Monday, December 17, 2007

Bone tingling finale

As the bones began to pile up during the second season finale for Dexter, there was one bone hiding in the background that I was looking for --- make that listening for. Composer Daniel Licht has been making bone tingling music for the series, but last night he was literally tingling bones -- using pre-Columbian instruments made from human and animal bones. Licht called upon musical-archaeologist Elisabeth Waldo, who allowed him to incorporate some of her prized instruments, made from a human femur bone. [Download - "Dexter Donuts" - mp3]

For those who've been listening as well as watching the series (check out the released soundtrack,) the music is quite familiar, with a marked scratchy percussion added, and without knowing the instrument was made of bone, you might not give it a second thought. It's a lot like Dexter himself, a familiar face to those around him, but he's also got that bone scraping hidden in his persona that only those familiar with it -- like Doakes and Lila -- would even notice. While last season it was his brother (The Ice Truck Killer) who let him get a glimpse of who he was, this season both Doakes and Lila got a real glimpse of the scraping bone, and it felt inevitable that they wouldn't live to tell anyone about it.

And the inevitable came to be without much of the twists and turns we come to expect from the Showtime series, which left me wanting a bit more. All loose ends were tied up and wrapped like a gift from some holiday mall kiosk -- a little too tidy for my taste. But it's hard to quarrel with the season as a whole, which gave us plenty to chew on this season. Dexter's interaction with an imprisoned Doakes not only delved further into both characters, but also made the viewer re-think about who he was rooting for. When the Bay Harbor Butcher was revealed as a killer of the worst of society, the public's reaction was a glimpse at ourselves. Many revere him as a hero, but the people Dex held closest (Deb, Rita) hold the butcher in the bitterest contempt.

While there was no "Born Free" music selection like last season's finale, Dex still seems born again at series end, hinting that he might be taking it up a notch next season, as he disavows his religion of the code of Harry. "My father might not approve, but I'm no longer his disciple. I'm my own master now." Juxtapose this against Dex's recognition that he cares for people -- Deb, Rita and the kids -- there's plenty of bone left to scratch for next season.

Dexter - Episode 2.12
1. "Donuts" - Daniel Licht [mp3] - An inappropriately happy Dex brings donuts into the office
2. "Peridia" - Perez Prado - Dex and Rita in post-coital embrace (might also be the Mambo All-Stars version)

Previously: A Summit at Altamont (Episode 2.05)

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