Harry, Dexter’s adoptive father, may be long dead and now nothing more than a mental projection of Dexter’s super-ego, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling sorry for him in “Do the Wrong Thing.”
During past seasons, Harry would sometimes be so reasonable that he verged on infuriating. Having a morbid fascination with watching Dexter take out the trash, so to speak, I wanted him to shut up and let Dexter get on with it already. Sometimes that need for reason is nonexistent because it’s clear what needs to be done and why.
Here, however, Dexter needed Harry’s never-ending supply of reason more than ever and he ignored it wholesale as the episode title, “Do the Wrong Thing,” would suggest.
This is an episode chocked full of the characters on Dexter all doing precisely that. Once you saw that was what they were doing, it made all that followed predictable. Not a single choice or turn of events in this episode felt scripted from the jump and none more than Dexter’s involvement with Hannah McKay.
Since the moment they’d met, there was an undeniable sexual tension between the two. Intermingled with that was the desire both seemingly had to take the other out, one which Dexter not-so-subtly hinted at by telling Hannah just that, that he wanted to “take her out.” Never before has a statement had such an obvious double-meaning.
But the two, sex and death, go hand-in-hand, at least as far as Dexter and Hannah are concerned. With Dexter, the two have forever been linked. With Hannah, death brought her close to first her partner-in-crime and now to Dexter.
When she showed up unannounced at his apartment, I couldn’t ascertain whether it was sex or murder that she was after, and I came to realize by the end of the episode that it was most likely a case of whatever-she-could-get. Part of her saw in Dexter someone akin to the man she’d once obsessed over and killed with, she wanted to fill that void that his incarceration and death had left behind, while another part of her feared what the end result of doing so would be, fearful of falling into the same trap a second time.
In that scene, and in each of their interactions, those competing thought processes left her conflicted and unsure of how to proceed. Perhaps that is why she was such an enigma in her first couple appearances, though I don’t know if I’m quite ready to give the Dexter writers that much credit.
Likewise, viewers got a sense that Dexter saw in Hannah shades of Lumen, Lumen who left him with a void in his life just as Wayne had done with Hannah. At first he tried to resist the pull bringing him closer to her, but in the end he wasn’t strong enough.
While he was just talking not long ago about being the strong one, how he would swim deep underneath the crashing waves while Deb would run in fear from them, it appears that this week he’s drowned. All it took was him ripping the duct-tape off Hannah’s mouth to give her some final words, and her using that opportunity to tell him to do what he has to, in order for his blood-lust to simply become lust. For both her and what she represents.
As soon as I saw her there on the table in all her nakedness, and Dexter hovering over her almost as if this was all some strange manner of foreplay, I knew what would happen, what was unavoidable and what couldn’t have been more obvious from the moment they first met.
Clearly, he would rip that tape off and she’d sway him somehow to her side or, rather, inside… her. Never for a moment did I think he would actually go through with it. Taking her to see the snow was as romantic a gesture as Dexter is capable of. The look on his face might have said otherwise, but I think he enjoyed her reaching out for and holding his hand as she walked towards what he planned to be her death.
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