Dexter: This Little Piggy, Review
The seams are beginning to show on Dexter. We lose the Brain Surgeon and return to the status quo.
Five episodes in, and the seams start to show. As always, Dexter as a series can never figure out where to place its important moments or how to enjoy exploring depths of these situations. It always seems like climaxes in the storytelling happen so randomly and suddenly too. The effects of these big moments are never mined properly either, after dropping bombshells and changing the landscape of the show, Dexter always so easily returns to the status quo. Tonight’s episode highlighted these two flaws just too well.
First and foremost, AJ Yates, or the Brain Surgeon, is gone. Dexter shoved a stake through his body and now we are left without a surface layer antagonist. Honestly, the Brain Surgeon gimmick didn’t pan out nearly as well as I was hoping for. I was excited by the prospect of a new serial killer adversary but the show never really decided to make anything special out of Yates as a character, wasting all of his potential. It was almost if, right after introducing the character and his traits, the writers grew bored of him and couldn’t find anything for him to do. Yates’ scenes with Charlotte Rampling were a bit overacted and melodramatic, but the camera work was pretty interesting and made the scene memorable. Now we wait for a new villain to arise, I suppose, but the show doesn’t seem to interested in giving Dexter someone new to be frightened off.
The other big flaw, not being able to stick to its decisions or choices, was blaringly obvious this week. After having just tried to murder him in the last episode, Deb seems to forgive Dexter for everything about three minutes into the show. Once again, just like when Deb found out about Dexter, the writers make Deb act out of character and forgive Dexter all too easily. They couldn’t keep Deb horrified by Dexter just like how they now cannot keep her angry. Even though the more logical and possibly interesting direction would allow the two to continue their tension and separation, the writers decide to just return everything back to normal. Sometimes it would be nice to watch Dexter have to deal with some issues for longer than a minute. Besides having a son, losing his wife, and letting his sister in on his secret, Dexter just seems to be living the same life he’s always been living, after eight seasons. Where has the time gone?
The new direction the show seems to be heading is having Deb, Vogel, and Dex be some sort of bizarre family. With Yates gone, Vogel out of danger, and Deb beginning her “recovery,” it seems the show can head in any direction with its remaining eight episodes, and it feels strange saying that. In the final season, I was hoping we’d be building towards something, it shouldn’t feel like episode six could be the beginning of a new season.