Jul 21, 2013


Wow, Ben Zajac and Sister Mary Eunice are seeking help from Nip/Tuck plastic surgeons! And the story is spooky: they are a married couple, and when they were stuck in a snow he fed her his flesh (which now needs to be replaced). It's so strange to see them together.

Jul 18, 2013


Because most of nominations don't excite me at all. American Horror Story did well (I think, they have 17 nominations in total, including best lead/supporting performances by Lange, Paulson Quinto and Cromwell, as well as the best mini-series nomination), which is the only part that I feel somewhat happy about.

Why nominate House of Cards? Bates Motel? Nashville? Why on earth would they choose to nominate Jason Bateman over Will Arnett or David Cross?

Meh, whatever.

Jul 9, 2013


In the second episode of Dexter called Every Silver Lining Dexter learns something about his past, Vogel gets some shape, Debra's breaking bad and Batista is trying to turn Quinn into marriage material.

Dr. Vogel shows Dexter her recordings of Harry describing his step-son's violent traits (by the way, it seems unlikely that Harry gave her permission to videotape those conversations). Long story short, it turns out that Vogel was the one who gave Harry this idea of channeling Dex's urges and helped him create the Code. She now needs Dexter's help, as she believes the murder from last week was committed by one of her patients, since she's received that victim's missing part of the brain.

The new body appears almost instantly, Dexter manages to identify the suspect by a fingerprint on the murder weapon, and although Vogel seems skeptical about the candidate, Dex chooses to ignore her.

Debra, in a meanwhile, is on a treasure hunt. She figured out where Briggs kept the jewelry, and went there, followed by El Sapo, who then beat her up and took the bling-bling. But he did not go far - the next morning Miami Metro was already working on identifying his body. Dexter rushes to Deb, worrying about her, but she seems fine and still not in the mood to see him.

After being kicked out by his damaged sibling, Dex comes to the cabin of his suspect only to find him murdered. He still finds it hard to admit that he was so wrong, which is pinpointed by Vogel.

Debra comes to Miami Metro to answer questions about El Sapo (Quinn remembered her asking him to look that guy up once); by that time Dex has figured out she was the one who shot the bastard (go Deb!). He interrupted her "interrogation" and confronted her with this, only to realize that she's not what she used to be.

Vogel calls Dexter and says that someone's broke into her house. They find a CD with the latest "brain surgeon" murder recorded, from which it is clear that the guy Dexter suspected was just another victim of a psychopath on the loose.

So now I'm quite confident that Vogel is the murderer of the season, because:

a) She clearly knows too much about those killings
b) Like late Travis Marshall, she's the one who shows Dexter all that goodies "the bad guy" sends her: why should we believe that those parts of brain and a murder recording were delivered by someone else? She might have scooped parts of brain herself and pretend there was someone at her house easily
c) There was a perfect motivation for her to have planted that CD with videotaped murder: to prove she was right! You remember how she said that this was important for psychopaths? And undoubtedly, she's one.

But here comes the question - what's her motivation for the actual killings? She, of course, could be eliminating her former patients to avoid career issues, but hardly it was the main reason. So what else?
Well, do you remember this famous brain teaser:

A woman, while at the funeral of her own mother, met a man whom she did not know. She believed him to be her dream partner so much, that she fell in love with him right there, but never asked for his number and could not find him. A few days later she killed her sister.

Question: What was her motive for killing her sister?

I assume she used these murders to get close to Dexter, although, I'm not sure, what for.

Also, Dexter keeps showing how non-psychopathic he is: all this wanting to share his feelings, caring for his sister surprise Vogel. May it be that he was just a damaged kid, who could have never turned into a killer, providing there was a good psychiatrist instead of Vogel?

Jul 5, 2013


After the latest Dexter episode I couldn't stop thinking if the main character can actually qualify for a real psychopath, so I found a Hare's elaborated checklist here and unsurprisingly, Dexter scored almost as many points as I did. And unfortunately, neither of us is a psychopath.

Instructions: for each of the 20 characteristics, give a score of 0 if it does not apply, 1 if it applies partially and 2 if it is a perfect match.

He has to get at least 30 points to be diagnosed of psychopathy.

Let's roll!

1. Glib and Superficial Charm. Psychopathic charm is not in the least shy, self-conscious, or afraid to say anything. A psychopath never gets tongue-tied. They have freed themselves from the social conventions about taking turns in talking, for example.

Well, that's easy. Dexter is everything, but smooth in his social interactions, and often says or does some awkward things. He's far from being charming, so 0 points.

