went beyond the hills and crossed the seven seas as BGH's foreign correspondent before settling into a tenure hosting Sophisticult Cinema. He enjoys the finer things in life, including but not limited to breakfast tacos, vintage paperbacks and retired racing greyhounds.

Get Your BGH Fix