For tonight’s review Shana Lieberman (@evilapprentice) and I have decided to run a short roundtable… because there were just too many feelings for one of us to cover this confused episode. Don’t forget to follow me at @BlaireLovesTV!
JOINT RATING: 6.66
Tonight I am sharing the review with Shana Lieberman who, like me, is both a Dexter superfan, but also a severely disappointed fangirl. It’s a very difficult position to be in as a fan, to be in love with a series and a specific set of characters, yet be so disappointed with others.
Shana and I can both list our grievances over Hannah McKay, but perhaps we ought to start from the top.
Dexter the character has been a confusing pile of emotions in the last two seasons, and I have to say that I’m a little bit fed up with him entirely. He’s screwed everyone he’s ever claimed to care for, and he even had the nerve to invoke the name of television’s most beautiful angel, Rita, this evening. How are you feeling about the deviation from the titular character, Shana?
My biggest problem with the Dexter character is that he seemed to have been on this journey to becoming more “human” over the last 7 seasons, and now he’s taken a MAJOR slide backwards. I keep thinking “if I could have feelings at all, I’d have them for Deb.” Ok, you are obviously now capable of having feelings, but you obviously don’t give a damn about Deb because your decisions constantly put her in harm’s way, ask her to jeopardize who she is, and basically don’t consider her at all. So, which is it? Is Dexter taking a huge step forward to being able to have feelings or not? And if he is, then how is it possible that he’s not capable of having feelings for the ONE PERSON he thought he could care about years ago?
That’s definitely one of my biggest beefs with the Dexter character as well. I do not understand his ability to entirely dismiss Deb and constantly put her in harms way and go out of his way to disturb her well-being. She’s his sister, and we spent almost all of last season and the beginning of this season dealing with the fact that she cannot leave his life… but I guess that was only if it wasn’t under his own terms, because his departure to Argentina is also a departure from Deb.
Which brings me to Deb: So, does she have the biggest case of Stockholm syndrome or the least amount of self-esteem in the world? Right now I can’t tell which is a more accurate descriptor, but the Deb I have always loved and known would never have allowed herself to hide a fugitive under any circumstances. I don’t quite buy that she’s being so self flagellate that she would risk all sense of self-preservation, but more importantly her sense of right and wrong… but then again, I’ve never killed anyone. How are you feeling about Deb, Shana?
Oh, Deb. My poor, poor Deb. I don’t even…I just, I don’t know. She was so utterly broken at the beginning of the season, and while she seems to be getting better (no thanks to Dexter), there’s still something utterly wrong with her. The fact that she’s hiding Hannah makes absolutely no sense to me. When she shot Laguerta, it was to protect Dexter’s secret and keep him off death row. That made some sort of twisted sense, but harboring a fugitive? And one that has POISONED HER TWICE at that? I don’t understand it. I wish I had answers, but I absolutely do not.
I also do not have answers to why the writers felt the need to bring in Dr. Vogel and Masuka’s daughters as characters. We seem to be “dealing with an unexpected back story and a preponderance of exposition,” which means that the Dexter writers have watched Scream 3 one too many times and think they are writing the concluding chapter to a horror trilogy in Dexter’s final season. Thoughts?
In this battleground season we’re meant to pick sides. It’s probably fair to say that most of the fans resisted Vogel as Dexter’s “spiritual mother”, and for good reason. That doesn’t fit into the mind of a serial killer as has been established by the show creators in the slightest, especially Dexter’s ability to be affectionate toward the damn woman. At this moment the only sides to choose from are an unimportant Federal Marshall and Dexter. Saxon was never an option, and Deb, Hannah, and Harrison only fall on the side of Dexter by the design of the series. To wish for Dexter’s capture is now to wish for Deb’s demise, and the Miami PD are simply too daft to realize what’s been happening in the last 8 years. Masuka’s daughter is clearly simply a way to give an under utilized character a purpose, but it’s also an unnecessary move. The only reason I see her meaning anything to the series is that she accidentally becomes the key witness in a crime that Dexter commits and inadvertently makes Masuka the hero of the series. Since I don’t see that happening, she’s clearly just a plot device.
Speaking of plot devices, let’s talk about Harrison’s accident.
Yes, let’s! Dexter runs off to set up a kill room instead of, you know, actually taking care of his kid. He leaves said kid with a wanted fugitive and fellow serial killer who has zero knowledge about children. Unsurprisingly, Harrison has a treadmill accident (hilarious considering you wanted HANNAH to have a treadmill accident and die), and Hannah takes time to call Dexter BEFORE taking him to the hospital. All of this is a cheap way to get Hannah to be recognized by someone in public (because, you know, she can’t be recognized and turned in at any other point when she leaves the shelter of Deb’s obstruction of justice), and we add salt the Deb wound by having the awful woman use Deb’s name when signing Harrison in. Was there seriously no better way to make the bumbling excuse for a US Marshall realize Hannah was still in town? None at all?
I completely agree, and am deeply saddened by the way it all went down. I’ve seen enough Harrison-covered-in-blood to last a lifetime, and I didn’t need to see this poor child actor being rushed to the emergency room by a bumbling and witless Hannah McKay. I would have much rather been witness to a scene in which Hannah is simply in an entirely other room when Harrison takes his fall, rather than her hapless attempt to tell a small child to stop doing something. Small children don’t listen to words and their curiosity nearly always gets the better of them.
I felt as though Hannah watching Harrison and Deb playing at the beach was a rather opportune time for the Marshall to see Hannah at Deb’s house, but no… She conveniently had walked away by the time he may have seen her. Convenient…
SPOILER: Shana, this entire episode was a complete mess, and we haven’t even talked about the death of Vogel. Do you also feel like this whole Daniel plot line just came out of nowhere? How many different plots will we have to tie up by the end of this series? Has Dexter become True Blood?
I don’t have the same level of rage for Dexter as I do for True Blood, so thankfully, it hasn’t gotten quite THAT bad yet. I definitely feel like the Daniel thing came out of nowhere, and I think it was an utter waste of time. All it really did was find a way for someone other than Dexter to kill Vogel, which is a million times less satisfying than if he had realized just how badly she f-ed up on his case and killed her out of vengeance. That’s what I really wanted as a way to save the season after this character was introduced: Dexter realizes what an utter quack Vogel is, realizes that he didn’t HAVE to go down this path, and kills her bloodily as his last kill ever. But no. Of course not.
Because this is Dexter and ever since season 4 the character has had to face complete and utterly messed up situations in every finale. Classic Dexter has been gone for a long time now. We no longer have a satisfying kill at the end of every season; instead we are faced with plot twists and emotional grabs in the form of cheap cliffhangers.
Any closing statements?
The promo for the last two episodes that aired tonight looks promising. I really hope that this final season of Dexter gets turned around so that it goes out with a bang instead of a whimper. It would be an absolute shame for what was once one of the best shows on TV to end badly.
I completely agree. This used to be one of the best written shows on television, but I suppose with time comes sensationalism… and Dexter was never immune to these tactics.