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1-9: "Father Knows Best" 2006.11.26 (recap)


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#1

American Snob

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Posted Aug 21, 2007 @ 7:01 PM

Good episode, not the best and certainly not the worst. I loved the premise though, Dex finds out a little bit more about his past. I felt bad that he never got to know his dad but I still think Harry was the best role model for someone like him. This was also the first episode where I suspected Rudy of being more than just Deb's boyfriend.

#2

vallegirl

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Posted Aug 22, 2007 @ 8:23 AM

Hadn't they already established Rudy was the ITK in the previous episode? Which one ended with him in his freezer/workshop?

Edited by vallegirl, Aug 22, 2007 @ 8:24 AM.


#3

American Snob

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Posted Aug 22, 2007 @ 8:30 AM

Now that I think about it you're right. Rudy was established as ITK in "Shrink Wrap"... I haven't seen this episode since December and most of all I remember about this episode was the couples' outing and Rudy entering an old lady's house.

#4

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Posted Aug 27, 2007 @ 3:32 PM

I liked this episode, well actually I like them all, but this one gave us some great stuff with the "couples weekend". It seemed like a bit of a turning point in the season. From "who is the ice-killer", to "just how messy is this going to get"?

I really liked Rita taking the initiative like that. I think it's the first time she's really asserted herself with him, outside of sex. I liked seeing her outside of her house and away from her kids. I often feel that the Rita character is marginalized by seldom interacting with anyone but Dexter and her family. Or, it could just be that I like JB and wish she had a stronger role.

At this point Rudy is more annoying than creepy. He's like that weird kid that won't go away. I guessed pretty early on in the episode that he had killed the Dad to make Dexter aware of his (the Dad's) existence. His access to medical records would obviously allow him to track the Dad down. I'm not to sure how he knew the contents of his will though. Maybe it was a lucky guess, predicated on the Dad's willingness to give blood all those years ago. Or maybe he just broke in and read a copy. Do people leave copies of their Wills laying about the house?

It also became very apparent that he had only courted Deb to get an "in" with Dexter. Sucks to be Deb. I thought he was too good to be true from the beginning (when he first flirted with her and asked her out). I figured weirdo killer, I just didn't realize that he was the killer. I thought he would just be some random psychopathic trash for Dexter to take care of.

Even though Deb got my sympathy in this episode, due to her unfortunate romantic choices, she also pissed me off. It took me about 5 episodes to warm up to her and she still can really get on my nerves. Dexter is dealing with the sudden appearance of a Dad he didn't know, the knowledge that Harry lied to him and trying to figure out if there was a murder. Somehow, this becomes all about Deb and her emotional needs. Errr...OK? I sympathize with her frustration about his emotional distance, but it's not his fault that she doesn't seem to have any other support system in her life. Did the family have no aunts and uncles, no cousins, no family friends? Does she not have any friends of her own?

The whole Doakes/Angel shooting subplot didn't really go anywhere. I wonder if it was a bit of set-up for next season, or if it was just "make work" for the extra characters.

Random thought: The old lady was priceless. Too bad she had to go.

#5

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Posted Sep 3, 2007 @ 11:43 AM

Okay, this show keeps getting better and better and every week, I have a hard time being disappointed because there's nothing to truly irritate me about that show. Why is that?

Dexter - Okay learning about his biological was an interesting thing and the fact he was quick to get a DNA was natural. His argument with Deb was a little hard to watch but I love his moments with Rita and Rudy.

Rudy - I knew he was the cable guy the crazy old lady was on about and he continues to give me the willies in a big way. His scenes with Dexter were particularly uncomfortable to watch as well. How did Dexter not get creeped out by him?

Rita/Paul - Is it crazy to wish that Rita would do us all a favour and club Paul to death with that baseball bat she had under the bed? I knew he would slip up and poor Rita nearly got it again. Luckily he'll pay for it again, right?

Doakes/Angel/LaGuerta - Pretty intense plot between the three of them, huh? I validate Doakes for killing that guy even if he was evil and it was great to see Angel given emotional material and for Doakes to jump to his death. Oh and Maria continues to improve too.

