Dexter: It’s Alive or Dexter loses his groove


After an amazing first season, Dexter Morgan came back with a raging vengeance in season 2. Or did he?  Introspection and caution are limiting.

To kill or not to kill? It’s not a question Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) would have ever asked, had he grown up alone. No, it’s something his stepfather Harry (James Remar) instilled in him. Oddly enough, though, that’s not quite what’s holding him back in the Dexter season 2 premiere, “It’s Alive!”

After killing the Ice Truck Killer (who was his biological brother), Dexter feels a little ambiguous about picking up the blade again. It also doesn’t help that Sgt. James Doakes (Erik King) is now constantly tailing him, correctly suspecting Dex had more inside info on the Ice Truck Killer. To wear Doakes down, Dexter has even taken to bowling with his co-workers, to appear “relentlessly normal.”

In an odd way, it reminds me of an escapee trying a special scent to throw off the search dogs. After a while it works, and Doakes relents enough for Dex to take on a new target — a blind voodoo priest named Jimmy (Glenn Plummer). Unfortunately for our killer, Dex can’t go through with the murder, letting him off with a warning (after humorously sidelining Jimmy’s goofy, supernatural curses).

Dex is apparently grappling with his inner demons, which gets in the way of his outer ones. Similarly, he messes up when trying to kill a gangster ironically named “Little Chino” (Matthew Willig). Though Dexter seems poised and ready, he neglects to use enough tape, which allows the massive Little Chino to escape from the kill room.

Oops! Sometimes a small oversight goes a long way. Now, of course, Dex is faced with the issue of tracking the miscreant down, lest he possibly track Dexter down. He has to navigate this course while also averting Doakes, maintaining his relationship with Rita (Julie Benz), and putting up with his sister Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) and her PTSD (she is now living with him). Also, of course, Dexter still has his day job, which means he has to see Doakes there, too.

Dexter’s inner child

In many ways, Dexter is still like a child, and the character is almost constantly reminding us of this. Sure, he may be a sometimes monstrous child, but he has some innocent sensibilities. He just doesn’t know how to cope with the world in a normal way.

When we see flashbacks of his relationship with Harry, we see someone who tried to give him guidance, but who helped shape him into a unique package of damaged goods. After killing his own brother, there’s a hint that Dex has mixed feelings about killing in general. He’s struggling to derive pleasure from it, even though he feels he needs to.

We see the roots of this disturbing fact when the young Dexter (Devon Graye) becomes obsessed with feeling panicked heart rhythms (including his own). While this almost sounds far-fetched, it’s commonly stated that serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer liked to listen to the heartbeats of his victims.

Debra and Rita

It’s Alive!” focuses plenty on Debra and Rita, too. Rita is still dealing with her ex-husband, Paul (Mark Pellegrino), and his accurate suspicion that Dexter framed him to go to prison. However, she eventually side steps the accusation entirely. She admits she actually did find Paul’s missing shoe on her property.

However, she won’t use it as evidence that Dexter dragged Paul into a car trunk, brought him to his own apartment, put drug paraphernalia around him and called the cops. While some suggest it’s because Rita would never suspect Dexter of that, it’s also plausible that, at this point, she just doesn’t care either way. As it turns out, Paul ends up killed by another prisoner anyway, which is a burden lifted for not only Dex and Rita, but arguably everyone in this fictional universe.

How about Debra? She’s struggling to deal with what happened to her. It probably would be stressful to know you were dating a serial killer, and that he attacked you as well. Add insult to injury, she had no idea who he really was, despite being a police officer!

Her presence also makes Dexter’s life risky, as he has a harder time concealing his lifestyle with a cop living at his place (though, ideally, it’s almost a perfect cover). She even has a lose cannon moment after someone mentions her victim-hood in a bar (he makes the mistake of touching her shoulder, which results in her throwing a punch).

Next. The deadly 5: Serial killers on the silver screen to die for. dark

Near the episode’s completion, Deb shows Dex the news that a scuba team discovered many bags full of human body parts in the water. Of course, Dexter knows these are his, which sends his heart racing. It’s an interesting conclusion, and it’s essentially the moment the “Bay Harbor Butcher” is realized. What will Dex do next?

That’s it for this Dexter recap! What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!