Season 1 Episode 2


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 08, 2006 on Showtime

Episode Fan Reviews (23)

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  • Shallow Tears Written by Clyde Philips Directed by Michael Cuesta

    Last week introduced us to the violent but fascinating world of Dexter Morgan and how he finds his time balancing his life as an upstanding citizen by day and a serial killer by night. This week continues that but shows that things aren’t so cut and dry with our neat monster.

    For instance his relationship with Rita is one of the defining points of the entire episode as while they may seem well suited to one another on the outside, like every other couple in the universe, even they are having their own issues to deal with.

    From what we’ve seen in the first two episodes, Dexter seems to genuinely like Rita and has immersed himself greatly with her kids Cody and Astor as you can clearly tell, Dexter likes them and him playing around with them is one of the sweetest moments in the series while being a glowing contradiction in Dexter not being able to feel anything.

    He may be an excellent faker in his many interactions with family, friends, colleagues and random strangers over the past couple of years but even I’m not entirely convinced that Dexter is good at faking to the extent of how he interacts with Rita and her children.

    Which is good (if I’m right) because another think I think he’s unable to fake is how he feels about Rita. Maybe I’m becoming a bit of shipper and taking Dexter’s reasons for going out with her originally in mind but I get the feeling he might love her and if he doesn’t, then he certainly cares about her a lot.

    Once again the lack of sex between them causes a problem because despite Dexter’s protests of having an abhorrence for the actual act, he isn’t exactly repulsed when Rita tries to initiate sex once again by nibbling on his ear only for her to back off when he attempts to reciprocate similar affections.

    I like that in this series while sex isn’t the biggest factor; it’s still integral enough and is dealt with in a rather responsible manner. Rita has had a history of abuse and rape from her former loser of a spouse and the fact that this show takes on her demons along with Julie Benz’s superb acting giving the scenes justice is a testament to how much this show credits their audiences intelligence.

    It’s also wonderful that while Dexter is openly able to acknowledge sex being a problem between them, he earns major points for telling Rita that he has no intention of pressuring her and that she has to do it on her own accord. If he wasn’t a serial killer he really would be the perfect package.

    Dexter and Rita’s awkwardness towards sex also manages to fly in the face of the far less reserved Deb, whose public displays of affection for her current new boy toy Sean the mechanic make Dexter and Rita uncomfortable when the four of them decide to do the whole double date thing.

    It also probably didn’t help to hear Sean going on about some of Deb’s more physical assets which Dexter managed to uncomfortably shrug. No-one wants to hear about their sister’s sexual prowess and Sean was a bit of a tool for hinting it to Dexter.

    Of course Deb’s perfect romance did have one major flaw – Sean was married and respectfully Deb had the sense to ditch him. So that another adulterous dunce out of the picture then.

    When we were concentrating on his relationship with Rita, the bond between Dexter and Deb also got highlighted. It’s really refreshing that we don’t really have to deal with any sibling rivalry with these two and Deb’s attempts of building a better relationship with her brother are handled rather nicely.

    I doubt I was the only one who found her picking out a tie for him to wear to court amusing and heck, even the double date thing was another effective way to for her to get to know her brother better. Basically I like Deb and find nearly all of her scenes with Dexter enjoyable.

    It’s also Dexter who Deb tells when she finds herself promoted from Vice to Homicide after LaGuerta is forced to eat humble pie and move the girl up on the career ladder and I loved how she wanted to share her good fortune with her older brother over a few beers.

    Also once again, Deb’s more sensitive side was brought to the fore when she displayed humane anguish over another victim of the Ice Truck Killer. It’s good that Deb isn’t hardened by being a cop (though not all of them are) and it’s another reason why I enjoy her so much.

    The Harry flashbacks of the piece this week came across as being a bit more darker than the previous episode. Last week it was laid out how Harry discovered Dexter’s darker impulses and tried to channel them for less destructive purposes and more deserving victims. When we learn that Harry’s cop partner was killed and the killer evaded justice, it doesn’t take much of a stretch that Harry is encouraging his boy to put killers like that six feet underground. Harry’s more or less grooming Dexter as the lad follows his adopted dad’s code to what I would say would be Harry’s satisfaction.

    In reality this week’s flashbacks tie in nicely to two major events in this episode as the first one has Matthew Chambers avoiding another prison term despite the impressive track record of accidents he has managed in a reasonably short space of time.

    For this case, Dexter goes a bit of an extra mile by not only stalking Matthew but actually going as far as befriending him in a bar and paying for his drink. If this was any other show, I’d make more of the HoYay possibility but that’s eradicated when Dexter’s true intentions are carried out, although I did find it interesting that Deb managed to distract Dexter from killing Chambers at first by almost forcing him to meet her.