Harry/Doris - Liked the flashbacks and I'm pretty sure Harry had his reasons for lying but it was still a reckless move to make no less.

Deb - I can see why she was a bit mad with Dexter but she did overreact just a little. Nice that her and Dex made it up in the end scene though.

#6

xtreme

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Posted Sep 6, 2007 @ 6:37 AM

I agree DB. Although I'm another one who thinks that this is gonna get hella messy. I had to laugh at Rita and Deb though. Especially at the comment about Rudy and Dex being the last good men in the world. Talk about a lack of judgement. And good on Rita for fighting back like that. I can't wait to see how messy the Paul situation gets.

#7

isiscloud

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Posted Sep 6, 2007 @ 1:11 PM

[size="3"]

Random thought: The old lady was priceless. Too bad she had to go.

See, I didn't think she had to go. Wouldn't that be more suspicious? I doubt if Dex would be going back there to ask and he obviously didn't hear her shouting at him as they left. Wouldn't it seem strange if there were 2 deaths so close to each other evn though she was old? Overkill?? (pun intended)



Dexter is dealing with the sudden appearance of a Dad he didn't know, the knowledge that Harry lied to him and trying to figure out if there was a murder. Somehow, this becomes all about Deb and her emotional needs. Errr...OK? I sympathize with her frustration about his emotional distance, but it's not his fault that she doesn't seem to have any other support system in her life. Did the family have no aunts and uncles, no cousins, no family friends? Does she not have any friends of her own?

That pissed me off, too. STFU, Deb. Dexter is just finding out that he has more relations and that Harry isn't the god he thought he was and she's screaming about Harry lying to

her

? I'm glad Dex wrote the card and the Harry took it to his dad. It would seem strange and inconsistent for little Dexter to not do something "ordinary" when Harry was trying to hard to make him sort of normal at least on the outside.



The whole Doakes/Angel shooting subplot didn't really go anywhere. I wonder if it was a bit of set-up for next season, or if it was just "make work" for the extra characters.

To me, it's supposed to show that Doakes has issues of his own. In the book, Dex recognizes that Doakes has a "dark stranger," too, and this is how it's represented in the show in visual context. Also, it helps us understand more why Doakes can recognize that Dex isn't the normal person everyone else thinks he is, but slightly off. Doakes has experience with sociopaths.



How did Dexter not get creeped out by him?

Dex doesn't get creeped out by anyone or anything! He lacks that sensor. However, I'm surprised by why Dex would think it normal for Brian/Rudy to be scouting out for him near the coroner's office at some whackadoodle time of night. "Oh, yeah, Dex, I just happened to be on the lookout for you creeping out the coroner's office window at 3 am. BTW, did you get the DNA sample from our dad?
[/size]

#8

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Posted Sep 6, 2007 @ 4:58 PM

This is the only episode where I was disappointed that I had read the books before I watched it. I kept wondering if this episode would've been a lot creepier if I didn't know who Rudy really was. At this point the audience all knows that Rudy is the ITK, so if I had only know that part of it, would I have seen Rudy's desire to know Dexter as a parallel to Dexter's desire in the episode with Jeremy and the FakeITK? Or would I have thought he was trying to get more information in order to better torture/kill Dexter or what? Instead, I found a lot of the scenes, especially the impromptu funeral for BioDad, to be kind of sweet (if you ignore the teeny, tiny detail that Dexter and Rudy are both serial killers). You have this family who was ripped apart by one tragedy only to be reunited by a second tragedy, brothers trying to reconnect and find that bond they used to share, and sons trying to honor their father by spreading his ashes in the place where he was happiest. Cue the inspiration music here.

I think that's part of the reason I didn't get annoyed by Deb's freak out. With both parents dead and no other immediate family, Dexter is the only family she has left so I could see why the idea of Dexter having another family out there as something she'd view as scary. If Dexter was curious about his BioDad, it's not a far leap to think he might also be curious about any other BioSiblings or BioCousins or whatever. And from the very first episode, Deb has been pushing the family connection. Dexter said something about how Deb really likes using the word "boyfriend", but really Deb loves to use the word "brother". She's always calling Dexter "brother", she asks "why don't we talk about brother/sister stuff", and she tells him that her brother should meet her boyfriend. I sometimes wonder if while Harry was teaching Dexter lessons on how to be a neat monster, he was giving Deb little lessons about not letting Dexter withdraw away from her.

