This review contains spoilers.
5.8 Take It!
I’ve hurled plenty of superlatives at this show, and at this rate I’ll be done with the English language and be forced to extol it in Greek or Blackfoot.
Take It! was a complete and total experience from beginning to end. After I’d watched it, I tried to fuse in my mind those parts I most liked, but eventually concluded that it was great, throughout and ought to be considered in the whole. However, I need to talk about it more specifically, so I’ll break it down.
Dexter works best when it’s not overly complicated, and in this series they’ve kept the subplots under control. There’s a main plot involving Dexter and Lumen hunting those who abducted and abused her, and alongside which we have Liddy’s investigation of Dexter and the Santa Muerte case.
Both the minor plots had some good development, but neither ousted the main show. And what a show it was.
What I especially enjoyed was the opening sequence where Dexter infiltrates a Jordan Chase convention, which really served to give Jonny Lee Miller a chance to put some depth into this season’s real nemesis. He’s projected as a disturbing combination of marketing guru, evangelist and motivational speaker. The clever part is that they sell the notion that Jordan Chase is obviously a very dangerous person, but without doing anything especially bad to anyone.
I’d like to talk about the three pivotal events that pushed Take It! above the normally very high standards that Dexter normally achieves.
The first was how the killing of Cole gets entirely sidetracked in a totally unexpected way, which brought Lumen and Dexter even closer together.
Dexter has had a number of watch-through-your-fingers moments, but when he’s pulled up on stage while trying to intercept Cole it was a moment of tension of which Brian De Palma would be proud. The subsequent chase and then delivery moment for Lumen served to develop her persona in a new and subtle way. She’s smart, clever enough to work out that Dexter’s an expert through experience, but she’s also rationalised that he’s the only person who can help her now.
The second important moment is the argument between Debra and Maria. I’m happy to admit that in the earlier Dexter seasons, I wasn’t a big fan of Debra, as she was filled with excessive amounts of self-doubt. But in this one scene, and a couple of minor ones later, she emerges fully from that chrysalis and tells Maria exactly how it really is.
I’m not sure if Batista will really back her when it comes to it, but she’s really evolved in the past couple of seasons. Her conversation with Dexter about killing people was also very revealing, as the impression was given that if Dexter had told her who he really is, she’d have been cool with it, amazingly.
Then, having taken us on a skilfully constructed theme park ride, they couldn’t resist throwing a real spanner in the works in the final frames. Liddy gets some very compromising photos of Dexter and Lumen out on The Slice Of Life, dumping Cole’s remains. If Joey didn’t regret employing Liddy already, it looks like he’s going to do so very soon, along with Dexter and Lumen. The trailer for next week only made things worse for the viewer, as by now I was desperate to find out precisely what happens next.
Manny Coto and Wendy West, both executive producers on the show, who also wrote this episode, should be congratulated. Take It! glided effortlessly from control to chaos, calm to rage, passion to plateau with peerless fluidity. Anyone wanting to see how a TV series should be done need look no further. Stunning.
Read our review of episode 7, Circle Us, here.
Follow Den Of Geek on Twitter right here.