This review contains spoilers.
6.11 Talk to the Hand
Dexter works much better when things start moving at a brisk pace, and after a few slow stories the narrative certainly shifted up a gear or two this week, as we approach the end of the season.
First, though, a complaint. They are showing way, way too much in the trailers for the next episode – any mystery about to what might happen to Angel was blown just seconds after he was knocked out, because we saw him free in the trailer. They also gave too much away this week, but I’m hoping they’ve left a few surprises for us in the finale.
I can say this because the really shocking stuff that happened this week wasn’t in the trailer, even if it spilled the show’s guts in other respects.
What I did enjoy was the neat tension ramp in respect of the gas attack, where Travis’ minion takes her backpack of wrath downtown in the hope of giving it to Debra in person. That Dexter stopped this was entirely accidental, because in this season he’s spent so little time in his office doing any work that his presence was a fluke. That and him seeing the picture of the attacker just as she walked in there was probably a coincidence too far, but it made for a dramatic moment. But it wasn’t the gas attack that blew me away in this story – it was what that ultimately triggered off, in respect of Debra.
People being dismembered I can cope with, but the incest dream sequence entirely creeped me out – this wasn’t a direction I was expecting this show to take, ever.
There’s also an oddness to this, because Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C Hall were divorced almost exactly a year ago. I’d have loved to have been a fly on the wall when they told these two actors what they had planned for their characters.
But back to their fictional counterparts. I’ve got a very sneaky feeling that Debra’s being intentionally manipulated by the psychologist, and would La Guerta have anything to do with that, perhaps? The writers have definitely decided to make her a force for evil, as she’s now without any redemption whatsoever. Why Mathews went to Debra and not her seems rather odd, but I’m sure we’ll get an explanation at some point.
The only other real problem I had with Talk To The Hand was that Dexter’s decision not to seek medical advice after being overcome by poison gas gave Travis the only chance he actually had, which was a little lame.
When the medic announced that he might get dizzy, you knew that Dexter would have exactly that happen at the most inappropriate moment – like the whole Gellar debacle, it was written in 12 foot-high neon.
What does this now leave us with for the final Dexter of this year? Louis sending Dexter a very odd message about old dead serial killers, Debra entirely losing her mind, Harrison and Jamie in the firing line, Dexter with a seven mile ocean swim to shore and mad old Travis trying to initiate judgement day.
It’s either going to be a sequence of brilliance that resurrects the rather clunky and telegraphed path that season six has so far trodden, or it’s going to be a narrative mess where major characters die for little reason. My money is on Joey taking one for the team, because he’s mostly useless, but with the exception of Dexter himself, everyone else is a potential meat-wall here.
I guess we’ll know this Sunday.
You can read our review of episode ten, Ricochet Rabbit, here.