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Review

TV Review: 'Dexter' Episode 601 - 'Those Kinds of Things'

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Dexter Episode 601

"Those Kinds of Things"

Written By:  Scott Buck

Directed By: John Dahl

Original Airdate: 2 October 2011

In This Episode...

All is well in Dexter's corner of the world - just the way he likes it. He adores spending time with Harrison, who is about to start pre-school. Batista's sister, Jamie, is Harrison's new nanny. Batista and Laguerta are divorced (shocking), and Laguerta gets a big promotion to Captain, a promotion that Masuka assumes she got by sleeping with the Deputy Chief. In reality, she got the gig because she found his name in the Miami madame's little black book. The lieutenant position will presumably go to Batista. Quinn and Deb are still together. In fact, near the end of the episode, Quinn takes Deb to a fancy dinner with the intention of proposing. He is nervous as hell, but before he has a chance to pop the question, a crazy guy in Kevlar opens fire on the restaurant. Deb snaps into cop mode and takes the guy out with minimal loss of life.

But back to Dexter. Dexter is going to his high school reunion - purely to hunt. Janet, a girl who was one of the few classmates who was nice to Dexter, married her high school sweetheart, football quarterback, and abusive asshole Joe. Janet was found dead three years ago of an apparent suicide - but suicides don't usually have chunks of someone else's skin under their fingernails. Once Dexter gets his proof that Joe killed Janet, Joe is a goner. 

Dexter keeps fouling up his chances to get a blood sample from Joe. A modified class ring was supposed to prick Joe when they shook hands, but Joe opted instead for a fist bump. So Dexter signs up for a reunion game of touch football. When Dexter's lancet breaks, Harry gives Dexter some advice. He plays hard, breaks Joe's nose, and helps clean him up with his handkerchief. He runs the DNA, and it is a match for the skin beneath Janet's nails. It's go-time.

At another reunion mixer (whose high school reunion lasts a week?), a former classmate of Dexter's, Trisha, pushes him into a classroom for a quick blow job. Dexter uses the distraction to text Joe from Trisha's phone and get him to meet "her" in the gardener's shed. Joe has fast reflexes, but Dexter wins in the end. Joe is strapped to the scoreboard (I will choose not to drive myself crazy wondering how Dexter got an enormous scoreboard into that shed) and Dex kills him.

Meanwhile, the big-name "big bads" this season, Edward James Olmos (as the professor) and Colin Hanks (as Travis) are already up to no good. Their first victim is made and discovered tonight, and it is gruesome (see below). The killing is religious in nature, but the motives are unclear for now.

Dig It or Bury It?

This was a good way to start the season. Our characters are (mostly) in a happy place. That seems so rare on Dexter. The religious angle is a really interesting one, but it concerns me. Dex decides to raise Harrison with religion because that is "normal" and he wants his son to be "normal." It seems like a perfectly logical conclusion, and will give Dexter a new concept to grapple with. What concerns me is that since Dexter admitted he didn't believe in anything, religious zealots will see him as an example of atheism leading to murder. "Dexter murders because he is an atheist!" Of course, Travis and his professor murder for religious reasons, and as Dexter is preparing to kill Joe, we see he is covered with religious tattoos, wears a crucifix, and is a true believer in a god - yet he still killed his wife because "a divorce is too expensive." So already in the first episode, there is one atheist who kills and three religious people who kill. Plus, there is always the rational assumption that religious zealots wouldn't watch Dexter to begin with.

Body Bags

Travis and his professor don't do anything half-assed. Tonight their victim is a migrant worker who sells produce at a small roadside stand. His entrails are found laid out on his fruit scale. His body shows up a day later, discovered by a jogger. The man's evisceration wound had been sewn up in the shape of an alpha and omega. Deb notices something moving beneath the man's skin. They cut him open... he is full of snakes. Seven baby water snakes whose moms were plucked from the Everglades while pregnant, allowed to birth their babies (these snakes apparently have live births) and then shoved - alive - directly into this man's torso. Why does it have to be snakes?

Curses!

"Holy freaking fuck! Snakes!" That pretty much sums it up.

Deadpan Humor

At the reunion, an MC Hammer song plays, and several classmates drag Dexter onto the dance floor. "It's hammer time!" they squeal. Dexter joins cautiously, while his voiceover tells us "I have no idea what Hammer time is or how it differs from regular time." With some encouragement from Harry, he starts to dance in the most laughably awkward way imaginable.

Flashback to the Future

Dexter ducks into the mens room at his reunion to gather his thoughts. Classmates who didn't know he existed were clamoring to talk to him, and it is overwhelming. "You've suffered a personal tragedy, you look better than you did 20 years ago, and you have a cool job. You're popular!" Harry explains. It's a notion that Dexter has never entertained, but with a little pep talk from Harry, he is ready to take advantage of it.

Prophecies?

Mos Def (er, Mos as he wants to be called) shows up. Deb is not going to react well to a proposal from Quinn. And I bet someone else dies.

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