2. Grandiose Self-Worth. A grossly inflated view of one's abilities and self-worth, self-assured, opinionated, cocky, a braggart. Psychopaths are arrogant people who believe they are superior human beings.

Remember what Vogel said about the murderer on the latest Miami Metro case? He would enjoy if he knew they were talking about him; but Dexter wouldn't, besides, he never seems cocky. He feels different from people that surround him, but not in a good way. This only changes when he's around his victims, then he definitely thinks he is superior to them, but that could be his step-father's influence. Since he was brought up in the house where murderers were always treated with contempt, the attitude would grow on him regardless of his personal traits. I call 0.

3. Need for Stimulation or Proneness to Boredom. An excessive need for novel, thrilling, and exciting stimulation; taking chances and doing things that are risky. Psychopaths often have a low self-discipline in carrying tasks through to completion because they get bored easily. They fail to work at the same job for any length of time, for example, or to finish tasks that they consider dull or routine.

This one is tricky, because even though Dexter does work in Miami Metro since like forever and almost never travels or looks for any particular excitement, he does tend to run off from work and his second live gives just enough thrill. I give him 1.

4. Pathological Lying. Can be moderate or high; in moderate form, they will be shrewd, crafty, cunning, sly, and clever; in extreme form, they will be deceptive, deceitful, underhanded, unscrupulous, manipulative, and dishonest.

This one is a 2. He's a liar.

5. Cunning and Manipulative. The use of deceit and deception to cheat, con, or defraud others for personal gain; distinguished from Item #4 in the degree to which exploitation and callous ruthlessness is present, as reflected in a lack of concern for the feelings and suffering of one's victims. 
I'd say 1. He does manipulate or deceives others, but sometimes feels guilty about it.

6. Lack of Remorse or Guilt. A lack of feelings or concern for the losses, pain, and suffering of victims; a tendency to be unconcerned, dispassionate, coldhearted, and unemphatic  This item is usually demonstrated by a disdain for one's victims.

If we're talking about his victims only, then, 2 points, otherwise he feels guilty pretty often.

7. Shallow Affect. Emotional poverty or a limited range or depth of feelings; interpersonal coldness in spite of signs of open gregariousness.

2 points

8. Callousness and Lack of Empathy. A lack of feelings toward people in general; cold, contemptuous, inconsiderate, and tactless

2 points

9. Parasitic Lifestyle. An intentional, manipulative, selfish, and exploitative financial dependence on others as reflected in a lack of motivation, low self-discipline, and inability to begin or complete responsibilities.

0 points, he works, he doesn't take loans or borrow money.

10. Poor Behavioral Controls. Expressions of irritability, annoyance, impatience, threats, aggression, and verbal abuse; inadequate control of anger and temper; acting hastily.

This only applies to the last episode, really, where he yelled at his son and nearly killed some stupid driver that cut him off. Normally, he stays in control of his behavior. 0.

11. Promiscuous Sexual Behavior. A variety of brief, superficial relations, numerous affairs, and an indiscriminate selection of sexual partners; the maintenance of several relationships at the same time; a history of attempts to sexually coerce others into sexual activity or taking great pride at discussing sexual exploits or conquests.

0. He claimed to be basically asexual before Rita, and besides her there was what, three more women in like seven years? That's not a lot. 

12. Early Behavior Problems. A variety of behaviors prior to age 13, including lying, theft, cheating, vandalism, bullying, sexual activity, fire-setting, glue-sniffing, alcohol use, and running away from home.

I recall that he was killing animals as a child. I guess this qualifies for 2 points.

13. Lack of Realistic, Long-Term Goals. An inability or persistent failure to develop and execute long-term plans and goals; a nomadic existence, aimless, lacking direction in life.

On the one hand, he doesn't have long term plans, but at the same time it's not possible to say that his life has no direction. 1?

14.  Impulsive. The occurrence of behaviors that are unpremeditated and lack reflection or planning; inability to resist temptation, frustrations, and urges; a lack of deliberation without considering the consequences; foolhardy, rash, unpredictable, erratic, and reckless.

1 point. He's not that good at controlling his urges, but most of the time he thinks his murders through, wraps the place in plastic and such...

15. Irresponsibility. Repeated failure to fulfill or honor obligations and commitments; such as not paying bills, defaulting on loans, performing sloppy work, being absent or late to work, failing to honor contractual agreements.

2 points. It always amazed me how he manages to be present at work so little and make Harrison's babysitters work extra hours.

16. Failure to Accept Responsibility for Own Actions. A failure to accept responsibility for one's actions reflected in low conscientiousness, an absence of dutifulness, antagonistic manipulation, denial of responsibility, and an effort to manipulate others through this denial.

