Dexter 3.08 "The Damage a Man Can Do"

One thing the previous two seasons of Dexter did well was putting all the characters in place, setting all the situations in motion and letting them play out to an exciting and worthwhile finale. We passed the midpoint of this season a few weeks back and after tonight's episode we can guess at some of the treats the backend of Season 3 holds for us. I think it's its going to be a fun ride from here on out.

This episode is all about the butterfly effect: how some small event can have tremendous consequences. Weeks of bro-hugs, shared brewskis and solemn chest pounding have led Dexter down the previously unfathomable path of letting Miguel participate in a killing session. After a few great scenes of Dexter showing him the ropes, Prado is nearly ready to graduate from playing Commissioner Gordon to Dexter's Batman to the full-blown Robin sidekick role. He nearly blows it on their first try by showing up “dressed as the Unabomber” and getting recognized in a bar, but brings Dexter around with a few good old-fashioned chest pounds and a heartfelt story about how he could be a killer too if he only had the chance. Still confused and out of sorts about being able to relate to someone, Dexter agrees, only later realizing that he might have unleashed a monster.

Incidentally, I believe this must be the episode many of us Dexter fans have been waiting for, the mythical One Where Jimmy Smits Totally Stabs a Guy For Real. If that indeed was a real knife... damn. Obviously we don't know how much, if any, of the footage was used but it nothing short of a miracle that the guy survived a double-handed, over-the-head butcher knife thrust. Evidently he had a plastic shield over his heart and after missing the shield numerous times with the fake knife in rehearsal, Jimmy Smits hit it dead on with the real knife sparing the guy from the Curse of Bruce Lee (which on rare occasions can spread to random white guys).

The other big cliffhanger involves Deb finding Anton missing and, gasp, freshly trimmed trees outside his apartment, indicating that The Skinner has him. Is it just me or does anyone else really want a character just once to say that name like Supernintendo Chalmers? Masuka, we're all counting on you, buddy. Angel continues to not realize that he's a side character on a much more interesting show and he gears up his own storyline for the finale by, erm, canceling his date with the hooker cop. Can we get a do-over on Season 2 so that Angel gets killed off rather than Doakes? Not that I liked Doakes any better but at least he managed to get involved in the main storyline.

So how about that cliffhanger? See you all next week.

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.

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