"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Family Man on Dexter 4.5

Back with clockwork weekly reviews of Dexter Season 4. Episode 5 was on tonight, the first new episode since my sneak preview non-spoiler review of the first four episodes last month.

What I couldn't tell you in that non-spoiler review was that Lundy and Debra would be shot at the end of episode 4 - it was one of the best shockers in all the seasons of Dexter. Alfred Hitchcock correctly told François Truffaut that suspense (knowing that there's a bomb ticking on a bus) is better than surprise (something happening almost out of thin air), but that surprise shooting was one of the best I've ever seen on television.

The takeaway - Lundy's dead, Debra's shot but will totally recover, and Dexter's out to get the shooter. Anton was certainly a reasonable suspect - he killed Lundy out of jealousy, but not Debra, because he still loved her - but it seemed pretty clear tonight that he is not the killer. For that matter, Dexter had a motive - Lundy was more likely than most to discover the truth about Dexter - but Harry's code would never allow Dexter to risk killing Debra in the process.

That leaves Trinity, the John Lithgow killer. But why didn't he kill Debra? Because his only real concern was getting rid of Lundy, whom Trinity knew was almost on to him? Probably...

But it turns out that there's a big significant something that Lundy had missed about the Trinity killer, and since Dex is pursuing him based on Lundy's investigation and musings, Dexter's missing it, too. And so did I, when I wrote in my sneak preview review that Trinity had "almost nothing in common with Dex". But, hey, what could I know - all I had to go on was what I saw on the television.

The secret that changes everything, makes the Trinity killer someone completely different from what Lundy, Dexter, and we had assumed, is that Trinity is a family man. Or, as Dexter realizes at the end of episode 5, "just like me".

But the further irony is that Dex's family life isn't going so well, after all, as Rita gets on his case about lying to her about his secret apartment. My wife noticed that someone had observed about Rita on Twitter or a board somewhere - maybe Dexter can bend Harry's code and kill her.

The character's incredibly annoying, but she's not likely to go anywhere, and she does bring out some of the best lines from Dexter. My favorite tonight was Rita is telling Dexter she went through the belongings in his apartment, and Dexter's internal narrative voice says "And?" with just the right tone of impatience.

And Dex will have his hands more than full getting Trinity - not to mention keeping Debra out of his apartment and the trophies it contains.

Did I say that I think this may be the best season so far of Dexter? I tend to say that every season...

See also Dexter Season 4: Sneak Preview Review

See also reviews of Season 3: Season's Happy Endings? ... Double Surprise ... Psychotic Law vs. Sociopath Science ... The Bright, Elusive Butterfly of Dexter ... The True Nature of Miguel ... Si Se Puede on Dexter ... and Dexter 3: Sneak Preview Review

Reviews of Season 2: Dexter's Back: A Preview and Dexter Meets Heroes and 6. Dexter and De-Lila-h and 7. Best Line About Dexter - from Lila and 8. How Will Dexter Get Out of This? and The Plot Gets Tighter and Sharper and Dex, Doakes, and Harry and Deb's Belief Saves Dex and All's ... Well

See also about Season 1: First Place to Dexter

The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book

Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates
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