Dexter: "It's like when you get on a plane, they tell you if the oxygen masks come down, to put yours on first before taking care of the kids. I need to take care of my own needs, too. Otherwise, I'll be spinning out of control. That's not good for anyone."
Falling back into routine after a tragedy is always a struggle. And though we can't fault Dexter for trying to regain some normalcy and get his fix of "oxygen", it was still a reluctant process.
Following Rita's funeral, Astor and Cody move in with Deb and Dexter. Astor has her hate on for Dexter and not even geometric pancakes can penetrate that exterior. Astor has jumped headfirst into surly teenage territory and though I should be wholeheartedly empathizing with her, I just found her annoying. Christina Robinson has done a decent playing Astor over the years, but after the seeing Kiernan Shipka's performance on Mad Men this season – these kids really need to step up their game because little Sally Draper has set the bar.
Meanwhile, the overcrowded apartment leads Deb to take Quinn up on his offer to crash at his place. This is far from a booty call as it comes equipped with a retainer wearing Deb and a steadfast warning for Quinn to keep his "fat sausage fingers" off her. I'm actually starting to find Quinn really endearing - but his insistence on following the footsteps of Doakes has me fearing for his untimely demise. Especially when he pieces together sketches Trinity's family have described of Kyle Butler to form an eerie portrait of Dexter.
Despite Dexter's stressful family dynamic, he finds himself fixated on a questionable blood stain that leads him to the peculiar Boyd Fowler. Played by Shawn Hatosy of Southland and The Faculty fame, Fowler turns out to be more than just peculiar. After some snooping, Dexter uncovers multiple bodies of woman that Fowler has disposed of. Though this qualifies Fowler to be Dexter's next victim as per his code, Dexter does not feel his usual exhilarance with this discovery. In fact, it seems that the Astor and Cody's decision to go live with their grandparents has overshadowed his lust to kill. Dexter has been far from a grieving father, but the fact that Rita's death and the kids' departure have left him so off his game, is incredibly telling.
This episode was a solid follow-up to the premiere but the secondary storylines were lack luster. Angel and Laguerta still bore me to tears. I miss "La Pasión" Angel of yore and Laguerta when she had more wonderfully fluorescent suits and a little more bite. Even Masuka was less crass and uncharacteristically squeamish. Miami Metro's "Santa Muerte" murders were also so underwhelming that I couldn't even remember whether they were solved or not.
All in all, Dexter has once again got me hooked and I cannot wait to see how the rest of the season unfolds. I can't seem to shake this spidy sense tingling from the neighbor, Elliot. If he sticks around this season, the Doakes in me believes there is more to him than meets the eye. It will be interesting to see if Quinn can make the Dexter/Kyle Butler connection and where that will lead him. As for Dexter, now that 2 of the 3 kids are out of the way, will we be seeing more of Dexter's Dark Passenger? After all, as Harry said of them, "they're not only your responsibility, they're your salvation".