On occasion, we are allowed a little peek into Dexter’s mind. Sure, we have his inner monologue and the personification of his Dark Passenger in the form of Harry. But occasionally the writers hit the nail on the head and come up with a special episode like Slack Tide. Not only did this episode give us that phenomenal insight where we actually step into the mind of a killer, but the final minutes of Slack Tide held a significant event in the world of Dexter.
Dexter’s serial killer life has always revolved around living by Harry’s Code. It has kept him safe, and in previous seasons we have seen how straying from the code could get him in serious trouble. Now Dexter has taken some large steps away from his father’s rules by having a family, and has been struggling to keep everything balanced. That is, until he met the Trinity Killer. This week, Dexter realized he still had too much to learn from Trinity/Arthur Mitchell to kill him just yet. Instead, Dexter’s Passenger set his sights on a photographer who rapes and kills young undocumented models, but has managed to repeatedly slip through the Miami P.D.’s fingers.
Dexter gets some alone time with Arthur. He uses him as a role model, trying to learn how he’s managed to be a killer and a family man. When Dexter asks how to manage the kids, Arthur suggests getting them involved in activities they enjoy; once again helping Dexter out in his home life. When he gets Astor guitar lessons and puts Cody in a youth sailing club, he wins some serious brownie points with Rita. The only thing he didn’t count on was that as a father with a boat, he would have to go on the overnight trips with the sailing club.
Dexter decides to take care of the photographer immediately. He follows him to a club, only to find that Quinn has trailed him there. I can’t believe they are going to throw another ‘Doakes scenario’ into the mix. Quinn isn’t nearly as aggressive as Doakes was, but I think their intentions are a little different. Where as Doakes was sure Dexter was sick and twisted, I think Quinn is just trying to get a feel for what kind of a guy Dexter is so he can cover his ass over the stolen money. Dexter gives Quinn the slip and sneaks out of the camping trip the next night. This time he gets his victim without any hiccups.
Deborah moves into Dexter’s old apartment and continues following Lundy’s work on the Trinity Killer. She is sure now that it was Trinity that shot the two of them. She craftily pitches her ideas to Laguerta, who actually gives her the go ahead on a limited investigation of the bludgeonings. Deb also gets the chance to talk to one of her Harry’s former CIs. She finds out that he wasn’t just having an affair with one woman, but with almost all of his CIs. Deborah is so disgusted, she gives up the search, and Dexter destroys his mother’s file with the exception of her picture.
Dexter goes back to work after the weekend trip to see that the P.D. has arrested the photographer’s assistant for the murders of the models, and it’s one hundred percent him, considering they have him on surveillance cameras. Dexter killed an innocent man. He’s unable to believe what a huge mistake he has made. It’s one thing to bend a few of Harry’s rules, but it’s quite another to snap the single most important rule in half: never kill the innocent. Dexter knows it’s time to put Trinity on his table and start getting his life back in order.
I’m glad that Dexter is trying to adapt so he can enjoy a fuller spectrum of life. While he may not be able to completely understand it all yet, we have already seen that he does have feelings for his family, and doesn’t want to lose them. The part of him that traipses around as Harry seems upset that he’s modeling his new life after the likes of Trinity, but I think Dexter’s heart is in the right place, where as Harry’s may not have been when the rules were formed. I’ll leave you with Dexter’s final monologue from Slack Tide. The symbolism is spot on for all aspects of Dexter’s current realm.
Man has always been drawn to the sea. But it’s an unnatural setting for us, a place of great danger. Tides, currents, waves, wind – each presenting their own hazards, none of which can be ignored. The slightest lapse of judgment can be a mistake you might never recover from. But a good sailor doesn’t fight against these elements. A good sailor works with them, using them to his advantage. While others less fortunate might be forever cast adrift – often in several pieces – he always comes home safely.
I give Slack Tide 5 ‘Scoutmaster Dexter’s out of 5.