Through three episodes of Dexter this season, it feels as though I'm watching three different shows.
In the first, Debra Morgan is the new, young, driven police lieutenant who fights with her ex-boyfriend and struggles to both please her boss and remain independent from her boss. I actually find myself enjoying this angle, as LaGuerta just sucks and I'm rooting for Deb to show her up.
In the second, two shady characters are obsessed with religion in some dangerously fanatical manner. One is a professor, the other his loyal, yet somewhat hesitant student/protege and, together, they take extreme measures to... re-create deaths from the bible? Issue a warning of the coming Apocalypse?
It's unclear at the moment, but that final image was certainly haunting and I remain a fan of both Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos. Their storyline just feels a bit heavy-handed so far.
Finally, in the third, we have our damaged hero. Dexter's arc really didn't do anything for me this week. The takeaway is that he'll one day be too old to kill and will be faced with the conundrum of what else there is in life? Okay. But won't we all be faced with that dilemma? Isn't that way a majority of the population is scared of arthritis, dementia, everything that comes along with being a senior citizen?
I don't think any message imparted by Dexter's latest victim is unique to serial killers. No longer having the physical ability to do what one loves is something with which we all need to deal. The show seemed to be trying to go for something profound and special to Dexter here and missed by a wide margin.
Where is the cat and mouse game I preach about almost every week? Dexter has spent too much time on his own so far this season - which is still young, I know - just tracking targets and doing what we've seen him do a million times before. He's wondering what lessons he'll pass down to his son, but that's all he's really done: wonder. We listen to that occasional narrative, but there's been no practical application of it yet. Dexter continues to do his usual thing, sporadically talking to Harry and reminding viewers/himself: Hey, I have a son!
So, no, "Smokey and the Bandit" didn't really bring anything together. Clearly, at some point, Travis and Gellar's actions will become the focus of the Miami PD, which will tie in Dexter's arc and Deb's arc and make the series feel like less of an unattached mess. I just hope that point arrives next Sunday, as previewed HERE.