Dexter

Season 2 Episode 1

It's Alive!

17
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Sep 30, 2007 on Showtime
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
801 votes
33

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Things are really beginning to heat up for Dexter: Doakes' suspicions about him are growing, his victims are escaping, and his body dump site has been found.
Meanwhile, Paul is troubling Rita over the missing shoe and Debra is going through a trauma over the Ice Truck killer incident.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The real killer of Miami.

    9.5
    This was a great start to season 2 which carried off from from season 1 with Doakes following Dexter and Paul trying to prove Dexter set him up When Dexter gets away from Doakes he finds he wasn't able to kill his victim because killing his brother seems to have effected him Dexter's next victim couldn't be any harder to kill when he chooses little Chino but he escapes from Dexter's kill table Dexter is going to have to get back to normal because things have got bad for him when some divers find the bodies Dexter has dumped in the sea and when it comes on TV Deb says the killer is even worse than the Ice Truck Killer and she can finally get peace She is right but I am not so sure about the second part I don't think Dexter could believe all the bodies have been found and he feels his heartbeat because it will be pumping like crazy.moreless
  • Go away Doakes, I have the urge to kill, leave me alone!

    8.4
    I've been looking forward to this since FX broadcast the first season last year. The 5 minute catch up (longest I've ever seen) at the beginning gets you up to speed on the premise and past happenings of this dark comedy drama about a mass murderer who slaughters those who murder. It's not needed for me but for anyone starting on the series with this episode its a good thing.



    Anyway, Dexter (a forensics expert) after killing his Brother (the ice truck killer) 6 weeks ago is being constantly watched by Detective 'Motherf****n' Doakes who he works with. Doakes is very suspicious but only on a whim so doesn't suspect Dexter to be a mass murderer. However this thread continues throughout the episode and thankfully is not pushed right in your face but works its way more subtly. No big confrontations between them, they do work together most of the time after all.



    Anyway, Dexter after getting away from Doakes for the first time in weeks sets out for his first kill since his brother. Only because he's nervous he ends up going for a blind guy. The voodoo feel in the shop was great and I enjoyed as he struggled to kill this guy. Later on he goes from Blind Bat to killer whale in terms of his next choice in Little Chino so he tries both ends of the stick. Except Little Chino (a violent gang member)makes him even more nervous which doesn't turn out well. It's great to see Dexter have a crisis of conscience and slipping up slightly but as its revealed at the end of the episode what he really needs is his adrenaline pumping.



    I particularly was impressed with the forward motion this episode provides as his body dumping ground is now found which makes for interesting times ahead. Also the plot with Dexter's girlfriend Rita and her abusive imprisoned husband is brought to a head. This needed to be gotten out the way I just wasn't sure about how they actually did it. I wasn't sure about Debs (Dexter's adopted sister) and Rita sharing their misfortune in a bar either but the worst scene by far was two idiots hounding Debs for a photo at a crime scene, calling her Mrs Ice Truck Killer, completely insensitive and the scene felt really forced.



    Funny things in Dexter's world was his inner monologue telling us fellow Cop Angel had found faith in a Oprah rerun and him stepping in the blood at a crime scene by accident. Doakes sitting in the interrogation room with Little Chino and being suspicious of Dexter for looking at a tittie site when he hasn't ever rented any porn raised a smile as well. A good start to the season with a lot of forward motion, wasn't perfect but still really good.moreless
  • Dexter Returns

    8.8
    This episode was very slow and I think that can be attributed to the fact that we have to move away from the ice truck killer case that really bagan to heat up at the end of last season and kind of get a feel on what this season will be about. I liked Dexters portrayal of "The Killer who can't kill anymore" kind of attitude, though Im glad that its only going to last this lone episode it would seem. The scenes with Rita were all really well done, aside from Dexter I would say she is the character who has been the most devoloped since the beginning of the show. The rest of the episode did feel to drag on a little more then I wanted it too. It's really hard to get into any of the characters (for me) aside from really Deb, Dexter, and Rita. Doakes, the two lt's, and the rest of the police force just is not an interesting storyline. I wonder where they are going with this Doakes v Dexter thing, seems like soemthing that is going to have to come to a resolution eventually.moreless
  • I Need To Kill Someone Written by Daniel Cerone Directed by Tony Goldwyn

    9.0
    Angel: "Don't forget to tell the universe what you really need".

    Dexter (to himself): "I really need to kill someone".



    With the summer in Ireland and Britain producing more rain than actual sun and not many new shows around, it's great that FXUK are finally getting round to airing the second season of this show. It was one of the best things on the box last year and if this opening episode is anything to go, it'll be that as well this year.



    It's been over a month in Dexter's time since he was forced to kill Rudy and now he's got a boat load of problems. I suppose even for someone like Dexter, having to kill your brother would take a lot out of you especially when you freakishly admired his handiwork while also trying to stop him from killing Deb.



