After last week’s painful premiere, it was nice to get some of Dexter‘s trademark black humor mixed in with the ongoing drama surrounding Rita’s death. There’s still plenty of angst in this week’s episode, but Dexter’s great inner monologue is back to make you laugh once in awhile, too. It’s VERY welcome, because the goings on in Mr. Morgan’s life are still pretty heavy. Astor still hates him (so much, in fact, that she moves in with her grandparents). He’s still wrecked with grief. And most of all, he’s still trying his best to somehow make it all work. The major beats all work within the confines of the episode itself, but there are plenty of other bits moving along for the overall plot of the season as well with Quinn digging into “Kyle Butler,” the introduction of the Santa Muerta cult and, perhaps most importantly, Boyd Fowler, Dexter’s new target.
Dexter finds himself left with an emptiness despite the new goal ahead of him since he’s now lost the kids. This might be my biggest problem with this episode. Sure, the kids have always been kind of annoying, but they’re important to Dexter’s growth and they always have been. Having them written out of the show, regardless of how well it was executed (and for the record, it was done in a way that seemed natural and made sense given where the characters are) feels like a lazy move. It would have been really hard for Dexter to still don the kill suit with the kids in the house, but we won’t see that now that they’re gone. Yes, he still has Harrison and if the “Daddy time” scene we saw between the two of them in this episode in any indication, it’s going to be a fun ride, but having the older kids there to both ground and develop him is an important piece of Dexter’s puzzle that I might miss.
Of course, it’s too soon to cry foul on that development because there’s still so much left. I’m so confident that the writers will make it work, but it still merited a mention. I’ve got no love for those kids, but Dexter does, and I’ll miss them for that. All the other subplots are moving along nicely and there’s no reason to think that this will cripple the show. I’d say the Batista/LaGuerta angle is a much heavier anchor in that regard. Season 5 is off to a fine start. Sunday is too far away.