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Dexter – “Practically Perfect” (5.3) and “Beauty and the Beast” (5.4) – review
In an effort to keep BSCReview fans up to date and keep my reviews of Dexter in sync, I have compiled a two episode review catch up. This season is going to be interesting for Dexter, and I would not want its fans to miss a beat. This coming week things are about to get interesting, so let’s catch up…
“Practically Perfect” (5.3)
Dexter finds himself in a strange new world when he attempts to hire a nanny for Harrison so he can continue to stalk and kill Boyd Fowler. Meanwhile, Debra, who takes the lead on a bizarre double homicide, is displeased when Batista suggests bringing in an annoying rookie officer who has her own theories on the case. Things heat up for Dexter when Quinn notices strange similarities between Trinity Killer suspect “Kyle Butler” and Dexter Morgan.
This episode we see Dexter continue to struggle with roles of single father and serial killer. Dexter’s inner struggle is more prominent than ever. He must be caregiver and murderer all at the same time. His usual mask of normality has been replaced by the face of a mannequin trying to be human. The rest of the cast and their problems, along with what appears to be religious murders, are just white noise during the episode. It’s all about Dexter trying to hold it together and not fall apart or be discovered for what he really is. The episode comes to climax when Dexter kills a serial killer and suddenly realizes someone has seen him.
This episode only exemplifies the great work of the writers and Michael Hall in bringing Dexter to the small screen. The Dexter of past seasons is gone, and he has been replaced by a manic and confused serial killer. Once he sought only to be considered normal; now he just wants not to be caught and to regain what he has lost, a family. Or does he? Was his life with Rita nothing more than a convenient disguise so he could life out his existence of being a “vigilante” serial killer? His son Harrison tells us differently. In Dexter’s search to be normal, has he spawned a pint-sized monster that will follow in his father’s footsteps? Dexter seems to think so, even with a grief therapist telling him different. I am enthralled by Michael Hall as he runs the sometimes unemotional path Dexter leads us all down. It is pure fun to watch, and in some strange way it teaches the fans of this show what it really means to be human.
“Beauty and the Beast” (5.4)
Dexter finds himself in a strange situation when, instead of taking a life, he has to save one. Deb has a scary confrontation with a key suspect in the Santa Muerte murder cases. Quinn continues following up on the strange similarities between “Kyle Butler” and Dexter Morgan.
Dexter is going against “Harry’s Code” in every way this season and definitely takes a big risk by leaving a witness alive. The latest victim of a serial killer Dexter has put down may be hiding more than she is letting on. Dexter wants to help this girl, but will it cost him everything if he lets her live. Despite warnings from his “Harry” conscience, Dexter begins to nurture the dying girl back to health and at one point skirts discovery when she escapes.
I find this an interesting paradox, and think it will be good element this season. The thought of Dexter helping the victim of a serial killer makes for a growth we have not seen before in his character. It also adds to the potential of his world falling apart. While Dexter is playing slayer and savior, Quinn is trying to figure out if Dexter is the mysterious Kyle Butler, and he goes to great lengths to find out. When his attempt to contact a potential eyewitness gets him suspended for questioning a witness currently in FBI protection, his hunt for Kyle Butler may have only just begun.
America’s favorite serial killer has his hands full this season, and more than ever, he has many loose ends to keep tied up. The death of his wife last season is proving to be a hard thing for Dexter to handle. It would seem the only constants in Dexter’s life are his sister Deborah and his “Dark Passenger.” The past two episodes, he has been relying upon them both to keep his head on straight. Dexter is a creature of habit, and the events unfolding this season have forced him to be otherwise and deal with change.
Next week things will continue to escalate, and we get to see what happens when a killer saves a victim. The once emotionless Dexter will continue to come face to face with stirrings in inside his own soul. Season five of Dexter continues to do the impossible by raising the bar even higher on both writing and acting for future episodes and seasons to come.