Crocodile (Dexter S1E2)

Sunday 5 February 2017

Dexter is rated 18+ for a reason. While it is a fantastic show, if you're under 18 please watch with caution or ask a parent's permission. It's heavy on murder, blood, swearing, and much more. Know your limits.

Episode two not only makes advances in the Ice Truck Killer case, it also fleshes out Dexter more and gives us more insight into his life as brother, boyfriend, blood spatter analyst, and killer.

His narration throughout the episode is the voice of a perfectly detached, calculating killer. We learn that, while he can show emotions and care outwardly, he struggles to fully understand it or genuinely feel it. Nevertheless, he does seem to have a soft spot for the people he's grown attached to and protective over - namely Deb and Rita.

His relationship with Deb seems to me (an only child) to be just what you want from a sibling. Playful yet serious, close but not smothering. He and Deb have no problem cracking jokes and ribbing each other, but Dexter also wants the best for his sister so helps her further her career, and it's clear that Deb cares deeply for her older brother.

Rita, on the other hand, we know is much more forced on Dexter's part. However, his faking it is totally believable and not for one second do we - or Rita - doubt his affections for her and her children. It's sweet, in a way, how gentle he is with her when she needs it. Not so much so when you remember it's because he can't feel emotions normally as he's a psychopath. (Which isn't entirely his fault - his amygdala is dysfunctional. Doesn't make what he does okay though.)

The flashbacks to young Dexter talking with his dad also offer more insight into why he turned out the way he did and also that it didn't just happen lightly. It leaves you in an uncomfortable position - you can't help but like Dexter as a character, but at the same time you despise him because he kills people. It's interesting, as it makes you feel like another of his victims, manipulated into seeing that everything's as it should be.

My only complaints with this episode are the fact that LaGuerta is portrayed as a rather nasty woman who only cares about herself and climbing the ranks within the precinct, and everyone in the flashbacks is so goddamn sweaty. But I guess Florida's pretty hot, so what can you do?

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