Saturday, 30 October 2010

Hello, Dexter Morgan

Season four of Dexter finished last night. In many ways it was the same as the others. Dexter has trouble hiding his secret life. People get suspicious. But now the line that seperates the world of his 'dark passenger' and his home life is getting thinner. It used to be a simple divide. Kill the bad guy then go home to your wife. Now he keeps creating more identities and more problems until something slips through the gap. Here the Big Bad is played by John Lithgow - the 'Trinity killer' who at first seems to be standard fodder for Dexter's plastic wrap. The problem is, he's bigger and badder than the others, and apparently can't be killed straight away. Dexter notices similarities to himself and decides to befriend the bad man, using the alias 'Kyle Butler'. As the season progresses Dexter puts off the kill in order to understand and learn from this secretly psychotic family man. This only leads to problems. 'Kill him, kill him now' is a phrase that'll probably pass through your head. Because the thing that drives Dexter, the fear at the heart of it, is what will happen when the two worlds collide. When the evil tracks his family down, or his activities are revealed.

This season goes for the build up. Even the slightly dull Quinn and his slightly dull girlfriend turn out to be pieces of the bigger picture. And when Dexter is always there to protect the right people at the right time, Kyle Butler isn't. Kyle Butler procrastinates, he makes everyone a bit uneasy. He kills the wrong people. Trinity eventually tracks him to his office, walks in, reads his name badge and says 'Hello, Dexter Morgan'. Then it's time to protect his brightly coloured home from the dark threats of a thoroughly evil man. Dexter always gets the man in the end and dumps him into the sea in pieces. It's reassuring. But just when you think there might be a nice tidy, happy ending, along comes horrific unthinkable tragedy. Which is good, if you like that sort of thing.

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