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The Deadly Capone Has Seen
The First DEXTER Of 2008!!
Now With Jimmy Smits!!

I am – Hercules!!
Is the third season of “Dexter” as good as the first two? I couldn’t say; I saw very little of the first two. But I found the first four episodes of “Dexter’s” third season involving enough to season-pass the show on my DVR – so if you, like myself, have managed to avoid “Dexter” for two years, I don’t imagine you’ll have much difficulty leaping into the fray. And if, like me, you’ve not yet seen a lot of “Dexter,” you’ve got plenty of company. The show’s debut episode garnered about 334,000 viewers. By its 2nd-season premiere, its audience had grown to just over one million viewers, or roughly 1/3 of one percent of the U.S. population. While obviously tiny compared to the 11 million viewers garnered on average by the “Sopranos” or the 5.6 million viewers averaged each week by Michael Hall’s earlier series “Six Feet Under,” that season-debut number for “Dexter” last year marked the first time a Showtime series had ever breached the million-mark. (That record has since been tied, roughly, by the June 15 Showtime premiere of “Secret Diary of A Call Girl” and eclipsed on the same night by the 4th-season premiere of “Weeds,” which scored 1.3 million viewers – still the most ever for a Showtime series.) I did see the season premiere episodes of the last two seasons over the last two years, and was not tempted to continue. This may or may not have something to do with Daniel Cerone. Cerone, who wrote, produced and/or served as executive story editor for more than 90 episodes of the WB drama “Charmed” from 2000 to 2004, wrote the first, last and middle episodes of “Dexter” last season, but he left the show subsequent to season two to serve as showrunner on ABC’s “Dirty Sexy Money” (though he has apparently since departed that show as well). Below, you’ll discover that Capone thinks “Dexter” is doing just fine without Cerone (at least so far). Before I turn things over to my colleague for his full review of the third-season premiere, I have a question for anyone who saw “Dexter” during its brief run on CBS during the writers’ strike: How did they handle Deb’s potty-mouth? Was she dubbed or bleeped, or does the series shoot “clean” versions in the event “Dexter” goes to broadcast syndication?

