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This Is How "Dexter" Will End: With a Predicable Bang That Will Whimper

By Dustin Rowles | TV Reviews | December 5, 2012 | Comments ()


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Though it doesn't get nearly the attention that "Homeland" and "Boardwalk Empire" get, Showtime's "Dexter" is actually the more watched, thought markedly inferior show. Arriving in 2006, "Dexter" was part of the second wave of great cable dramas -- following "The Sopranos" and "Six Feet Under" -- and while it maintained the quality of a second-tier show for a few years, it has quickly plummeted to a barely watchable drama since the death of the Trinity Killer.

After two miserable seasons, it seemed -- with an end date in sight -- that "Dexter" was primed for a bounce-back year, but after a solid start to the fall campaign, "Dexter" has slid back into irrelevance. The biggest problem, this year, is that "Dexter" is in desperate and aimless search for a antagonist that can live up to John Lithgow's turn. Ray Stevenson's Isaac is the closest the drama has had to that, but with still three episodes remaining, "Dexter" inexplicably ended his run somewhat unceremoniously.

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It seemed that perhaps Jason Gedrick would rise up and replace him as the season's Big Bad, but Gedrick was quickly dispatched in the next episode, which also saw the introduction of brilliant character actor, Jim Beaver, who was a holy terror in his scant screen time before he, too, was dumped into the ocean.

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So, who is this season's Big Bad? Is it Yvonne Strahovski's Hannah, seemingly the umpteenth serial killer soul-mate in Dexter's life with whom he can somehow relate. It seems unlikely, as the moment in which Hanna might have turned on Dexter -- after he killed her father -- came and went, and did nothing other than to bring the couple closer together. Also, how can anyone who looks like this AND loves pancakes be a Big Bad?

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Unfortunately, it's abundantly clear where "Dexter" is heading in the last two episodes of this season, and likely until the end of the series: Debra is poised to become the main antagonist of "Dexter," a sad turn for a gasping series.

Debra is in love with Dexter in a sexual way, and that feeling is not reciprocated by Dexter, who is in love with Hannah. Debra loathes Hannah because Hannah is a serial killer who has escaped imprisonment due to legal loopholes, but more importantly, because Hannah is the object of Debra's affection. Debra, who knows that Dexter is a serial killer and has, in fact, put in a request to have Hannah killed, is most likely to take matters in her own hands. Dexter, rather than having to choose between his girlfriend and his sister, will have that choice taken away. Hannah is going to end up on a table wrapped in plastic, but it won't be Dexter's table. It will be Debra's.

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After Debra murders Hannah, she'll alienate Dexter, setting up a final season that will pit serial-killing brother against a sister who has a sudden thirst for killing. They will hate each other, but their shared history will keep them from killing one another. Instead, next season will likely center on their parallels lives, and a working relationship fraught with tension.

What will bring them back together next season will be a the season's other Big Bad, but will he or she ever match the towering presence of John Lithgow, and the shadow he has cast over the last three seasons? It's unlikely. In the end, Dexter will probably sacrifice himself to spare Debra from her own Dark Passenger, she'll be left to raise Harrison, and Masuka and Angel will be left to fight perpetually over the interns.

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And there you have it, folks: Now you don't even have to bother with the last two episodes of this season, or any of next season.

There are some wild cards: LaGuerta, for instance, thinks she's close to identifying Dexter as the Bay Harbor Butcher, but there is no scenario in which LaGuerta ever gets the best of Dexter. Meanwhile, Quinn -- the only character more useless to the series at this point than LaGuerta -- probably won't last until the final season, although I've been saying that about Quinn for four seasons now. Unfortunately, when it comes to series regulars, the "Dexter" show runners are too chicken-sh*t to eliminate any of them, choosing instead to set up short-term villains with whom they predictably bump off.

Indeed, there are no surprises left in store for "Dexter." At this point, it's a matter of following the bouncing ball down its predictable path and trying to extract some minor thrills out of Dexter's kills, out of Debra's potty mouth, and out of Hannah's skimpy outfits. There are no happy endings for "Dexter," only calculable ones.







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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • You were dead wrong.

