Category Archives: Drama

Dexter — Run (S7E04)

(My review of the last episode of Dexter, Buck the System)

Deb’s disgust for Dexter rises with each new thought. Her unconscious mind got the best of her, she dreamed of being in Rita’s position. She lied a bathtub full of her own blood with Dexter dressed up fancily and uttered the question, “Will you be mine?” When she sees him the next day, she freaks out, thinking that maybe her serial killer of a brother murdered his own wife. His excuse for not telling Deb about Trinity’s true identity was because he knew his family. This may have been a tiny factor, but the real reason was to sate his own curiosity. This man had been killing for thirty years and had not been caught, Dexter had to uncover his secrets.

Deb, still shaky about Dexter’s new identity, partially believes him on this front, but refuses to believe that he ever truly loved Rita. If he did, he never would have put her and her children in this awful situation. She doesn’t understand how a monster like him could love anyone, not his wife, his sister, or his own son. He has to choose between his family or his murderous desires. An infant cannot be raised by a killer, there is no way that Harrison could come out of this situation as a normal boy. But Dexter has everything under control. He can take care of his son and continue his murder spree. The only mistake he made involving Trinity was not killing him instantly. And that will never happen again.

The detectives have no shred of evidence that Ray Spetlzer murdered the women and attacked Deb, so they have to coerce a confession. Angel steps in first, trying to butter him up by insulting Deb and trying to become his friend. When that didn’t work, Deb goes in as the “bad cop” and figures out all of the right buttons to push. By being excessively pushy and bringing his mother’s sex life into the equation, she got him to scream that he should have killed her when he had the chance. Though they got the confession they needed, it wasn’t admissible due to a bad arrest. Dexter is thrilled at the news, he would prefer to take Spetlzer out by himself than let him rot in prison where he would be a top dog.

While Dexter is investigating Speltzer’s RV, he gets caught and knocked unconscious. When he awakes, he finds himself in one of Speltzer’s intricate mazes with a note “Run.” After a mad chase, Dexter manages to get free of the building. But now his cover is blown with Speltzer, so his normal method of murder would no longer fly. When Speltzer shows up at Melanie’s funeral (the girl he murdered), Deb completely loses her cool and tries to attack him. Dexter realizes that this is the perfect opportunity to show Deb that what he does isn’t terrible. Dexter decides to imitate his victim and leaves him a note that just reads “Stay,” which gives him the opportunity to crack a shovel over his head. Dex shoves him and his slides (after one last, long look) into the cremation kiln. When Dexter shows her the smoke from Speltzer’s dead body rising, Deb admits that she’s relieved. Though she thinks that makes her a monster, Dexter assures her that this just makes her human.

Isaak doesn’t quit investigating the murder of Viktor for a very personal reason that none of his crew know: they are father and son. And Isaak will not quit until he avenges the death of his son. He investigates Dexter and determines that he and Louis must have worked together to get payback for the loss of Mike Anderson’s life. While he uncovers the truth about his son’s death, Isaak wants his name to be cleared. He forces one of his employees, Alex the bartender, to kill himself and leave a suicide note taking the blame for Mike’s death. Quinn loves this, it’s such an easy case! But Angel is smarter and more experienced, he doesn’t buy this confession and is going to explore it further. Quinn might just be trying to clear up the case so he doesn’t have to visit the strip club again. When he was there, he was reminded of “old times” where he accepted bribes.

Though Hannah wasn’t a large player in this episode, it looks like she will start playing a big part soon. When she arrives at the police station to help uncover Wayne Randall’s victims, she doesn’t go speak with her lawyer or the detective in charge, instead she approaches Dexter. She reminisces on the days she had with Randall, how amazing it was to be on the road with him. This doesn’t sound like someone who doesn’t want to relive the past, which is what she said in the last episode. I’m sure we will soon see what Ms. McKay is up to.

(My review of the next episode of Dexter, Swim Deep)


Revenge — Intuition (S2E04)

(My review of the last episode of Revenge, Confidence)

Emily is no longer following her plan, she is starting to get emotional and it won’t end well for her. Aiden is trying to help her maintain her usual level-headedness, but there isn’t much he can do. Now that she knows that her mother is alive, she isn’t just seeking revenge anymore. Aiden tries to approach Kara by himself again before he lets Emily get her hopes up. Gordon trained her well, so she quickly recognized that he isn’t truly an FBI agent under deep cover. No one would have that information besides one of the Graysons or someone involved in the Initiative, so unless she gets assurance from Gordon that Aiden is a good guy, she will leave him tied up.

Just as Amanda was going to quit helping Emily, Emily spouts out the truth, her mother is alive and she needed to use Amanda to get close to Victoria. This development is enough to pique Amanda’s interest and she agrees to help. Amanda agrees to give Victoria the journals that David kept if she told her the whole truth about her mother. At Amanda’s impromptu baby shower, Victoria gives the absolute perfect present. A baby journal with a $100,000 check inside as a little reminder of their agreement. Amanda and Victoria step off to the side for a private chat, Emily is dictating for Amanda exactly what to say. She confronts Victoria about her mother not dying at the institution. And as soon as the conversation becomes heated, Emily’s feed cut out. Victoria breaks the news to Amanda that her mother tried to kill her (Emily) when she was a baby. She tries to snatch the check back, but Amanda flips over the balcony with a brutal fall.

Amanda’s last request from Emily was to save the baby, so when the doctor tells the family that they can probably only save one of them, Emily jumps at the chance to pick the baby. Though she might have become attached to Amanda, her life would be so much simpler if she died. Upon Emily’s request, the baby is removed via c-section and is alive and fairly well, but they had to put Amanda under in a medically induced coma. Jack is guilt stricken that his last words to Amanda were so harsh, but somewhat thrilled to be a dad.

To make matters worse, Kara hears about Amanda’s fall on the radio and stops by the hospital in secret to see her poor daughter. Emily sees her mother in the room with Amanda and finally flashes back to what really happened when they were together: her mother really did try to kill her. One of the “games” they played was Kara trying to drown her daughter. So rather than having a tearful reunion with her mother, she runs home and cries into Aiden’s waiting arms.

