Television Tourniquet: ‘Dexter' Episode 4.3


"Blinded By the Light"
Written By: Scott Buck
Directed By: Marcos Siega
Original Airdate: 11 October 2009

In This Episode…

Trinity has struck again, forcing a mother-of-two to throw herself off a six-story building on the docks.  At least Deb is convinced it's Trinity, especially when she finds another near-identical case – down to the victim profile – 30 years ago to the week.  Lundy is the only one who believes foul play was involved.  But working so closely with Lundy is confusing Deb's feelings for him and Anton.

We see a little more of Trinity's process.  His signature is that, after a kill, he leaves a smudge of human ashes by the body.  When preparing for his next kill, he sits before a makeshift shrine, containing an urn, a couple photos, and two glasses – one for water, for himself, and one for bourbon, for either his victim or the person (his mom?) for who he is killing.

Suburban life is not going so well for Dexter.  When petty vandalism plagues the block, a neighborhood watch is formed, complete with motion-sensor lights and packs of roving neighbors.  Using good ol' forensic science, Dex fingers the neighborhood punk, Jesse (who Astor is crushing on), as the perp.  Rather than turn in the kid, Dexter decides to scare him by following him through the neighborhood wearing a ski mask.  His plan backfires when the neighborhood watch starts chasing him.  Dexter tries again a few nights later, this time waiting for Jesse in his room.  But Jesse is asleep in bed – his dad, angry at the world for his wife dying, being laid off, and being foreclosed on, is the culprit.  Dexter scares the shit out of him and heads home.  Still adrenalized, Dex grabs a broom and smashes out the floodlights in front of his house – just as Rita comes outside.  Dexter, you've got some ‘splainin to do.

Also: Laguerta and Batista are continuing their affair.  She's paranoid about it, especially when they stop for a nooner before a routine witness questioning and end up in the middle of a gun fight.  Quinn is sucking up to Dexter in hopes he will keep his "dirty cop" secret – then gets pissed off when Dexter says he doesn't care.  Quinn is still fooling around with that reporter chick, and in the throes of passion, he lets slip that they are treating the "suicide" at the docks as a murder. Dexter is also becoming visibly jealous of the Trinity Killer – Trinity has been killing, freely, for at least 30 years.  Dexter hasn't had a slice in weeks.

Dig It or Bury It?

This episode was light on the killer aspect, but heavy on the humor.  Watching Dexter try to fit in with the other suburban dads, bond with a teenaged Astor, and generally become Family Dex is just hilarious.  Even without his voice over, you can almost hear what Dexter is thinking.   Nothing was funnier than seeing Dexter get chased by a rag-tag neighborhood watch – except watching Rita sing "Karma Chameleon" to baby Harrison at the top of her off-key voice while driving Dexter to work.  And, of course, the look on Dexter's face the next morning when Rita proudly announces the tunes for the day: the best of Bananarama.

Flashback to the Future

When Dexter's house is vandalized by a fucked-up smiley face spray painted on his gate, dear old Dad shows up.  Harry tells Dexter he has been "marked," that the neighbors know who he is; Dexter blows him off since he's not the only one.  Harry also makes a good point about why he is having such a hard time parenting Astor: he can be good with kids yet because they are not fully-formed people.  Once they grow up, he cannot connect with them.  "Don't take this new life seriously," he tells Dexter.  "It's all just camouflage."


It's a weak showing when the best "cursing" comes from Dexter: when he, by way of apology to Astor for treating her like a baby, says, "Sometimes I'm just stupid."  There is a "fuckload" here (Deb re: work load) and a "shithead" there (Dex re: Jesse the punk), but that's about it.

Body Bags

Other than the latest Trinity victim, a non-violent episode.  Trinity forced her up to the top of the building, knife to her throat, and insisted she jump.  She refuses, crying, but Trinity is insistent.  He threatens to kill her husband and kids – when he tells her their names, she knows he means business.  She finally begs him to push her – but that's not the way this works.  And so she falls, to a death that looks like suicide.  Let this be a lesson:  if you are ever held at knifepoint on the edge of a building, threats raining down on your loved ones, try to propel yourself off the edge of the building so that, even if the killer never lays a finger on you, at least it will have the signs of foul play.


Next week, Rita and the kids go out of town, leaving Dexter to his own devices.  Gee, I wonder how he will choose to spend the time…