July 17, 2013 by Susan Miller
Susan: Were you upset with how quickly Dexter dispatched of the cannibal? Is this conclusive proof that all gym rats have cannibalistic tendencies? I know I’m never stopping at a gym display in a mall again.
Steven: For sure! That whole plot line reminded me of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. An epistolary novel between an ambitious demon and his uncle, the book describes the process by which demons devour human souls after the evil ones have been separated from their earthly bodies. There is also much discussion about how the uncle will get to eat him if the ambitious demon is not successful enough! So what is my point? Perhaps Dexter is not heroic Theseus after all. Perhaps he is just at the top of the demon food-chain, picking off other demons who weren’t careful enough at following rule #1–don’t get caught. I feel like we could’ve spent a little more time working on that theme, but perhaps we just don’t have that much time left.
How gross was that marinating brain? Almost as nauseating as that scene in Hannibal (feel free to look away).
What in the world are they supposed to do with Deb?
Susan: Aha! So do you think Vogel is using him to clean up her mess? It sounds like she helped each of her patients create a blueprint for survival, while living within the confines of their disease. Now that the chickens are coming home to roost (in the form of brain parts on her doorstep), she needed to hire Dexter to go out and kill them all before they kill her and expose her practices. Yeesh. The Morgans are not the best judges of character, are they?
I did find it interesting that Vogel mentioned that she and Harry had different opinions on what the #1 rule of the Kill Code should be. I think the purpose of that scene was to illustrate that Harry valued human life (only kill people who deserve it) and that Vogel was more interested in living to play the game another day (don’t get caught). I hope the details and origins of the code are explored in more detail as the season goes on. They had a bunch of strange scenes this week that seemed to exist only as filler (the dinner scene with Batista, Jamie and Quinn, Deb’s job escapades, everything involving mysterious black lady and Masuka), so I know there’s time that they could be devoting to better, more integral topics. They’re just not doing it yet. They could learn a thing or four from Vince Gilligan and company over on Breaking Bad.
As for Deb, she’s in some serious danger with Vogel hanging around, eager to fill her head with nonsense. Vogel desperately wants Deb out of the picture, and I can’t quite figure out why. Is it because she makes Dexter into more of a human and less of a terminator? Is it because Dexter’s feelings for Deb make it clear that he’s actually not a psychopath? Or is it somehow wrapped up in protecting herself? If Deb confessed, and Dexter went down too, would that somehow implicate Vogel? It’s a complicated web.
Do you think we’re supposed to be rooting for Quinn and Deb to get back together?
Steven: I hope it wasn’t the writers’ intention for us to root for Quinn and Deb. Firstly because they’ve made Deb not exactly heroic this season–which is fine, considering, but not exactly rife with romance. In Anna Karenina we root for Levin because he’s a stand up guy and clearly in love, and we root for Kitty because of the whole hospital thing and stupid Vronsky and because she really is a stand up girl. Here we have two pretty dysfunctional people who aren’t behaving extremely well. In Anna the characters have to get better and better until they meet at the top–here, if that’s the writers’ intentions, they would have to have Quinn and Deb meet somewhere closer to the bottom.
Have I gone on a rant about virtues this season yet? I’ll just say this: they’re important. Don’t forget!
As for flat-character filler, I am also disappointed. If I were playing Masuka, I would definitely be disappointed. He has to look at each script and think, “Oh great, this joke again. I wonder how I’ll deliver it?” This is probably a good point to say something terrible: Dexter is perhaps my favorite show on air right now, while at the same time being my least favorite show (that I actually watch and care about). When Dexter—and to a lesser extent Deb–is on the screen, I’m in. However, whenever there’s another conversation, I feel the writers’ ennui. This week Batista got mad at Quinn, talked him into being Sheriff, realized Quinn was dumb (somehow this had escaped him), and then got angry at Quinn for it. I think Batista had four lines. “You should.” “Quinn can.” “You can’t.” “I hate you now.” And then he gave away that Quinn hadn’t been on a case last night, at which point Jamie was all like, “Here’s your chicken, jerk-face.” This character triangle between Quinn and Batista and Jamie is getting ALMOST as complex as Deb being in love with her serial killer brother and then killing her superior officer to protect him…but I think it needs just a little more. Maybe Jamie would cook lasagna next week? Just a suggestion.
So do you think the rest of the season will just be Dexter knocking off a different serial killer each week? Will that have to end with him killing himself? What’s this whole, “I’m just a case study!” business going to be about?
Susan: If you’re going to say something terrible, I will too. After this episode, I actually want Deb and Quinn to end up together. I know! It’s crazy. It’s just like my fondness for Declan right before he finally bit it in the Revenge finale. (Spoiler alert!) I’ve been calling for Quinn’s death since, well, since he appeared, really. But now that he’s taking care of Deb in such a sweet and unselfish way and calling Dexter when she needs help… I guess I’m just a sucker for bad boys who take care of good girls when they’re having a hard time. Which probably means he’s the one in the car in the promos for next week. Wah wah.
In the promos it looks like Dexter will knock off a whole bunch of serial killers next week and start to get wise about Vogel’s plans for him. I’m hoping there’s some sort of twist with the Vogel/Deb/Dexter storyline next week that kicks this thing into another gear. They haven’t really set up much of a season-long story yet. Worse yet, there doesn’t seem to be much urgency or tension about the end game. Breaking Bad‘s first 8 episodes of the final season were full of build and tension and suspense. These just seem like business as usual, except with Deb in a different job. I think the show is having a really hard time incorporating the Miami Metro characters into the show without Deb there.
Speaking of Deb’s job, any thoughts on her new boss? Is he sinister or all fluff? I don’t know what to make of him.
Steven: I’m leaning toward sleazy. I could definitely see him making a pass at Deb soon. I call trouble.
Susan: Why trouble? Do you think he has bad intentions? Is he a serial killer too?
Steven: He is really into health food. Isn’t that the third stage of pscyhopathary? Angry outbursts, violence towards animals, yucky seaweed shakes, all ending in a vegan-induced psychosis/fugue state that precipitates the first killing. I’m pretty sure that’s the course of development. (I might be wrong.)
Susan: Oh no. Do you think Fredrik from Million Dollar Listing is next? He’s beyond obsessed with those Green Tea shakes, but I guess the lady did tell him that it wasn’t healthy for him to drink so many…
I think we might be out of things to say.
Next week: a car goes flying into the air! Who is in that car? Will it be Vogel? Deb? Jamie? Quinn? Or will it just be Harrison, trying to eat more bloody popsicles? We’ll be here next week, unless a guy at the gym tries to eat us first. Be careful out there.