By robbing houses with Trey, Declan didn’t just ruin his life, but Jack’s as well. As I suspected, Trey left Declan’s ID at Mr. Ryan’s house on purpose so he would have a chance to buy out The Stowaway. Now Jack is left with his sort-of-girlfriend in a coma, no job, and soon-to-be no home.

Daniel finally makes some headway with his father, or so he thinks. After realizing that Ashley was spying on him for his father he tells her the whole truth about who his dad really is. He overhears a conversation between the two that she won’t spy for him anymore. I wouldn’t trust her, though, it’s probably an even longer con to get herself wedged further into Grayson Global. Everything she does is for her, and this shouldn’t be any different. And now Ashley and Daniel are stronger than ever, and it just might be for the long haul this time.

When Nolan finds out that his dad died, he was distraught, but not incredibly upset. Padma makes sure that he gets the full force of this by taking him to the storage room that his father kept of all of his things. Even though he kicked Nolan out of his house when he created Nolcorp in high school, he kept every single piece of work of his. He has a binder filled with every news clipping that Nolan was mentioned in, kept all of his work from his days when he was younger, and all sorts of memories. Thanking Padma for showing him how loving his father really was isn’t enough, so he finally kisses her (after falling the first time, poor Nolan!) and whisks her off to France. When he comes back, he’s going to have a lot of catching up to do. Now that he understands the true affection of his father, he might be more inclined to help Emily with the revenge of the loss of hers. But will she need him now that she and Aiden have reconnected?

(My review of the next episode of Revenge, Forgiveness)

Revenge — Confidence (S2E03)

(My review of the last episode of Revenge, Resurrection)

The bodyguard that Takeda sent to watch Emily finally gets some background information. Aiden got involved with Takeda when his sister disappeared. After training with Emily for awhile, the two got together (Who could resist her?), but he was quick to leave her when he discovered a lead on his sister. He promises her that she can go with him to help him out, but he leaves her in the dust. Even after four years Emily hasn’t forgiven him and definitely doesn’t trust him. When they search the white haired man’s body they find ID that says Gordon Murphy. Though this probably isn’t his name, it’s easier than calling him WHM. Aiden still cares for her and says that he’s just there to help restore her faith. Faith in what, though? Humanity or revenge? He steals WHM’s motel key while Emily’s back is turned, but she, in kind, secretly nabs his pocket watch.

Emily, clearly not willing to play nice, knocked Aiden out and tossed him into the dumpster on trash day with a ticket back to Japan. He’s not that easy to get rid of, though. When he’s at WHM’s motel room, he finds the flight recorder from the flight that nearly killed Victoria. But when the motel manager asks him about it, he explains that he’s a detective and that WHM is very dangerous. The woman found Aiden to be very suspicious, so she checked in on his false story. The reason she didn’t trust Aiden: she knows WHM. The shocking twist: she got to know him after he kidnapped her. This is Emily’s mother. She has been so close to her mother, but had no idea.

The Grayson family quickly blows up when Charlotte and Daniel receive special gifts. Charlotte receives one of David’s (altered) journals that he kept when he was in prison. She learns that her mother was in a real relationship with her biological father and had him killed. Daniel receives Victoria’s fake ID with a note that says that her death won’t be faked the next time. Not only does Daniel learn that his mother is the conniving witch that he thought she was, but he is appalled that he was the only Grayson not to know that his mother was alive. Emily had Amanda and Aiden’s assistance on this, Amanda delivered the diary to Charlotte under the guise of full discretion among sisters. And Aiden, without Emily’s knowledge or permission, sent Daniel the letter to make it appear that WHM is still alive and well.

In the press conference that was meant to show that Victoria is alive and well, she shows much more than she was supposed to. She announces the truth about Charlotte: she is the daughter of an affair that she had with David Clarke, but she loves her nonetheless. She then invites Conrad up to join her, the supportive ex-husband. Daniel hesitates when she calls him up, unsure of where his allegiances lie. He decides that he is willing to put everything behind him and start anew with the family. Or maybe he took Emily’s advice and has finally decided to play Victoria and Conrad’s game. And here comes the startling part: she then requests that Amanda comes to join them on stage. Though Emily forced Amanda to stay for the press conference, even she looks shocked and confused about this. And to top it off, Conrad returns himself into the fold by announcing that he and Victoria will be remarried soon. Ashley puts it perfectly when she says “Oh my god, they’re stronger than ever.”

Emily just might have pushed Amanda too far this time. Jack nearly condemned Amanda from seeing the Graysons, he doesn’t want to be involved in their games and doesn’t want to see any of their money. Even if Charlotte is her half-sister, that’s not enough reason to let her enter their lives so easily. When Jack sees her at the press conference, he can’t stand it anymore. He breaks it off with her, though he will still be there for his child. Now Amanda has nothing to lose by spreading Emily’s secret. This isn’t over for her, and Emily will pay. If this isn’t enough to ruin Jack’s day, he learns that his kid brother is a robber. Declan and his “friend” Trey had been robbing houses to try to work up enough money for Declan to move into his own place. But when they robbed Mr. Ryan’s house, Declan seemed to have dropped his ID. The kid might be stupid, but I don’t think he is quite dumb enough to do this. Trey must have tossed the ID there just to get him caught.

Padma and Nolan have the opportunity to grow closer as they meet to discuss her plans as CFO. When he brings up the topic of dinner, she gets nervous and shy, she clearly has a little thing for Nolan. If Nolan will spend any time away from helping Emily with her plans, he might actually have a chance at love–and no, Tyler didn’t count. Nolan, even after almost being killed by Aiden, is there for Emily when she needs him. Emily believes that the antipsychotics WHM had on him were her mother’s. When Nolan offers to help her out in any way he can, Emily shuts him down. He’s already done so much for her and she can’t repay him as it is. This actually seemed quite genuine. Emily might try to tell herself that she wants to distance herself from Nolan, but I think that she really cares about him and doesn’t want him to get any further involved; she wouldn’t want to see him get hurt. I’ve had a suspicion that Emily and Nolan might be siblings, which would explain why David trusted him and asked him to look out for her. And this exchange furthers that suspicion.