Normally I like Rita, but this is the episode that officially burned me out with the Paul storyline. I never understood when Paul started showing up again why Rita didn't make good on her phone threat and call the police and his PO about her restraining order to send his ass back to prison. This is the guy who raped her repeatedly. Yet she lets him into her house and around her kids. It's just crazy.

#9

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Posted Sep 7, 2007 @ 2:09 PM

You have this family who was ripped apart by one tragedy only to be reunited by a second tragedy, brothers trying to reconnect and find that bond they used to share, and sons trying to honor their father by spreading his ashes in the place where he was happiest. Cue the inspiration music here.

Except that Rudy/Brian killed their dad. Not so sure if that's so cute & cuddly. Reconnecting with Dexter is what Rudy/Brian wanted, but wasn't expecting so much baggage along for the trip although it would look kind of strange if he, someone Dex had only met, had asked to go along without Deb. He definitely wasn't prepared for Dex's thorough searching of their dad's body for extraneous prick marks.

he was giving Deb little lessons about not letting Dexter withdraw away from her.

I think she just wanted to be involved with whatever Dexter & Harry did since her mother died early on and didn't have a female presence around. Doesn't stop her from being a stone around Dex's neck.

#10

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Posted Sep 18, 2007 @ 10:17 PM

Rudy as the TV repair man...I guess he'll be killing his next victim sometime between 8am and 2pm.

#11

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Posted Sep 19, 2007 @ 1:04 PM

Good episode, especially from the standpoint of the Dex-Deb relationship (which for me is the most interesting one in the series) even if the actress playing Deb overdoes it...dancin' around to the Golden Oldies was a great scene. I love the way normality will suddenly break out in this show, in between the insanity.

Fascinating that Doakes essentially did just what Dexter's been doing all alon - commit a vigilante killing of a dangerous monster. (Also ironic that the murder-du-jour wasn't Dexter's for a change.) I'm pretty sure some sort of Doakes-Dexter showdown is being built up for S2, but if in the meantime Doakes has been moving more into vigilante territory, will he be able to condemn Dexter?

Double the complication if Doakes and Deb are an item by then. Bet they will be. Certainly heading there...

#12

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Posted Sep 19, 2007 @ 1:52 PM

even if the actress playing Deb overdoes it

She really did overdo it in this ep. MCH is so subtle. I think JC was a little out of her depth playing against him. Sometimes she made me cringe. Most of the time I think she's pretty good, but not in this episode.

#13

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Posted Sep 20, 2007 @ 8:04 PM

Rudy as the TV repair man...I guess he'll be killing his next victim sometime between 8am and 2pm.

Heh. Then, he'll actually kill them at 5:30pm.

#14

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Posted Sep 21, 2007 @ 9:54 PM

She really did overdo it in this ep. MCH is so subtle. I think JC was a little out of her depth playing against him. Sometimes she made me cringe. Most of the time I think she's pretty good, but not in this episode.


I think part of the problem is the writing of Deb's character. I tried really hard to like her in the first few eps, but as the season grew on, I started to get annoyed at her, like in "Return to Sender," when (as far as she knew), she was wrong about Castillo and yet still made it Dex's fault. This ep was the culmination, for me, of that problem. I could barely concentrate for thinking, "God, this woman is Bratty McBratterson!" Deb has this pathological desire to make everything about her, probably stemming from Harry's apparent favoritism of Dex leading to a desire to be noticed. The problem is that it just becomes very annoying onscreen.

#15

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Posted Sep 21, 2007 @ 10:32 PM

That's funny, I love Deb - even with her semi-hysterical, pathologically needy, screwed up persona and general obliviousness - because she makes such a perfect character to pair up in any sort of scene with Dex. Second best sibling pair on TV (sorry, the Petrelli brothers are unbeatable but I give Dexter the edge in the category of charismatic serial killers.)

