At the very beginning of tonight’s episode, after hearing about Dexter’s plan to move away to Argentina with Hannah, (essentially the end game for the series) Debra Morgan responds with, “do you know how stupid that sounds?” Couldn’t agree more, Deb. After following this series for eight seasons, I’m dismayed to learn that this is the only ending that the Dexter writing team could come up with.
These final episodes are full of dramatic moments but they involve characters we’ve only just met and therefore are not too emotionally attached to. Saxon, the Brain Surgeon, is shaping up to be more interesting then I previously thought, but still, he’s no Big Bad like we’ve had in the past, and before tonight’s ending (which we’ll get to in a minute) there’s no real reason why Dexter has to take him down. Sure, he spouts off some crap about wondering how many more innocent people will be killed, but what does Dexter Morgan care? He watched Doakes, an innocent man, die. He watched LaGuertta, an innocent woman, die. Never once does he show guilt or remorse. He rarely even acts like their deaths weigh on his mind at all. Sure, he’s a psycho and this is part of his character, but then why does he care so much about innocents one minute, but not at all the next?
Characterization is something this show has never been good at. Vogel starts the season as smart, savvy, and a bit intimidating, but now she’s a wide-eyed lamb with half a brain putting her in way too much danger. The tonal shift has hurt the season. Vogel isn’t half as exciting or dynamic as she was when she arrived on the scene.
Did we need Jamie and Quinn to have a long, drawn out relationship to find out that he Debra still had feelings for each other? And what about the sexual tension with Elway, and hell, even Dexter? Was that all for nothing? Why after having no meaningful action the entire series does Masuka need a daughter? Why do we get a 30 second scene where he lectures her on pot? It’s just pointless filler in what should be an epic conclusion.
There were some OK scenes, mostly the ones between Saxon and his mother. Saxon’s plea for his mother’s help was heartfelt and made me half-care about the murderer’s plight, but not enough. Still, at least there was some decent acting and it was nice for once to have a humanization of this boring villain.
The US Marshal after Hannah McKay is sort of interesting, I suppose, though I don’t really care what happens to Hannah. Her storyline, no one’s storyline, can get my attention anymore other than Dexter’s, which is sad when you realize how good other shows like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones are about making you care about smaller roles. If anything, it will be sad if a random US Marshal is the man to bring Dexter down after he’s tangled with so many other meaningful adversaries.
And last but not least; the cliffhanger. Dr. Vogel’s throat was slit in the eleventh hour, which isn’t as surprising as it should have been. If anything, I was just waiting to see what the cliffhanger would be, and I sort of guessed that this could have been it. Dexter did seem devastated at her loss, and at least he now has real motivation to make him want to stay and kill Saxon, but like I said earlier, it’s just the demise of a character that we’ve only just met, so it really doesn’t mean a whole lot. Maybe I’ve just lost faith in this show, but can you blame me?