(My review of the next episode of Revenge, Intuition)

Dexter — Buck the System (S7E03)

(My review of the last episode of Dexter, Sunshine and Frosty Swirl)

Dexter is struggling with having Debra on his back all the time. Since he can’t kill anyone, he can only imagine killing them, until that’s not enough. When a prisoner is being uncooperative with a DNA swab, Dexter ends up strangling him. When Deb confronts him, he tells that she can’t suppress his Dark Passenger, it’s not possible. And having her tailing him 24/7 is making it impossible for him to breathe. The only way that this can work is if he controls his murders, just the way that Harry taught him to do, or to at least have some room to think. After a lot of hesitation, Deb agrees to giving him space, but he has to continue being open with her. The moment Dexter gets some freedom, he looks for his next victim. And he finds him in Ray Speltzer, he killed multiple women after going out with them, but it couldn’t be proved.

Since Deb already knows that he’s a serial killer, Dexter wants her to understand how he picks his victims. He wants to prove to her that Harry taught him well and that his targets are well-deserving of their deaths. But even solid proof of Speltzer’s murders aren’t enough for Deb, it’s not his place to “take out the trash,” that is why there is the law. Dexter still insists on showing her proof that he’s a monster and is planning on tossing him into the ocean. Dexter heads to the cemetery where Speltzer works to investigate, but before he had the chance to learn anything, Deb calls him back to work. When he tells her that his lizard brain (the amygdala) is telling him that Speltzer has something hidden away in a mausoleum at the cemetery, she just gets more frustrated. And to push her further, he reminds her that his hunches that have locked up an astounding number of criminals come from the same place. He knows who the killers are because he is one himself.

Deb trusts Dexter’s intuition, so she goes to LaGuerta to try to push a search warrant for his place. Her explanation of her “lizard brain” just made her appear even stupider than she already seemed. LaGuerta responds to Deb as she did to Dexter: they are the cops, they can’t do that kind of thing. But she authorizes a patrol car to watch over his house. When the patrol cops say that Speltzer isn’t up to anything and take off, Deb decides she has to check on him herself. When she gets there, she hears a woman’s screams. She busts down the door and barges in to try to save the woman. By the time Dexter gets the voice mail from Deb letting him know she’s stopping by Speltzer’s place, he already found proof that he has killed before.

Dex rushes back to Speltzer’s house to try to save Deb. But before he gets there, Deb finds the woman and Speltzer finds her. His house is built into a maze with plastic wrap on the furniture. He dresses up in armor and a helmet (and looks a whole lot like the Dovahkiin) and chases down women in his house for sport before killing them. Right before Speltzer is going to take Deb out, Dexter arrives and knocks him out. They didn’t arrive in time to save the woman that Speltzer was toying with and Speltzer managed to make it out in time. He’s in the wind.

After this encounter, Deb finally understands what Dexter does. People like Ray Speltzer need to be taken out, and if the law can’t do it, someone else has to. She doesn’t accept what he does, she thinks it’s vile, but she doesn’t hate him for it. It’s a necessary evil. When she asks Dexter if he enjoys killing, he is brutally honest when he explains that he likes the way that killing makes him feel. She can’t stand to be around him or his trophies, so she asks him to move out. Dexter insists that nothing has to change between them, but Deb is definitely right when she says that everything has changed.

Though Deb and Dexter’s relationship has changed massively, Quinn doesn’t appear to be making any strides away from his old self. Just last season he was reamed for having a relationship with a witness, but he didn’t learn from his mistakes. He asks Nadia the stripper out, to which she gladly accepts. She doesn’t have much choice in the matter, though, Isaak tells her to keep tabs on Quinn and get any information out of him that she can. Luckily for Quinn, he picked someone genuine, so she lets him know of her boss’s plans. He doesn’t care. I don’t think he cares much about his job at this point either. He agrees to share information on Viktor if she shares information on Mike.

We aren’t graced with much of Hannah McKay’s (Yvonne Strahovski, Chuck) presence in this episode. Dexter goes to see her to get a DNA swab while Angel questions her about some souvenirs that Wayne Randall had. She tells them that she doesn’t know much about the murders, she was 15 and just fell in love with the wrong guy. She spent her six years in prison and doesn’t want to relive her terrible past. Dexter drops the DNA swab, which is quite odd since he is so precise when it comes to his work (and just about everything else, for that matter). Maybe it’s because she’s gorgeous or maybe he notices something off about her, or maybe both. They have a bit of a strange exchange regarding how they present themselves. And I’m sure this will be developed further in the coming episodes. Maybe there will even be a relationship brewing between the two.

Dexter thinks he can manage getting rid of his Louis problem without killing him, which ironically ends in Louis’s death. He has the ITK hand sent to Louis at work and asking for a refund, causing Masuka to fire him on the spot. And he anonymously sends the DVD of Louis and a hooker to Jamie, causing her to break up with him. He tries to blame it on Dexter, but this just proves Jamie’s point that he’s crazy. To get his revenge, Louis plans on sinking Dexter’s boat, A Slice of Life. But his timing couldn’t be worse. Isaak tracked Viktor’s GPS signal straight to the marina and to Dexter’s boat. Louis tells Isaak that the boat belongs to Dexter, but still gets a bullet to his head. Will Deb believe Dexter when he says that he didn’t kill Louis? And will the blood shed on his boat haunt him in the near future?

(My review of the next episode of Dexter, Run)

Revenge — Resurrection (S2E02)

(My review of the last episode of Revenge, Destiny)

This is the episode where Daniel redeems himself from the low that he arrived at by succumbing to Conrad and his business last season. When Emily tips him off on Charlotte’s apprehension about Dr. Thomas, he immediately takes action by heading to the rehab facility and demanding that Dr. Thomas recants his negative evaluation of Charlotte. When he discovers he’s too late, Daniel reams his father, telling him that this is the most despicable thing he has ever done (which is really saying something!) and he wants nothing to do with him or Grayson Global. Charlotte assumed that Daniel was working with their father to screw her out of her money, but he proves that he’s the loving brother. He sets up a new trust for her that Conrad can’t touch with his entire inheritance. He doesn’t want his parents blood money. This is the kind of action that made Emily and the viewers fall for him.