My second favorite character is Doakes! :D I guess I love the characters everyone hates. After the whole Haitian-background thing, I really feel like I understand why he loathes Dex. Hey the main character kills people for fun, so what's a bratty attitude or a bad temper in comparison? We all must be very tolerant of personality flaws or we wouldn't be here. Hee hee!

#16

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Posted Sep 22, 2007 @ 9:52 AM

Deb has this pathological desire to make everything about her


Don't most people have that desire? And on this show alone she's definitely not the worst about that (Dexter and LaGuerta are far worse, and, of course, Rudy).

I liked her in this episode, mostly because she felt very true to me -- she acted how emotionally expressive people act when situations make them uncomfortable. And she's uncomfortable with anything tainting Harry's memory, and she's even more conflicted about Dexter himself (her only remaining family and probably the one person she really loves in that way). He's emotionally closed to her, she can't get him to open up, and his bio father makes one more thing to drive them apart, to sever the connection they have of both caring for Harry.

I thought it was interesting how easily Rudy pushed her into going on the trip. I think she really wants to help Dexter as much as she can. She knows from experience that he'll push her away and do things on his own, so she doesn't try anymore, but she wants to be there for him.

sorry, the Petrelli brothers are unbeatable but I give Dexter the edge in the category of charismatic serial killers


Heh. There's no comparison for me. Petrelli brothers don't even come close.

#17

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Posted Sep 26, 2007 @ 2:15 PM

Just a quick question. I don't watch the show but I have been reading the recaps and don't want to be too spoiled by going into other threads to ask this. It's actually more of a nitpick, but it's specifically from this episode. They say that Dexter's "bio-dad" lived in Dade City. However, I live in Florida, and the only Dade City is in Pasco County, on the west coast of Florida and nowhere near I-95 (Dex says his real dad was always just "a drive up I-95 away"). Does anyone know of a second Dade City near the Miami area, or is this just a name that the show made up? Thanks so much!

#18

Hyzenthlay

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Posted Sep 27, 2007 @ 3:38 PM

They say that Dexter's "bio-dad" lived in Dade City. However, I live in Florida, and the only Dade City is in Pasco County, on the west coast of Florida and nowhere near I-95 (Dex says his real dad was always just "a drive up I-95 away").


How far away is that Dade City from Miami? In the show they also said that he lived five hours away.

#19

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Posted Sep 28, 2007 @ 12:36 PM

I don't remember him saying I-95, but when they said five hours away I figured it was the Dade City north of Tampa. The thing about using the town Dade City is that the show takes place in Dade County, so one who is not familiar with Florida cities might assume that his father was in the same county. Perhaps they chose it because it is on the other end of The Everglades, one of those towns that border the Withlacoochee River Park.

#20

Maya de Mayo

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Posted Sep 29, 2007 @ 6:46 PM

one who is not familiar with Florida cities might assume that his father was in the same county.


Does anyone understand why Harry kept the dad away from Dex? Or how Harry was able to adopt Dex when his father was still alive? I assume the bio dad signed away his rights; I just don't get what he was supposed to have done. He wasn't the guy who killed the mother and the other people, was he?

#21

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Posted Sep 30, 2007 @ 1:12 PM

how Harry was able to adopt Dex when his father was still alive? I assume the bio dad signed away his rights; I just don't get what he was supposed to have done. He wasn't the guy who killed the mother and the other people, was he?


I was wondering that too, and if there is any truth to Rudy's suggestion/comment that the reason that there are no family photos in biodad's house is that he slaughtered his whole family (then again, maybe Rudy just said that to see what type of reaction it would provoke in Dex).

#22

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Posted Oct 2, 2007 @ 6:05 AM

I was wondering that too, and if there is any truth to Rudy's suggestion/comment that the reason that there are no family photos in biodad's house is that he slaughtered his whole family


Thanks, Hyzenthlay. I thought I was missing something!

