Dexter Review: The Best Laid Plans

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After last week's nearly abysmal Dexter, it was hard to tune in tonight with any sort of excitement or expectation that the episode would be even sort of good. 

Well, "Monkey in a Box" was sort of good. Also sort of bad. But good? It's complicated.

Matthews, Deb and Dexter

Does anyone else besides me have mixed emotions about tonight? On the one hand, that first half was incredibly slow moving. On the other, OMG!

I had a laundry list of things that just pulled me out of the show completely tonight.

For instance, why hasn't Hannah died her hair? She's smarter than thinking she could continue to look exactly like herself and get out of the country. 

Or why wasn't their plan to take the boat to the Keys or somewhere in the Caribbean and then fly to Argentina? Or buy a bigger boat and circumnavigate a continent!?

And so much of the first half of the night was spent on silly little things like Vogel's memorial and a conversation between Masuka and his daughter about her penchant for pot smoking that I felt the urge to throw the remote at the television.

We're so close to the end! No one cares about that!

In those moments, I found myself wondering what in the world Dexter has become and when it should've already ended. (Personal thought: Debra should've pulled back the curtain on Dexter and Lumen as the vigilante killers. Annnnnd scene. Fade to black. The end.)

I'm so mad that the writers took what could have been such an epic final season and turned it into this bogged, action-less shadow of the show we used to know and love.

But then there were these really great moments tonight that remind us what's at stake for the main characters that made the end of the episode so much more shocking. And most of them had to do with Debra.

Debra finding her ring and the conversation with Quinn. Her lying to the US Marshall to cover for Dexter and Hannah. Her acceptance of Hannah as someone that makes her brother happy. Dexter and Debra's last meal together and her helping him catch Saxon. Dexter giving Saxon to her. 

Saxon shooting her in the stomach and leaving her to bleed out while Dexter goes home to pack his bags for his new life in a new country.

If we thought Dexter had a choice to make last week, we were sort of wrong, and this choice will be a much more difficult one to make. 

Dexter never should've let Saxon live and because he did, his sister's life is in the balance as well as the lives of everyone else he loves. Dexter screwed up. Sure, he can still try to leave the country, but now he has to choose between Hannah and Deb. If Deb even makes it out of this alive.

Will Deb die? Is that...I can't say I expected that. 

We probably should have expected it, though, because things were just going too well for her recently. She was getting her life back together, returning to Miami Metro, getting the guy. She was even okay with Dexter leaving. It makes the most sense that if anyone should die, or be near death, it would be her.

I can't say that I like it, but then I think we're not really supposed to like it.

We're supposed to be left feeling uncertain and ill-equipped to deal with the possibility of losing a beloved character this close to the end. Bravo to that, writers. You got something right this season after getting so much so very, very wrong.

What did you think of tonight's episode of Dexter, "Monkey In A Box"? Did you see Debra's shooting coming? Are you ready to see how this will finally play out?

Monkey in a Box Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.2 / 5.0 (100 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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