Meanwhile, Conrad and Victoria stoop into even darker territory. When Victoria realizes that Charlotte’s money is gone, she stages her reappearance with Conrad’s help. With her reappearance she screws the White Haired man over, he’s now wanted for kidnapping and abuse and Conrad and Victoria gather together their insurance policy. And Conrad makes it out looking like less of a bad guy, the only reason he had to steal Charlotte’s money was to save the life of his ex-wife. Even Emily couldn’t see such a cunning and perfect plan coming. She is left with her own plan in tatters and only has one person to rely on to fix it.

The White Haired Man pays Emily a visit to get the footage from the clam cam that would exonerate him. WHM agrees to tell Emily more about her mother: she would have been able to prove David’s innocence, and that’s why she needed to be taken care of. But he didn’t follow orders and didn’t kill her. With the footage from the camera, he no longer needed Emily alive, so he pulled out a knife and tried to slit her throat. But before he had the chance, Takeda’s hired gun shoots and kills WHM. Though he saved Emily’s life, he executed the only lead that she had for information on her mother. She would have preferred to have a nice new scar and more information than be safe and clueless.

Hopefully Daniel realizes soon that Ashley isn’t with him for him. She was quick to rat him out to Conrad for looking into his financials, clearly just using him to get ahead with Conrad. But it looks like Danny-boy might not be looking at Ashley for a long term commitment. When Emily showed up at the rehab center to visit Charlotte, he looked relieved. And after he discovered that his mother was alive, he pulled her aside and thanked her for being so kind to his family, especially for looking out for Charlotte when he wasn’t there. This was not half-hearted, like Victoria’s appreciation. It was genuine, and there was definitely something still there between them.

NolCorp is being audited, which gives us the first glimpse into the workings of Nolan’s company. Padma, an accounting analyst decides to show up at Emily’s house to talk to Nolan in person. She insists that he needs a CFO to help run his company, but Nolan, being a complete control freak, refuses. No one can do the job better than he can. After some insistence, he agrees to a CFO, but only if she takes the job. She has no experience and no qualifications, but Nolan thinks that he can control her. Though this seemed out of place in the episode, if it brings a new love interest into Nolan’s life, I’m all for it. Here’s hoping that nothing goes wrong with the audit!

Amanda, worried that the paternity test will prove that it’s not Jack’s baby, goes to Emily for help. Though the baby truly is Jack’s, Emily tells Amanda that she had to fake it. When Jack realizes that the child is his, he appears relieved, but I don’t think he really is. All the love he feels for Amanda is from his memories, and he knows it, he just can’t admit it. Emily looked truly devastated when she discovered that the baby was Jack’s. If it weren’t, Amanda would might leave and she might even have another shot with the boy she lost. Is there another reason that Emily lied about faking the test, or was it just jealousy?

Declan seemed to have finally grown a brain this season. He was giving Jack some genuine advice about how he should deal with Amanda, telling her how he truly feels. And he tried to handle a real, mature conversation about what Jack would do if the baby wasn’t his. But he quickly returned to last season’s stupidity when he met with Trey Chandler. Trey promises to give Declan $500 if he holds onto an expensive diamond bracelet (which he clearly stole) for him. Declan, desperate for money because he’s trying to save up for his own place, accepted. Oh Declan, what have you gotten yourself into? Maybe we’ll at least get rid of him for part of the season while he stews in prison.

(My review of the next episode of Revenge, Confidence)

Dexter — Sunshine and Frosty Swirl (S7E02)

(My review of the last episode Dexter, Are You…?)

When Deb receives the truth about her brother, she responds just as I expected. She screams and swears through tears. It’s not easy to understand that the brother that she has loved (and thought she knew) for so many years is actually a serial killer. She accuses him of being crazy and yells about his murders in public. But Dexter manages to coax her back inside the house to talk about who he is and what happened. She is pissed that Dexter has been doing this, especially for getting away with it. Even if he only kills bad people, it’s still murder. But they put all of the blame on Harry, he’s the one who trained Dexter. If Harry had tried to suppress his urges, maybe Dexter would have turned into a normal guy. Deb is not going to make that same mistake, she is going to help him get through his terrors.

Once she is back inside, she manages to have a very mature conversation with Dexter with no yelling and less cursing. She agrees not to turn him in, she couldn’t handle having Dexter in prison. But he can’t just go on killing people as he sees fit. He needs to try to control his urges and she will be there for him. He has to be completely honest with her and she is going to keep her eye on him indefinitely. To start off, he will need to stay at her place, they’ll go to work together, watch TV together, and do everything together. Dexter, trying to lighten the mood as he always does responds with, “I hope you have a big shower.” Rather than fume at his belittling of the situation, he actually gets a light chuckle out of Debra. After explaining how the need to kill feels, Deb looks incredibly pale, it’s surprising that she doesn’t pass out on the spot. But after regaining herself, she follows Dexter’s lead and makes a joke out of it, “There have to be families out there that are more fucked up than us. But I sure as hell wouldn’t want to meet them.” But the second he slips out of line, she blows a gasket, back to the Deb we’re used to.

Angel and Quinn are left to investigate Mike and Kaja’s murders, so they return to the strip club on a daily basis until they get some information. In an uncharacteristic moment, Quinn is incredibly gentle with Nadia, one of the strippers, to try to get any information out of her. She concedes that Kaja was dating Tony the bouncer, and he stopped showing up for work around the time of her death. After some pressure, Tony reveals that Kaja was with Viktor (the man that Dexter killed) that night. Isaak, the man from Kiev is also looking for Viktor, because he never made his flight out of the country. When the terrifying mob boss finds out that Tony squealed to the cops, he stabs him in the eye with a screwdriver. That was unnecessary brutal, but it will definitely give everyone else the message: Don’t mess with Isaak.

A serial killer wants to come clean about some of his previous murders and disclose the location of the bodies. After a lot of convincing, Deb lets Dexter onto Wayne Randall’s case. Dexter is incredibly intrigued by the sudden change of heart of a serial killer begins to prod Randall, trying to discover what made him tick. All he had to do was surrender to his conscience, give in to all of his hate. He wanted to make amends for who he used to be. Maybe if Randall could change his ways, he could too. Maybe Deb was right, and he could stop his Dark Passenger from taking over. His vision of Harry tells him otherwise, if there was a way to suppress his urges, he would have done that. But it’s impossible.

