Category Archives: TV

Dexter and Theology

If you haven’t seen the Showtime series Dexter… do. It’s about a forensic blood spatter expert working for Miami PD’s Homicide division who moonlights as a serial killer that tracks down other murderers. It’s a fantastic dramatic series, and it really makes you love a truly bad guy.

The new season has some seriously religious overtones to it. Dexter, who has never given a moment’s thought to religion, is trying to get his son into a good pre-school, which just happens to be a Catholic school, and has to deal with figuring out why people believe all this stuff. There’s also a ‘big bad’ serial killer going around using Biblical language and symbolism in his killings, apparently as a means of trying to bring about the Apocalypse in the book of Revelation.

Anyway… Eventually, at his high school reunion, Dexter tracks down a football player who killed his wife and made it look like a suicide, and plays with him in the usual Dexter style. Upon seeing that the killer has a tattoo of Jesus on his chest, the conversation turns to faith.

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I don’t get it.

The new TV series Falling Skies is all about a ragtag bunch of resistance fighters trying to turn the tide in a seemingly hopeless battle against an overwhelmingly powerful, vastly more advanced alien invading force. It has promise.

But they keep bringing religion into it.

There’s a single character who is constantly doing Goddy stuff. It’s pretty much her schtick. Whether it’s praying for the people who are missing or leading others in grace before a meal, it’s quickly becoming obvious that there won’t be a scene that she’s in where she’s not doing something God-related.

Here she is, facing the reality that the universe was not made especially for human beings, that there’s clearly nobody watching over humanity and keeping it safe, and yet she’s talking about how her heavenly father is watching out for them and crossing herself in prayer. Every day more people die or more kids are kidnapped and turned into mindless worker drones by the aliens, but here’s this girl deluding herself into thinking that the Big Guy’s up there watching out for them. She even admits that her prayers aren’t for anyone else – that they’re just to help her cope.

And she gets praised for it left and right! Why on earth would someone like this be treated as respectable in an apocalyptic battle for the survival of our species? What good could her superstitions possibly do?

Regardless, she’s a minor character so far, so it’s more of a weirdly out-of-place annoyance than a real cause for complaint. The show is a pretty decent bit of TV sci fi, and I just hope it doesn’t go the way of “V” before it, which also took a decidedly god-centered turn with the idea of the aliens trying to build a machine that could remove the human soul… and was canceled after two seasons because of terrible writing.