#23

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Posted Oct 14, 2007 @ 5:34 PM

If they ever go back to "Joe Driscoll", I have a hunch he's going to turn out to be a lot like Paul. The scene in one of the first eps, where Paul's coke dealer shows up and takes the truck from Rita's driveway, seems prescient. It's the first time we see Dexter dealing with the fallout of Paul's life, and the first thing he does about it is tell Rita to take the kids inside.

From what we see of Laura Moser in the season one finale, through Dex's memory, she seems pretty wholesome for a junkie who deals. She'd probably have enough self-control, and fear of her supplier, that she wouldn't rip him off. But I can easily imagine her having a Paul-like husband or boyfriend who would sneak into her stash, leaving her unable to pay her supplier. So even though he's not the killer, he may have started the events that lead to the murder.

He'd done time. Harry may have known them before Laura's murder. Whether he did or not, I can imagine Harry making "Joe" an offer he can't refuse. Stay out of Dexter's life (we don't know whether Dexter and Brian had the same father), and Harry will set him up with a new identity and a chance to make a clean start. Get in the way of adoption, and Harry would make sure "Joe" did time for anything Harry could possibly find to charge him with, plus he'd make sure Laura's killers knew who the real thief was (whether he knew "Joe" was stealing from Laura or not, he could use the threat to scare "Joe" into accepting his offer). I just can't see Harry negotiating like this if he knew "Joe" was the killer.

As far as future plot material, I can see Dexter having angst when (if) he finds this out, and compares Harry's way of dealing with "Joe" to his handling of Paul. If Harry gave "Joe" another chance, and, as far as we know (extra bowling ball bags aside), "Joe" was a model citizen for the rest of his life, does that mean Harry would have expected Dexter to do the same for Paul?

#24

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Posted Oct 14, 2007 @ 10:57 PM

Oddy enough as I was driving home tonight, I saw a car with a boy about the age of very young Dexter sitting next to his dad, who was driving, and had his arm at the same level that Joe Driscoll did in the flashback - I passed them before I could see if there was a spider web tattoo. But that moment made me think of that scene and wonder if/when the show might address more of Dexter's memories about his "father"; and if that man played any part either directly or indirectly in the events that happened in the shipping container.

Doesn't it seem odd that the boys would be put into foster care/ up for adoption if there was/were blood relatives around to claim/take them? Unless there was some good reason not to (or in Harry's mind some justification for having Dexter removed from it all).

Funny how the show has a way of popping up in your thoughts when you least expect it.

#25

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Posted Oct 15, 2007 @ 4:33 PM

Doesn't it seem odd that the boys would be put into foster care/ up for adoption if there was/were blood relatives around to claim/take them? Unless there was some good reason not to (or in Harry's mind some justification for having Dexter removed from it all).

I always thought that was a little bit of a plot hole that probably has a bit of explanation somewhere. They just never got around to it. I always thought it was more along the lines of Dex's pop being in some sort of hiding as a result of the shipping container murder, in that maybe his dad could have been a target that just hadn't been gotten to yet. And because Harry saved Dex, maybe he was also taking care of the dad. Maybe Harry actually knew Dex's dad in some fashion, maybe once a friend, maybe an Informant, whatever..., and was protecting him. I mean, not only did he get the blood for Dex, he even got Dex's thank you note to him in return.

Even with it being a sort of plot hole - unexplained thing, it gets even a little more clunkier when you think about there being another brother out there. What did Harry have to do with Rudy/Brian? Did Harry just let the older brother be institutionalized and then forget about him? Did Harry ever have any contact with him? Did the dad ever care about him? That's what makes the deal with Dex's dad a bigger potential problem for me.

Edited by TWoP Dietrich, Oct 15, 2007 @ 4:35 PM.
Once it's aired, it's not a spoiler


#26

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Posted Oct 16, 2007 @ 10:07 PM

I always thought it was more along the lines of Dex's pop being in some sort of hiding as a result of the shipping container murder,


That, or he could have been back in prison. I suspect there was some reason why he couldn't take custody, but he wasn't ready to relinquish his parental rights for good, so Dexter couldn't be adopted for another three years. It's possible that both he and Laura Moser had lost contact with their families of origin, so there was no easy way for the State of Florida to find another relative to take one or both of the boys.