  • Guest

    I'm confused. Is this speculation or actual spoilers?

  • intheyear2000

    WHAT??????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????? I can't believe this isn't the last season!

    I skipped the season (or two?) before this one because watching it just got tedious, but I started back because I thought this was the last season. I figured with an end point (and Deb finally finding out), it could be exciting.

    But if this isn't the last season, I think I'll just stop watching again.

  • John W

    I said it before and I'll say it again, they screwed up when they killed off Dokes.

  • NoPantsMcLane

    This used to be one of my favorite shows on TV, but now a basically just hate watch it. If i didn't know that the next season was gonna be the last, i probably would have quit watching this show when deb found out she wanted to fuck her brother. That made me embarrassed to admit i ever liked the show.

  • Bert_McGurt

    I guess it ultimately depends on what angle you want to look at it from, but I thought this season was heading towards Dexter himself becoming the Big Bad. His "code" has been slipping, he's had to rejig his routine, he argues with the spectre of Harry much more often (and sometimes Harry isn't there, or he sees his brother instead), his secret is out to his fellow killer girlfriend and his cop sister (and LaGuerta, basically), and he's just becoming worse and worse as a father. He's reconciled that his "Dark Passenger" is a part of him and realizes that he ENJOYS killing. He's becoming less careful and less selective about his victims. Heck, he's straight-up dumping unweighted, full corpses off his boat rather than weighted body parts in bags.

    At this point, I figure HE'LL be the one to off either LaGuerta or Quinn, and that'll prompt next season's "Dexter on the Run".

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    That's very nearly my take. I don't know that the writers have the balls to properly declare Dexter bad with an action, but I think next season is definitely Bay Harbor Butcher redux. I expect LaGuerta bites it, it gets blamed on the Butcher (Dexter probably not having done it), and Deb gets the job of hunting him down, and now actually wants to, only she has to do it for real, since she can't use what she knows without destroying herself. Cat and mouse, but not killer vs killer, and Deb shifts to protagonist.

  • Bob

    Dexter is still awesome. Go fuck yourself.

  • Leonard

    Dustin you are an idiot. This season has been great so far and is a return to form for Dexter. Season 6 was definitely the worst season but Season 5 was actually pretty good. The last episode was kind of a mixed bag and I wish they had kept Ray Stevenson around a little longer but I am confident that the last two episodes are going to be great. Even a bad episode of Dexter is better than most shows on TV.

  • pajiba

    You're right! Dexter is better than Duck Dynasty, Hoarders, the Kardashian show, Charlie Sheen's shows, both old and new, and "Revolution," and by virtue of that, deserves our unending accolades! Any show that manages not to suck as much as a Real Housewives episode obviously shouldn't be held to a higher standard than what might be seen regularly on the Hallmark channel. My apologies.

    -- Idiot

  • Boddhi

    There is no need to drag Duck Dynasty in to this

  • DarthCorleone

    What is this Duck Dynasty of which you speak?

  • Bodhi

    A show on A&E about a redneck family in Louisiana who were made richer than Croesus when one of the boys (the eldest, I think) got a business degree & turned his daddy's duck call company into a friggin empire. The guys also have some seriously epic beards.

    My husband & I think it is one of the funniest things on TV these days. I'm from a pretty redneck family, too but we ain't got nothin' on the Robertsons

  • Kammmm

    Season 1 was ground breaking. Coincidentally, it was the only one based on the source material. Once the team of writers had to write original stuff, the essence of Jeff Lindsay's character was lost to predictable and/or contrived formulas and thin character development, not to mention second rate villains (incl. the always ham-fisted Lithgow). I agree with poster "Sparky", in that I can't believe I still watch it and the beaten to death trait of Deb having a potty mouth. That and the fact that she is in on the verge of tears in almost every scene, not only make her two dimensional and annoying, but the notion of her being a lieutenant in the police force laughably far fetched.

  • googergieger

    "having a potty mouth. That and the fact that she is in on the verge of
    tears in almost every scene, not only make her two dimensional and
    annoying"

    "CLAIR DANES IS AMAZING AS CARIE! ALL THE EMMY'S FOREVER!"