    The episode has a cheeky start as instead of a killing we get Dexter on a bowling team with Angel and Masuka. As a non-sporty person, I like bowling but it's been ages since I've actually done it. Dexter seems to have a knack for it too but the game is competitive as they're playing against another police station.



    Angel seems to have had a new age vibe since we've last seen him as he's spouting out stuff about the universe giving you what you want provided you ask for it. All Dexter wants to do is kill someone but thanks to Doakes he has to be a little more cautious than usual.



    In "Born Free" we saw that Doakes has taken to monitoring Dexter's every move and while Dexter plays dumb in order to goad Doakes, there are times when it does look like he's seething as well. Doakes has never been shy about his hatred for Dexter but even in this episode it's like he's taking it to a new level.



    He can barely contain his anger towards Dexter when the blood spatter expert makes casual remarks about Doakes supporting the bowling. Morally Doakes has ever right not to trust Dexter and trying to catch him slip would be commendable if he wasn't such a dick.



    However Doakes' hatred for Dexter does make you as a viewer not feel sympathetic for him. It's a good job that throughout Season One with his relationships with Maria and Deb that we've seen a decent side to him because he does often come across as one dimensional when he's having a go at Dexter.



    There's even a scene where Dexter is pretending to look at porn that Doakes is still unconvinced that Dexter is as pure as the driven snow. Watching this show and siding with a character like Dexter over someone like Doakes is a strange experience. I never felt this way when watching The Sopranos.



    Now there are plenty of men out there who are so sexually frustrated, they're practically climbing the walls. With Dexter, it's the lack of a decent kill that's making him on edge. While he's smart enough to get Doakes on his back, he rounds up a potential victim in Jimmy.



    Jimmy's blind but Dexter ain't prejudice due to Jimmy using resin to kill his victims. Dexter used Jimmy's blindness to his own advantage and even gagged him when he tried to put a curse on him. Also this near kill happen later in the episode compared to the "Pilot" episode too.



    However when it came down to the crunch, Dexter just couldn't kill Jimmy. I don't think it was pity that compelled him. Jimmy might be blind but he's able to kill people and he's not losing sleep over it either. With Dexter it seemed more like performance anxiety than attack of conscience.



    If missing out on killing Jimmy wasn't bad enough, then Little Chino had to have been a bigger disaster. When the cops discover a body at the beach and the son's grieving mother Eva gives a police statement, Dexter feels another opportunity slipping out of him hands.



    In the last season we had a minor plot with the gangster Guerrero and this season we are getting a plot with Little Chino, another thug who's arc is probably a warm act to the main meat of the season. The good news for Dexter is that because Eva has a history with drugs, Little Chino is let out of prison.



    In a lot of ways I feel for Eva. Little Chino happily killed her son for no reason and like many drug dealers, this guy doesn't care who he kills in order to get ahead. Dexter getting back into the game decides to do the world a favour by ending a scumbag like Little Chino but even Dexter couldn't get that one right.



    Fortunately it wasn't a case of performance anxiety but just dumb luck that Little Chino was able to untie himself and get away before he got added to Dexter's slide collection. Okay so it's sloppiness on Dexter's part but even neat monsters are going to screw up. However he'd better do in Little Chino before the gangster does him in or reports him. Dexter doesn't have much time to correct that mistake.



    Also loosing Little Chino wasn't the only mistake as his relationship with Rita is also in danger. Last season Paul made sure she found his shoe and now she realises that Dexter did drug up her abusive ex-husband. Also like a dog with a bone, Paul is still pestering her to get him out of jail.



    Considering everything he's done to her and the fact that psychologically both Rita and the kids would be a lot safer without him in their lives, I really hate the idea of Rita helping. I did like that for the most part of the episode she resisted and only told him about finding the shoe when he was getting on her nerves.



    It was also great to see Rita tell him to deal with being in jail. I don't sympathise with people like Paul. Maybe Dexter had no right taking the law into his own hands but in all fairness, am I really supposed to feel for Paul? Even when he's whining about being unable to hack prison life, I still couldn't muster sympathy for him.



    To be honest even when Rita later tells Dexter that Paul died in an altercation with a cell mate, I still didn't give a damn. There are people worthy of grieving for but I wouldn't waste a tear. Maybe that makes me sound like a harsh people but I don't sympathise with abusers, even when they're punished for something they didn't do. Paul can rot in hell for all I care.



    However in spite of that I did feel for Rita. She did think that by not helping Paul that she's somehow responsible for his death. I really wanted to shout at the TV 'No, you're not' but it wouldn't have made a difference really. Julie Benz really knocked that scene out of the ball park.



