Dexter

Season 2 Episode 1

It's Alive!

17
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Sep 30, 2007 on Showtime
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (33)

9.1
out of 10
Average
803 votes
  • 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.
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