Dexter: 8.09 - Make Your Own Kind Of Music
The annoying part is, after enjoying last season, I was looking forward to the final season of Dexter. Now that it's here, I'm confused by just how boring they've managed to be for a final season. I miss the Deb plot from the first five weeks, at least it commanded some emotion. With that gone, I'm struggling to even maintain interest. I mean, even soft-touch left-wing newspaper the Guardian is sick of the current season, so what chance do I have?
Oh well. Let's play the hand we've been dealt. Spoilers follow.
Two Bad ListsThe good news is that we do see real movement towards a conclusion here - there are clear ways the current storylines might end the show. The bad news is... well, I may need a list. Firstly, it doesn't look like a very good ending. Secondly, there might be plot movement but still little momentum or tension. Thirdly, much of said plot is happening to other characters, which is probably the worst part of all. Thanks to the writers not really selling Vogel or Zach as crucial parts of Dexter's world, they've ended up concluding with a storyline that seems like it barely matters.
For those who haven't seen it but read these reviews to see how bad it's gotten, here's the spoiler: The Brain Surgeon turns out to be Vogel's long lost son, not mentioned until now. Dexter sets about trying to kill him, as TBS poses a threat to both himself and Vogel. This would've been a fair plot point to hit about four episodes ago, but as we move into the final weeks ever, it would be nice to have something that feels a bit more personal to Dex himself.
Where is the risk of exposure? The tangible threat? The sense that he's facing an enemy who is genuinely scary and has emotional resonance with him? Yes, Oliver Saxon The Brain Surgeon does a reasonable crazy stare, but so far his nastiest moment in-person has been slashing some tyres just off-screen. Here's another list: Brain Surgeon Candidates Who Might've Been Better.
- Quinn finally flips and goes on a lobotomising spree.
- Lumen returns, not as back-to-normal as she seemed in season 5, and starts scooping brains
- Doakes or the Ice Truck Killer return from the dead and start blobbing out grey matter
- At the very least, make it a long-lost relative/associate of Dexter rather than Vogel
Doakes Returns, Sewn Back Together Like Frankenstein's Monster!!!Some of those would have required set-up and a connection to Vogel, not to mention bringing back Doakes or Brian Moser would've been ridiculous, I know, but all of them would've at least felt like an appropriate final-season-of-Dexter threat. Rather than feeling like the writers suddenly got cancelled during a middle-of-the-run season and had to improvise.
Oh, and in terms of ending the show, Hannah is planning to run away with Dexter, thus bring my least favourite ending prediction to life. The only consolation here is that because they've announced this so far in advance, it's probable that they'll now swerve away from it. We can only hope. The Hannah scenes here serve their purpose of teasing a happy ending with her, but I'm not convinced she particularly resembles the character as introduced last year. Oh well.
One optimistic moment: now the writers have lined up a clear villain, they can turn up the dangerous tension as he and Dexter properly face off. If the final few episodes of Dexter can't be a proper pay-off, they could at least be fast, loud and messy? You never know. For now, another episode slowly moving pieces about.