Some folks over at ArtsandFaith.com are having a great discussion about Get Low. It’s so good I couldn’t help myself! You can read it here.
My wife has won. She finally got me into Dexter. She’s been trying for years, and with season four she got me. Not that I mind. I wish all the times I lost were this enjoyable.
If you don’t know, Dexter is an acclaimed Showtime series. The season four finale was their highest rated single show ever. By day, Dexter is a mild mannered blood spatter analyst with a wife and three kids. Inside, though, lurks a serial killer with a twist. Because of “The Code” his father developed for him, Dexter only kills other killers. Dexter punishes murderers who have escaped justice. He’s a psychopathic avenging angel who enjoys his work waaayyy too much. In season four, though, he starts to realize how his compulsion to kill might affect his family. What if they found out? He doesn’t want to lose them, but he can’t stop killing. This is the story line of season four, and this is what got me hooked.
The reason this got me is because of the origin of Dexter’s psycopathic behavior. He started killing after he saw his mother murdered. It was a defense mechanism, a way to handle it. Later in the season we meet another character, another serial killer, who is the same way. They both kill as a way to cope. It’s tragic. This may sound extreme, but people do the most bizarre things to manage the pain of the bad stuff that has happened to them. I’ve seen it over and over, and it’s not the way to go. The pain of traumatic loss needs to be let out. If we keep it in, if we try to manage it our way, it will just spill out in unexpected ways that can ultimately destroy everything we care about. That is what is happening to Dexter.
As I’m writing this I’m waiting for the season four finale to come in the mail. I don’t know what Dexter will choose. It’s tough waiting because I grieve for Dexter, just like I grieve for anyone who tries to bury their pain rather than letting it out. It makes me thankful that God is always willing to listen, always willing to hear our cries. That when I need someone to listen, at least I know God is there, and that God is willing to bear my pain even to the point of dying on a cross. I hope Dexter will realize that. I hope he can stop trying to do it his way. That he lets the pain out. That he lets it go and lets God take it away. I hope so for his sake, but I’m not counting on it. It would be wonderful in real life, but not so good on TV.
Which is the biggest tragedy of all.