    Of course Paul's death puts Dexter's relationship with Rita in jail. For the first time she was genuinely furious with Dexter and he didn't twig on to the fact that Rita knew about the shoe incident. It's ironic that Dexter chose the wrong night to go to Rita for solace. Things with them in this episode were on shaky ground.



    Dexter even blew off a date with Rita so he could go for a kill. Rita however did spend some time with Deb and the two of them had some lovely choice moments. Rita showed some genuine compassion for Deb's well being and Deb reminded Rita that she was better off without Paul in her life.



    Deb was another focal point of the episode. Having her around made things tense for Dexter as she could hardly with the ordeal over Rudy. I knew that going back to work would also highlight it. Maria even said to Esme that Deb coming back was too soon and she was right.



    At a crime Deb could just about contain her anger when some locals were making fun of her and in a bar she struck a guy who actually looked like he meant her no harm. If Deb doesn't really talk about how she feels she will crack up big time. Going back to normal life is all well and good but not getting further help could be her undoing.



    However there's also another delight in this episode – the discovery of corpses. Thanks to a bunch of scuba divers, over thirty bags of severed limbs have been found and both Dexter and Deb end the episode with some of the most interesting if obvious reactions to this.



    With Deb, the rise of a new serial killer should be the very thing to help her get past nearly being killed by the Ice Truck Killer. Dexter on the other hand looks like all his Christmases have come all at once. There's a new villain on the block worthy of his stature and if that doesn't get him back in the game, what else will?



    As for flashbacks, we got to see teenage Dexter and Harry argue over a delayed boar hunt in a firing range and then Harry mistaking Dexter for trying to kill himself. They aren't the best ones we've had but they still function in trying to explain Dexter's need to feel as well as kill.



    Last but not least, could Maria and Esme actually work as a team? Tom drafted in Esme at the end of the season to stick it to Maria but it might have the opposite effect. Esme might order Maria around but it's refreshing not to see her resort to childish behaviour when doing it. Also Maria did seem to empathise a little with Esme's romantic woes so perhaps there's a distinct possibility that the two of them can get along. After all Maria could use a female ally in order. I can't see her and Deb becoming friends anytime soon.



    Also in "It's Alive"



    Just like the start of every season premiere of The L Word and Weeds, the "Previously On" bit was quite long.



    Angel: "Keep your mind limber".

    Dexter: "I'm doing mental jumping jacks".



    Dexter, Angel and Masuka's bowling team was called "Bowl Til You Bleed". Not the most subtle of title for a Dexter team. Then again he does have a boat called "Slice Of Life".



    Jimmy: "What's happening?"

    Dexter: "The only pertinent question is what happened to your victims?"



    Harry: "Dexter, enough with your psychopath **** You're in control of your urges, not the other way round".



    Doakes' stalking of Dexter also included him learning that Dexter hasn't rented a porn movie in over a decade. Geez, Doakes that's going a bit far.



    Rita: "I just got this urge".

    Dexter: "I'm all for satisfying urges. I just wish I knew how come I couldn't satisfy mine last night". LaGuerta: "You don't like roses?"

    Esme: "Allergies and let me know what you find out about that body".



    For the second premiere in a row, Dexter and Rita are having sexual problems. Won't be long until that will be the least of Dexter's worries.



    Angel: "What's the matter with you today?"

    Dexter: "Little off my game. I'll get it back".



    Deb (re Rita): "You bum hole. Why did you have to put it that way?"

    Dexter: "She's expecting you in half an hour. You're a lifesaver".



    There's a new kid playing Cody. I noticed that the second time I watched this episode. At least they kept the original actress playing Astor.



    Esme: "Sorry you had to hear that. That was my fiancé. We're having problems".

    LaGuerta: "It happens".



    Rita: "Stop blaming other people for your problems. You're in prison now. Deal with it".

    Paul: "Rita. No".

    Dexter seems to have found a new place to kill people. For Little Chino he used the back room of Jimmy's shop.



    Deb (to Rita, re Paul): "Hey I'm the one that answered that domestic dispute call way back when. That prick deserved to go to prison".



    Rita: "Now I have to find a way to tell my children that their father's dead and I could've helped him".

    Dexter: "How? How could you have helped him?"



    Rita was smoking in the garden when she told Dexter about Paul's death. It's sort of common for even non-smokers to smoke when they're grieving.



    Deb: "There's a killer out there that could be way worse than the Ice Truck Killer. Maybe now I can finally get some peace. Isn't that great?"

    Dexter: "It's amazing".



    Chronology: Exactly 38 days between this episode and "Born Free".



    As openers go, "It's Alive" is certainly one that gets better on repeated viewing. A lot of the episode feels very familiar to what's been liked about the first season but with a new killer on the loose, Dexter struggling with his mojo and Rita wising up a little as well as a relentless Doakes, it's also refreshing to see some evident changes as well.moreless
  • This episode takes on board the events of the previous season, and lets the characters deal with them.

