Dexter: 8.08 - Are We There Yet?
Part of me wishes this final season of Dexter was more aggressively, comically terrible, to be honest. I'd be able to work with that, maybe get a head of angry steam up with these reviews. Instead, it insists on merely being mundane, dull and lifeless. Come on, guys. Try harder. If you're going to mess it up, go all the way.
So, this week we're finally at the two-thirds mark, and as the above may have hinted, this isn't going to be the one that saves the whole season. However, it does contain a few developments towards an ending, a little hint of things dovetailing. Does that make it any better? Spoilers below as ever.
"Your son is dead, sir. Please stop laughing."
This week, we get a segment in the middle in which Dexter forms an odd surrogate family with Vogel as his "mother", Hannah playing "wife" and Zach cosplaying "son", and they do a kill, bond a little, are bemused by crazy Aunt Deb, there's even some sequences with them playing up to their mock-relative roles and being fun. It's the least dull this show has been in a while, so of course, it lasts about fiteen minutes before Zach is killed and we feel only a small flicker of emotion, because he hasn't quite been built up enough for a real cry.
Not to mention, rather than mourn the death of his fake-son, our anti-hero decides this would be a great time to rush off to the dock and beg Hannah to stay. If you want us to feel bad about the loss of these relatively new characters, Dexter-chaps, it might help if the protagonist seemed to care?
It occurs to me that the creation and destruction of this pseudo-family might have been the central idea of this whole season, and if that's the case, they ought to have started it earlier, introduced Zach at the same time as Vogel, and made it feel more like a real plan, rather than a stop-starty mess.
Oh, and it's pretty heavily hinted that Vogel killed Zach, either because she was The Brain Surgeon all along, or she's imitating his methods to get a reaction from Dexter. This would be a very predictable twist, so hopefully there's more to come on that one. Can't they reveal that The Brain Surgeon is Angel, having finally snapped? That might be fun.
BloodPool Ending Predictions #2 - The Grim Continuation
Elsewhere, in the sad world of Miami Metro, Quinn continues to investigate Zach, which will maybe lead him to Dexter, Deb might rejoin the police, Masuka bonds further with his newfound daughter. It's odd that Masuka has one of the most consistent and interesting subplots this season. Forcing Vince to confront women as real people after years of being creepy works perfectly well. If this was his show rather than Dex's, this would be their best year yet.
However, it's also possible that his daughter will soon die to feed the overall storyline, as I can't think of many other ways to make it relevant, so best not to get too attached, readers. And in terms of broader ending predictions, I'm still hoping they don't finish on Dexter and Hannah running off together, but am losing hope by the week.
I will give the writers some credit though: this episode of Dexter engaged me more than the last couple, simply because it felt like the many plot elements are finally merging into some kind of conclusion, and the mock-family sequences did at least get some energy and jokes going between the cast. Yes, I'd rather have tension and drama, but you take what you get when lost in the desert. It's still one hell of a dull plod overall.