This review contains spoilers.
8.4 Scar Tissue
This week’s Dexter left me marginally happier than the last one, almost. The improvement almost exclusively revolved around the minor characters, which were more involving, and not just plain annoying. At last Vince gets a real scene, where the revelation of hitting on his own daughter even makes him sit back. I loved this, especially when it transpired that they both shared the same Elmer Fudd laugh. Okay, maybe the long-lost children plot is one that’s only introduced when a show has been running way too long, but it made me chuckle.
But the supporting players weren’t the meat of this sandwich. That was down to the remarkable recovery that Debra went through under the influence of Vogel. Even with the best will in the world, I can’t really accept that after just a few conversations, people in her state of disarray suddenly refuse a beer and become entirely rational. And, that when she discovered the truth about Harry’s death, that it didn’t flip her out more, but made her really calm and calculating.
I can accept that the screen time is limited, and so things need to be accelerated, but what really pissed me off was the ultimate scene where Debra and Dexter are in the car. It was obvious that something dramatic was coming, because Debra’s never been that amiable for the past seven seasons. Additionally, we also got the melodic meandering music, telling us something bad is about to happen.
I’ve watched the crash sequence numerous times on the DVR, and it makes no sense whatsoever. Debra’s seatbelt is positioned far too low to stop her head hitting the dash, and she doesn’t even end up with a nose bleed. Not one single airbag deploys (class action, just there), and the car sinks evenly despite one door being open. Dexter is knocked out, even if his seatbelt is properly positioned. It’s BS, from beginning to miserable end.
Then, just to prove that psychotherapy is bunk, Debra flips again and goes to save the person she just tried to kill. Please! Debra must now be the most flippable character in any show, ever. I’ll be surprised if she doesn’t try to strangle him when she gets him to shore. While the injection of drama was well overdue, the execution was entirely botched from beginning to end.
I also wasn’t keen on the nursing home scene either, because it’s entirely out of character for Dexter to come at his prey so frontally, and therefore the failure to capture this killer wasn’t much of a shock. As the teaser for the next Dexter reveals, it’s a setup for Vogel to become slightly more than theoretically involved.
Should we be worried yet? Probably.
With the way this season is working out, my spider-sense is tingling that all we’ve been presented so far is basically a distraction. It’s there to obscure a super-twist the writers want to launch, presumably something about Dexter that we were presented with from the outset that just isn’t true. The obvious choice for this is that the events in the container didn’t actually happen, and that Dexter’s mother didn’t die. Vogel says ‘Dexter was made in a container just like this one…’ to Debra. When she says ‘made’, was it an experiment to intentionally try and create a psychopath? Is Vogel his mother? She certainly acts that way on occasion. I’m shooting at the wind, I freely admit, but I’m confident that they’re set out to end the show by entirely undermining Dexter and his reason for killing.
Next week Dexter and Debs do counselling, like they’re the married couple she always wanted them to be. I’m hoping that from here Dexter‘s final season can become less disjointed, and focused, but given where we’ve been in the first third, I’m not that optimistic.
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