Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Season 2 Episode 5
‘The Dark Defender’
Written by Tim Schlattmann
Directed by Keith Gordon

There’s a curiously hopeful streak in this episode as Dex sees some of the Miami citizenry actually condone and approve of the Bay Harbor Butcher’s choice of victim.
And when a murder occurs in a comic book store, Dex discovers The Dark Defender, a leather-clad vigilante who slays the bad guys, a character apparently inspired by the Bay Harbor Butcher.
Despite his disapproval of all that leather in the Florida humidity, Dex has a dream where, as the Dark Defender, he rescues his mother before she gets killed. When he tells Lila about the dream and the circumstances of his mother’s death, she convinces him to seek out his mother’s killers, so he can find closure.

Checking the case files, one turns up dead, the other in for life without parole, and the third (who cut a deal with the cops) part of the Witness Protection Program.
A road trip is in order, and Lila’s along for the ride.
Confronting the murderer, Dex tries to tell him how the man has made him feel and what he felt was taken away from him by his mother’s murder, but the dude won’t listen, so Dex resorts to violence, and comes this close to killing him, when Lila (ditched by Dex at the motel) talks him down over the cell.
Dex leaves the dude unconscious, but alive, and when he gets back to the motel, there’s some sympathetic cuddling, but no actual sex.
Along with the case files though were interview tapes of Harry and his mother, who was apparently a police informant, and (gasp!) sleeping with Harry.

Meanwhile, Gail tries to kick Dex outta Dodge when she finds out he’s a “recovering addict,” just like the not-so-dearly departed Paul was. Rita has a talk with Gail, and thinks she’s managed to convince her mother to move out, when all she ends up doing is convince Gail she should stay.

Over now with Deb, who starts to act like a loon, going through Gabriel’s drawers, and going apesh!t on his a$$ when she looks at his email and sees he’s been shopping a book around, a book entitled The Ice Princess.
Mistakenly, she jumps to the paranoid, self-involved conclusion that it’s a book about her, Mrs. Ice Truck Killer, when it’s really a children’s book. (She finds this out thanx to Lundy, who actually does a background check on Gabriel.)
Though she thinks she’s blown it with Gabriel, Lundy convinces her things can still be repaired, and they kiss and make up. (Gabriel and Deb; not Deb and Lundy, though there is something there, isn’t there?)

LaGuerta meanwhile is concerned about Doakes and his having shot and killed two men in half a year. Doakes of course, insists he’s fine.

Oh, and Deb tells Dex he should probably move his boat from the marina where it’s docked right now, as the security there is terrible (I believe she said it “sucks a$$.”)
Instead, Dex opts to clean the boat to make sure not a spot of blood or trace evidence remains.
Unbeknowest to Dex, Lundy has already had surveillance cameras installed, and Dex is caught on tape…

Parting shot: Comic book artist Tone Rodriguez, who supplied the Dark Defender art for the show, also played the murderer, briefly seen in the episode.

(The Dark Defender image by Tone Rodriguez, courtesy of comicbookresources.com.)

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