We only have Brian's word that he grew up in psychiatric institutions. If he and Dex had different fathers, someone from Brian's own father's side of the family might have taken him in.

Brian seems to have a better handle on knowing what other people want to hear than Dex does. Growing up in the state mental health system, he would have been socialized to institutions. He may be a suberb natural mimic, but the people he would have had around to imitate would have been mental patients and their minders. Anything's possible in fiction, but I'm having a hard time seeing him developing that slightly continental patina of aristocratic suavity just by watching tv in the juvenile wing. It makes more sense that he had adult role models, and an environment where he could hone his bullshitting skills on a non-medicated audience.

I just thought of that now, but it's related to what I wanted to say about the scene where they dispose of "Joe's" ashes. Brian "works" Dexter emotionally, in a way I wouldn't expect him to find necessary if he really thought he was dealing with someone as detached as he is.

I assume Brian followed Dex to the morgue because he was concerned that Dex was set on treating "Joe's" death as a homicide. Perhaps he had a hand in moving up the cremation schedule. Anyway, once he sees the box of ashes, he asks Dex what he wants to do with it.

"Dumpster?" Dex suggests. I was surprised that Dex didn't get that "normals" would be appalled at treating human remains like Bob the gold fish. But Masuka and the rest of the lab rats are probably pretty dispassionate about body parts, so he may not have an average citizen's frame of reference to imitate.

Brian has no reason to be sentimental about a guy we are led to believe he killed. And unlike Dex, he knows he's talking to another homicidal maniac, so there's no reason to fake it. He can surmise that Dex won't tell Deb or Rita if Brian says, "Right, there's a Pizza Hut on the way back", because Dex would first need to admit that he'd broken into the morgue and stolen the ashes. I'm not sure if his suggestion to scatter them at the bowling alley was a reflex - what "Rudy Cooper" would say - or because he thought this would make Dexter feel better, even if Dex consciously thought he was just going along to get along.

When Brian tells Dex, "You were a little bird with a broken wing, but I was just another fucked-up kid," and about growing up in mental hospitals, it could be the truth, but it could also be a story meant to guilt-trip someone who is constitutionally resistant to guilt trips. They're both manipulative liars, but Brian seemed so much better at it. I wish we had some voice-overs from him. Or at least more info about the intervening thirty years.

#27

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Posted Oct 17, 2007 @ 7:28 AM

You were a little bird with a broken wing, but I was just another fucked-up kid," and about growing up in mental hospitals, it could be the truth, but it could also be a story meant to guilt-trip someone who is constitutionally resistant to guilt trips.

I think in the episode 'Born Free' Batista finally IDs Brian from his mental hospital records. I forget what age Brian was released but he was in his late teens early twenties when he was pronounced "cured".

#28

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Posted Oct 17, 2007 @ 10:58 AM

I think in the episode 'Born Free' Batista finally IDs Brian from his mental hospital records. I forget what age Brian was released but he was in his late teens early twenties when he was pronounced "cured".


Yes he does. Since the mental patient in the bed next to him all night and the nurse's comments sparked that train of thought for Angel.

I think he said that Brian/Rudy was released when he turned 18, so he would have had a good amount of time "in the real world" to hone his skills - he had probably learned what not to do from his fellow patients, just a thought.

#29

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Posted Oct 27, 2007 @ 3:53 PM

I think he said that Brian/Rudy was released when he turned 18, so he would have had a good amount of time "in the real world" to hone his skills - he had probably learned what not to do from his fellow patients, just a thought.

And his doctors. People who lack certain (or all) feelings often use psychiatrists and psychology to learn what is expected from them, which makes them even more excellent at manipulation.

#30

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Posted Oct 28, 2007 @ 11:57 AM

Does anyone else think it's weird that Dexter's current "cover" (dude who lives alone, loves bowling, and goes to NA meetings) is actually exactly like his bio-dad's life? All he needs is a prison tattoo and a classic rock collection, and he's Joe the Second. It seems almost like a way of connecting to the man that he never really knew.