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here in Coaxial twice in one week. Have I defected to the smaller screen because audiences have become so intolerable at the multiplexes? No, but would you blame me if I said I had? In fact, the reason I'm over on this side of the International Date Line is to talk to you about the third season of Showtime's finest asset, a little show called "Dexter." I like me some "Weeds," don't get me wrong. But "Dexter" just gets better with each passing episode. There are more layers in this show than a wedding cake, more levels than the Sears Tower, and more skins to pull away than a prize-winning, State Fair-type onion. Michael C. Hall so beautifully captures this fractured sociopath that I'm really devastated that the Emmys has failed to recognize him. At least the Golden Globes has paid attention. I'm also truly glad that Showtime seems to be keeping its shows on a schedule, much like the networks. A show's season ends, and nine months later a new one begins, just like clockwork. Anyway, here is Episode 3.1 of "Dexter." What's the title of 3.1? "Our Father" Who scripted? TV vet Clyde Phillips (“Trapper John, M.D.,” “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose,” “Suddenly Susan,” “Boomtown”), whose name is also on the teleplay for “Dexter” 2.2, “Waiting To Exhale.” Who directed? Keith Gordon, director of three previous "Dexter" episodes, as well as Episode 4 of this season. Sometime actor Gordon is probably best known as the lead (human) character in CHRISTINE, as well as for directing such features as A MIDNIGHT CLEAR, MOTHER NIGHT, WAKING THE DEAD, and THE SIGNING DETECTIVE, starring Robert Downey Jr. Where do we pick things up? Dexter Morgan has spent the summer re-establishing his routines. The show opens with Dexter visiting his dentist for a crown, and what seems like the dentist making small talk about how Dex spent his summer turns into a nice series of flashbacks that shows that the serial killer has been beginning a new collection of blood sample slides. But on the more personal side, his relationship with Rita (Julie Benz) has been going swimmingly, with a sex life that just won't quit. And Rita's children adore him. The young boy even asks Dexter if he'll come to "Dad Day" at his school. In the wake of the "solving" of the Bay Harbor Butcher murders, Dex's life has probably never been better. Rita refers to this period as "The Calm" ("Everything is falling into place." We all know what comes after "the calm." So Dexter is back to meticulously stalking and killing new victims, all of whom has slipped through the fingers of the law? Pretty much. We see him scouting out a new victim, a drug dealer named Freebo (Mike Erwin), who killed two college girls and got released on a technicality. Dexter poses as a junkie to meet Freebo and get a look inside the guy's very pink house. Inside he meets Freebo's hooker girlfriend, who is looking to fix as well. He refuses to supply the freeloading whore, so she counters with "I guess your dick will have to suck itself." Best line in the show. Have things in the office become routine as well? Sure would seem that way. Angel (David Zayas) gets promoted and seems to be getting along with his wife. In fact everybody's getting along. How's Dexter's sister, Debra? Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) gotten a new hair cut, and some people haven't noticed after two weeks. She also assumes that Angel's promotion means that she's due for an upgrade in pay any second now. She also seems to be getting chummy with a new detective, Joey Quinn (Desmond Harrington), who Deb finds out is being investigated by Internal Affairs. An IA officer named Yuki Amado approaches Deb to get close to Quinn, and Deb refuses but still wants to know what the guy did. So what's the first big case of the season? Turns out it's a self-generated crime thanks to Dexter, who goes to Freebo's home to kill him after setting up a new murder house. But when he arrives there's a stranger there fighting with the drug dealer. Freebo escapes and the stranger attacks Dexter and is killed in the process. Dexter loses something in the process. So who is this mystery man? Turns out he's the squeaky clean brother of Florida's top prosecutor Miguel Prado (Jimmy Smits, a welcome addition to the show and fresh from his failed CBS outing "Cane"), who naturally will stop at nothing to find the killer. Thankfully for Dexter, all evidence points to the now-missing drug dealer Freebo. If Dexter is in the clear, why is he so stressed out? My favorite parts of the show revolve around Dexter's guilt at killing a stranger, someone he doesn't know without a shadow of a doubt is guilty of something. He even investigates the dead man to see if he can come up with any reason the guy might have been in that house in that neighborhood other than the story his family is giving. His own code and the code his father (James Remar, who is only seen in photos for this episode) has been broken for the first time. Naturally, Dexter is brought in to do the blood work on the murder. Anything else about Prado we need to know He and Lt. Laguerta (Lauren Velez) have a history. Word on the squad room is that she considers him the one that got away. How's Deb's promotion coming along? She's convinced solving this case will get her that promotion. Quinn gives her the name of an informant who might be able to help her on the whereabouts of Freebo. Instead he gives her surprising intel on the victim. When Deb comes back to the station and announces her findings, she's taken off the case by Angel. What I liked. A long sequence between Dexter and Prado at the crime scene, where Dexter is asked to recreate the struggle that resulted in his brother's death. The sequence includes Prado confronting Dexter about why he's been investigating his brother's life. The second-best scene is Dexter at the dead man's wake. He has a few choice thoughts offer the victim's coffin that are show that rather than let his guilt get the better of him, he's going to allow his code to…evolve. Daniel Cerone, who wrote the first, last and middle "Dexters" of last season, has left the show. Does his absence diminish in any way season three? Not that I can see, but honestly, it's too soon to tell. I am curious how/if the show runners are going to drag out the Prado storyline beyond this initial death of his brother. The episode also doesn't give any clues as to whether or not we'll have a season-long case (like the Ice Truck Killer or the Bay Harbor Butcher). And as much as I like Jimmy Smits, will he be any match for the note-perfect performance of Keith Carradine's Agent Lundy last year? Again, time will tell. Or maybe even the next episode will tell. How does it end? Dex and Deb are called in to investigate another dead body, that of a woman Dexter recognizes and who has a square of skin missing from her upper torso. Yes, the two cases are linked. Also, Rita makes pudding and plays soft music, which leads her to believe her relationship with Dexter is about to change forever. -- Capone

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24: Redemption!!

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