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Dexter Season 4 Episode 3: Blinded By the Light

dexterlundyCrashing his car, getting a concussion, and almost losing the remains of his last kill seems like a picnic for Dexter compared to fitting in with his new, suburbanite neighbors.  Overwhelmed with the new persona he’s taken on and juggling a job, family, and his serial killer duties, Dexter struggles to become “one of the guys,” bombing big time at the neighborhood barbeque. Astor, it seems, has also taken a page out of Mommy’s book and has become whiny and easily embarrassed, due in part to her teensy crush on troubled, spray paint can-toting teen, Jesse — son of an annoyingly Ned Flanders-esque neighbor. 

Even worse, Rita continues her reign as possibly the most irritating character on television today, informing Dexter that in the week prior to his accident and concussion, he’s been an absentee husband and father.  After Dexter profusely apologizes (for putting food on the table, conceding to her demands, helping care for baby Harrison, etc.), Rita also informs him that she contacted the doctor who examined him after the accident. Now armed with the knowledge that Dexter was not allowed to drive by himself for ten days, Rita tells Dexter he has time to make up for his absenteeism because she will be spending more time with him, driving him to work every morning.

Dexter finds his style cramped and nerves frayed on his morning commute, counting the days until he’s able to drive himself.  In lieu of stopping for coffee, Dexter’s (temporary) morning eye-opener involves Rita singing in the car and waving baby toys in his face as he’s held captive in the passenger seat.

Work becomes his sanctuary, but even that’s marred by Quinn attempting to suck up to him in the hopes that Dexter won’t blab about the money he pocketed at a crime scene. In turn, Quinn just gives Dexter a pair of primo Dolphins tickets, which Dexter hands off to Masuka.  Quinn later finds out Dexter gave away his gift, prompting an angry confrontation between the two with Dexter dubbing Quinn a “dirty cop.”  Taking offense, Quinn justifies his actions saying that he’s trying to stay afloat and get ahead, something that’s hard to do on just a cop’s salary.  Doing so, doesn’t make him a “dirty cop.”  Dexter apologizes, and on the surface, he and Quinn are cool.  However, Quinn makes mention of how Dexter irks him to his journalist/reporter girlfriend.

Quinn and the reporter chick aren’t the only ones humping like bunnies on the sly.  Angel and LaGuerta are still keeping their romance under wraps.

Meanwhile, the Trinity Killer leaves another victim, the middle-aged mother and wife he was seen trailing last episode.  Taking her to an abandoned warehouse, he refuses to push her, but forces her to let go off the railing, dropping to her death several stories below.

Dexter, Quinn, Masuka, and Deb are called to the scene of the crime to analyze and throw dummies off of the railing to determine if the victim’s death was a suicide or a homicide.  Semi-retired Special Agent Lundy (or “Special Agent Grandpa” as Quinn refers to him) arrives on the scene, imparting his theory that this could be the handiwork of the Trinity Killer he’s been trailing for decades. Oh, and he also says that according to Trinity’s pattern, the next victim will likely be a slightly older male who will be bludgeoned to death. 

Lundy attempts to enlist Dexter into helping him put an end to the Trinity Killer’s spree.  Lundy shares his inner monologue that his entire life, he’s felt like a lone wolf and the hunt for killers is the one thing that makes him feel alive.  Dexter (who doesn’t share his inner monologue, but his off-screen voiceover does) shares these feelings, a different side to the same sort of Lundy coin. 

Lundy also enlists Deb in his hunt for Trinity.  After Deb apologizes to him for running embarrassed out of his apartment after baring her soul that she thought he came back to Miami for her — not the Trinity Killer.  Lundy recants and admits that he was glad that his search brought him back to Miami — and Deb.

This slightly complicates matters with Deb’s new beau, Anton.  With the couple living together and Anton underfoot more, having scored a regular gig in a Miami club, Deb finds herself cornered in the relationship and conflicted, torn between her history with Lundy and new, seemingly perfect romance with Anton.

Dexter and Deb have a heart-to-heart talk in the car as she drops him off at home.  The two lament feeling so bad about being wanted by other people… Even though all they want sometimes is to be left alone.

Turns out, Dexter can’t even be alone with his new, annoying family.  As soon as he sets foot in the door, a neighborhood watch committee is waiting, with Rita serving up refreshments.  The recent rash of mailbox clubbings, car window smashings, and graffiti splattering the suburban picket fences somehow merits A.) a neighborhood watch committee B.) large football stadium lights installed on each doorstep C.) flashlight headbands reminiscent of something a coal miner would wear and D.) constant neighborhood surveillance.

This does not please Dexter whose internal conversations with Harry indicate that he’s already neglecting his serial killer duties thanks to this whole, new “family” and “living the suburban dream” crapola. 

Dexter attempts to find the vandal himself and bring him to justice.  He initially perceives it to be young Jesse, Astor’s new crush.  His pursuit of the begonia-bashing teen turns into a grade-A farce with the neighborhood watch committee taking off after a ski-masked Dexter.  Dexter manages to dodge the vigilante suburbanites, but finds himself in loathe with the new football stadium lights that illuminate his every late night step like Michael Jackson in the “Smooth Criminal” video. 

Dexter eventually apprehends the neighborhood vandal himself, successfully scaring the bejeezus out of him with a ski mask, regulation Neighborhood Watch Headlight™, and a Christian Bale-as-Batman disguised voice.  Turns out, the vandal is none other than Jesse’s father, the annoying Ned Flanders type. After his wife died and he found himself in foreclosure of his suburban house, he decided he was tired of playing by the rules and seeing all of the neighborhood yuppies go on about their blissfully ignorant existences.  In spite of feeling a sort of kinship with this guy, Dexter shakes him up and anonymously goes on his merry way.  Hell, the guy’s going to be leaving the neighborhood soon anyway.

Before lurching back home, Dexter pauses to smash the hell out of the newly installed Neighborhood Watch Uber-Lights™ .  Little does he know that Rita, already comfortably ensconced in her role as suburbanite wife and mom, looks on in horror.  Hopefully, next week, Dexter just blames this little snag on the concussion making him do strange things to blindingly bright lights.

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