Friday, December 22, 2017

Dexter - Shrink Wrap






****/****

How about this for a plot outline: Dexter seeks therapy?

A therapist played excellently by Tony Goldwyn (who also directed!) is behind three suicides, the victims powerful women in prominent positions seeking advice from him regarding the ability to control the pressures of their careers. The therapist would get them on pharmaceuticals, later refusing to write them a scrip, encouraging them to use a gun on themselves in order to “escape the pressure”! Dexter is drawn to Dr. Emmett Meridian (Goldwyn) when he realizes that three suicides through the use of a gun (all similarly staged) had him as their therapist. Through his own “undercover therapy”, Dexter learns of Meridian’s methods, eventually noticing a hidden camera inside a plant, later returning at night to see the recordings on his computer. This sets in motion Meridian’s demise as Dexter recognizes his using his gifts as a therapist to form a god complex which includes persuading his vulnerable patients to kill themselves. Dexter actually benefits, though, from his time with Meridian, learning that he must “relinquish control” and that “not every time he’ll be able to have the upper hand in certain life situations”. Case in point: Rita cancels her lunch date with Dex in favor of spending time with Paul and her kids at the playground. Paul makes certain that the supervisor of his time with the children is removed and encourages Rita to hang out with him, using the kids as bait. I think viewers can see what he’s up to, although Rita feels empowered in her relationship with Dexter, in “control”, and he is uncertain how to deal with this development. Meridian gives him advice about recognizing he isn’t always in control although when younger, Harry was adamant that Dex must always maintain it or else he’d eventually find trouble. Meridian even puts him in a type of rest that allows Dex to reawaken a repressed memory that is certain to return again as a reminder of past trauma buried away. Dex immediately leaves Meridian’s office and engages in hot sex with Rita after rejecting her earlier advances, taking their relationship further. How much further?

With Deb falling in love with a prosthetics doctor, she doesn’t realize that he’s the Ice Truck killer. Dex baits the doc (named Rudy, played by Christian Camargo) with a Craigslist comment to provoke a response using the Barbie doll (cut in pieces and left for Dex) as a lure. This is quite the “well, that was unexpected!” revelation only complicating matters for Dex. Dex almost talks affectionately about Rudy, seeing him as quite the artiste. Too bad his [adoptive] sister is making passionate love with the guy while also involved in his capture.

There has been a development during the first season that I find quite compelling regarding Lt Maria LaGuerta (Luna Lauren Velez) and her superior, Captain Tom Matthews (Geoff Pierson). Capt Matthews has done everything he can to take advantage of LaGuerta’s talents, instincts, and findings to beef up his own credibility with his superiors. Taking credit for her and her department’s work has been beneficial for Matthews. You do sense that throughout the first season where the women are fighting within a macho, alpha male world, tough and clever, having to listen to rather sexist comments and quips yet holding their own, the likes of LaGuerta and Deb give and take to get their peers to give them serious consideration as law enforcement officers worthy of “hanging out in the same clubhouse”. Capt Matthews basically rubbing the benefits of being the superior in LaGuerta’s face, using her hard work to help his own career, failing to listen when she tries as she can to convince him that Neil Perry isn’t the Ice Truck serial killer (including bringing a severed head into the interrogation room!) will come back to haunt him, and she’ll joyfully be there to see his downfall. She easily concedes without much fight as the DA feels confidant to go forward against Perry. Clearly, LaGuerta is willing to bide her time and allow Matthews to smash egg on his own face and let his persistence in pursuing the case against Perry blow up for the media to document.

Dexter admitting he’s a serial killer to Meridian is quite a moment. The relief and bliss in just saying it to somebody (other than Harry), for once accepting that he’s a killer who won’t always have control just comes right out of Dexter. Meridian does try to escape but a chokehold puts him to sleep until he awakens on a table, taped in the appropriate places considering he’s naked as Dex admits his therapy was quite a help! Dex still proceeds to add him to the collection of serial killers, Meridian’s blood drop added to his glass trophy box…thankful for the guidance but nonetheless no longer allowed to convince another powerful women to blow herself away with a gun.






*Seeing LaGuerta get Perry all unglued and anxious when presenting the head had me laughing out loud. 
*Anytime Doakes lays into Dex, who is chill and doesn't get bothered at his ridicule, I can't help but find this dynamic amusing. Dex simply doesn't worked up at Doakes' "freakshow" insults. Because Dex realizes he's quite "peculiar".

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