1
Dec
2009
Dexter: Season 4, Episode 10
Lost Boy
Jordan
This season of Dexter has been without a doubt the weakest of the show so far, and I blame a good portion of that on the early reveal of John Lithgow. While his performance has been nothing short of phenomenal and his presence has lit up an otherwise pretty dim season, the problem is that the show has a pretty predictable format by this point. Introducing John Lithgow in the premiere meant that his arc would have to run through all 12 episodes of Season 4. Which would be great if they had 12 episodes worth of story to tell with him. Instead, we have had episodes like the last several weeks where the show seems to be treading water waiting for Dexter's knife to come down on Trinity. "Lost Boys" continues the trend of treading water, but at least this time the plot is definitively moving forward, and the tension is as high as Dexter at its best.

I feel that some of that tension is bought by cheap means, however. The idea that Trinity kills a little boy before his cycle, symbolizing his own lost innocence makes sense enough, but it still feels dropped in because there are several episodes left and something had to drive the plot. There has been no hint throughout the season that there was another step to the cycle, and that would be a solid twist if it didn't feel like just another stall tactic. Yet, if Dexter has to stall, it should do so more like this episode does. Dexter's frantic search for the boy and his manic drive to save the child's life made for some excellent television, and has the added subtext of deepening Dexter's relationship with his children. John Lithgow also got to be terrifying again as Arthur. The show also set everything up nicely for some serious tension to come, with Arthur even more aware of "Kyle" and his intentions, and Arthur's son becoming an unwitting accomplice to his father's eventual murder (though, if he did know, there's nothing to say he wouldn't be a more willing accomplice).

Yet no matter how tense things get, this season is built on some seriously shaky premises. My favorite to mock is the entire storyline of the reporter. She has been a useless character from day one, and the twist that she killed Lundy just plunged her into the realm of the ludicrous. I can understand, from a psychological perspective, why she would want to protect her distant father, but if we pause for a second, it makes absolutely no sense how she took a memory from her youth that she wasn't even sure happened (she was 5, remember) and recalled the exact location of the house. Even if that was believable, she then tracked down her father's victims from all over the country? Even if that makes sense, and even if her discovery that dear old dad was a serial killer didn't put her off her protective path, how the hell is it plausible that she happened to be able to hit it off with a cop in the right precinct to ingrain herself in an investigation that wasn't even really being handled by the precinct? The bathtub murder was a case, but she would have had to be in a ridiculous number of right places at the right time to get keyed in that Lundy was a) investigating a killer called Trinity, that b) her father was this killer, and not just a guy who kills ladies in bathtubs, that c) Lundy and her father would be at that building which to her would have been entirely random, and that d) the encounter with Lundy would lead to him piecing everything together. The leaps in logic all of this takes leave me utterly incapable of buying it for a second.

Allow me, if you will, to retread on a topic I've complained about all season: Harry Morgan. It has never made sense that Dexter would suddenly start fantasizing about his dad when he never did that earlier in the show. Beyond that, however, Harry takes a lot of the fun and mystery out of Dexter. If John Lithgow was carrying on heavily expository fantasy dialogues with his dead family, a lot of the dark mystery and eerie fun of his character would be lost. The show needs to trust the audience to keep up with Dexter like it used to, and it needs to say goodbye to James Remar, who has become a useless portion of every single episode. Then again, if the show ditched every useless character it has, we would be left with a very small core cast (I'll let you decide who would make the cut).

Complaining aside, "Lost Boys" was quite possibly the best episode Dexter has done this season, and hopefully sets us up for an excellent final two episodes that will provide some semblance of an explanation or at least leave me feeling that this season was worth existing at all.

Grade: B+

Notes:

-Angel and LaGuerta are in love. No one cares.

-I really hope the CI, and Deb's look into Harry's part, goes somewhere and gets there quick.

-Masuka knows about Rita's kiss. Let's hope this goes somewhere too.

-Sorry for the late posting. Travelling delayed my viewing of the episode.
Tags: Dexter
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