Dexter Review: "The Damage a Man Can Do" (Episode 308) and "About Last Night" (Episode 309)

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Amid a season that's proven the most concentrated effort yet to make Dexter about more than the kill, the last two episodes reverted back to the mode the series does best: pulp. Even as the domestic sphere continues to brew in the foreground, the focus has centered resolutely to Dexter and Miguel’s newfound game, which we now know is more evenly matched than we had thought.

The idea of Dexter having a partner is not necessarily a bad one, but as he and Miguel began to kill together these past two episodes, there was an inescapable sense that a private space had been breached. We still had the voice-over omniscience, but with Dexter’s thoughts devoted to Miguel’s supposed growth as a partner, we lost the dry, dark humor and gonzo wisdom Dexter usually doled out.

Of course, a relationship like this could never be sustained—where could it possibly go?—and Dexter’s ultimate discovery of Miguel’s duplicity at the end of this week’s episode set up a classical dilemma that will be played out over the next few weeks. It’s only a matter of time now before Miguel learns Dexter killed his brother, the inconvenient plot point that was always destined to return, and the two will have their final confrontation.  

Elsewhere, Deb (finally) seems to have warmed to her partner, the Skinner case is solved (anticlimactically, we would say, but what's the deal with that off-camera conversation Miguel had with him?) and we can rest assured that the murder of Ellen Wolf, via her connection to Laguerta, is not settled just yet. The final episodes will no doubt evolve into the dense plot webs they always do late-season, and now that the show has fallen back into its natural rhythm, it should be a good time.

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