    9.4
    Deb's ex-fiance tried to kill her. Was she back to normal ? Nope. Dex killed his brother. Did he carry on as he always did ? Nope. Doakes knows that Dexter is not a normal human being. Does he ignore this ? Nope.



    There was a lot of pain in the last season. A lot of things changed for the characters, and this season, they have to deal with it. Dexter killed his brother, and in doing so, caused (more) psychological problems. He is suffering a block, so he is unable to just go ahead and kill his victims anymore. He needs to deal with his problems and move on.



    I like the fact that the characters in season 2 are in a different place than they were at the start of season 1. Life changes. Things are different. People deal with issues.



    I look forward to watching the rest of this season.moreless
Glenn Plummer

Glenn Plummer

Jimmy

Guest Star

Max Gail

Max Gail

Banana Boat Tour Guide

Guest Star

Claude Shires

Claude Shires

Annoying Man

Guest Star

Judith Scott

Judith Scott

Lt. Esme Pasquale

Recurring Role

Mark Pellegrino

Mark Pellegrino

Paul

Recurring Role

Devon Graye

Devon Graye

Teenage Dexter

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (3)

    • At the beginning of the episode when Rita invites Dexter to her room, he can't perform, they sit on the edge of the bed and she lays her head on his right shoulder. The camera shows the reflection of the couple in a mirror yet Rita is on Dexter's left shoulder.

    • The bowling team's name is "Bowl 'Til You Bleed"

    • Goof (Possibly intentional by writers): Debra says there is a new mass murderer worse than the Ice Truck Killer out there. A mass murderer is one who kills a group of people all at once, the Ice Truck Killer would be a serial killer. It is unlikely that Deb assumes that the find was all at once.

  • QUOTES (17)

    • Deb: My psycho-killer fiancé? Please, I've had worse. At least he paid for my meals.

    • Dexter: (voice over) Some gangs earn teardrops of blood by killing. I understand, we all need our keepsakes. One man's tattoos are another man's blood slides.

    • Dexter: (voice over) Tonight's the night. Really.

    • Masuka: Hey Morgan. You wanna see something swell? Come a little closer.
      Deb: And the token has spoken. Good to see you too, Vince.

    • Dexter: See you've been benched.
      Deb: LaGuerta's just jealous the Ice Truck Killer fucked me instead of her.
      Dexter: Wow, you're chipper.

    • Masuka: Heard your sister's back on the job already. Is she in any kind of shape?
      Dexter: You know Deb, nothing gets her down.
      Masuka: No, I mean did she pack on any pounds when she was gone because, you know, last time I saw her she was tight.

    • Dexter: (voice over, about his blind victim) Maybe I took pity on my victim. I mean, sure he's a heinous killer, but he also bumps into walls.

    • Dexter: (voice over, about his kills) I've always enjoyed my work. It brings order to the chaos, fills me with civic pride.

    • Jimmy Sensio: I am the one with the power in his hands.
      Dexter: (waves scalpel) That's not entirely accurate.
      Jimmy Sensio: Those who believe in me shall be free. (begins chanting)
      Dexter: (smacks Jimmy on the head) Knock it off.

    • Dexter: (voice over, about his intended victim) A blind man. Not very sporting, I know, but I'm not one to discriminate based on race, gender or disability.

    • Dexter: Call me an office crazy, but your humbling interest in my personal life could be misinterpreted as harassment in some circles.
      Doakes: So, report me.
      Dexter: (voice over) I could think of easier solutions.

    • Dexter: (voice over) Debra can't sleep in an empty house anymore. In fact, she can't sleep much at all. I guess that happens when your fiancé tries to slice you up into small bloodless pieces.

    • Dexter: (voice over) I wish I could have fun. But with Doakes tailing me, my life's been all Jekyll and no Hyde.

    • Dexter: I don't normally seek human contact in times of failure, but then I don't normally experience failure.

    • Debra: Did you hear that? Thirty bags! Do you know what that means? It means that there might be a new mass murderer out there way worse than the Ice Truck Killer. Maybe I can finally get some peace. Isn't that great?
      Dexter: It's amazing. (Dexter's heart beating rapidly)

    • Angel: Don't forget: Tell the universe what you need.
      Dexter: (Voice over) I really need to kill somebody.

    • Dexter: (Voice over) I'm on edge. 38 days, 16 hours and 12 minutes have passed since I've killed my brother and in that entire time I haven't had a single night to myself.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • Vince Masuka's bowling ball is the same as the one used by 'The Bowler', Janeane Garofalo's character, in the movie Mystery Men. The skull inside it is that of her deceased father, 'Carmine The Bowler'.

    • Title: It's Alive

      The title refers to the exclamation by Dr. Frankenstein in the 1931 movie when his creation moves for the first time.

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