Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Showtime “Dexter” #811 “Monkey in a Box”

Straddling Two Worlds
by Catherine Giordano

I predicted it. Dexter captured Oliver, but turned him over to Debra to be arrested. In episode 11 of
Showtime’s Dexter, titled “Monkey in a Box”, which aired on 09/15/13, Dexter is transitioning from serial killer to a normal guy and as he does so, he is straddling two worlds.

The episode begins with Dexter removing Vogel’s “Dexter Files,” before calling Miami Metro to the scene of Vogel’s murder. He explains that Vogel had asked him to come to see her, and when he arrived the door had been kicked open and she was on the floor with her throat slit. Dexter says that he tried to stop the bleeding, but he was too late. Dexter can’t work the crime because he is a witness, but Debra is back on the force and on the case.

Dexter still has one more day at work and Batista calls Dexter into his office to take a cheek swab from Oliver for DNA. Oliver said that he had heard of the news that the police were looking for him concerning the investigation into Cassie’s murder. He says that he had cleared out his apartment because the memories of Cassie that the place held were too painful. (One small question: Why test Oliver’s DNA?  They would expect to find Oliver’s DNA at the crime scene since he was her boyfriend.  Perhaps, so they would know which DNA findings to ignore.) Oliver and Dexter both play it cool.

Dexter is selling his apartment and the real estate agent calls him to say she has a cash buyer who wants the owner to show him the place.  When Dexter arrives, Oliver and Dexter both play it cool again. Oliver asks the agent to wait outside because he doesn’t want an agent “selling him”; he says he can learn more of what he wants to know just talking to the owner. What he really wants to know is whether or not Dexter will agree to a truce—neither will kill the other, they will both just walk away. Dexter agrees, but he has metaphorically crossed his fingers behind his back. No way is he letting Oliver go, especially after he makes veiled threats against Dexter’s family, even his step-children Astor and Cody.

Dexter knows that Oliver works as a building inspector so he looks for buildings that Oliver has condemned.  He finds a condemned, and now abandoned, psychiatric hospital building and realizes this is the perfect site for a kill room. He finds the kill room and a hidden computer with videos of all his kills.

Dexter wants to flush Oliver out so he anonymously releases one of Oliver’s kill videos to a local TV news station. At the same time, over at Miami Metro Oliver’s DNA is matched to Vogel’s. Oliver is now Miami’s public enemy #1.

Dexter knows that Oliver will now come after him. Debra comes to Dexter’s apartment for one last meal together before Dexter leaves Miami.  Dexter wants her to leave because it is dangerous, but Debra insists. They have a heart-to-heart.  Debra tells him he is not a monster, checked only by Harry’s code.  Dexter is a human-being at his core. 

Evidently the two hatch a plan. In the next scene, Dexter is asleep in his bed when Oliver enters. Dexter springs from the bed, Debra emerges from the shadows and puts a gun to Oliver’s head, and Dexter injects Oliver with his knock-out needle. This is the “Deb-and Dex-tag-team-murderers-back-in-action” moment of the week. Debra leaves with a proud smile on her face, so pleased about how she helped Dexter capture Oliver. (she is no longer conflicted about Dexter’s righteous kills.)  Dexter is going to take Oliver to Oliver’s own kill room to kill him. Nice touch.

Dexter is in Oliver’s kill room with Oliver secured to the examining chair. Dexter intended to do his pre-kill spiel, but his heart is not in it. Dexter is not indulging his urge to kill anymore; this kill is purely personal and hence no fun. He decides not to kill Oliver—he is done with killing. He is going to turn him over to Debra to arrest him. He calls Debra to come to the abandoned hospital.

This turns out to be a bad mistake because Debra is being followed by Clayton. Ever since Hannah was spotted at the hospital with Harrison, Clayton has been back on the case. Clayton interviewed Debra at Miami metro, but she coolly maintained that she was the one who took Harrison to the hospital. This visit convinced Debra that it was no longer safe for Hannah to stay at her apartment. She drove Hannah to a motel near the airport. They said good- like old friends.  Debra has come to like Hannah, or perhaps she knows she has to try to be friends with Hannah for Dexter’s sake.

Clayton enlisted the aid of Elway. Elway went to Debra’s home pretending he wanted to apologize for their argument. He invited himself in, entered over Debra’s objections, and  looked around. He saw the table set for dinner so Debra explaind that she having guests as she shoved Elway out the door. But not before Elway saw Hannah’s purse and high heeled shoes in the corner. He quiped that cops sure make good money these days—the items are obviously expensive and he is obviously suspicious. Red high heels—clearly not Debra’s style.

Elway and Clayton break into Debra’s apartment while she is gone and toss the place. (I don’t think they bothered with a search warrant.) The place is clean, but Elway checks the computer and sees that a South American Airline website was recently visited.  Elway is going to use extra-legal methods to find out if Hannah had booked a flight. While he is doing that, Clayton is going to follow Debra in the hopes that she will lead him to Hannah.

When Debra arrives, Dexter can hardly wait to leave. He decides to leave his knives behind saying the police will think that they are Oliver’s. The plan is to say that Debra was looking at the buildings that Oliver had condemned and decided to go to the abandoned psychiatric hospital to check it out.  She found Oliver there and subdued him. Debra follows Dexter out of the building for one last good-bye.

Dexter is off to collect Harrison from Jamie’s house and meet up with Hannah for their flight out of Miami. Before he leaves Dexter sees Harry, apparently for the last time.  “You don’t need me anymore,” Harry says.

Clayton enters the hospital and finds Elway strapped to the chair. Oliver plays the victim claiming that a homicidal maniac has bound him, and please hurry, release me before he comes back. (One small question: Has Clayton, a U.S. Marshall, been so intent on finding Hannah that he does not recognize Oliver, whose face has been plastered all over the news?) As soon as his restraints ar relased, Oliver promptly grabs a knife and stabs the marshall to death, slipping gun from his holster.

Just then Debra returns. Oliver shoots her, wounding her—it’s a gut shot again, like the one she got a few seasons ago when she was romantically involved with Lundy.  Debra falls but manages to get a shot off at Oliver, but he only gets only a minor wound in the arm and he escapes.  Debra is very weak, but she manages to pull her cell phone from her pocket to say she has been shot.
Over the 8-season DVD set
Predictions.  Dexter is going to hear about Debra being shot and he won’t be leaving Miami. He will be going to find Oliver so he can kill him this time. Oliver is going to come after Dexter’s family just as he threatened to do if Dexter did not agree to a truce. Oliver is going to die one way or another.  Also, a hurricane is coming and I’m sure that is going to complicate things.  

Will Debra survive her wounds?  Debra was rummaging through Quinn’s desk looking for office supplies and found the diamond engagement ring that he had once bought for her. Quinn catches Debra looking at the ring, but they both make a joke of it.  Is Quinn going to propose to Debra?

Will Dexter die trying to protect his family?

Will Hannah and Dexter escape with Harrison and live happily ever after in Argentina?   Will Elway foil their escape? 

I’m not sure if the show wants a happy ending or a dark ending?  The show is straddling the two possibilities. The series final is next week--the questions will have answers. 

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