Dexter recap: One Down, Two to Go

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September 11, 2013 by Susan Miller

This week on Dexter, something genuinely surprising happened!  Did it make up for all of the other dumb things that also happened?  Not really at all.  But I thought we should start with the positive, since it’s really hard to watch and write about a show that you used to love, flop so miserably toward death.

Goodbye, Dr. Vogel.  We would've liked to know you better, if only your creators had let us.

Goodbye, Dr. Vogel. We would’ve liked to know you better, if only your creators had let us.

Susan: Whoa!  Vogel got her throat cut!  Did you see that coming?  I was genuinely shocked with how quickly they got rid of her.

Steven: I was also shocked in their dispensing of Vogel, however, I was not heartbroken.  It’s truly a testament to how far the show has gone off track that the killing of Dexter’s spiritual mother had virtually no emotional resonance with me.  Maybe I’m not allowing myself to care because I’ve gotten so cynical about Dexter.  Maybe the writers aren’t constructing like they should.  Either way, I’m fearful for the ending.

More than anything, this all has just felt so unnecessary.  Why did Dexter feel like this mission was needed in the first place?  He and Hannah could have eloped long ago, but there were still a few episodes to fill and either a last minute escape or a semi-tragedy to experience at the climax of the series.  Also, why did Vogel flip flop so much?  First she’s pro-serial killer.  Then she’s anti on account of someone hunting her.  Then she finds out it’s her long lost son, and she’s pro-serial killer again.  And then Dexter tells her he likes serial killing (which was sort of the defining quality of serial killers, right, or did I miss a meeting on that?) and now she’s suddenly anti-serial killer again?  You can’t just define your characters based on what’s convenient for this episode!

And what’s up with Quinn and Deb?  Are we supposed to care now all of the sudden?  Because he hurriedly kissed her at the end of some random scene that had nothing to do with their romance?

Susan: I agree.  They monkeyed with Vogel’s character far too often for her death to feel tragic.  Also, why is Dexter hugging Vogel in that scene instead of trying to catch Oliver?  He couldn’t have been that far away.  He killed Vogel 5 feet in front of Dexter.  Dexter has killed enough people by now to realize that she was a goner.  Now he has to spend all this extra time tracking down Oliver, just so he can stick around Miami long enough to get caught.  Except, he’s totally not going to get caught.  And if he does, it will be because of a storyline that means absolutely nothing and won’t feel earned at all.  Grr!

Speaking of dumb, it’s unforgivable what they’re doing to Lem.  They can’t make Lem be smart enough to pick up on Dexter’s sudden disappearance as suspicious and then not have him immediately stake out Deb’s apartment.  The whole thing with Harrison on the treadmill was well done, I guess, but incredibly risky and requires more dumb for Hannah to get out of it without getting arrested at the hospital.  If Lem has one more talk with Harrison, the whole thing comes crumbling down and they could scoop up all of the Morgans in five minutes.  C’mon Lem!  You’re better than this.

I know I’m hard on this show and I know I’m hard on Quinn, but Quinn and Deb really are cute together.  I like them together, in spite of myself, because I really don’t think the writers have done that much work to make me like them.  Maybe it’s just the nostalgia factor of when they were together and the show was good.  Either way, Jamie was too good for him and he’s the least serial killer-y of Deb’s love interests, so I’m happy with the pairing.  They deserve a nice quiet life of solving violent crimes and eating salad together.

Do you think the bike messenger crime scene will come back into play?  Or was it just a weird setting for Dexter to tell Batista that he was leaving and drop in a random 10 second interchange between Masuka and his daughter?  Seriously, Dexter.  Giving your 2 week notice is not a crime scene conversation.  The lack of professionalism on this show is really getting to me.

Steven: I do like that everyone is giving their two week notices.  It’s a nod to what the writers did at the end of last season.  They gave their two week notice and then they stopped putting in any effort whatsoever.  There was a meta-quality to this episode.

Can I just say I hated the Masuka + daughter snippet of a scene.  It was just another example of the extreme efficiency the writers are demonstrating with anything that isn’t Hannah + Dexter, Dexter + Deb, or…no that’s about it.

Hey, remember when I used to do PIGIs on Dexter?  Back then there was symbolism and complex characters and it actually resembled other substantive works… ah nostalgia.

What bothers me most–if the story is headed toward Dexter’s incarceration or justice-filled demise–is that nobody is building a case on him.  No one is out there putting the pieces together and doing natural police work to catch him.  If he goes down because of his proximity to a wanted fugitive, I don’t know that I’ll be able to forgive that kind of sloppy workmanship.  When my brother and I played pool, we always played “no-slop,” because there’s no reason somebody should win a game by accident.  No reason at all.

Any last words on “The Doctor Is Out”?  Besides that fact that they’re now giving away everything in the titles of the episodes as well?

Susan: I forgot about your no-slop rule!  That’s why we’ll never own a pool table.  Slop shots make the game so much more fun.

I totally didn’t realize that was the name of the episode.  The next one is called “Monkey in a Box”.  What do you suppose that means?

Steven: Well, Dexter is clearly going to place a monkey in a box.  But the whole episode will revolve around whether or not he will in fact put said monkey in said box.

The old “It’s all in Harry’s head” is starting to look like a pretty attractive ending, isn’t it?  At least that would give the series some continuity.

Susan: But would it really?  I was so mad at Harry for encouraging Dexter to abandon Hannah and Harrison and go try to kill Oliver instead.  Since when has Harry encouraged Dexter to kill?  He’s the (living?) worst.

Steven: Harry is about like Vogel at this point.  I feel like he’s gotten to be their plot director.
Writer 1: “How do we get Dexter to go the dry cleaners so he can run into this random character?”
Writer 2: “Duh, just have Harry tell him, ‘Dexter, you must go to dry cleaners.  Right now!’ Easy peasy.  What else ya got?”
Writer 1: “Knocked it out of the park, as per usual.  We should do this for a living!”

Susan: Thank goodness the Dexter writers are only writing Dexter.  Did you see this?

breaking-bad-dexter-writers

Steven: That is beyond awesome!  Sometimes I feel terribly unoriginal that we watch the same shows as everyone else–even the now impossible to watch ones–but then someone goes and does this…and my heart grows three sizes that day.  Thank you Uproxx.com!

Susan: Just two more to go.  Just two more to go.  Just two more to go…

Next week: Insanity, followed by dumb, predicated on stupid, with an extra dose of ridiculous.  But at least it will be over soon.  I promise I really did love this show at one point.

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