1 point. Though he even invented "the dark passenger" to spare some guilt, when Rita was killed he said "It was me" and felt responsible for her death.

17. Many Short-Term Marital Relationships. A lack of commitment to a long-term relationship reflected in inconsistent, undependable, and unreliable commitments in life, including marital.

0 points. It was not the lack of commitment that made some of his relationships short. 
18. Juvenile Delinquency. Behavior problems between the ages of 13-18; mostly behaviors that are crimes or clearly involve aspects of antagonism, exploitation, aggression, manipulation, or a callous, ruthless tough-mindedness.

We know nothing about that period of time, but he probably was well-behaved. 0.

19. Revocation of Condition Release. A revocation of probation or other conditional release due to technical violations, such as carelessness, low deliberation, or failing to appear.

Never happened. 0 points

20. Criminal Versatility. A diversity of types of criminal offenses, regardless if the person has been arrested or convicted for them; taking great pride at getting away with crimes.

Two points. On top of murders he also commits fraud (forging lab results or hiding evidence), theft and invades homes.

So the total result is 20 points, which is higher than a completely normal person would score, but falls short of 10 points to call Dexter a psychopath. Too bad for Dr. Vogel, huh?

Jul 3, 2013

DEXTER (S08E01) - READY FOR GOODBYE (sort of recap)

The first episode of Dexter's final season aired last Sunday and in general I share the "meh" feeling expressed by my better half: it wasn't too exciting and frankly, not particularly promising, however, since I'm a big fan of the series, I naively hope for the best.

So Dexter's moved on with his live, like nothing happened, his son has finally reached the age when he can actually comprehend something, Quinn is fucking someone new (like in every other season!) and this time Angel's little sister is his babe, Batista himself returned to Miami Metro (who opens a restaurant in this economy anyway?), LaGuerta is turned into a concrete bench, and only Debra dived into a self-created version of hell, where she does cocaine along with the full range of other illegal substances, screws a criminal she's supposed to give in (oh yeah, she's a bounty hunter of some sort now) and avoids Dexter, who doesn't get why. "Because you made me compromise everything about myself that I care about. And I hate you for it", says she while shooing him away, when he finally tracks her down, concerned about her.

But it looks like deviant step-sister should be the least of Dex's concerns now, even though she said she should have shot him instead of Maria. Evelyn Vogel, a neuropsychiatrist specializing in psychopaths, who looks more like NBC's Hannibal Lector offered her help to Miami Metro in solving a new murder case (potentially, cases) - a body was found with part of the brain responsible for empathy scooped out. She takes particular interest in Dexter, asking him all sorts of uncomfortable questions about the Bay Harbor Butcher and such.

Don't they look alike?
To her disappointment, he doesn't get paranoid enough, as poor Deb occupies his thoughts. A hitman named El Sapo is after her "boyfriend" slash wanted guy Andrew Briggs, and she might get hurt. Together with Harrison Dexter gets to the Pink Motel to warn her, where he picks a fight with Briggs and consequently stabs him in front of his sister, which makes things even more awkward between the two siblings. "What'd you do? I felt OK around him!". Debra gives another speech about how open her eyes are now, sends him away and calls the police to tell them some lies about what happened. El Sapo watched her so I guess we'll see more of him in the upcoming episodes.

And finally, Dr. Vogel finds Dexter sitting on LaGuerta's bench the next day. He tries to avoid the conversation and then she gives hims the pictures he drew as a child (naturally, with loads of blood). When he presses her against the wall, she says he can't kill her "Because I don't fit Harry's code". Oh, God! She knows everything.

What can I say, there was definitely too much of Deb, and although Jennifer Carpenter doesn't have the gorgeous hair she had last season, which leaves jealousy out, it is still hard for me to like her character. She's too messed up. But I'm glad that Carpenter has finally got a chance to yell "I hate you!" at her ex-husband with no repercussions.

The main question of the episode is who the hell Evelyn Vogel really is. Was she the one who spotted Dexter's "dark passenger" when he was a kid and informed Harry about it? Was she the one who suggested to channel Dex's destructive energy?

The problem I have with Dr. Vogel is that she comes off as a more of a psychopath than Dexter (what could make her study psychopaths in the first place, huh?) To be completely frank, Dexter doesn't come as a psychopath at all, despite the fact that he numerously suggests so himself and that's the problem of this series. I understand that it was revolutionary at the time - following the life of a maniac  - but the maniac was lost along the way, what was left is a version of hero from the action movies in the nineties, portrayed by Stallone, Swartzeneger or Willis (I wonder if Dexter killed less guys within seven seasons than characters of those guys in a single movie).