Dexter Season 5 Episode 1 – My Bad
Rita is dead. What does Dexter do now? This is essentially the conflict in this opening episode to season five after the shocking finale last year. While Dexter was hiding in the trunk of a car, the Trinity killer was murdering his wife. How does Dexter process that guilt (can he even feel guilt?) and what does it do to him?
This episode picks up immediately after the last one, with Dexter coming outside, baby Harrison en tow, as police swarm his home. The first words out of his mouth when the police arrive are “It was me,” words that will certainly haunt America’s favorite serial killer in the coming weeks. He’s subjected to funeral homes, FBI interviews, breaking the news to their children (while wearing Mickey Mouse ears, no less) and more before he decides to cut and run. He prepares to leave his infant son with his sister and pack up his life and move on with no regard for how guilty that makes him look. Harry would be most displeased. In the end, though, he returns to seek support from the people who knew and loved Rita because he needs their support more than even he thinks he does.
As per usual, it’s Dexter’s inner conflict that is most interesting about this episode as he tries to process, if not muster, some grief for his fallen wife. He’s so caught up in how he thinks everyone else thinks he’s supposed to feel that he doesn’t allow himself to actually feel anything until he can’t bear it any longer. The result is Dexter at his most human in a powerful scene made even better by a typically amazing performance from Michael C. Hall.
This year is going to be tough for Dexter. Aside from his inner demons, there’s plenty to keep him on his toes. Quinn is a dog with a bone over Rita’s death and all signs point to Dexter in his mind as the primary suspect. Maybe he should ask Sergeant Doakes how that road ends. The previews for the coming episodes look fantastic.
The premiere episode was a slow one, but it needed to be. The characters needed to breathe and process what had happened before we could move on as an audience. It set a LOT in motion while resolving some leftover bits from last year. Dexter has a track record of getting better each year. Last season is going to be a tough act to follow, but if this week’s episode is any indication, we’re on the right track.