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The Dark Passenger Takes a Hike

By J.K. Barlow | TV | December 16, 2010 |

By J.K. Barlow | TV | December 16, 2010 |

Can I get some opinions on this season of Dexter? Did you like it? I’m pretty sure I liked it, but the finale made me realize something. When Deb mentioned the Ice Truck Killer and what she suffered at his hands, I realized that seasons of Dexter very rarely reference each other. Aside from what is necessary for character growth, the actual events of previous seasons rarely have any impact on what comes after. I’m starting to wonder if it’s to the show’s detriment. Because of this, we all knew that Lumen wasn’t going to be a long-running character, because every season is like that. They’re self-contained. They stand alone - kind of like Dexter himself. Yeah, Dexter has to talk about Rita because of all the repercussions of her death, but how many times has he mentioned Trinity? Does anyone ever talk about Lundy, Miguel Prado, Lila, Doakes? These are reminders of traumatic events (in Deb’s case, Lila’s tits were especially traumatic), but when no one talks about them they disappear. This season, unlike most, didn’t have a big twist. Lumen staying would have been one. But true to form, the writers have sent her away, back to Minnesota I guess, or maybe to meet her blond ex-fiancé in a backpacker’s hostel in Southeast Asia. And yes, I thought she was probably going to die. But in the end it won’t matter that she didn’t, because after some obligatory reminiscing next season it will be as though she never existed.

A season of Dexter is usually evaluated in light of its big baddie. With that in mind, maybe this season was an innovation. For one thing, the baddie was diffuse. He was Jordan Chase, but he was also the bodyguard, and the dentist, and Boyd Fowler, and the ginger banker, and even a little bit Emily, though she was a victim too. This season, the big draw wasn’t the big baddie, it was Lumen - Dexter’s real soul mate, at least for a while. Honestly, the killing-rehearsal scene between those two was one of the most disturbing things I’ve seen on television, but I have to say I was rooting for them, even though they were clearly doomed.

I don’t mean to malign Jordan Chase. Did Jordan go out with a bang, or what? He was murdered in fine form, making uncomfortably salient points and spewing well-considered hatred right to the very end. I would have liked to know a bit more about his demons, personally. In fact we hardly knew anything at all about the man, save that he grew up Eugene Greer in a single-parent home near Tallahassee. I wanted to know so much more, about what drove him, about how he started, his relationship with Emily and how it made him what he is. We had hints of some pretty meaty backstory, but it was never delivered. Do you remember when we found out Trinity’s deal? Now that was some powerful television. Sorry, Jordan Chase. I guess it was fun while it lasted.

And of course, we had Debra and Dexter, separated by a plastic curtain. The Dark Passenger and Deb the Avenging Angel, in the same filthy room. I know everyone says that Deb’s going to find out sooner or later, but I say she never will. Know why? Because if Deb found out about Dexter, she’d shoot him. She’d book him, she’d take him in. She might kill herself later, but she’d arrest him. That’s just the kind of cop she is, and this “you’d better be gone before the cops get here” crap, while touching and explicable in light of her history, is still crap and a bit convenient if you ask me. The writers did it because they know there’s no way they could believably have Debra know about Dexter and let it go, just as there’s no way Dexter could dispatch Debra the way he’s done to everyone else who hunted him. So, this. It was so predictable I… Well. What can one say?

What’s been left open for next season? This uneasy truce with Quinn, for one. Quinn knows that Dexter was into something very, very bad, though he doesn’t know precisely what. He knows Dexter lied about the blood on Quinn’s shoe. And Dexter knows that Quinn was suspicious enough of him to put him under 24-hour surveillance. And they can’t stand each other. And Quinn is boning Dexter’s sister. This is going to be maximum drama, folks. Let’s hope Desmond Harrington doesn’t wilt under the stress.
I have a feeling that they’re trying to set Astor up as some kind of confidante, to which I respond, thank you, no. This is a grown-up show, and that girl needs to learn to act before you let her back on it.

LaGuerta is back to being an interesting bitch, while Angel is still boring. And they’re still together, despite Angel having thrown her to the wolves over Deb’s suspension. Take it from me: that’s no way to handle a marriage. Angel, I love you, but that wasn’t cool. Please start being cool again, and dump LaGuerta.

And finally - are we missing an episode here? What happened to the Santa Muerte case? Isn’t one of those guys still running around free? We may never know. Or maybe — just maybe — we’ll find out next season

J. K. Barlow doesn’t have time for this. You can visit her Tumblr, which she doesn’t have time for either. Or you can email her at i [dot] barlova [at] gmail [dot] com.