If Deb could figure out Dexter’s secret, maybe she wasn’t the only one. Maybe the Ice Truck Killer hand was sent to him by someone who figured out the truth. When he tries to locate it, Masuka tells him that it was taken and Louis was supposed to find it. Due to his prior hate of Louis, he doesn’t seem surprised at the idea that maybe he actually did find and deliver the hand. But there is no chance that Louis actually knows that he is a serial killer. With only one hour for lunch, Dexter heads to Louis’s penthouse to try to discover what he knows. Louis hasn’t figured out that Dexter is a serial killer, but if he got that kind of information, he wouldn’t hesitate to leak it to the public. He is furious with Dexter for “shitting all over” his game, and he will pay. While Dexter is still at his house, Louis shows up, forcing Dexter to threaten him. He needs to back off, quit his job and leave Jamie. Immediately.

Louis gets the hint, there is no doubt about that. Panic is crawling across his face and his voice is shaking. But he doesn’t take it. The next day, he is at Dexter’s apartment when he comes home from work, is on his side of the room, drinking his beer, pats his son’s head, and kisses Jamie. He is taunting Dexter. He can try to scare Louis off, but it’s not going to work. He thinks he is as much of a badass as Dexter and he should be viewed as a real threat. This can’t stand. And if Louis keeps digging, he might find out the truth about him. Dexter will just have to take him out.

Dex injects Deb’s steak with something that will knock her out so he can slip out and take care of Louis. When Louis arrives home, you can hear Dexter’s heart pounding, and see his distress when he sees the blood dripping from the site of the injection. Rather than give into the temptation to kill, Dexter steps outside and calls Deb. He meets Deb at a park with Louis’s body in his trunk, but doesn’t tell her about him. He says that he felt the need to kill, he saw the blood pouring before his eyes and did everything he could to resist. When he insists that he’s a monster that should be put away, Deb just sees this as a sign of strength. If he could stop himself when he felt such a strong desire, he must be more in control of himself than ever before. Dexter starts to think that maybe Debra is right, maybe he can stop himself. He decides to come up with another way to get rid of Louis that doesn’t involve murder. But until then, he leaves him asleep in the park.

Dexter is finally starting to be positive about his situation. He has Deb to take care of him and help him through the times when he has the urge to kill and Randall managed to overcome his murderous lifestyle and repent for his sins. But then everything goes to hell. When he is on scene with Randall, he tells Dexter that all he wishes he could do was make it up to Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski from Chuck), his co-conspirator. That’s the last thing he says before he jumps in front of a truck. He wasn’t really at peace with himself, he hadn’t changed into a better man. He just wanted to have a last ice cream cone and spend his last few days in the sunshine. Dexter’s only hope for losing his Dark Passenger were just slaughtered by a truck. He will never be normal.

(My review of the next episode of Dexter, Buck the System)

Revenge — Destiny (S2E01)

The season opens just as it did last year with a glimpse at the future, which we will arrive to by the end of the season: three months later The Amanda has sunk and there is a body within. To find out who is in the ship and why she sunk we will have to wait a few months.

This season takes place two months after the first season finale. In the present, we see Emily underwater tied to a pole, it appears that she isn’t going to make it out alive. It turns out that she asked Takeda (who is played by a new actor) to have her tied up so that she could try to unlock memories of her mother. When she is untied and dragged to shore, she is frustrated that she didn’t manage to remember everything she wanted. When she returns home she pays a visit to Nolan at the boxing gym, where he goes by Southpaw and is equipped with a new haircut. When she invites him to go for a drive, he thinks it sounds quite “revenge-y” and wouldn’t miss it. Together they discover that the psychiatric hospital that her mother was staying at was shut down by a dummy investment corporation two days after David was sentenced to prison.

They discover that Victoria signed into the visitor’s log under an alias about a week before it was shut down. And she didn’t bother to hide it well. The audience finally get the chance to see the video that Nolan last season. It announced David’s intentions of divorcing Emily’s mom, supposedly so that he could marry Victoria. I doubt that this is the case, however, because he knew that he had to keep his affair with Victoria quiet, she was still married and even though she loved David, didn’t seem too intent on leaving Conrad.

Daniel is the only person who seems to be taking Victoria’s death harshly. He is brooding and constantly mourning. Conrad is celebrating the fact that he no longer has to deal with the witch and that he just unlocked a great deal of money. However Daniel refuses to put his inheritance into the company. Ashley is thrilled that she gets to manage Grayson Manor and is now somewhat respected. And Charlotte knows the truth about her mother’s “death.” She is putting up quite a front, though, she has managed to stay 60 days sober and looks like she really cleaned up her act.

Jack hasn’t had a great couple months either. He has been hiding out on his boat rather than sleeping in bed with Amanda. He promises that things will change when the baby comes, but both he and Amanda know that’s not true. I’m not sure if Jack has been spiraling into his depression because he misses Emily or because he doesn’t want to be with Amanda anymore, but it’s really messing with him. When we reach the point where Declan is the one giving Jack advice, he’s very close to hitting rock bottom. Instead of taking Declan’s (surprisingly good) advice to tell Amanda that he doesn’t actually love her, Jack sends him to live in the boat while he goes back to living in the house.

To reestablish herself, Emily visits Charlotte at the rehab center, apparently they’ve gotten close over the hiatus, they’ve been sending each other postcards. And this is the perfect way for Emily to involve herself in the Grayson’s lives once more. She follows this visit with one to Amanda. Amanda threatens to tell Jack the whole truth, which clearly doesn’t go well with Emily. So when Jack walks in, Emily announces that she will be the baby’s godmother. Well, if she can’t be with Jack, at least she’ll be closer to him.

Jack stops by Emily’s to check in with her, they haven’t talked since the night Sammy died, the night they kissed. He promises that he wouldn’t have made any advances if he knew that Amanda was coming home, especially if he knew she was pregnant. Emily, the sweetheart that she is, tells him that she understands, but doesn’t want to see him get hurt. Jack takes her advice and questions Amanda about her disappearance. She consents to a paternity test, and if we’re lucky (which there is a good chance we will be), the baby won’t be Jack’s. After this Jack returns to bed with Amanda, but they can’t even look at each other. With any luck, he’s still thinking about Emily.

