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Dexter season three episode reviews

Dexter, Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter

Season 3, Episode 1. "Our Father" While tracking his latest prey, Dexter is attacked by a man he does not know and has to kill him to defend himself. Who is this man?

Amazing strong start to the third season. The show come's off an intense storyline and completely re-invents itself. All the best elements of most of the show's best character's are still in place, but now we have a completely new tale being told. And it seems to revolve around the family of the Jimmy Smits character.

Smits makes a great debut on the show and makes me interested in the new storyline. C.S. Lee is more enjoyable than normal and the show pulls a master stroke by moving Angel higher in the chain of command than Debra. What a great way to create tension between them!

Season 3, Episode 2. "Finding Freebo" Dexter finally kills the guy he set out to get last week, but - just after doing the deed - he is found at the scene by Jimmy Smit's character: Assistant District Attorney Miguel Prado.

The strength/appeal of Dexter is it's way of looking at normal life. The early part of this episode is devoted to the ritual of Dexter arriving at work, talking with his co-workers, catching up, and getting ready for the day ahead. A huge part of the episode is devoted to Dexter's musings on the news that he is about to become a parent. So, Dexter may be about a serial killer and all, but - at it's heart - it's just a drama series about a normal guy doing normal things and facing normal problems.

Season 3, Episode 3. "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" Miguel and Dexter become closer, and a pedophile sets his sights on Astor.

A solid outing. Watching Miguel stalk Dexter (with a view towards being friends) is a lot of fun. But haven't we seen all of this before? With Lila? It was especially interesting when Dexter opened up and talked about his father. But, again, this is basically a re thread of what happened last season: Dexter has a new friend, who he can open up to, who might actually understand what he does...

The pedophile storyline was much better. It was cool to see Dexter protecting his family, and accepting his role as their protector. Of all the kills we have seen, this has got to be the most satisfying and the one that most defines Dexter as a 'hero'.

Season 3, Episode 4. "All In The Family" The team investigates the murder of a man, with the help of his loving fiance, while Dexter tries proposing to Rita and manages to convince Miguel that his brother is unstable.

It's a strong episode. The three threads of the episode are very satisfying. The murder-case-of-the-week is something that Dexter never does. Yes, we get to see him and the team at various murder scenes, but - unless it is connected to an ongoing storyline - we never get to hear about the outcome of the case. This is different. This time out we get to follow one murder case from crime scene to the arrest of the killer at the end and - even better - the case is used to impact upon Dexter, Debra and Quinn in significant ways. Even without that fallout, it's a pretty nifty murder case: Julie Ann Emery makes a great guest star.

In the ongoing storylines Dexter is working his magic: manipulating Miguel's brother so that he over-reacts to stuff. Dexter wants to keep him out of loop, so he does all of this to sever the trust between the brothers. It's good stuff, but - in common with much of the Miguel Prado scenes - we've seen it all before. Last Season Dexter manipulated Doakes in a similar manner. Now he's at it again. I'm not as impressed this time out.

I'm very impressed with the proposal at the end, however. That was superb storytelling. Dexter uses the phrases/words/ideas of a crazed killer to convince Rita to marry him and the voice-over tells us how lonely, confused and needy he is. Haunting stuff.

Season 3, Episode 5. "Turning Biminese" Rita goes to hospital, Dexter goes fishing.

Dexter feels the pressure to sell his apartment, and buy a new house with Rita, now that they are getting married. He may be a serial killer, but his thoughts/fears/anxieties are the same ones that ever guy faces. The narration from this episode could have been used on thirtysomething, or Once And Again. And this is one of the great things about the show.

The plots advance, too, in this one. Debra convinces a kid to talk about Freebo, but somebody is watching them...

And, in a very exciting - very surprising - final scene: Miguel guesses Dexter's secret.

So, all in all, a very well balanced episode. The first third was mostly about Dexter's fears, the middle third advanced the plots and the final third showed Dexter's killer side and gave him a confidant.

What next?

One suspects that it will end badly (for Miguel) but, since that's just a re-thread of last season (with Lila) I hope they find something else to do with the idea.

