Anyone not watching Dexter is missing out on the best acting on television today. Michael C. Hall is brilliant as the antisocial monster/anti-hero title character, and in the character of his girlfriend, Rita, Julie Benz is mining depths even more complex than from the source material, Jeff Lindsey’s novel, Darkly Dreaming Dexter. Last week was a wonderful examination of Dexter, his drives, and his “morals,” so to speak (including a wonderful cameo from Tasha Yar herself, Denise Crosby!), and this past episode contained a development that is basically in direct opposition to the canon of the book, but it was done so well, I am very curious to see where it leads in the future, because it adds a layer to Dexter and Rita’s relationship that wasn’t present in the novel. Lt. LaGuerta is also arguably being handled better here than in the book, where she at times came across as too two-dimensionally incompetent and antagonistic. I’m not particularly interested in Doakes, either in the novel or here on the show, but Angel is not only being handled well, but in this episode, was also given a poignant and surprising extra layer. Yes, the subject matter’s dark; yes, the show is disturbing; but it is also one of the best things on the air today, and each episode, it keeps getting better. Overall, the show sacrifices a bit of the book’s surrealism (and given that, I do wonder how the climax of the season will play out, since the power of the novel’s climax was directly linked to that surrealism–Dexter’s “dark dreams” that have been eliminated here), but it is doing so much else right that depending on how it goes, it might not end up being too detrimental.
Dexter: "Let’s Give the Boy a Hand"
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