Dexter: 8.06 - A Little Reflection - Review
Last week, Dexter season 8 did something slightly odd - it, um, appeared to finish. Not the entire show, obviously, but many of the storylines which had been building for the first five episodes of the final season came to a close. Dexter had a happy ending, reunited with his sister and surrogate mother, The Brain Surgeon was dead (or at least, someone everyone thought was The Brain Surgeon) - time to move on?
So, with this sixth episode, what now? Can Deb deal with her boss's obvious crush on her? What will Dexter do about the serial-killing rich kid? Will Quinn make sergeant? Can Masuka make it work with his daughter? Will this final season start picking up tension anytime soon? Let's find out. Spoilers, etc.
The Return Of Cling Film
This episode marks the halfway mark of the season, and I swear to god, the Dexter writers need to stop making this show feel like it's just off for a brisk stroll. The show used to have more tension and foreboding than this - the overwhelming sense of this season is a brightness, quietness and general lack of stakes. Having said that, there are good signs here: Dexter finally does something of his own volition, rather than being Vogel's lackey!
The sequences of Dex stalking, befriending and aggressively cling-filming a killer have become so rare that it does feel refreshing to see it in full detail again, right down to the part where he has a physical near-miss with a member of Miami Metro. Just like the old days, only with a twist in the tail as he takes Zach on as an apprentice at the end. Will this be part of his undoing? Are they lining Zach up for a spin-off after Dexter concludes?
I must admit, the Zach character isn't quite working for me yet - actor Sam Underwood seems to be just playing it slightly blandly, rather than managing the tricky fake-blankness that Michael C. Hall has spent eight years mastering. Regardless, Dexter taking on a sidekick or accomplice almost never ends well - the best he's yet managed was Lumen in season 5, who merely broke his heart and left, rather than forcing him to kill her. It would be more of a twist if this one actually went well. Still, they're playing Zach as more a surrogate son for Dex, which is at least a slightly new concept.
Supporting Character Cavalcade
Elsewhere, Deb is flirting with her boss, Dexter fails to date his neighbour, Quinn doesn't get the sergeant gig, Masuka's daughter may not be after his money - none of these storylines are thrilling me, I'll admit, although I can see how Quinn's determination to prove himself by nailing Zach might play back into Dexter's storyline. It's a shame, as Deb's storyline was one of the best bits of the season to date, but it's all ground to a bit of a halt.
So, for the most part, this is another Dexter week where I'm sure it's all going somewhere in the future, and maybe that'll be good when it arrives, but they aren't really making the set-up that thrilling. Until the final scene, at least, where Hannah McKay shows up. Not that she did anything huge yet, but an unpredictable wildcard character is just what might get things moving around here. Or maybe she's just turning up now because she knows Dexter is ending, and wants to stake her own claim for that possible spin-off?
Well, I'll take what I can get.