'My Bad' finds Dexter uttering words that could come back to haunt him

By Sandra Gonzalez
Updated September 27, 2010 at 05:00 AM EDT
Sonja Flemming/Showtime

Welcome back to the scene of one of television’s most gruesome crimes, and prepare yourself for another season of material so painfully uncomfortable to watch, it’s bound to be…completely enjoyable. Yep, the dichotomy of Dexter is something we’ve learned to expect and appreciate. And just like us, our title character kicked off the season grappling with an array of conflicting emotions in the immediate aftermath of Rita’s shocking death.

“I’ve watched 67 people die, and at the moment of truth I looked into their eyes and I knew — and they knew — they got what they deserved. But what if that’s not what happens, if you don’t get what you deserve?” Dexter asked as the police cars pulled up to his home, setting up the thesis of the episode — and perhaps the season.

Shortly after the police arrived (with Deb right behind), Dexter uttered the words that would come back to haunt him during the episode, “It was me.” Later, Deb would ask him exactly what he meant by that, a tinge of doubt — and maybe even fear? — in her voice. We never saw how Dexter answered, so perhaps she passed it off as some sort of survivor’s guilt. But Dexter’s statement — and the fact that neighbor Le Douche was crying and he wasn’t — would earn Dexter a place as suspect No. 1 in the eyes of the FBI.

At the station, rumors swirled almost as quickly as Quinn’s suspicions rose. Quinn was also irritated by the fact that Lt. LaGuerta hadn’t fought to keep the case at Miami Metro, handing it over willingly to the FBI. I must admit that leading up to the season, I (like many of you) had been worried Quinn was on the road to becoming (a slightly sluttier) Sgt. Doakes 2.0. But turns out he might be more dangerous to Dexter than Doakes ever was. When listening to Dexter’s 911 call, his analysis was spot on: “His wife just died; he’s submitting a lab report.” He was also among the first people to realize Rita’s death was not Trinity’s usual M.O., and to follow the trail of doubt all the way to the neighbor’s doorstep.

At this point, Quinn’s libido might be the one thing that could get in the way of his quest for the truth about Dexter. Or, more specifically, his attraction to Deb. Quinn seemed hurt after Deb ran off following their nasty doings on the kitchen floor of Dexter’s house. He wants more than just a post-Sunshine Cleaning rendezvous almost as much as I wish Deb would wear clothes that make her look like a woman every now and then.

Speaking of Deb, she spent much of the episode reacting how Dexter should have — crying, yet in control. On the other hand, Dexter almost seemed shut down, overloaded by what he felt and what he didn’t know how to express. Deb counteracted this by being the supportive sister she knew he needed, all the while wanting to grieve Rita’s loss like everyone else.

NEXT: Lots of reasons to squirm!

On that note, there are plenty of nominees for last night’s most squirm-worthy scene, but for me, it was easily Dexter breaking the news of Rita’s death to Cody and Astor. After getting back from Disneyland, the kids came bearing gifts for Dexter and their mom. When Dexter saw the mouse-ear hats, he looked like he was going to be sick. It was time to tell the kids their mom was dead; no more lies about her being in the shower, no more excuses. The camera stayed on Dexter the entire time he delivered the news, sparing us any subpar child acting, which I appreciated.

Astor ran out of the house upon hearing the news, and Dexter followed after her. “I wish that it was just my mom and me and Cody and Harrison because we all would have been better off if she’d never met you,” she told him. The statement resonated with Dexter because in the back of his mind, he had been thinking the same thing ever since he walked into that blood-soaked bathroom. So he made a decision: Get out of their lives immediately.

Dex disposed of his files, grabbed his tools, ditched his FBI interview, and set out on his boat. I knew he wouldn’t be gone forever, but I also didn’t know what would make him turn around. Figures it would be Harry, who hadn’t appeared to Dexter since Rita died. He made his reappearance in a repellent bathroom, where Dexter had just bludgeoned a man to death. (Ding-ding-ding! Runner-up for the night’s squirm-worthiest scene!) “That’s the first human thing I’ve seen you do since she died, Dexter,” Harry told him. “It’s okay, son, to show what you’re feeling.” And with that, Dexter let out a guttural scream of rage and regret, proving again why critics (and anyone with eyes) laud Michael C. Hall’s awesome performance on the show.

Back on the mainland, Dexter came back to attend Rita’s funeral, looking out of place in khakis and a blue shirt. Among his ponderings during the eulogy: “She had a big heart, big enough for the both of us, had to be, I wasn’t even human when we first met.” But, readers, is he human now? And if so, is that even more dangerous?

Ugh. I’m emotionally and mentally spent, so I’ll let you take it from here: Did you like the episode? Did the Dexter/Rita flashbacks melt your stony heart, too? Will Quinn get closer than anyone before to finding out the truth about Dexter? Analyze below!

QUOTEABLES:

“I’ve imagined her naked plenty times, but never like this.” –Masuka to Quinn while looking at dead Rita in the bathtub

“You shoulda taken her on a honeymoon” –Quinn to Batista

“She admitted the fact that I’m an ax murderer?” –Dexter to Rita during a flashback to their first date

Rita: I paid her to say that.

Dexter: You did?

Rita: [Pause] No, I was kidding.

Dexter: Me too.

“I know I felt up in the air the way things ended, like we never said a proper goodbye.” — Rita in a flashback

“She died a brutal death, and I can’t fix it. But I know I have to try, here in Miami with the people who knew her, who cared about her, who loved her. (Voice over: …like I did.)” –Dexter

For more ponderings: @EWSandraG on Twitter

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