    Of course Dexter does eventually catch up to Matthew and once again he lays out Matthew’s impressive criminal record, takes the usual blood sample and then does him in. Unlike Jamie Jaworski, Matthew attempts to excuse his actions but as Dexter pointed out, he’s done it far too many times to actually be sorry.

    The second major event in this episode then is the death of another cop – Ricky Simmonds. Ricky had been spending the good part of ten months trying to nail vicious gangster Carlos Guerrero but for some reason, Guerrero must have figured out exactly what Simmonds was doing and not only was Ricky killed but Guerrero also had his wife Karen done in as well.

    Killing a cop tends to demoralise fellow cops. Dexter pointed that in flashbacks and so did an incandescent with rage Harry in our weekly flashbacks, so it doesn’t take much of a stretch that when one of Guerrero’s thugs, Norvoto Cervantes is arrested, some embittered cop would take the law into their own hands and kill him. Like with Matthew Chambers, I didn’t care. It’s not like scum like Cervantes feel remorse for their own actions.

    Even Dexter had contemplated doing something about Guerrero when he spotted the gangster during his drinking session with Deb and proceeded to follow him in the bathroom. For a second it looked like Dexter would kill Carlos but it only flashed to his capture of Matthew. I’m guessing Guerrero will play a bigger role. With him and the Ice Truck Killer, Dexter is going to be a busy little beaver.

    Speaking of which when he wasn’t leaving victims with coloured finger nails and his truck, our deranged killer (out to rival Nip/Tuck’s Carver perhaps?) sent Dexter another clue. Dexter continues to be flattered by this killer even if he seems to be used as a pawn like the cops are as well. Dexter certainly has a better insight with Ice Truck Killer’s mentality than the police but unless he wants to draw unwarranted attention to himself, he should hold back a little.

    As for Doakes, I have to admit I was kinda shocked when I learned he was screwing around with Ricky Simmonds wife but unlike the “Pilot”, at least this episode humanised him a bit more. I still don’t really care for him but giving us a sign that he’s not a complete and total dick is nice.

    It’s also interesting how LaGuerta also flits back and forth between busting Doakes’ chops for screwing around with another cop’s wife but at the same time tries to give him some emotional support. LaGuerta and Doakes are still two of my least favourite characters but their confrontation scene together is played out brilliantly by Lauren Valez and Erik King.

    However getting back on the LaGuerta hate train, two episodes in and I’m starting to get tired of this woman’s treatment of Deb. While I’m not expecting a massive “sisters are doing for it themselves” camaraderie between the two, LaGuerta’s clear jealousy of Deb’s abilities as a police officer are quite annoying.

    I get that LaGuerta enjoys playing with the big boys but does she have to try and humiliate Deb at a crime scene and then act like someone has shoved glass up her ass when the Captain encourages her to promote Deb. This attitude only validates Deb’s enjoyment of when LaGuerta is forced to promote her.

    Also in “Crocodile”

    This week saw the introduction of the series’ opening credits and can I just say they are some of the best ones I’ve ever seen? It’s a pity so many shows are now ignoring the use of opening credits.

    Dexter (re LaGuerta): “In keeping with her sense of entitlement, she has a crush on me. And I thought I was creepy”.

    Dexter has been working as a blood spatter expert for the past 12 years and has worked on 2103 cases exactly. That’s about 175 year. Angel (re Doakes): “What’s up his ass?”
    Deb: “He hates lab rats”.

    Astor (re Dexter): “Are you gonna kiss him?”
    Rita: “Actually yes”.

    Does anyone think the actress playing Astor look like Kayla in Desperate Housewives? There are some striking similarities.

    LaGuerta: “What’s this sick son of a **** trying to tell us?”
    Dexter: “Not us, me”.

    Doakes: “Come on Lieutenant we’ve already got a win”
    LaGuerta: “It’s not about your win; it’s about the big picture”.

    This episode both opened and ended with Dexter in water, although it did look like he was about to get hit by a jet ski in the beginning.

    Dexter: “If God is in the details, if I believed in him, then he is in the room with me. I only wish he brought an extension chord”.

    Dexter: “We have an elephant in the room and it’s name is sex”
    Rita: “Tell me about it”.

    Angel seems to have marital difficulties. Was LaGuerta giving him support or hassle during her conversation with him?

    Doakes: “What business is it of yours?”
    LaGuerta: “My cop, my precinct, my business”.

    Matthew: “I’m sorry, really I’m sorry”
    Dexter: “You’ve done this too many times to be sorry”.

    Chronology: A few days since the “Pilot”.

    Not quite as strong as the opening episode but “Crocodile” does however allow for the arc and personal dynamics to flow evenly while adding some fascinating new elements. As for Dexter, he should be careful or else he’ll end up drawing suspicion on himself.
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