Dexter Season 4, Episode 8: "Road Kill" Review

Elliot? Who in the wrath of the Gorgon is Elliot? I knew there had to be a reason why he popped up in the last episode ("Slack Tide") as the neighbor who was arguing with his girlfriend, but he's situated himself way too fast into Dexter's household. In just a few days, Elliot is now "clicking" with Rita (Julie Benz) on a deep inter-personal level? And he's a hit with the kids? He can just join them for a rollicking wine-filled dinner? Isn't it funny that characters like Rita, and Mad Men's Betty, fall under such scrutiny for wanting something more from their emotionally detached husbands? Even I find myself painting them as spoiled whiners when honestly they've got a long list of reasons to leave their spouses. But despite his faults, and just like Don Draper, Dexter (Michael C. Hall) is our flawed hero and we get to experience his life in a way that his wife doesn't. We know that he's worth sticking with. We see the brutal good in him, and so a character like Rita just comes off as ungrateful. We get to see Dexter as a vigilante killer who's really trying to do well by the people in his life. So when Rita's not helping, she's hurting.

Whether or not Elliot's aggressive, and somewhat maladjusted, attempts to ruin Dexter's life will succeed is still yet to be seen, but the story itself still feels tacked on a bit. It feels like it needs to lead to something very drastic or it will run the serious risk of coming off as ill-conceived filler. It just seems "off" that someone would be so angry toward his girlfriend one day and then be so quick to hop into Rita's life, without any prior groundwork. I hope this story takes a dark turn because it just doesn't work on a straight "Rita's dissatisfied at home" level. I hope the kids are able to see that Elliot's full-on attempts to infiltrate their family is wrong and suspicious. Hell, I hope Cody just kills him.

I'm glad, with all the theories out there about Trinity not being the shooter, that this series managed to stay a couple skips ahead of us by actually having Deb herself realize that it couldn't have been Trinity that shot her. Now it won't just be a revelation that falls flat because of all our incessant attempts to postulate. Now it's actually been written into the story as a case that will now be led by Batista. I enjoyed Batista (David Zayas) and LaGuerta's (Lauren Velez) resignation to their own desires, but I just have an awful feeling that it will wind up compromising one of their cases, just like Captain Matthews (Geoffrey Pierson) warned. Again, just like with Rita batting her lashes a bit at Elliot, these types of side relations don't feel organic within such a sinister show unless they have repercussions.

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Nov 17, 2009 11:06AM EST

elliot......well this is the "feeling" i got from him......i think he's going to try and worm his way in with Rita sure but i think his biggest thing is he'll try something with Astor.....did you see the look on her face when he came up behind her and said hey astor caught the biggest fish show them....and she was just like yeah whatever and slunk off....he just has that creep feel to him the way he kept trying to fill Rita's glass and she had to tell him it was time to take his kid home....i dont know....i'm reaching but its the first gut instinct i had when i saw him....we shall seeee!

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