When Emily walks into the memorial, gorgeous as ever, she just smiles and waves at Danny. Conrad has to remind him that he’s with Ashley so he won’t lose focus. When she sees him she says, “Don’t worry Daniel, I promise not to spill [my drink] on you this year.” I was really hoping they’d reference their meeting a year earlier. When Ashley catches sight of her ex-best friend, she does just about the worst job possible of faking her happiness.

After Ashley gives a terrible eulogy, Charlotte steps up to the microphone and shares her two cents. It was surprisingly genuine, about how she realizes how much she needed and loved her mother now that she doesn’t have her. Before she gets taken away for having hydrocodone in her system, she manages to tell Emily that Victoria is still alive. Emily shows up at her door and explains that Charlotte sent her and that Conrad is in on some major conspiracy to keep her in rehab. Victoria had to fake her death in order to protect herself from Conrad. When they manage to compile enough evidence against him, she will come out of hiding.

Finally Emily realizes that Nolan is trustworthy and a very useful resource, so she tells him everything. Something that would have saved both of them so much trouble if she had done so previously. Emily returns to Victoria with research on Dr. Thomas, unsurprisingly, he has many lawsuits filed against him and has changed his name frequently. The real reason that Emily visited, though, was to leave a camera. When Victoria asks why Emily is being so kind, Emily responds with the absolutely perfect mischievous grin, “I’m just so happy you’re alive.” Through the clam cam, Emily sees Victoria order the white-haired man to kill her, she’s a liability. It’s not enough that she ordered hits on both of her parents, but Victoria is gunning for Emily next.

I don’t know about you guys, but I didn’t think that Victoria was dead for a second. Victoria is way too smart to get on that plane. The only place that could get her caught was trusting her daughter with the information of her immortality. And Emily’s discovery is going to be her undoing. Well, it looks like we have another intense, action-packed season to come. And that’s the best way to end the weekend. Dexter and Revenge back-to-back will give me the boost I need to start off the week well!

(My review of the next episode of Revenge, Resurrection)

Dexter — Are You…? (S7E01)

Everything that happened in this season premiere of Dexter could have been spread out over a couple of episodes, but the writers decided to cram it all into one episode to add even more suspense. I’m usually not a fan of when writers put too much in one episode (See Castle. After the Storm), but I was actually very pleased with the set-up of this episode. Even with everything that happened, it kept me wanting more.

The episode begins with what appears to be Dexter fleeing the country with Debra after him. Dexter is driving like a maniac, swerving in and out of lanes, to get to a gas station. His cards are declined (Which we are left to assume was Deb’s doing). He jets off to the airport to take a random flight to Budapest. What are we supposed to believe other than that he is trying to flee? Luckily for us, this isn’t the case. This was actually a bit in the future while Dexter was chasing a new victim to kill.

Deb would never turn in her beloved brother if she thought it would bring him real harm. When she realizes that Dexter was the one who was standing above the altar, she dropped her gun but was shaking violently. She couldn’t comprehend that her perfect, sweet, innocent brother would kill someone. She asks him about a dozen questions about why he killed Travis and how it happened, but Dexter seems to have an answer to every one of her questions. He has probably thought about how he would explain this before, but prayed would never have to be done. Deb, not knowing what else to do, tries to call the station. Dexter insists that he’ll be imprisoned, or at the very least thrown into an insane asylum and lose both his job and Harrison. This is enough to stop Deb from calling. All she can say is that the whole situation is “pretty fucking weird,” but has no real ideas to offer up. But Dexter, as always, is prepared with an answer. He decides to make it appear as a suicide, Travis was devastated when the world didn’t end like he predicted. But that’s not enough, he turns it into one final tableau.

When the fire department extinguishes the church, Dexter goes straight to the center of the fire, the altar. He examines Travis’s body nonchalantly and announces everything he knows without doubting himself in the slightest. Deb seems to be freaking out. Not only did Dexter kill somebody, but it doesn’t appear to have fazed him in the slightest. He should at least appear to be a little worried, for Deb’s sake. She tries to get out of press duty, because she knows she can’t keep her cool, but it was her “win.” She was very nervous on camera and definitely didn’t seem like herself. The only thing Dexter has going for him is the fact that he didn’t tell Debra the whole truth. All she knows is that he killed Travis, she knows nothing about the others.

When he gets home, he has to deal with Louis yet again, he was looking through his computer. Though he says he was just checking the scores of the game, he was clearly up to something more mischievous. It turns out that he was actually the one who closed out all of Dexter’s credit cards. I don’t know how much Louis knows, but he clearly suspects something about Dexter. When he tries to convince Jamie that Dexter is a jerk, she resists him and says “The more I get to know you, the weirder and weirder you get.” But this isn’t the good kind of weird. Why can’t Jamie realize how much of a creep Louis is? (I am aware of the irony that I am discussing a normal person’s flaws while praising a serial killer).

In what I think is one of the awesomest coincidences in recent television, Enver Gjokaj plays a character named Viktor. For those of you that don’t understand my excitement: Gjokaj played a character named Victor on a fantastic show called Dollhouse. Anyways, when Viktor’s car got a flat tire, Mike (one of the detectives) noticed and stopped to help. He should have taken Viktor’s advice not to help him, because when Mike popped the trunk of the car, he found a woman’s body. Viktor wasn’t planning on being sent to prison, so he killed Mike. With the AFIS Mobile application (Seriously? There is absolutely no way that this is a real thing, especially at the speed that it ran), they discovered that the victim’s name was Kaja Soroka, a Russian stripper.

While the detectives investigate Kaja’s death by heading to a Russian strip club, Dexter takes matters into his own hands. He knows that now is the worst time for him to be making a kill, but to be in control of his mind, he needs to be in control of his needs. Dexter tracks Viktor to the airport (what we saw at the start of the episode) to make the kill. He doesn’t do so in his usual way with plastic wrap and a slice and dice; rather he clubs him with a fire extinguisher and dumps his body whole.

The manager of the strip club tells the detectives that he had nothing to do with Kaja or Mike’s deaths. But we see him discussing with a friend in Kiev that Viktor is on his way to him and that he’ll deal with the dead cop situation. This, along with LaGuerta trying to discover who the Bay Harbor Butcher really is, appears to be the main storyline of the season. Hopefully this means that there will be a heavy plot buildup around previous seasons!

