Monday, October 15, 2012

Showtime Dexter "Necessary, Greater, and Lesser Evils" #703 "Buck the System"

Dexter and Debra are in turmoil in episode 3 of season 2 of Showtime’s “Dexter”.  The episode is entitled “Buck the System”, but I like to rename the episode to reflect what I think is the dominant theme. Therefore, I am renaming this episode, “Necessary, Greater, and Lesser Evils.”

The episode opens with a voice-over of Dexter saying that he feels “like a caged animal” and “an animal is never more dangerous than when it is backed into a corner.”  Dexter is having violent fantasies of slashing the throats of random strangers and co-workers alike. He is sent to take a DNA sample from a prisoner; the man gets mouthy, Dexter nearly chokes him to death. Dexter is losing control. He knows that he can’t go on living by Deb’s rules—he will snap if he does. He convinces Deb to let him return to his own home, telling her he won’t kill.  

Dexter is still determined to get even with Louis. I thought Louis’s obsession with getting even with Dexter was going to be dangerous for Dexter. Quite the opposite. It gets Louis killed. Dexter pursues his grudge against Louis by mailing the Ice-Killer arm to the police department. Inside the package is a letter that appears to have been written by someone who bought the arm online and the letter states that Louis was the seller.  Matsuka, who was responsible for the arm going missing in the first place, believes that Louis was the one who took it, and he fires him.  Mission One accomplished for Dexter.  Louis is gone from the police department.

Mission Two for Dexter was to end Louis’ relationship with Jamie, his babysitter. He found a video of Louis that shows him in the company of a prostitute. He mails it anonymously to Jamie. She breaks it off with Louis. Mission two accomplished.

But now Louis is on a mission of revenge of his own. A mission that gets him killed. He goes to the pier with a drill to sink Dexter’s boat. Unfortunately, ViKtor’s mob friends have traced Viktor to the boat. It seems that the stripper he murdered was wearing a bracelet with a GPS chip in it that was used to trace the movements of drug “mules.”  Viktor removed the bracelet and had it on his person when Dexter murdered him. The mob guys were able to trace Viktor’s movements to the boat.  

When they arrive at the boat they believe that Louis is the owner of the boat. This is the "If-you-go-where-you-are-not-supposed-to-go-and-do-what-you-are-not-supposed-to-do,-bad-things-wil-happen" moment of the week. (It's what I always told my son when he was a teenager.) They threaten to put his eyes out with the drill, and Louis tells them that Dexter Morgan is the owner of the boat. (Really, all they had to do was ask nicely; Louis would have been glad to tell them.) They lower the drill and it looks like Louis will live to seek his revenge on Dexter another day. Then the mob leader, Sirko, suddenly shoots him between the eyes. 

Sirko is a very scary and evil person. He looks refined, talks gently, and then suddenly, like a cobra, strikes.  Whenever I see him talking real nice and gentle to someone, I fear for that person. Like the striper Nadia, a friend of the woman Viktor killed. Nadia has begun a relationship with Quinn, one of the police detectives. The mob boss encourages this because he wants her to cozy up to Quinn and get information for them. Nadia confesses her mission to Quinn saying he has to give her something. If she doesn’t come back with info, things will go badly for her. Quinn says that they can help each other and trade information.  

Dexter is convinced that a man named Speltzer is a serial killer who will kill again. Debra insists that a hunch is not good enough; he must find proof so that she can work within the law. Dexter breaks into a mausoleum at the cemetery where Speltzer works as a caretaker. The mausoleum is being used as a trophy room. He finds and photographs the earring worn by one of the women Speltzer killed.   

Because of Dexter’s suspicions, Deb has assigned a patrol car to shadow Speltzer on the QT. When they get another call, she tells them to leave Speltzer and take the call.  She then decides to drive by Speltzer’s house just to be sure everythink is alright. Unbeknownst to her, Speltzer has a “date” (or should I say victim) at the house. Deb is about to leave when she notices some flashing lights inside the darkened house. She goes to investigate and hears the girl’s screams. She breaks into the house. 

Speltzer has rigged the house up as a maze. He likes to play cat-and-mouse games with his victims. Speltzer catches Deb before she can capture him. Lucky for Deb, she had sent Dexter a text that she was going to go by Speltzer’s house. There was no cell reception in the mausoleum so Dexter did not get the message right away. 

Dexter rushes over to Speltzer’s house, arriving just in time to rescue his sister.  However, he is too late to rescue the young woman. She was murdered. In the darkness and confusion, Speltzer escapes. I expect Dexter will have a cat-and-mouse game of his own to play with Speltzer. 

And maybe Dexter will take care of Sirko also. (Here I am rooting for a serial killer again.) But between Sirko and Dexter—no contest—Sirko is definitely the greater evil.  And now Sirko is after Morgan. So it’s self-defense.  

Dexter had been trying to persuade Deb that what he does is “a necessary evil.” He explains that it takes one t catch one.  He has hunches that often lead to helpful leads for the police department. But even more often, Dexter is thwarting the police department investigations because he wants to get to the killer first.   

By the end of the episode, Debra is starting to see things Dexter’s way. She resisted his entreaties to let him do what he does, and a young woman is murdered because she did. The murder of the young woman has precipitated a crisis of conscience for Debra: Is Dexter and his vigilante killings the lesser evil? If she hadn’t stopped Dexter from killing Speltzer, the young woman would still be alive.  And a serial killer would not be on the loose.  

Is Dexter’s evilness starting to seem reasonable to Deb?  Will she continue to try to reform Dexter, will she turn a blind eye to Dexter’s vigilantism, or will she become a full-blown accomplice? 
 This picture is from

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