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Dexter Season 4 Episode 7: Slack Tide

dexterslacktideEven into a good season, a plodding, filler-stuffed episode must fall.  This week’s edition of Dexter felt laborious in pacing — a sure-fire sign that the writers are trying to stretch the season’s 12-episode arc out.  Some interesting character revelations were introduced and the story progressed, adding a few new twists and turns, but how soon and how well those last-minute plot points may be fleshed out remains to be seen. 

Once again, Dexter’s home life is almost as painful for the viewer to watch as it is for him to endure.  Rita loves him a whole bunch now that he’s in therapy and she has him (seemingly) successfully under her thumb, helping the kids with homework and putting together wee Harrison’s baby bouncer.  (Not to fling about too much Rita Hate, but what exactly does Rita do all day?  Particularly in the mornings when Dexter is getting ready to go to work?)

Feeling trapped yet again, Dexter goes back to his Kyle persona and spends some quality time with Arthur/Trinity to find out how to successfully juggle his serial killer life and prevent his family from completely taking over. Arthur suggests getting the kids into some extra-curricular activities to get them out of his hair. 

Dexter winds up enrolling Cody into the Young Sailor’s Club (which ends up blowing up in his face when he has to accompany the Code-ster on an outing.  Daddy Dex thoroughly creeps out the other kids with his Terror-tastic Tales of Trinity around the campfire before another chaperone Dad makes the save with a dash of humor).  After proffering suggestions of soccer, ballet, and the Little Scientists Society for the increasingly emo Astor, Dexter buys her a guitar.  (Although a bottle of Midol, black eyeliner, and a super-sized box of Tampax would probably better fit the bill.) 

This frees Dexter up to spend quality time tracking his latest target and deciphering the mystery of the man behind Trinity. Dexter/Kyle hangs out with Arthur, who gets all sorts of snippy with him as they spend some male bonding time chopping down trees. Meanwhile, Soul Glo Harry’s ghost pops up to provide a running commentary and inner dialogue of disapproval on Dexter’s new hero/role model. Dexter, himself, does appear to be a bit afraid of Arthur’s major mood swings, but things start looking up when Arthur accidentally hits a deer with his truck.  After telling him that Arthur must put the poor critter out of its misery, Arthur tears up and can’t do it.  Instead, it’s Dexter/Kyle who takes charge and makes with the hatchet on poor Bambi as Arthur cries like a sissy. 

Not his only undercover self-assignment, Dexter finds himself tracking a creepy British photographer named Pharaoh who has been offing his muses and using them as gator bait.  Dexter hits the nightclub scene to keep an eye on Pharaoh and his lackey in the hopes he can land the photographer on his Kill Table and gain a trophy slide. 

Meanwhile, Quinn is hot on Dexter’s trail, tracking him on his side mission to snuff Pharaoh.  Quinn is eager to catch Dexter red-handed in anything as payback for calling him a “dirty cop” and blocking his newspaper scribe/bang maid Christine’s potential story on Deb.  Playing the good big brother, Dexter asks Quinn to get his girlfriend to back off and give Deb some space and time to recover from her injuries, the death of her boyfriend, and readjust to life at the precinct.  Quinn tells Dexter it’s none of his business and takes this rather personally.  Quinn, it seems, is becoming the 2009 passive-aggressive equivalent of Doakes, minus the closet full of awesomely tight shirts, in-your-face-attitude, and perpetual pout.  Damn, I miss Doakes.

Wounded as she may be, Deb’s cop skills are getting somewhat better, noticing that Batista and LaGuerta won’t look each other in the eye at a briefing… Which can only mean they’re still shagging one another rotten. 

Her detective skills still don’t bring her any closer to discovering more about Harry’s past.  Instead of finding out more about a singular mistress, Deb learns Harry had quite a harem of his own after meeting with the latest in the pile of Harry’s trail of trick-turners.  She gives up the search, which is just as well, since the next one on the pile is Dexter’s mother.  Dexter is all too happy to shred the pile of case files for Deb, although, for perhaps lingering familial reasons, he keeps the photo of Mommy’s mugshot. 

From one stupid thing that will likely bear repercussions in the remaining four episodes, Dexter also commits a major faux pas and finally lands Pharaoh on his Kill Table, offing him with a hammer à la Trinity despite his protests of innocence.  The following morning, the precinct hauls in Pharaoh’s assistant, having found evidence that he was the one feeding models to the alligators.  Dexter mentally berates himself for killing an innocent as the credits roll. Next week, the previews indicate that Dexter confesses of his killing ways to Trinity and the pair further bond.  Where’s Soul Glo Harry when you need him!?!

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