Are You…

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A- | 6 USERS: A+
"Are You…A Serial Killer"?
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Welcome back! So I'm not gonna lie, I really wondered whether this assignment would be worth it, but there was more good stuff in this episode than in like the last two seasons combined, so I'm feeling pretty happy to get back into it. So:

As you know, we left off with Dexter FINALLY sending Colin Hanks to The Great Tableau In The Sky and Deb witnessing it. That is not where we start back up, however. Instead, we get dramatic chase music as Dexter urgently drives on the highway. A quick look at a sign lets us know that his destination is the airport; unfortunately, he's too low on gas to make it without filling up. He runs into another obstacle when his credit cards are declined and given what we learn later, it's surprising that he doesn't look surprised, but I suppose I could chalk it up to him being one hundred percent focused on the task at hand. (See, I'm giving the show the benefit of the doubt! It's been a while!) Luckily, Dexter has another option in the form of a bag packed with all sorts of escape-the-country materials: A Canadian passport (h/t to my Canuck buddy "Pull Up A Chair >Daniel for pointing that out), some practical clothing for the serial killer on the go and plenty of cash (not all of it American, either). He yoinks out forty bucks, which certainly is not going to be enough to fill that behemoth up even at Florida prices, but given that time seems to be of the essence, it's just as well. Soon, he's pulling into MIA and I just realized part of what made that sequence effectively tense: No opening DVO. It's coming right here, but I like the shake-up of the format. (There are no Imaginary Harry scenes either, another development of which I approve.) DVO tells us that it's human nature to keep secrets; for example, he dyes his hair (!) and watches Internet porn (!!). "But what if your whole life is a secret? A lie?" After a quick look at the board, Dexter heads up to the ticket counter of Aero Fictionalsk and books a ticket to anywhere (it's actually Budapest, but since his reaction shows that wasn't the flight he intended, it seems like he's not too particular about the destination). And with that rather taut, effective opening...

...we're back in the church where we left off (minus the "Oh, God" reaction, for which I'm thankful). Deb immediately draws her gun, which good on her, and tells Dexter to get away from the body. He replies that it's him and then admits that it's Colin Hanks on the table; thinking fast, he then does the best he can at looking upset, which is not super-convincing, but at least at this moment Deb's too freaked out to notice. He prevails on her to lower her gun, whereupon he spins this tale: He came to do the forensics sweep she requested from him and Colin Hanks was there and came at him with his sword; Dexter fought him off and knocked him out. The underlying cues here are effective; Dexter's typically affectless tone (he manages to make a singsong rhythm sound flat, which is not easy) is obviously not putting Deb at ease and as he approaches her, she takes a few involuntary steps backward. She asks how Colin Hanks came to be wrapped in plastic, so Dexter tries to sell the idea that he snapped, since there's been a lot of anger in him since Rita died and wherever she is, Rita has to be thinking that's pretty effing rich. Anyway, Dexter half-truths that after everything Colin Hanks did, he wanted him dead, so he killed him. Deb, looking like she's barely able to control her own body at this point -- excellent work from Carpenter in this scene -- points out that that still doesn't explain how he got wrapped up in plastic. So Dexter, after a moment to consider, says he didn't even think about it -- he's a forensics expert, so it was second nature for him not to leave a trace. It's never explicitly verbalized, but even if you were to buy this cock-and-bull explanation, he's admitting to the difference between premeditated and unpremeditated murder, which has to be an extra layer of unsettling for Deb.

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