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"Cold Snap," "Storm of Fuck," "Smoke Signals," "H is for Hero," "Runaway," "Too Many Tuna Sandwiches," "Skin of Her Teeth," "Unfair Game," "The Family Business," "Sins of the Father"
by Bill Chambers SPOILER WARNING IN EFFECT. It begins with a white buck. Dexter is tracking it through the woods, a regular Natty Bumppo. Though he has a clear shot, something stops him from pulling the trigger, and he falls to his knees in a parody of biblical defeat. A second attempt the following day is foiled when a sharp noise from elsewhere causes the wildlife to scatter, while a third and final try sees him lowering his rifle and surrendering to the beauty of the beast. Dexter and the white buck are kindred spirits--outliers of their species, yet built to blend into their surroundings. Trophies, ultimately, for their rarity. The premiere episode of "Dexter: New Blood", "Cold Snap," might be my favourite of the character's entire television run, because it allows him this brief state of grace. There was a season of "Dexter" where he went searching for signs of a higher power, but it's here that he finds one, and what makes this so different from our serial-killer Pinocchio's previous real-boy epiphanies is that, for once, there's no noise in his head. In fact, this most compulsive of narrators only starts talking to us again after the tranquillity of the moment is shattered, which is a surprisingly understated gambit for "Dexter". It's a crowd-pleasing thing, I suppose, when he finally pipes up (it's Clark Kent ducking into a phone booth, or Popeye squeezing a can of spinach), but it plays to me as bitter commentary on how short-lived inner peace is these days for anyone with a moral compass--even one as faulty as Dexter's.
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