Review: ‘Dexter’ – ‘Every Silver Lining…’

A quick review of tonight’s “Dexter” coming up just as soon as I give you an electrolyte replenishment formula…

There was clearly a lot of interest in discussing the season premiere, and being that I’ve already seen the first four episodes, I think at a minimum I can put up short posts like this one for y’all to discuss the episodes I’ve watched. As we get deeper into the season, and other scheduling complications like Comic-Con and press tour come up, I may not be able to do it every week, but I’ll do it when I can.

The Michael C. Hall-directed “Every Silver Lining…” does some of the usual pointless tap-dancing with Quinn and Batista and company, but for the most part it wisely sticks to two stories: Dexter gets to know Dr. Vogel, and to learn the role she played in the creation of the Bay Harbor Butcher, while Deb steps further over the abyss by executing the hitman and asking Dexter to cover it up. Both are terrific, and provide great material for the two leads, but the one I want to talk about here is the Dr. Vogel plot.

Dexter is, essentially, a superhero – or supervillain, depending on your point of view – and there’s a tradition in comic books where a hero’s origin story gets more layers added with each passing year or decade, often with mysterious new characters popping up and claiming to have been the person who was really pulling the strings that turned Clint Barton into Hawkeye, Peter Parker into Spider-Man, Bruce Wayne into Batman, etc. Sometimes, those later additions (called retcons by many comic book fans, for “retroactive continuity”) go over very well; other times (Spider-Man being explained as a “spider totem”), they’re silly, and can undermine the elegance of the original creation story.

With Vogel, I’m of two minds. On the one hand, the idea that Harry was getting advice on how to deal with Dexter, and how to create the code Dexter goes by, is a pretty drastic alteration to our understanding of Harry. Now he’s not a father struggling on his own to deal with a horrifying truth about his son, but a man who went to an expert who gave him very specific advice about it. And I’m not sure the origin story needs that extra layer.

On the other hand, the idea of an expert in the field of psychopaths – and one who was there to help give birth to Dexter’s killing ways – getting an intimate look at the man (and monster) Dexter has become is a really interesting one, especially when that expert is played by Charlotte Rampling. The show has toyed from time to time with the idea that Dexter isn’t quite the sociopath he believes himself to be, and this new relationship – with a woman who likes the idea of what she turned Dexter into – should force the deepest examination of that question yet in the final season. So I’m looking forward to where this all goes.

What did everybody else think?

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