*There will be spoilers, so if you haven't watched all the seasons of DEXTER, you may not want to read this*
For the longest time, there were only those four seasons available on Netflix and since I don't have cable (I hardly watch TV), I decided to simply wait it out. When Netflix added seasons four through eight this past January, guess what I did? Yep, a non-stop DEXTER marathon. Yippee! So excited!
When I'd watched DEXTER when it first came out, years ago, I loved it. I loved the concept and it drew me in hook, line, and sinker. I loved how each episode ended, forcing me to stay up later than I usually would to watch the next episode in my cue.
But soon, something just started feeling off. I knew it had been quite some time since I'd last watched DEXTER, but a few things just didn't feel right. Was Dexter's internal dialogue not nearly as witty? Did the writers forget they needed to explain details and not leave things dangling and weird? It sure seemed so and with each season, it seemed to get worse and worse.
I'm just an average Jane, but when I start questioning things, you know there is a problem. I pretty much just go with the flow, but things kept popping up that made me crinkle my brow. And with each additional season, my brow became more and more furrowed. But I'm no quitter. Once I commit to something, I will follow it through to it's bitter bitter end. I'm that dedicated.
The woman above, Lumen (played by Julia Stiles) witnesses Dexter kill a man who is guilty of murdering women and stuffing them in barrels. Lumen was to be the next victim. This leaves Dexter in quite a weird predicament. She is the victim of kidnapping and gang rape and she asks Dexter for his help to kill the other men involved. That is pretty much the premises for this season, thought there are other plot lines as well. Anyhoo... Dexter tracks down one of the men (Cole Harmon), rents the hotel room next to the guy, so that he can use the adjoining door, pick the lock, drag Cole into his room at night and kill him. The picture above is the room prepared for the kill. But things don't go quite as planned... Cole brings a woman back to his room to stay the night, so the kill will have to take place at another time.
Then things go really bad. Cole sees Lumen in the hall, recognizes her, and goes chasing after her. Dexter is stuck at a convention meeting (run by a super famous well known motivational speaker, Jordan Chase in the same hotel and can't get out of it. Lumen runs back to the hotel room and locks the door, but Cole CRASHES (remember this) through the adjoining door and attacks Lumen. Of course, Dexter makes it back just in time to save her. They kill him, stuff his pieces into various suitcases and even put his head in a bowling ball bag. Everything is cleaned up, and no one is the wiser. Except (here we go), this man was the HEAD of the famous Jordan Chase security team. THE HEAD. The police and Jordan figure he must have taken off. No one knows where he is or how to find him. Is he dead? Is he alive? Who knows?
How about this, folks--DIDN'T ANYONE NOTICE THE BUSTED ADJOINING DOOR? There is no way Dexter could have fixed that, and the writers of the show never even bring it up. Under normal circumstances, the police (who are also looking into Cole as a suspect for something else), would have noticed the busted hotel door and THEN checked into who rented the room next to Cole's. They would have seen it was Dexter, their very own blood guy, and maybe questioned him. THAT'S WHAT GOOD POLICE PEOPLE DO. Except, the writers of the show leave the whole detail of the door unexplained. No. No. No.
But things get even worse in season six.
I will try and make this short and quick. There is a religious nut job going around killing people and staging the deaths to look like scenes from the end of days--plagues, angles, four horsemen, locusts, etc.. They need to catch this crazy person. Dexter actually happens to find the crazy guy, but the crazy guy says he is only a puppet for the even crazier professor who believes that by reenacting the signs of the last days, then the end will come. Dexter, in his wisdom, believes Travis is innocent, sets him free, and decides to use him to lure in and capture the professor. Sounds okay, right? Let the little fish go to catch the bigger meaner fish? This mad professor is on the loose, killing people in HORRIBLE ways, the police are investigating as well, but Dexter is throwing them off the lead where ever he can. He WANTS the professor for himself. Okay, I'm on board with that.
