Dexter Review: Softcore Cornography

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What a tease, huh?

Granted, I didn't buy the premise that brought Brian Moser back into the mind of Dexter Morgan last week. I didn't see the latter's murder of Nick as anything different from the code by which Dexter had been abiding for years: kill the definitively guilty who have gotten away with their crimes.

But I did my best to overlook that throughout "Nebraska" and I was very much on board with the intriguing concept of Dexter fully embracing his Dark Passenger after he killed that motel-running pot grower*. Think of the rich possibilities that would exist if Dexter truly shut off his light for a bit.

Brian and Dexter

(*And let's not even talk about the plot contrivance of that gun. Why did Dexter steal it? Just so he could go on that weird, out of control joy ride? He's killed countless individuals without a gun and suddenly decided now that he needed one?!?)

Alas, the show has never been able to go there. It might tease the storyline occasionally, but Dexter always returns to that happy medium of someone with an urge to kill... who also wants to live a regular, worthwhile existence.

So that's where we ended up this week, following an episode that felt full of potential - only to conclude with the same old, same old. It was really nothing more than filler, an hour spent revisiting the past that came across as more desperate than nostalgic.

Didn't seeing Brian and being reminded of Trinity just drive home how inane the DDK case has been this season? How much Gellar and Travis simply cannot compare to past villains? They talk about God a lot, Travis is always unsure about their mission, and that's pretty much it. There's been no real progress at all here, although Dexter did do a solid job of showing how and why Deb is anxious to close the investigation.

I don't say all this to complain, I say it to make a point: stop making this season an internal struggle over who Dexter Morgan is and what he believes. It's rather clear at this point that he's a killer with a conscience, a disturbed individual with a Code. And he actually balances it all very well, all things considered. If Rita's murder was not going to send him over the edge, ignoring Sam's advice to forgive and forget certainly won't do it either. Let the man live his life and give us some action instead.

Can we please do away with these questions now? Can we up the suspense ante? Deliver a sense of urgency? A cliffhanger that leaves us wondering what will happen next and leaves character scrambling for their lives? We've seen none of that this season. I've been a fan of Dexter since day one, but the contemplative, angst-ridden act has grown old.

There's a seriously effed up serial killer out there, dude. Isn't that your thing? Get in there!


Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.6 / 5.0 (91 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


@Carda - Remember, the very last episode of season 5 when Dexter found out Lumen was kidnapped? He was in his apartment rushing around and just as he was running out the door, he opened the door and the grandparents and Astor & Cody were there for a surprise visit. The kids said they had something to ask him and Dexter said to the grandparents that he was in a rush, and "could it wait?" The grandparents insisted that they needed to talk to him and then the kids said that they wanted to move back in with him. Dexter said he would "love it" if they moved back in with him!


When Dexter was on the phone with Deb in the motel and rushed Deb and hung up, I thought "YES! He's about to embrace the dark passenger and push out Deb anything else that will get in his way!" By the end of the episode, my enthusiasm had dropped to a "Maybe next week something will start happening." I'm not holding my breath because I have been waiting for something to happen since episode 2 or 3. For all of the flaws and bad writing recently, I really think that the worst decision of this entire season was Harrison. Giving Dexter that father role changed everything about the series and changed his character. I liked cat and mouse, methodical Dexter, not domesticated Dexter.


stop reviewing dexter. U SUCK!


@Mgnbrn8: Astor & Cody are living with their grandparents! I can't rememer that he ever agreed to let them move in again at the end of S5, they were always supposed to live at their grannie's and I believe he mentioned that fact this season already! this season is just not about action
it is about Dexter
and not about Dexter deciding who HE wants to be, bc. that's basically decided already
but its about Dexter deciding what he wants to pass on to his offspring, what he wants Harrison to be!


Oh, and on a complete side note - what ever happened to Astor and Cody? At the end of season 5 Dexter agreed to let them move back in with him. And we haven't seen them once this season. The only mention they've ever gotten was when Harrison was in the hospital and Deb asked Dexter if they should call Astor & Cody to let them know. Lots of sloppy writing these past 2 seasons.


This is the worst season of all time. No action, no cliffhangers, no twists. Just when I thought it was getting good and this season was finally going to turn for the better, nothing happened. Last night's episode was good compared to the rest of this season. But I really wanted to see Dexter spiral out of control for a little while longer. I was so bummed at the end of the episode when he goes back to his normal self. What a bore. Give me SOMETHING! And I really love Dexter! Before this season, it was the best show of all time in my opinion. What happened?? I really want this season to turn around, I really do. But after last night's episode, I've kind of lost hope. :(


I'm very disappointed with the part where Dexter killer the pot grower, who paid to have that put into the script? It had nothing to do with the plot. Seems like we've been offered some preaching in the season thus far and the producers are buying.


I'd love to see Dexter spiral out of control and see his "Dark Passenger" take over, sadly, this looked like the only opportunity for it to come out and the writers have just pushed it back inside Dexter. Oh well, the fact that Rudy was his subconscious for the week actually made this episode worth wild.
I've actually felt sorry for Deb this season. She's had her heart broken, she got a job she didn't really want, but took it out of some level of honour and loyalty and her brother doesn't really seem to trust her. Oh well, it'll all resolve itself by seasons end when she gets that rock on her finger (from Quinn) and she's back at her old job (or possibly given sergeant), while Batista is given the job of lieutenant.
Quinn, LaGuerta, Batista, Masuka and Harry = boring. Minimal screen time this episode and a complete waste if that this entire season.
This episode was an interesting way of bringing back The Trinity Killer's family, well, just Jonah, but I didn't really care much towards the end. Completely ridiculous. Other ridiculous facts was Dexter sleeping with the young girl. The gun shooting 8 bullets, yet, it that gun can only carry 6 bullets at a time. Dexter being able to carry that body up the grain silo and finally the whole storyline with Travis and his professor. It's seriously just lagging on now. I WANNA SEE SOME ACTION!
Overall, I must somewhat agree that this season is lacking it's great normality of being fantastic. However, I don't agree on any level that this is as bad as the mess of season 3.


Damn. I was hoping to see Harry Morgan fight Dexter's brother.


There is something majorly off about this season of Dexter. Not sure if it's the bizarre subplots, the gratuitous random sex or or a combination of those and more... The pot grower killing was borderline ridiculous. Dexter randomly walks into a giant corn field and immediately finds a plot of marijuana. What did that have to do with anything plot-wise? And then he kills the evil grower (who had the total drop on him btw) with a pitchfork. The bizarre American Gothic framing afterward reminded me of a SNL sketch. And then Dexter hauls the 250# dead weight up the side of a 50'+ tall granary w/o breaking a sweat so he can dump it. The body wasn't even wrapped up - there would have been blood and guts everywhere. I too hoped he would go on a mad killing spree afterward, ala Stephen from TVD. But alas, it wasn't meant to be. He has a son now! *gag*. And don't get me started on Travis's insanely happy sister. That character is a complete waste of the great Molly Parker's acting skills. One can only assume Travis will kill her soon in a moment of delusion. I shake my head at how far this great show has fallen.

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