I think about a world to come where the books were found by the golden ones, written in pain, written in awe by a puzzled man who questioned, "What are we here for?" All the strangers came today and it looks as though they're here to stay.

-David Bowie "Oh! You Pretty Things"

Monday, October 10, 2011

Spoiler Alert: Dexter S06E01

Everything seems pretty status quo for Dexter so far this season. While critics are saying that if the show wants to stay on the air it needs to breathe some new life into its stories, I can't help but wonder if the show is strong enough to simply keep going at the same pace as it has been. It's Dexter, after all. Who is going to stop watching Dexter? I was pretty entertained by this new episode, except for glazing over the whole Angel and his sister having an abusive father thing. ("I should beat you for that." "Exactly like pop." Hahaha. End scene.)

1. Evolution?

The theme of this episode was Dexter's exclamation, "We're all moving forward." It seems like Dexter has been evolving when it comes to how he kills his victims. In the beginning, we see Dexter kill two victims with a defibrillator rather than a knife. At the end, Dexter hits his victim with a hammer before stabbing him. And throughout the episode Dexter's subconscious (his father) tells him things we wouldn't expect, like that he should fly a little bit higher than above the radar.

Of course, some things stay the same. Dexter continues to take blood samples and hide them in his air conditioning unit.

It's gotten to the point where I don't know which is more likely to get him in trouble. When Dexter flies by the seat of his pants, killing in different ways, hiding less and acting more, it would seem like he is more likely to leave clues behind. On the other hand, by using his old methods he is leaving tons of clues behind, easy to find clues. Oh, Dexter...

2. A Little Too Close...

When I say that things are getting a little too close, I'm not referring to the weird familiar sexuality between Angel and his sister. I am referring to the fact that with Angel's sister babysitting Dexter's son Harrison and Angel getting closer to his sister because he has nobody else after his divorce, there is more of a chance for Detective Angel Batista (future Lieutenant Angel Batista?) to have insight regarding Dexter's deadly habits.

Here's an example of danger. When Angel and his sister are out having a classy dinner, Angel's sister lets it spill that Dexter disappears in the middle of the night in order to go out on his boat. This is clearly a reference to the fact that Dexter is killing people and disposing of their bodies. Maybe it's nothing, but when two other detectives begin discussing how the body of their most recent victim was tossed into the water a quarter mile off of shore it's hard not to start wondering if Dexter is about to be under investigation once again.

3. Like a Prayer

Remember how Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was the Star Trek that devoted itself most thoroughly to religion? Well, I think that Dexter's sixth season will be remembered similarly as the Dexter season that devoted itself most thoroughly to religion.

Dexter's main personal plot seems to surround getting Harrison into a Catholic school called Our Lady of the Gulf. When interviewed, Dexter admits that he doesn't believe in anything. He admits this to a nun, and the nun can decide whether or not Harrison gets into the school. After this interview, Deb instructs Dexter that he is going to have to put aside his own beliefs (or lack thereof) and start thinking about what he wants Harrison to believe. In an attempt to do so, Dexter gets a religion lesson from Batista, only to find himself more confused than before. Finally, he honestly appeals to the nun for Harrison's sake and explains to her that while he is spiritually ignorant he doesn't want Harrison to be put in the same situation. And I think the nun buys it.

Almost as a foil, an older man (played by Edward James Olmos) instructs a younger man (Colin Hanks) in carrying out a ritualistic killing that involves catching a pregnant water snake, extracting seven baby water snakes, killing and disemboweling a fruit vendor, sewing the snakes inside and embroidering an alpha and omega on his abdomen, and displaying this victim for the world to see. All the while the two are citing verses that they have memorizing, ending with the phrase, "It begins."

My guess is that these two individuals believe that they are being instructed by God in order to carry out these killings. They will likely quote partially from the book of Revelation and partially from a more personal revelation. And what they have begun is likely a kind of apocalypse in which the sinners of the world will be destroyed and God's glory will be revealed. While Dexter seeks out all of those things about religion that lead to good - a moral compass, faith, compassion, etc. - it appears that these two will likely provide a reductio ad absurdum argument pointing out all the evils of religion - misunderstanding, death, alienation, madness, etc.

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