But then Dexter decides to leave town and drive SEVERAL states away to go and look into the Trilogy Killer (season four) who seems to have returned to terrorize and kill members of the Trilogy Killer's own family, leaving only the son alive. There's one problem, Dexter already killed the Trinity Killer. There is no way the Trilogy Killer returned and killed family members. It has to be the son, and Dexter is off to find out if that is true and to kill the boy if it is. He is gone for like FOUR days! Yeah, four! What about the Doomsday Killer he left behind? Did he not worry that the professor would kill someone else while he was away? The whole "need" for the Trinity Killer subplot was ridiculous and unneeded. Filler and a waste of time, plus it makes the show look stupid, especially where Dexter let Travis go so he could then go after the professor. That's a lot of time where something bad could have happened. Fortunately, nothing did. How about that? Dexter can track several killers, in different states, all at once! What a hero! Yeah, no.
THEN, to top off the whole craziness of the show, Deb (Dexter's adoptive sister) finally admits to a shrink that she just may be in love with her brother! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Why do this? Yuck! Nasty! I really hated this "twist" and wished they'd never done it. I can see a bit why they felt it necessary--to lead up to one of the final scenes and into next season--but NOOOOOOOOOOOO! This was probably the season where I should have stopped (really, I should have stopped after season five, but since I didn't I should have stopped with season six... but no. I watched on. Like I said, I'm not a quitter).
Season seven is about Deb trying to come to terms with knowing who and what Dexter is. Dexter also falls in love with another serial killer, and this is REALLY where the entire show falls apart. Falling in love changed Dexter in a horrible way. The show became dumb, and the writing even dumber. Did they get new writers? Did the Dexter books fall to pieces like the show did? What happened? The witty internal narrative Dexter always had became stilted and forced. I never truly believed in the love story between Dexter and Hannah. I hated it. My opinion, I agree, but it just made the whole thing less "fun" for me, if you will. Season seven was a waste, but I had to watch it to get to season eight and the big finale.
So season eight, huh? Stop right here if you do not want to know or have yet to see the ending. Seriously. I'm about to spill all.
Every show needs to have its ending. I had hoped for Dexter to go out with a real big bang! So exciting!
But after only a couple of episodes (actually, it started feeling like this show had no intention of going out with a bang by the end of episode one) I could tell this was probably going to be the shows worst season. Sure enough, it was. Did anyone notice that in 6 months (the show actually says it's only been 6 months since LaGuerta's) and Harrison aged from like two years old to like four? Many shows do this, I know, but it has never sat well with me. The kid was HUGE!
Then lets not forget how fast Deb seemed to recover from being a "I'm in love with my brother who killed a LeGuerda and now must drown my sorrows with drugs, beer, and stupid sex with dangerous men." Yes, she went a little weird (I didn't much care for it at all--though, I'm not exactly sure what kind of direction she should have gone after having experienced everything she did). But she sure jumped back into "normal" quicker than she probably should have.
Then we introduce characters just so they can be killed off--Cassie and Zach. It happens so quickly that as a viewer, we don't even have time to care about these little side characters. Their deaths are boring, to say the least. The whole season feels like it is on slow-mo. It just goes on and on and on... Then they bring back Hannah (oh, yay *sarcastic*) and everything goes downhill from there. Dexter is in love, he feels like he might be changing, ya-da, ya-da-ya-da.
There's the whole plot of the Brain Surgeon and Dexter's "spiritual mother." We even think that Deb and Quinn will get back together (I was hoping for this). I like happy endings, but if I can't have a happy ending, then at least make it GOOD. How hard can that be? Apparently, it is very very hard to do.
Season eight of Dexter left me angry. I had invested a lot of time (a lot) in these characters and to have it end in the way it did made me want to sue somebody to get my wasted time back but I settled on shaking my fist in the air and writing this blog.
Let me point out a few things:
-There were so many subplots that were absolutely unnecessary--Masuka's daughter and Quinn being passed up for a promotion. What was the point? Basically, it was just giving these characters something to do.
-Did anyone else hope that the shrink/ "spiritual mother" of Dexter's was the Brain Surgeon? Man, I was really, really hoping she was the ultimate killer. When it looked like she wasn't going to be it, I was completely bummed. Here was a missed opportunity to draw me back in.
- Hannah is a wanted woman, yet she comes back to Miami anyway and she doesn't even dye her hair or anything? Yeah, that seems smart. Let's just walk around town like I always have, with my face plastered on every news channel and in every wanted poster there is. Dumb.
