Dexter: 8.07 - Dress Code
I was struggling already with the final Dexter season, and the return of Breaking Bad to the tellybox hasn't done them any favours. Want to see how a popular cable drama about an anti-hero concludes its run? Well, go and take a look over at the White household, they're doing a much better job so far. The first episode of the Breaking Bad final run built up more tension than Dexter has managed in seven episodes so far.
But we're not here to talk about Walter White, let's get back to Dexter Morgan. So, seventh week, and last year's love interest Hannah McKay is back! Last weeks episode was a bit dull, but at least had the promise of McKay stirring things up. Did she deliver? (Spoilers below.)
The Poisoner Strolls Into TownNo, not really.
I should probably write the rest of the review, tempting to leave it at that though. Basically, Hannah is not back to do anything related to Dexter, except driving him out of town and leaving him there for no adequately explained reason. She wants him to kill her new abusive husband, and they at least throw in a token explanation for why she doesn't simply do it herself, being a serial killer in her own right. Not a very convicing one, but anyway.
The whole Hannah storyline is basically an elaborate way to bring her back into play for the final five episodes, I suspect, and they could surely have done better. As it is, she might eventually do something interesting, but for now, they've made a fairly pedestrian and forgettable job of the set-up. You could say that about most things in this season, really.
The Zach Hamilton storyline might already have gone wrong, as he appears to have killed Cassie out of impatience. Since we don't see it on-screen, it probably wasn't really him. My personal bet is that it was Vogel framing Zach, poking Dexter to see what he does. The net result, of course, will be to intensify Quinn's obsession with getting Zach, which in turn will probably lead him to Dexter. We can see the route to the end coming into focus, even if it's not been well spruced up.
BloodPool Ending Predictions #1With five episodes left, it might be time to start taking a punt at the ending, so here's a prediction: as a result of the Zach/Vogel situation, Dexter is outed to Miami Metro, so he and Hannah flee together to live a glamourous life of serial killers abroad/on the run. A couple of major characters probably die in the process, maybe Deb if they really want to wring emotion out of us.
This would be an alright ending if they do it well, but part of me really wants to see Dexter face justice in a more substantial way. He's not just a stabby Batman, he's meant to be a genuinely creepy serial killer, even if we do see his point of view. It seems odd to have the story end with him just skipping off. Anyway, that hasn't actually happened yet, so is one thing I don't yet get to complain about. Probably a completely different prediction next week!
As a whole, though, I'll probably rank this episode above the last one, as a direction and higher stakes are starting to emerge, but still, this is a weirdly restrained walk for a final year. During its run, Dexter has used a combination of shock twists, creepy atmospherics, big acting and fun melodrama to distract us from the fact it's all a bit silly and over-convenient. If it doesn't do those things, if Dexter becomes boring, then the flaws become harder to blissfully ignore. I live in hope that it will pick up in the next five weeks and sweep me away towards the finale.