Review: Dexter: A Horse of a Different Color

by Billie Doux

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Dexter: “I guess there are some things even daddies can’t fix.”

Again with a specific religious theme. This time, surrender to something greater than yourself.

We don’t often see Dexter get emotional, but he lost it several times. The Four Horsemen tableau actually shocked Dexter into swearing out loud. He was noticeably upset when Harrison went into surgery, and hugged the doctor when it was over. And they continued to bludgeon us with the faith theme when Dexter prayed for the first time, and got an answer in the form of a miraculous coffee machine. Dexter now owes God a debt. Maybe.

It turns out that Brother Sam experienced childhood trauma somewhat similar to Dexter’s. Gold acting stars for Mos Def, because Brother Sam’s quite literal moment of clarity in the chapel could have sounded stupid or cliched, but it didn’t. Sam is so much more than a caricature, and I’m becoming seriously fond of him. So many characters on this show wind up dead or evil, and usually both. Not Sam, please. Dexter needs a friend. Sam is an interesting friend for Dexter to have.

What would Brother Sam do if he knew whom he was befriending? Then again, he’s so inner directed that he might not even blink.

Deb is making her own unique mark on the lieutenant job, despite Maria’s latest attempt to sabotage her. (Loved the big, chunky, symbolic Maria necklace/choke collar.) And I am really liking Mike Anderson. He’s a smart cop, he’s not easy to intimidate, and he made Quinn look like a doofus. Mike gave Deb some good advice, too, and she won’t forget it. (Although I hope she doesn’t take his advice about the profanity. Deb wouldn’t be Deb without her wonderful potty mouth.) For a moment, Mike’s familiarity with the book of Revelation made me wonder if maybe he was one of Gellar’s acolytes infiltrating Miami Metro, but that would be too convoluted, even for Dexter. Besides, he’s from Chicago.

James Gellar, former professor of the University of Tallahassee, Revelation expert and pervy peeping tom, has now been dubbed the Doomsday Killer. I knew that poor girl was toast, but what a horrible way to die. Gellar is supposed to be focused on Revelation and the Apocalypse, but he seems to be more interested in controlling Travis. In fact, Gellar isn’t surrendering to God at all. Instead, he’s taking on God’s power of life and death for himself.

It looks like Dexter has chosen Travis as his next victim, and I don’t get the impression that Travis is a bad guy. He’s disastrously misguided, and committing murder because of your religious beliefs may be a long, time-honored tradition but it’s still, well, wrong, but I feel bad for the kid. Maybe Dexter will decide against taking him out for those very reasons. Maybe that will be the favor Dexter owes God.

Bits and pieces:

— The title kept making me think of the horse changing color in the Emerald City sequence in The Wizard of Oz. “You’re out of the woods, you’re out of the dark, you’re out of the night…”

— Angel and Quinn getting stoned in the Smokey car was amusing.

— Deb’s stash of frozen Girl Scout cookies came up in a previous season.

— I liked the way Masuka reacted to Ryan’s dishonesty. I think. We’ll have to see if he follows through, though. And hey, if Ryan is into all this just to make a buck, I am seriously disappointed in this plot thread.

— You got to love Dexter explaining the definition of a serial killer to Deb.

— Dexter’s brother Brian has come up several times already this season. Are they just teasing us? Were the writers just aware that the body parts from the Four Horsemen tableau were like Brian’s victims and they were pre-emptively bringing it up?

Quotes:

Dexter: “What’s with the wicked rodeo?”

Matthews: “Morgan is the new face of this department, Maria.”
Maria: “I’m still…”
Matthews: “… the old face.”
Good one, Matthews. Wow, does he hate her.

Masuka: “You’re a derby girl?”
Ryan: “I have the bruises to prove it.”
Masuka: “I think my head just exploded.”

Deb: “Goddam pantyhose. Has anyone ever died from crotch asphyxiation?”
Dexter: “You have now crossed the line into inappropriate brother-sister exchanges.”

Harry: “Looks like your prayers were answered.”
Dexter: “I was desperate.”
Harry: “Hey, no judgment. You already talk to an imaginary father figure.”
Yeah, I’d been thinking about that. Especially when Dexter told Sam that when he needed help, he’d gotten it from his father, not God.

Another good episode. Three out of four imaginary father figures,

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