-Did no one notice that the machines keeping a Deb alive were no longer working? Where were the nurses? Sure, there's a hurricane coming, but nurses don't leave critical patients. They don't. But apparently in this show they do. Because Dexter was able to unhook her, load her on a gurney, and then wheel her out of the hospital to his dock, where he carried her dead body onto his boat. Not to mention there is a HUGE hurricane in the distance. Wouldn't some sort of boat control say, "Get your boat out of the water! It's not safe here! You can't be here! Here's a ticket, you dumb butt." And what about the ambulance/hospital people lulling about in the parking lot. Shouldn't someone have said, "Hey, where you going with that patient all covered up?"
-Now let's not forget about Harrison. Deb is dead. Dexter is dead (they show Hannah reading his obituary/memorial in the paper while she is in Argentina with the little boy). Doesn't ANYONE wonder where Harrison is? What about the nanny? What about the Miami Metro friends of Dexter's? Wouldn't anyone wonder what happened to a four year old boy? Nope. Or if they do, we don't get to see that. Apparently, Hannah, who is a well-known serial killer, is the perfect person to parent a little boy and the story line should end there.
-At this point, I just want Dexter to be dead. For him to walk away from his son is unforgivable. No matter how bad he thinks he is. So when they show him in some far off place like Alaska, all alone, and hairy, I could really care less. What I wanted to have happen, was for him to walk up to Hannah and Harrison in Argentina--a new life. Maybe even show him killing a bad dude down in Argentina, letting us know it isn't over, just that he moved location. As far as Alaska goes and hairy Dexter, I'm disappointed. It was SO unsatisfying that I didn't even care he was still living.
There is more, far more, to this season that just ticked me off, but look at how huge this blog post has become. I will stop my rant now. But I will say this, Dexter in the beginning had some amazing characters and some amazing plots and story lines. I simply wish it would have ended in a big bang, something amazing and worthy of the cast, not to mention all the faithful viewers out there who deserved more.There were so many ways this show could have ended, but instead it went out in a whimper and couldn't have been a less satisfying ending then that of LOST or ALIAS. You wouldn't think anything could get worse than those, but DEXTER succeeded in doing just that.
What did you think? Did you love the finale or did you loathe it too? Let me know. Leave a comment and let me know you stopped by. Remember, one lucky commenter a month will be sent a prize, and could be you. Comment for your chance to win bookmarks, zombie t-shirts, books, or gift cards.
2/6/2014 03:31:33 am
I agree with every bit of this, they took something beautiful and killed it!
2/6/2014 04:02:21 am
Did anyone else hope that the shrink/ "spiritual mother" of Dexter's was the Brain Surgeon? I didn't hope for it, necessarily, but I certainly thought it. Either the actress or the director made the character appear as if her clinical mind couldn't process emotion, which is why she found Dexter's new-found feelings for his sister to be almost abnormal for a sociopathic serial killer. The woman would have made a perfect villain, and I was so sure she was the one doing all the "brain surgery." What better way to delve into a mind than to dissect the brain? But it wasn't to be. The fact that she'd abandoned one son to give all her attention to Dexter was wrong on so many levels. She had her own little psychopath to work on, why ignore him so completely to mess with a cop's wounded kid. Yeah, the show had a lot of pitfalls, but I didn't catch the busted door until you pointed it out here. Then again, I watched the episodes while doing other things (multi-tasking). I did find it interesting that Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter, who were married in real life, didn't have anything but brotherly/sisterly affection for each other until after they were separated (December 2010) and divorced (2011) when Deb slowly realizes she's in love with Dexter. I'd also read that Hall was diagnosed with a form of Hodgkin's Lymphoma in January 2010, but by the end of April he was reported to be in full remission. Even so, I thought there was something off about his wig/hair in season five. Could be my imagination. I'd have to say that season four with John Lithgow's Trinity Killer was one of my favorites. I wanted to see how Dexter dealt with Rita's death, so I was really looking forward to season five, but was puzzled with the way Dexter's character changed once he met Lumen and started to develop "feelings". Season six with it's revelation murders was interesting, seven and Hannah had it's moments, but eight.... I think if I started watching the show again from the beginning, I'd stop with season four. After Rita died, Dexter's character slowly changed in a way that had me scratching my head with confusion, though I'm still reading the books.
2/28/2014 01:06:35 am
I don't watch the show, but loved this blog because I love your commentary lol :)
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