Review: ‘Dexter’ Episode #302
Note: Click here for last week’s victim!
The Crime Scene: "Finding Freebo"
From Showtime: "Dexter and Rita have to make a big decision about their family, forcing Dexter to think about what it means to be responsible for kids. Is he ready to commit to this new family? Meanwhile, Dexter and Assistant District Attorney, Miguel Prado, find themselves hunting down the same murderer, Freebo, the man accused of killing Miguel’s little brother. As a result, Debra and the Homicide department are tasked to find Freebo. Debra, through her supposedly dirty partner, Quinn, is introduced to a C.I. and musician named Anton, in the hopes of drumming up a lead on where Freebo may be. With all of these hunters in play, can Dexter find Freebo before anyone else?"
Blood Spatter Analysis
Two episodes down and it’s still difficult to determine the direction of Dexter‘s new season, though it’s clearly off to a bloody start. "Finding Freebo" sees our friendly neighborhood serial killer going after the one witness to his accidental slaying of Oscar Prado, the brother of Dexter’s new A.D.A. pal Miguel Prado. While other people are tracking down the same man, it’s Dexter who gets to Freebo first… but he’s not the only one to arrive on the scene, and that’s when things get very interesting.
If this episode is any indicator, the relationship between Dexter and Miguel will be one of the sharper focuses of the season. At episode’s end, Dexter emerges with blood on his hands only to be spotted by a gun-wielding Miguel. Rather than taking him into custody, Miguel embraces Dexter (who has explained the killing as "self-defense") and tells him that not only has he done the right thing, but he’s now forever indebted to Miami Metro’s resident blood spatter expert.
Things are bound to get interesting between Michael C. Hall’s Dexter and Jimmy Smits’ Prado. Miguel’s unassuming friendship with Dexter may come off as naive to some, but there’s a genuine quality to it, sort of a warmer version of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." Additionally, the dynamic between Prado and LaGuerta has great dramatic potential, and it’s nice to see her getting a character to play off of now that Doakes is gone.
Though that does bring up the next point: with Prado now aware of the fact that Dexter has killed people, it’s really only a matter of time until he himself winds up on the wrong end of the knife. Last season, when Doakes discovered Dexter’s murderous habits, it was just a matter of time before he bought the farm — or, in his case, the exploding shack. Prado will likely meet a similar end: it’s just a matter of time. However long that may be, the talented Smits is a welcome addition to the cast in the meanwhile, adding an entirely unique dynamic while simultaneously living up to previous special guest stars such as Keith Carradine.
"Finding Freebo" is another great example of Dexter in full-on kill mode, though this time he seems more out of his element than usual. In the season premiere, Dexter pretends to be a junkie to get more information on Freebo. Similarly, Dexter goes to a house party this time to learn more about one of Freebo’s alleged victims, a prostitute named Teegan. He pretends to be her drunk boyfriend in order to get information out of two very drunk girls. Dexter was a convincing junkie, but his skills in youth culture could use some work. Given his dark nature, it’s not too surprising that Dexter can "fake it" better when dealing with dangerous situations as opposed to stupid drunk kids.
But, as last week’s episode revealed, Dexter is going to need to up his ability to interact with young people. Rita’s pregnant with his child, and she plans on keeping the baby. Throughout this episode, Dexter has visions of his would-be child. As expected, these visions are hardly innocent. Dexter worries that his child will share his dark tendencies, and wonders what kind of father he could possibly be. Regardless of his doubts, Rita’s moving forward and Dexter has to decide whether or not he’ll participate in the baby’s life.
Dexter’s biggest hurdle will be reconciling his need to kill with his natural duties as a father. So far, Dexter’s shown no signs of holding back his deadly desires. In many ways, his methods are straight up sloppy. Killing a victim in his home, slicing his face to get the blood sample… all notorious signs of the Bay Harbor Butcher. It’s as if Dexter thinks himself immune from discovery just because Doakes took the fall for him. If Dexter was thinking very clearly, he would stifle some of those baser desires — the need to kill immediately and familiarly as opposed to calculatedly with new methods — recognizing them as easy ways to get caught. With Prado now in the know so to speak, and with a baby on the way, Dexter needs to take this next step in his evolution as a killer both as a survival necessity and as a responsible parent. Whether or not Dexter is ready to grow up is something that remains to be seen.
Coroner’s Assessment: A-
Like last episode, it’s still unclear how Dexter‘s third season will shake out. Familial obligations and personal need are becoming the major points of conflict, which makes for a more existential threat than in prior seasons. For now, it’s more than captivating enough to keep the viewer’s interest, though it may not be strong enough to go an entire season.
The Next Victim: "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"
From Showtime: "While grocery shopping with Rita and the kids, Dexter comes across a fellow predator. But this one is a pedophile. After the pedophile is seen talking with Astor, Dexter must decide if he fits The Code. Meanwhile, Debra has a new homicide to solve, a mysteriously skinned Jane Doe that they like Freebo for. But Dexter knows that Freebo is not the culprit, so he must find a way to help Debra identify their murder victim, thus proving that Freebo didn’t do the crime. While doing this, Dexter learns that Miguel Prado wants Dexter to be his friend. But just how smart is it for Dexter, a serial killer, to befriend an Assistant District Attorney?"