Dexter season 8 episode 7 review: Dress Code

Dexter suffers from its characteristic mid-season slump. Here's Billy's review of Dress Code...

This review contains spoilers.

8.6 Dress Code

The return of Hannah was always going to be awkward, but right from the start the writers of Dress Code seemed determined to make it as jarring as possible. Jennifer Carpenter is a great, great actress but the delivery of her line, ‘I was Hannah, wasn’t it?’ came straight from some seventies pit of TV desolation. I know Debs can be dopey at times, but not realising she’d been drugged seemed excessively silly even for her, but by the time this story had run its course, we’d have to accept all sorts of other craziness.

We’re asked to swallow that Hannah escaped from prison and then looked up super-rich obsessive Miles Foster, played by Brit-bad-guy-for-hire Julian Sands. I’m not a huge fan of Miles, but that never really became a major concern because he was an entirely disposable character. This whole episode was almost completely made up of pointless information and generally irrelevant events.

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The complexities of Hannah’s new relationship and her love of Dexter are juxtaposed. But as Miles is dead before the end, so much of this detail was superfluous. All the work that went into making the Cassie character as interesting as she was, also got flushed away rather rapidly, highlighting the very obvious issue with Zach that I mentioned last week. He’s a killer, plain and simple.

This all server to marginalise Vogel, whose only real purpose, was to show obvious glee that Debra and Dexter have issues again, over Hannah. I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that Harry might not have killed himself, and that Vogel made him go away because he was endangering her experiment with Dexter. Vogel was missed this week, and I can only hope she’s back with a vengeance in the next story.

As for Hannah, I’m having a hard time understanding her or the relationship with Dexter, possibly because I’m not a sociopath. It’s the way she moved from how Miles helped her when she was down and has ‘other talents’, before declaring that she wants Dexter to kill Miles for her. Something, it transpires, she’s totally capable of doing herself. Like the long-forgotten Lumen, Hannah’s another loose end in the Dexter diatribe that needs closing off in a permanent way. The only question that remains is will her exit be one of her own making, Dexter’s, Debra’s or Zach’s?

Talking of Zach; the speed at which he’s become a solvable problem is breathtaking. It was only last week that he was presented as the protégé, and now he’s a failed experiment. But oddly it’s a problem that Dexter is taking responsibility for rather than Vogel, curiously.

So what was the best and the worst of this week? While probably of no consequence to where we’re heading, the Vince scene where he goes to his daughter’s place of work to discover it’s a topless bar was generally hilarious. Especially the part where he put the menu up to hide her ‘daughter boobs’, classic Vince. But the best acting by far came from Sean Patrick Flanery as Elway, when he got nasty with self-absorbed Debs. That’s a character with a dark streak, and it’s someone she needs to be careful with. He’s probably going to try and attack her at some point, probably a fatal mistake.

The bottom of this Dexter barrel was undoubtedly how they glossed over getting Miles’ body off the boat without any of the crew noticing. Dexter also asked her to find tools to cut him up, but he was deposited in the ocean in one piece it appeared. Sloppy writing.

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Historically, the middle of the season hasn’t been a good time for Dexter, and this story didn’t break that mould. What it did do is set a few pieces on the board for the end, and it also confirmed to me that they’re not going to radically break from the previous seven seasons in this one.

I’m still waiting for the factual flip, where something we were told about Dexter early on and that all the characters who know him believe isn’t true. The only question is, will that bombshell land early and alter Dexter’s ultimate path or will they hold it for shock effect in the final story?

With only five more to go, we’ll know soon enough. 

Read Billy’s review of the previous episode, A Little Reflection, here.

Please, if you can, buy our charity horror stories ebook, Den Of Eek!, raising money for Geeks Vs Cancer. Details here.