Everything seemed so clean for Dexter, Deb believed his story and wasn’t going to call it in, they torched the body and it seemed like there was no trace that would lead back to Dexter. But the one thing that Dexter missed was his blood slide. LaGuerta notices the blood slide while they are investigating the scene of Travis’s “suicide” and she starts to dig around it. There’s a good chance that she will start to believe that the Bay Harbor Butcher is still alive. She has always been played off as pretty clueless, though, so maybe she won’t get too close to figuring it out. Somehow, Deb’s policing has grown significantly, though. After bombarding Dexter with countless questions about why he did it, how he did it, how he was so prepared, etc. (which is totally reasonable), she still isn’t pleased with his near-perfect explanations. She recalls the similarities between Dexter’s murder and The Ice Truck Killer’s MOs. But let’s be honest, if Brian hadn’t tied her up, she never would have figured it out based on the similarities alone. Then when she called Dexter’s home, she uncovers that Jamie is often working long hours, therefore Dexter is working long hours. But she knows that he isn’t. Hmm… Then Deb begins to recall her time on Brian’s table. She remembers Dexter being there and telling Brian that he was ready to join him (just not by killing Deb). And then it all clicked for her. This wasn’t Dexter’s first murder.

When Dexter arrives home after his kill, he notices Deb sitting with a stone face on his couch. In front of her is his killing equipment, all of his knives and the blood slides. She looks like she’s going to puke when she asks Dexter if he killed all of these people. When he responds with the truth, she asks him the most important question of all “Are you a serial killer?” All he can do now is tell the truth.

If the underlining didn’t clue you in as to why the title of this episode is brilliant, I’ll elaborate. When I saw this title on my TV guide, it sent plenty of ideas racing through my head. I couldn’t help but wonder if it pertained to the question that could very well end Dexter’s life. But it could be about a dozen others things.

Throughout the episode, Dexter has flashbacks to his youth. Deb got a new puppy from the neighbors, but Harry won’t allow the dog to stay, He knows that Dex won’t be able to restrain himself and end up killing the dog. Dexter tells Deb that it’s his fault that Banjo was taken away, but Harry stops him from telling the truth. He can never tell Deb the truth. she won’t love him if she knew the truth. I don’t think that these flashbacks actually added anything to the story, the message that they sent was already pretty clear. The viewers already know that Dexter can never tell Deb the truth, and we know that Harry would have told that to him as a kid. I hope that this will spark more visions of Harry throughout the season, though. Dexter’s conscious, played through his father, is much more revealing than his voiceovers.

Dexter is definitely back to its roots when it comes to suspense and intrigue. I hope it keeps up for the rest of the season!

(My review of the next episode of Dexter, Sunshine and Frosty Swirl)

The Mob Doctor — Family Secrets (S1E02)

(My review of the last episode of The Mob Doctor, Pilot)

This episode was not quite as good as the first, but, for what it was, it wasn’t bad.

We are given another glimpse at Grace’s childhood and how her life has been connected to the mob for a very long time. At her sixth birthday party, Grace saw her dad stumbling home drunk and passing out in the front yard. Her birthday wish was that her father would never come home again. Her wish came true. He was taken from the yard by (what we assume to be) Constantine’s men and the next time he was seen, he was dead. The fact that she didn’t mind that her father was killed was already an indication that she was made of steel and it’s no surprise that she ended up working for the mob. When she approaches Constantine and asks him directly whether or not he killed her father (her interested is finally piqued), he swears that it wasn’t him.

Grace’s lack of love for her father doesn’t spread to the rest of her family. She has done so much to protect and help her little brother Nate. She continuously insists that she hasn’t heard from Moretti and has no idea what happened. And she pushes him to go back to school. After some resistance, he goes to register for courses, but quickly regrets his decision. He then shows up at the hospital to yell at her for treating him like a little kid. Which, to me, seems like the only way to treat him. When he is being so resistant and stubborn he very closely resembles a child.

Grace’s mom continues to poke her head into Grace’s business. She invited Grace’s boyfriend, Brett, over for dinner. And she made sure to call his supervisor to make sure that he could attend that night and called him directly to ask what he wanted to be served. When Grace doesn’t show up for the dinner, her mother asks Brett all sorts of personal questions that Grace surely wouldn’t allow if she were there. And when she finds out that Brett isn’t close with his family, she decides that she has to make him close with hers. Though Brett is pissed that she showed up late for dinner and doesn’t believe her terrible excuse, her mom takes it a very different way. She brings Grace breakfast in bed the following morning, because she wants to appreciate how close the two of them are.

The medical case wasn’t too intriguing and not too much time was spent elaborating what was going on. Really all you need to know is that it appeared as though a bride had a panic attack at her own wedding and ran off. But it turns out that she actually had a tumor that her corset applied pressure to that just made her act crazy. That’s a regular occurrence, right?

The mobster aspect was much more interesting this week. Grace is pulled away from her work to go treat a man named Dante, who Constantine wants to do business with. And of course, Dante is sick. So Grace takes him to the hospital to piggyback on another patient’s chart. When an elderly patient dies, she has her friend Ro prevent them from calling his death. That way, she can bring Dante in for the necessary tests. When Dr. Flanigan starts snooping around, Franco saves the day by pretending to be the patient’s grandson. Once Dante is back home, Grace gets the results of the test back, just as Dante stops breathing. It turns out that he was poisoned, and it looks like his wife was the culprit. However, she soon shows up at the hospital with the same poison and her ring finger cut off.

Now that they finished dealing with Dante’s illness, they get to business. Constantine wants a 5% bump in his cut than Moretti had. When this request is refused, Constantine has to prove that it’s a good idea. Franco takes over a protected truck and burn the contents. But before they have a chance to do that, they notice that there are double the number of items than there should be. And now that Constantine knows about Dante’s brother’s double-dipping, he negotiates a 25% cut, that’s 15% more than Moretti got.

When Grace ushered Dante into the hospital, Nate happened to notice. So the next time she left, he followed her. He saw her go to both Constantine and Dante’s houses. And now Grace is forced to tell him everything. Rather than have any sort of intellect, Nate tells Constantine what he knows. He wants to get into the business.