  • But what about Angel? Is he going to make it as a restauranteur?

    His storyline hasn't been this irrelevant since he and LaGuerta were dating (and over-pronouncing each other's name's 50 times per episode).

    This show is so shitty. I can't believe I still watch it. I cringe every time Dexter launches into an unnecessary voiceover or Deb awkwardly crams the word "fuck" into a sentence.

  • Cara

    I have to say - I was really hoping Jim Beaver would last more than one episode. Beyond that I'm still enjoying Dexter, but not nearly as much as I used to - Trinity will apparently never be topped!

  • Bert_McGurt

    I'd have enjoyed that too, but considering his stint was probably short due to commitments on another show (which is much better and returns on January 6th!!!!!), I'll allow it.

    It was a little unsettling to see him as a weaselly dirtbag though. Even in Breaking Bad he seemed like your kindly, reliable uncle who just happened to deal in black market handguns.

  • googergieger

    I'm pretty sure they are just going to do a Dexter on the run for the next season. Maybe even a possible spin off. You know. Like Dexter:Miami. Wait, that doesn't work...

  • dizzylucy

    Can't argue with any of that, sounds plausible.

    I've hated LaGuerta for a long time now but I'm enjoying that she's figured it out. I too expect her not to survive for having done so.

    Barnaby, glad to know I'm not the only one who thought "Doesn't Hannah have anything else to wear?"

  • DeistBrawler

    Wait...I know they're not technically related, but is "Dexter" really going the incest route?

  • KatSings

    Deb admitted being in love with him. She's not sure she is anymore, now that she knows the truth about him, but at the end of last season, her therapist guided her into believing she has non-sisterly feelings towards Dex. He does not share them.

  • BierceAmbrose

    Dearest contributors, editors, Overlord, and whatever else you call yourselves.

    You've been on a roll lately with the bon mots, from snappy titles to delicious turns of phrase buried in reviews.

    Thanks.

  • Morgan_LaFai

    I am actually enjoying there not being a big bad this season. I am finding it to be a nice change of pace. I would rather have no big bad than a big bad done bad. And though Lithgow did indeed cast a long shadow (though the Trinity origin story was shit) I must admit that I quite liked the Hanks/Olmos big bad.

  • John G.

    still better than American Horror Story

  • lowercase_ryan
  • in_heaben

    It tries so hard, but by the halfway point I was already bored (same with S1). Horrible writing will do that, I guess.

  • DeistBrawler

    I gave up on "Dexter" several seasons ago. I still love the shit out of "American Horror Story."

    Granted...its only had two seasons.

  • John G.

    I seriously feel like I'm taking crazy pills. The only conclusion I can draw is that this entire site is punking me, because that fucking show is fucking crazy bad. It's not just crappy TV. It's like it was written from the notes of long dead scientists interviewing traumatized autistic children about their nightmares. Other sites that review the show can see it. Why can't Pajiba?

    Dexter is definitely not good, but at least it has characters who do things and say things that are logically consistent, plots that (however bad) have beginnings, middles and ends, and at least some drama arc. At least Dexter is not incoherent screaming and color and darkness scattered indiscriminately with nothing connecting one moment to the next.

  • BarnabyJones

    I think this idea is far too good then they seem to be leaning towards. It will be Hannah trying to kill Deb and Dexter choosing between the two (spoiler: Deb owns more that one outfit while Hannah apparently only owns white t-shirts with black bras). The LaGuerta storyline is stupid as they very early on established her as an inept investigator while being a skillful politician. I thought with the introduction of Isaac they would open up the world of serial killers outside of Miami; so much for that.

  • Three_nineteen

    So, a repeat of the Season 1 plot where Dexter had to choose between Deb and his brother?

  • KatSings

    I'm actually enjoying this season, and the Deb/Dex dynamic, as well as the Hannah story. Then again, I also was one of a handful of people who didn't hate Julia Stiles' season, so I'm comfortable being in the minority. I do hate Quinn and wish he had been killed off seasons ago. And agree that Isaac deserved better. But I don't hate this season, and I think it's a marked improvement over the two seasons I can't stand, 3 and 6.

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