Dexter Review: Brotherly Love

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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.

Deb and Dex

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?

Do you want to see Deb and Dexter hook up?


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.6 / 5.0 (109 Votes)

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


I think it was interesting that we see Deb willing to cover up for Matthews, in previous seasons i don't think she would do this, who else could she cover up for.............


I FRACKING love this show (that one is for your Professor Gellar) it’s so suspenseful it sometimes makes my blood pressure rise. I do agree with most of the other reviews here, in that, a Deb & Dexter hookup would be very odd and I feel would take away from the integrity of the show. Almost as if the writers are running out of solid material to work with. I’m just wondering how they are going to finish up all the plots and subplots in one episode? Obviously, it’s going to run into the next season. All-in-all this show never disappoints and is the ONLY reason we ordered Showtime. It really sucked us in!


Dexter and Deb togetehr would be the sickest thing ever.
They've already gone too far with it, please don't go further.
I actually felt sick when the therapist suggested it.
NO NO NO Deb should find out her BROTHERS secret in the finale, that is where the show was always directed towards!


for all the fans including the reviewer.. the set up plot is not a "Debra/Dexter relationship" It is clearly about Louis, his strange fascination with serial killers and his obvious obsession with Dexter. we had to watch the next 2 eps right? Clue 1 was in ep 11, with him packaging the hand to Dexter. Clue 2, I assume will be revealed at some point in the finale. As far as the Debra thing goes.. I think its all an ellaborate ruse to get DEbra to start paying closer attention to how her brother reacts and all his disappearing. The therapist is at fault for her "realizing" those emotions.. you spill your guts to someone and they take what you say and twist it, and then you suddenly look at it differently because you trust the person you are speaking to. I honestly don't see Debra admitting her feelings for Dexter to him either. I did overall enjoy this episode, the prob is that Season 4 was just sooo good, its hard to top that. They tried really hard, bringing in a veteran actor like Olmos in attempt to fill the shoes of the Amazing Lithgow, only it just can't be done. Look at season 3, which i found by far to be the most annoying season, completely lacking, with the exception of the whole "pregnancy". I still find myself wanting to see more.. and I still really enjoy the episodes.. Im excited to see how they take down travis... what if anything is revealed about dexter..because lets face it, questions will arise as to why Dexter was chosen and depicted as "The Beast". Also i want to see if Batista's sister makes it out of this season alive.. she'd be a casualty tht i'm not ready for, i actually like her.. but she's new and therefore expendable..we will see


btw. you mixed up the interns name
in the beginning you called him Lucas (which prompted every commentator to call him that as well) and then you called him Louis which, in fact, would be his correct name ;) and to the Deb+Dex-thing: no no NO!!!


If nothing else this is absolutely the most confusing season of Dexter so far. There seems to be a lot more subplots going than in any other season and many of them have potential to become the major plotline of next year of Dexter. (Lucas? Is he a friend or a foe of Dexter's? Will Deb find out about her brother's secret..) I really hope Deb finds out about Dexter. Maybe the writers felt that there needs to be more than a sibling connection in order to Deb not spill the beans on her brother when she finds out? I really hope she finds out that would make this season worthwhile. I kind of hoped someone would've died (even though I love Batista his death would've brought the stakes up big time).


Only thing to be said, NO DEXTER & DEB HOOK-UP.Don't care if they are adopted siblings or not, gross. Stupid for the therapist to even bring that up. If I went to a conciler and that was her interpretation, I would be finding a new one.


Well, I almost completely diagree with the reviewer. Firstly, Dexter has always been about Dexter taking a journey with the Dark Passenger. Every other character in the story, feeds into shaping him or his circumstances. Yes, even someone as far removed as La Guerta, who is creating the circumstances to make Deb feel what she is feeling at the moment. what the reviewer needs to understand is that just because a shrink induced this thing into Deb's conscousness, doesn't mean that its the objective 'truth' about Deb and Dex's relationship. Its a cosmetic wholly circumstantial thing that has repurcussions for Dex and Passenger-Dex's journey through life. I feel its quite tragic that in an episode about two serial killers, christian fanaticism, corrupt policemen and a suicide-poisoning; it is the probably confused notions of an increasing complex character that summons the word 'disgust'. Its not. Actually it adds to the complexity of the characters, and the eventual choices both Deb n Dex will eventually have to make. This season, admittedly lacklustre, is still providing a lot of layers to the two central characters.


Here's my take: Travis is going to take Harrison, it's going to build and build and build...and then Lucas is going to end up killing Travis and kidnapping Harrison...Dexter will find the box Lucas sent and WHAM...we're brought into next season. ... Lucas has to have been trailing Dexter for some time. And that blonde intern? She's in on SOMETHING! I find it hard to believe that she's gone... Deb and Dexter...BLECH!


I wish they would have taken more time to build up on Travis. All of a sudden he's completely nuts. The Gellar twist should have come earlier. But all that's done and this was a decent episode.
Dexter and Debra. That's just gross. I hope Quinn (or anyoneelse for that matter) does something, anything to get her back cause Dexter and Debra ending up together would really be weird.
I did however expect something to happen to Harrison because we saw it with Rita and I honestly feel that he should be by himself. His secret is just too dark. Although I doubt Harrison will die because Dexter parenting a teenager or even a slightly elder child would make an interesting story line.
Looking forward to the finale. :)

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