Many of the characters seem pretty one-dimensional and bland (This goes for Nate and doubly for Brett). If they are toned out in the next few episodes, it would greatly increase the quality of the show, and if not, it will be a bust. But for now, the only characters that appear to have any sort of substance are Grace and Constantine. The only thing that sparks any sort of interest about the other characters is why they are so trusting. Everybody beside Flanigan allows Grace to get away with anything. Why would Ro allow Grace to piggyback a patient’s medical information without any sort of knowledge of what’s going on?

If the hospital aspect of the show doesn’t get interesting soon, I think that the show will be better off if it drops the “doctor” bit and focuses on the mobsters. That half of the show is much more interesting than the hospital cases. If I want an interesting medical drama, I’ll go rewatch House.

The Mob Doctor — Pilot (S1E01)

When I first heard about this show, I was not expecting much. I mainly just wanted to watch because I’m sick of waiting for all of the other shows to start and Zach Gilford (Matt Saracen from Friday Night Lights) is in it. I was expecting an average hospital procedural with the occasional mobster needing treatment. I genuinely enjoyed watching the premiere and I can’t wait for next week.

Dr. Grace Devlin is first seen as an adult treating a patient with a screwdriver in his head. If she had her way, she would have jammed it further into his skull, but she owes Moretti, a mob boss, big time. It turns out that her brother got into some trouble, and to save his life, she offered her doctoral services to the mob. I think that this takes place inside a veterinary clinic, because she has dog toys and her assistant mentions that the drug that she administers would take down a Great Dane.

When she returns to work, she is operating on an 8-year-old boy with a gunshot wound. She manages to save his life through (what I believe was) a risky move. After the surgery, Grace visits the patient, Kevin, and brings him a superhero stuffed animal. You can tell that she truly cares for him and is thrilled to see that he is okay. Kevin is transferred to a different doctor for post-op, because Grace has too much on her plate. Kevin ends up dying due to a failure on her attending, Dr. Flanigan’s part. Grace decides to go over his head and complain to the head of surgery, Dr. White (played by the fantastic Zeljko Ivanek). Though there is no official report, but Dr. Flanigan is reprimanded; he blames Olivia (a different doctor), who takes her aggression out on Grace, calling her a rat.

The reason she has too much on her plate is because she offered to perform a very complicated surgery on a protected FBI witness. The patient had collapsed on the stand while giving testimony that would put Moretti away for a long time. Once she agreed to take him on as a patient, she receives a note that just says the words “kill him.” Clearly Moretti doesn’t want Severino to rat on him. Grace jets down to Moretti’s expensive car shop to tell Moretti that she never agreed to kill anyone. Moretti believes that when she saved her brother’s life, she signed up for just about anything.

When Grace’s mom shows up to tell her that Suzie, a girl that Grace used to babysit was in the hospital, Grace is incredibly short with her. This fuse is shortened further when she brings up the topic of her boyfriend, Dr. Brett Robinson. Brett was the one who did Suzie’s exam, and he found that she was pregnant. Grace was the one who had to break it to her, but she did it incredibly gently and held her hand through the realization. To protect her from her dad’s wrath and the loss of her scholarship, Grace pushes Brett to lie about the operation, saying that it was a ruptured ovarian cyst rather than an abortion. he goes along with her plan, but he is ticked off that she put him in that position. Which seems like something that she does often.

Grace constantly visits Constantine Alexander to give him his insulin shots (he doesn’t trust anyone else to do it). He was the old mob boss before Moretti, but was convicted. One of Moretti’s men photographs her visiting him, probably to use as leverage or blackmail material.

There is a drawn out, slowed down shot of Grace scrubbing in for the surgery, she is debating whether or not she should comply with Moretti’s request. As soon as she steps into the operating room, she picks up the syringe with the fluid that would kill him and injects it into him. If you were shocked that she did this, you’re not alone, she was definitely surprised when she woke up from her dream. When she was actually operating on him, she “accidentally” dropped the syringe. To show Grace that this was a mistake, Moretti kidnaps her mother. Why he went himself is beyond me, I thought that he would have sent one of his henchmen to do his dirty work.

Grace doesn’t take kindly to these threats, so she bashes his incredibly fancy car and drives off, hoping he would follow. Moretti chased him all the way to Constantine’s house, where he brought his gun. Constantine shoots him without a second thought. Apparently, Constantine was planning on getting rid of Moretti anyway, that’s why he was the one who turned Severino. He wanted his mob back, and to do so, he had to get rid of the current leader. He knows that many of the men are still loyal to him and he will be able to take back control. When Grace refuses to leave town, Constantine agrees to protect her as well as he can as long as the debt she owed to Moretti gets transferred to him. He then says, “And remember, you had a choice.” I think she knows that she might have to kill for him.

And to wrap up the episode, the story flashes back to her as a young girl (this is how the episode began as well), examining her first corpse. It turns out that it was her drunken father, and she was happy that he was dead. She sees a white Cadillac pull away from the scene of the murder. It snaps back to present time and she sees the same white Caddy. It looks like Constantine has been protecting her for a lot longer than she had realized.

It is very clear from this first episode that Grace cares very little of what her colleagues and superiors think of her. She has her own moral code and she expects everyone around her to follow it. This does not seem like a very ideal position for someone in her position to be in. It’s bad enough to disrespect authority in a hospital, but when it comes to the mafia, disrespect can lead to death. To contrast her bad people skills, she somehow has amazing bedside manner, and is surprisingly good with kids. When Grace is in the position of authority, she knows just how to deal with everything and everyone around her; just as Constantine said, she is a surgeon for the power (it may be a different type of power, but the idea still flows).

Her difficulty dealing with people her age and those around her makes it a bit difficult to believe that she has a good friend in Ro and a boyfriend in Brett. I’m not sure how long her relationship with him will last. But I think Ro might be willing to suffer through some of Grace’s annoyances. It might be worth it just for her sick sense of humor: when she was late to surgery because she was dealing with a man with the screwdriver in his head, her excuse was, “I had a patient with a killer headache”.

Now that I’ve seen how the writers plan to mash up the medical procedural with a mobster movie, I think that it shows real promise. I’ll be tuning in again next week. How about you guys?

(My review of the next episode of The Mob Doctor, Family Secrets)

%d bloggers like this: