The beautiful thing about Dexter Morgan is that he has quite a way of getting into your heart. He’s a character that doesn’t disappoint you, and when he does have to step out of his usual behavior, he makes you glad he did. Fittingly, this week in episode 4.09, Hungry Man, we remember exactly why we are thankful for Dexter.
Dexter’s staking out Trinity’s house when he witnesses a fight inside between him and his son. Trinity really seems like an abusive person. The son rushes from the house and takes off in his dad’s old car, and Dexter follows. He catches the boy wrecking the car with a baseball bat. Realizing what he’s done, the kid is scared to go home the next day for Thanksgiving, and Dexter offers to go with him as a buffer. Unfortunately, this means that Dex will be gone for part of his own Thanksgiving, and after making up a work excuse, Rita gives in.
Deb has been talked into going to Dexter and Rita’s for Thanksgiving, and realizing that Masuka doesn’t have plans either, she drags him along. It’s a good thing that she goes though. She ends up getting quite a few breakthrough epiphanies while she’s there, like how a conversation with Quinn’s sleazy squeeze, Christine, included a few too many details about Lundy’s death. She also figured out that Trinity could be part of the school system since the deaths coincide with school breaks. It’s nice to see Deb interacting with the kids more too. She’s such a rough character. I mean, we all know she’s a big softy underneath, but she just puts up that tough front all the time, that I wonder what she would be like if she didn’t act so tough.
At Thanksgiving we get to see a whole new monster that is Trinity. Not only is he a killer, but he’s a deranged, abusive father. He locks his daughter in her room, breaks his son’s finger as a punishment for the car, holds a mental thumb over his wife, and expects every tradition and routine to be followed to a tee. If not, there are repercussions. The son is tired of playing his role, and and after a fight, he smashes Trinity’s beloved urn of ashes. In a fit of rage, Trinity manages to call his wife a horrific name, throw his daughter across the room, and begins strangling his son, with murder in his eyes.
This is the moment we remember how much Dexter means to us. Doing exactly what we are all hoping for as we stare helplessly with hands over our faces, Dexter leaps into motion. With his belt, he grabs Trinity around the neck, drags him off the boy, across the room, and into the kitchen shutting the door behind them. The Dark Passenger is let loose, fueled by Dexter-the-family-man’s rage. You see Trinity’s cowardly Passenger shrink back at the realization that Dexter’s Passenger is after his blood. But just as in real life, when his family sees Dexter threatening their father with a knife behind his back, they run to his defense. Where’s Hope House when you need it? Dexter is pissed, and on the ride home, he realizes that now Trinity will be expecting his attack. I just want to express my appreciation of John Lithgow for being able to pull this persona off in such an amazingly chilling way. Wow.
What Dexter doesn’t know is that all the while at his house, sneaky Elliot has managed to get some alone time with Rita. Masuka happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, and see’s him kiss Rita, who doesn’t put up a fight. Though she feels sorry about it after, this is still worrying. I really hope Masuka tells Dexter, so he can put the fear of God into Elliot’s heart.
At the end, we see that Dexter wants to be nothing like Trinity. He wants his family to be sweet and kind out of love, not fear. It’s really a pretty touching family moment. Speaking of family moments, we are hit upside the head with a new bit of unexpected info. Christine gets a visit from Trinity at her apartment. Instead of running for her life, she welcomes him and calls him Dad! I have so many questions about this now. It reminds me that any detail about this series that may seem unnecessary can end up being vital. Like the Laguista (Laguerta-Batista, lol) love story. This week they said those three magic words to each other. Seems like it’s just a filler for the show, but who knows? Maybe it will turn out to be important?
So it seems that Dexter has realized that though he and Trinity appeared to have much in common, it is only on the surface. Trinity’s family is just a collection of human shields, and don’t mean much more to him than that. Dexter lives with, follows, wrestles with, and bends a Code of standards implemented by his father. Trinity has none. That is what makes these two killers so vastly different.
I give Hungry Man 5 “Masuka’s Specialty Chocolate Lava Cakes” out of 5.