Dexter – Hello, Bandit (S05E02) – Episode review

Oh, Dexter, you are ailing. It seems that the series is now primarily concerned with the aftermath of Rita’s death. And that’s as it should be, because Dexter’s grief is too important to gloss over. But it lends a heavy, depressing atmosphere to the series that’s making it hard to watch.

This is uncharted territory for Dexter – taking a calculating serial killer and making him bereaved. I mean, the last person Dexter ‘lost’ before Rita was his adoptive father Harry, and look at how that ended – after five seasons, he’s still hallucinating the creator of Harry’s Code.

Naturally, the treatment of Rita’s death is somewhat different. Dexter finds himself with three kids on his hands. Two of which are not his own. The premise of the show required that we lose Astor and Cody, although it seems almost too soon to be packing them off to live with their grandparents. But then, how else would Dexter return to something resembling a normal pattern? It’s not a perfect plot by any means, but it’s necessary. Shame Grandpa and Grandma couldn’t take the youngest one as well.

Being an eagle-eyed psychopath, Dexter manages to spot some blood on the moving truck he borrows and starts investigating. After confirming that it’s human blood, he finds the truck’s last driver and establishes that he’s a killer. It’s all a bit hobbyist, to be honest, and Dexter shouldn’t really be on the hunt while his survival depends on dealing with his family situation first and foremost.

There were some scenes between Dexter, Astor and Cody that should have been sad to watch, with all three missing Rita in different ways. Unfortunately, the two child actors have been better when pushed into the background – their dialogue in Hello, Bandit at its absolute worst when Astor had a ‘fight’ with Dexter in the kitchen that almost made me burst out laughing.

The Trinity investigation isn’t quite finished…

…not with suspicious Quinn looking for reasons to point the finger at Dexter.

Even though Dexter escapes his interview with the FBI relatively unscathed, one sloppy detail may come back to haunt him – he masqueraded under the name of Kyle Butler when he introduced himself to Arthur Mitchell’s family last season.

Quinn manages to get his hands on three different photofits of ‘Butler’, and by playing around with them, he discovers Dexter’s likeness. What’s not entirely clear is how his suspicion of Dexter is going affect his relationship with Debra. Will he tell her his suspicions and risk losing her, or will he start to drop subtle clues about Dexter to her, leading her to discover the truth about her half-brother?

Moneybags LaGuerta

Strangest sub-plot of all this week was Angel discovering that LaGuerta has a secret saving account that is loaded with money. He’s driven crazy wondering why she’s got all this money and hasn’t told him, which leads to some ill-advised hypothetical questions to Quinn and Debra. My biggest problem with this is that LaGuerta is their superior, and he’s married to LaGuerta, so has no business talking to his colleagues about her private affairs. It just doesn’t make sense that Angel would do this.

Also, I find it hard to believe that Angel didn’t have any physical contact with Dexter when he visited Miami Metro. Dexter was the witness at his wedding, he’s confided in Dexter in the past, and Dexter’s just lost his wife. Why wouldn’t he have taken more time out to comfort him?

Another serial killer?

When Dexter chops one serial killer down, another one springs up in their place. One of the murders tonight has a cult feel to it, and Debra gains some insider knowledge from a neighbourhood cop, who may take on a more active role in later episodes. That’s all for the moment, but could this be the Season 5 killer?

An uneven episode of Dexter. I have this post-traumatic feeling that the series isn’t ever going to be the same again in the wake of Rita’s death. Even though I was glad they killed her off. I won’t miss Astor and Cody either, but the series at the same time can’t reset Dexter to a single man again, looking for a woman to make him look normal.

Is anyone else feeling unsettled with Season 5 so far?

2 Comments

  1. anima52

    Deb and Dexter are adopted brother and sister, not step, and it was revealed that Harry is not Dexter’s biological father in an earlier episode about a blood transfusion that Dexter needed when he was a child.

    It is interesting that the writers don’t have Rita’s parents taking Harrison along with Astor and Cody.  After all, Rita was Harrison’s bio Mom, so that makes her parents Harrison’s bio grandparents as well as Astor and Cody’s. 

    If Harrison were absent that would really make Dexter free to kill within the code.  I think that it is through Harrison needing care from Deb (to help Dexter out) that Deb will really become aware of Dexter’s odd hours and ‘life style.’  Wow, can’t wait to see where this goes…

    1. Gerard McGarry

      Good comment – although I had assumed that Dexter had been so keen to hide the fact that his mother was Laura Moser because it was a link to Harry. You’re right though – things that happened ages ago in Dexter sometimes slip out of my mind.

      As for Harrison – well, Dexter is the paternal link there and doesn’t have a claim on Rita’s kids with her previous husband. Especially since Astor wants to move away. That’s why I think Harrison is still with Dexter. Plus, on a practical level, an elderly couple might be able to handle two tweens as opposed to the rigours of looking after a baby.

      But yeah, if Deb starts suspecting Dexter, things could get very interesting. Are you starting to see Quinn as the new Doakes?

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