After a long hiatus from blogging about anything Dexter-related, I am resuming.
To be honest, I had been more or less disappointed with Season 3 thus far. I should know by now that the whole structure of a Dexter season is about 66% plot set up and about 33% pay off. The problem is, with the previous seasons, the writers tossed us a bone or two much earlier in the season, rather than waiting until practically the last minute.
What I like most about this season, is that the past couple of episodes have been quite relevatory of Miguel Prado’s true nature, forcing us, the viewers to shed whatever preconceptions or assumptions we had about Miguel. Now, we’re forced to look back in hindsight and look at Miguel through a new set of lenses. I haven’t wanted to go back and totally dissect and analyze an entire character arc since President Logan in Season 5 of 24. I want to see how the development of the character Prado has contributed to the plot set-up..
The season has gotten much more interesting as we delve further and further into the character of Miguel Prado. Up until this point, we’ve been led to believe that Miguel was a bit of an overzealous, self-proclaimed member of the Justice League, irked by the depravity of the system and justifiably ridding Miami of the scum of the earth. Now we realize more than ever how dark and twisted Miguel’s true nature is.
One of the most interesting things about this season has been the disruption and apparent reinvention of Harry’s code. Season 2 left us with the impression that Dexter, jaded by Harry’s inability to handle the “monster he had created,” would abandon the code in new ways.
1) He abandoned the code first–albeit inadvertently–in the first killing of Oscar Prado, the main impetus for Season 3’s plot arc. He killed someone spontaneously without any assurance of guilt.
2) He intentionally abandoned his code yet again with the whole key lime pie incident with Camilla. Again, the ethical lines are blurred as the show tangles with question of euthanasia. Also, the episode turned me off to key lime entirely. And I wasn’t a huge fan to begin with.
3) He breaks the code yet again by tag teaming with Miguel Prado.
4) Dexter seems to be ignoring the Skinner completely, which would seem to be the most natural choice of prey for Dexter.
I mentioned this in a previous Season 2 blog, but it seems that any time someone who comes along and at least partially recognizes Dexter for who he is: Brian, Lila and now Miguel, they are always at odds with Dexter’s code in some way and Dexter inevitably ends up killing them. I see no other path for Miguel, other than this ending him in being Dextered.
Interestingly enough, I think this season more than any other season has explored–not so much the darkness (or Dark Passenger) within Dexter himself, but rather in those around him. Season 1 focused on Dexter the Monster and how he came to be. Season 2 focused on Dexter–still a Monster–but struggling for survival and learning to deal with the Dark Passenger. Season 3 has focused primarily on the corruption of the system, and how that begins in the monsters in the people around him, most obviously Miguel Prado. This season, more than any other season, I believe, has raised serious ethical questions on justification of murder, motive of the murderer and how the cause of justice becomes twisted to serve the Monster’s own inner appetites.
Some interesting plot points/questions to consider:
1) At what point did Miguel become aware of Dexter’s true nature? Was this immediately after Oscar Prado was killed? Or was it after he stumbled upon Dexter killing Freebo?
2) Has Miguel figured out that Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher? This seems reasonable to assume. His close relationship with LaGuerta may bring about some hidden connection Miguel may have with Doakes. Miguel may have known all along that Doakes was not the Bay Harbor Butcher.
3) Is there a deeper connection between the Skinner and Miguel? We are assuming at this juncture that the Skinner wants nothing more than to settle the score with Freebo. His chosen victims all have a link to Freebo. If Skinner finds out that Freebo is already dead, how would that change his motivation to kill?
4) Since it appears that Miguel has been manipulating Dexter all along, what is his end goal with Dexter? Of course, we are assuming that he wanted all along to learn the ropes from Dexter, but something tells me there is more to it than that.
5) What is the true line that separates Miguel from Dexter? Most obviously, the code separates them, but they seem to now be motivated by an insatiable need to kill. Miguel seems enthralled with the power trip it brings, while Dexter, it’s an appetite that needs to be sated every now and then. Miguel is hotheaded, driven by personal agenda–seen best in his crusade against Ellen Wolf. Dexter never makes things personal. His victims are carefully, coolly chosen.
6) Why has Dexter not gone after the Skinner at all? He’s been so distracted with Miguel this season, it never crossed his mind to hunt the Skinner down. Very odd. I wonder if that will change.
7) What did Miguel do when he was along with King? I wouldn’t put it past him if he let King escape somehow so he could kill him himself.
8) LaGuerta is obviously going to become more important to the climax. How and to what end will Miguel manipulate her? I think it’s safe to say he already has…
9) Where’s my favorite crucial plot point music? Come on, writers…:(
So, although this season may not be the most quotable or thrilling, I have to give the writers major props for making it the most complex and interesting season in terms of ethical questions raised. The constant scenes with Harry, the juxtaposition of Dexter’s nightly extracurricular activities with a wedding and baby on the way. Miguel and the Skinner playing the foil to Dexter. So many plot intricacies to consider…