Dexter Review: Brotherly Love
Dear producers of Dexter: I think you misunderstood the memo. Yes, fans of this Showtime hit have been waiting for awhile for Deb to come to a realization about her brother. But not this one.
Yech. Seriously. NOT this one.
While "Talk to the Hand" featured an attempt on both Dexter and Batisa's life, as well as a professional manipulation by LaGuerta and the teasing of Lucas as Dexter's next nemesis, it's impossible to review this episode without first focusing on the show choosing to take Deb's feelings for her step-sibling to a whole new direction, one I can't imagine any viewer is excited about.
Why are we going there? The bond between Deb and Dexter has been one of the most consistent, refreshing aspects of the series throughout its run. It's really unlike any relationship on TV. Where else do we see this sort of non-romantic connection between a male and female lead? And what would be the impetus for destroying that? Just so Deb can have an even more visceral reaction to Dexter's Dark Passenger when it's finally revealed?
Aside from creeping me out, the storyline just comes across like another desperate attempt by the writers at shock value. Shock value that's grosser than any blood-covered crime scene at that.
Elsewhere, Travis acted like every other idiotic, cliche-filled villain in history. I expect a lot more form Dexter than to have its bad guy focus a gun on his prey; agree to that prey's last-second request; and then hold that gun up just long enough so he can distracted from pulling the trigger... and yet somehow have time to start a fire?!?
As if the first instance of Travis teasing a kill wasn't enough, he then chose to make Dexter's death into some kind of fancy escapade, as opposed to simply putting a bullet in his enemy's skull. Seriously, theses were the sort of antagonistic moves mocked by Dr. Evil in Austin Powers. I'm just surprised Travis didn't use sharks with lasers on their heads to take Dexter out.
At least the episode didn't conclude with that explosion, however. At least it didn't try to pretend that Dexter was actually dead. Heading into next Sunday's season finale, though, it did leave us with a cliffhanger that doesn't feel very... cliffhanger-y. As I've asked all season long, where's the suspense here? What are the stakes? Yes, Travis is still out there and it would be nice if he were caught - but his plot to gas the police station has been foiled, he doesn't have any other acolytes or plans that we know of. What, right now, is making you anxious as a viewer to tune in next week?
Sadly, the writers almost seem to be writing this season off before it's over. They appear to be setting storylines up for next year, whether it's Deb's strange new feelings for her brother, LaGuerta serving as Deputy Chief or Louis being lined up as a taunting new serial killer. Those might have potential, but it would be nice if they focused on making this season remotely interesting first, wouldn't it?
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