Season 3, Episode 6. "Sí Se Puede" Miguel plans a murder for Dexter.

After an episode dominated (in a way) by Rita and her impact upon Dexter's life, the show (wisely) puts her completely in the background and opts to focus on the deepening friendship between Dexter and Miguel. The fact that they do this, but showing Miguel's part in the murder of an evil Nazi convict makes for a truly thrilling episode. It's not the usual type of Dexter murder. He's not in control so, for once, there is an element of tension and suspense surrounding the crime.


As for the deepening friendship. I have no idea where this is all going. Hopefully the show won't simply turn Miguel and Dexter into enemies and force Dexter to kill him. So, what else is there? Miguel is murdered, and Dexter must avenge him?

Or will they be really brave? And leave Miguel in the show for another season...

Season 3, Episode 7. "Easy as Pie" Miguel wants Dexter to kill the nice lawyer lady, and Dexter's old friend asks that he end her life to end her suffering/pain.

A solid episode where both plots have Dexter being asked by friends to try something new and grew outside his previously defined boundaries. Clever rewarding stuff.

Season 3, Episode 8. "The Damage a Man Can Do" Dexter guides Miguel through his first kill. But not his second...

Another gripping episode. Nice balance between the insanity of Rita at home, and the male bonding stuff between Dexter and Miguel (as they plan and commit a murder).

The final scene was a chilling twist. Is Miguel about to do what I think he's about to do? Damn.

Season 3, Episode 9. "About Last Night" Dexter realises that Miguel murdered Ellen Wolf, and - worse - has been playing him like a fool from the very start...

Wow. A real kick in the pants, for Dexter and the audience at home. The revelation that the blood on the shirt didn't belong to Miguel was superb. The one moment tied up the events of the first eight episodes in a tidy little bundle and sets the scene for the three episodes to come.

Season 3, Episode 10. "Go Your Own Way" Dexter and Miguel have a battle of wits, as each tries to get the upper hand.

One of the best episodes of Dexter ever made. Since Dexter is all about stealth we don't normally get to see him in a battle of wits scenario. So this is a new departure for the show: Dexter in all-out war with somebody. And, to make it even better, the war is fought through polite conversation in front of lots of regular people.

Except for the confrontation at the very end. The big face-to-face on the rooftop. That was amazing. Great performances from both men. Jimmy Smits can go from likable to hateful in a single conversation. Talented guy. His considerable on-screen charisma doesn't work against him when he plays a villain.

Then there's Michael C. Hall. The confrontation on the rooftop is amazing. The energy levels of the two men are completely different. Smits' Miguel is yelling and screaming with passion and hatred, while Hall's Dexter is pure calm and disconnection in the middle of the storm. It's as if Hall wasn't even in the scene at all, but digitally added in later. I'm not sure how he did it, but he really pulled off something remarkable here.

Season 3, Episode 11. "I Had a Dream" Dexter decides he's gonna have to kill Miguel. And he chooses a new Best Man.

This surprised me. Sure, I know Dexter was likely to kill Miguel, but I figured it would be left to, you know, the last episode of the season. Nope. The show had something else up it's sleeve. Good storytelling choice.

Season 3, Episode 12. "Do You Take Dexter Morgan?" Miguel has sent two people after Dexter... his brother and a psycho killer.

Satisfying ending to the third season. Now that Miguel is out of the picture, Dexter still has two foes to deal with. These foes were dealt with in different ways. And both were satisfying. Ramon and Dexter... sat down face to face and had a heartfelt conversation. Yes, there was some violence first (Ramon pulled a gun on Dexter at one point) but - to my surprise/delight - the storyline was resolved when Dexter reasoned with Ramon and allowed him to see the error of his ways.


The storyline of the Skinner also came to a surprising conclusion. Dexter was taken hostage/prisoner and - not being an action-hero in the classic sense - I did not expect him to break free. Especially since his (newly-promoted) detective sister was on her way to rescue him. But, no, Dexter went all Jack Bauer on the bad guy and broke free. I wasn't expecting that. It was a bit "too TV" for a show like Dexter, and I hope they don't go there again, but it was a cool way to end the season.

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