This review contains spoilers.
7.10 The Dark… Whatever
When they killed off Isaak last week I got a bad, bad feeling, and in some respects The Dark…Whatever reinforced some of that concern. But before I talk about what was wrong here, there were some excellent parts too, most notably Hannah’s father, played by the superb Jim Beaver.
In many ways the introduction of this character for one episode only, was purely to give Hannah a more fleshed-out backstory, explaining who she was and where she’d come from. Her initial reaction to him seemed odd, and when characters recount things that happened to them in their childhood, you’re never utterly convinced they happened. But as the story progressed you realised that Clint was all the things that Hannah described and more.
The only downside to this is it tied into a very extreme turn in the Dexter profile, where seemingly spontaneously they decided, after nearly seven seasons, that the Dark Passenger just didn’t exist. I don’t really buy this entirely, because I see Harry as the Light Passenger, and he’s still around. That Dexter takes responsibility for what he does is interesting, but the idea of the passenger has been a supporting pillar of the character from the outset, and it was despatched quicker than one of his victims.
What it did achieve was to allow Dexter to break the code, which is now more of a guideline we can assume, and kill Clint, who while obnoxious, wasn’t a killer. Actually, by the time that part of the story came along, Jim Beaver had done such a good job on making Clint completely without redemption, that I’d entirely forgotten the ‘code’ and just wanted him dead.
But after Dexter came back to Hannah and told her Clint wasn’t coming back (and she knew why, surely) I kept thinking back to Randall’s final words about Hannah, where he said, ‘She just thinks I’m a killer’. Is that what Hannah does, takes the supernatural element out of what they do and exposes them to the cold hard reality of what they’ve done? She’s the mirror that they look into and see their true self. Maybe.
I’d hoped that Dexter would catch up with George Novikov, but it was Joey Quinn who shot him, probably not before time. What’s the money that George’s office has a hidden camera, recording what really happened? Even if he didn’t, I can’t see the Brotherhood are going to take well to the number of their order who have died in Miami recently.
What I wasn’t a fan of was the arsonist story, with its rather obvious candidate that wasn’t the killer. This got wrapped up too quickly, and the scene where Dexter was about to kill him when the cops arrived, and somehow reorganised the kill room in about thirty seconds. That was a stretch, but surely the kid will say what really happened when they interview him? And, Dexter’s DNA would be in the fire suite to support that.
Those are possible directions, but a certainty is that LaGuerta and Mathews are putting the jigsaw pieces together that reveal Dexter as the Bay Harbor Butcher. The only catch I can see is that everything, with the possible exception of the blood slide, is circumstantial. They don’t have one item that directly ties Dexter to any killing, enough to make an arrest. But the longer this goes on, the more likely it is they’ll find something.
Despite the great Jim Beaver appearance, and the progressions in both character and plots, I couldn’t help feeling that Dexter was winding down and not up, as it should be with two episodes to go this season.
Unless something very dramatic happens in the next story, it’s looking increasingly likely that the transition into the final Dexter season will be a smooth one. Yet, I can’t accept that they won’t throw a massive cliff-hanger in at the end to make sure people are tuned in next fall for the final instalments.
Read Billy’s review of the previous episode, Helter-Skelter, here.
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