“Dexter,” Season 5, Episode 1: “My Bad”

The fifth season premiere of “Dexter” was a necessary followup to last season’s insane finale and a tribute to Rita.  The episode picks up on that same sad night just moments after Dexter (Michael C. Hall) found his loving wife dead in a bathtub full of her own blood.

The police show up, followed by Deb (Jennifer Carpenter). They find a stunned and bloody Dexter holding baby Harrison who explains Rita’s dead and offers up the phrase “It was me.”

Lt. LeGuerta (Lauren Velez) informs Miami Metro homicide that Rita’s murder is a Trinity Killer case and therefore belongs to the FBI. She insists they’re there for Dexter as friends and family not as police detectives.

Dexter spends the next couple of days moping, which says a lot for a man who is supposed to have no feelings. He won’t cry, but he’s sad. That’s clear. And you can tell one of the hardest things he’s ever had to do is tell Rita’s children their mother is dead. Especially when one of the kids is a notorious little bitch. Let’s hope this story line quickly sends her off to live with her grandparents.

Deb ends up handling all of Rita’s funeral arrangements because Dexter just isn’t capable. He’s being very weird, even for Dexter, and Deb and Detective Quinn (Desmond Harrington) are noticing. It’s obvious Quinn is not going to ignore Dexter as a suspect. Looks like we could have another Sgt. Doakes on our hands.

Speaking of Deb and Quinn, there could be a new couple there following their surprise sex scene. Quinn better be careful. Deb’s boyfriends seem to drop like flies.

It becomes clear to Dexter that the jig is up for him. He can’t fake the kind of emotion and interaction it requires to get through the loss of a spouse. He packs up his weapons, burns down his storage building and decides to sail off into the sunset. But first he stops for gasoline. And he brutally murders a redneck who insulted Dexter and Rita. Outside of Harry’s code… Speaking of Harry (James Remar), he shows up and tells Dexter that was the most human thing he’s seen him do since Rita’s death.

Was that an indication that Dexter has changed? That the code is no more? Or was that just an OK slip up … a way for him to mourn? We’ll see. It does help Dexter decide to go home and deal with Rita’s death like a “normal” human. But it’s not going to be that easy. Quinn and the FBI are interested in what Dexter might know about Rita’s death.

Dexter delivers Rita’s eulogy and closes it with a simple realization: He did love Rita.

I’m guessing some people will find this episode boring and slow. I agree it’s not the most exciting episode we’ve ever seen, but it’s a necessary one. We deserved to see the direct aftermath of Rita’s death. We needed to see how it was handled. Who investigated. Who reacted and how.

Trust me when I say this is a much better place to go with the storyline instead of a jump ahead. We’d feel cheated if this season opened weeks or months after Rita’s murder. I hate when shows do that. I feel cheated.

There’s a lot more to this season than we’re seeing right now. I’m confident it’s not going to be a repeat of Season 2 and Doakes. We just have to be patient. There’s a reason we’ve all made it five seasons with Dexter. Hang in there. I surely am.

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