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Dexter: Attention, Emmy Committee …

Can you see the acting?

We can't say we're loving this season, what with its predictable plotlines (this week Dexter finally concludes that he has to kill Miguel, an outcome which seemed obvious from the second time they met), familiar twists (Deb is making bad relationship decisions! Again!) and soporific overdose of Rita's wedding preparations (with all the dress fittings and catering talk, sometimes we have to double-check to make sure we're not watching WEtv). But ho boy, are we ever being treated to some tasty, grade-A acting.

We are quite serious when we advocate for Emmys for both Michael C. Hall and Jimmy Smits, and we'll even throw one in for the direction of John Dahl. (It's not often you notice directing style in series television, but Dahl consistently sneaks in impressively imaginative angles.) For proof, consider the rooftop scene between Miguel and Dexter, in which Miguel rants in what seems like a conscious wink to Denzel Washington's spittle-spewing in Training Day. "You've got the ring?" Miguel spits at Dexter, over his supposed piece of leverage. "I have City fucking Hall!" Then he adds, "I'll do what I want, when I want, to whomever I want!" Scary! And impressively grammatical!

All of which makes Hall's impassive restraint all the more delicious. As Miguel rants, he watches, eyebrows cocked like the Grinch, before bidding him adieu with a little palms-at-heart-center Namaste-yoga bow. Damn! Does anyone remember that this guy used to play timorous David Fisher on Six Feet Under?

The bad news is that there are two episodes left, so we're going to have to wait for Dexter's retribution on his onetime buddy. We're also going to have to worry that Yuki Amato might pop up again. (Though it seems like the producers have buried her, like Ellen Wolf.) LaGuerta looks about ready to finger Miguel for Ellen's murder, given that Miguel, despite Dexter's tutelage, turned out to be the worst murderer in history. (First I'll drive my truck to the crime scene. Then, after a witness has described said truck, I'll drive my truck to the house of the lead investigator on the case.)

We're also going to get a final face-off (maybe literally!) between the Skinner and Dexter, who got nabbed in this week's closing minute. Call us queasy, but this mano a mano serial-killer blood match feels a little too much like a Saw movie for our tastes. We can only hope Dexter dispatches the Skinner quickly. We don't want the same fate for Miguel, though — not before he gets to unleash at least one more scenery-chewing Emmy clip.

Photo: Courtesy of Showtime