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Dexter season 6 finale: “This is the Way the World Ends” episode review

9 Jan

This is one of those seasons on a television show that I actually don’t care about the main storyline. I just care more about how the characters react in the story which says, yes, this show is getting a bit old. But by the end of this episode, I have hope that new life will be brought to the Dexter series next season. As this particular episode stands, they could have cut out the entire DDK segments and I would have been perfectly content.

SPOILER ALERT:

When Dexter (Michael C. Hall) gets rescued by a Cuban refugee boat as he floats in the ocean and almost gives up, it almost seems too convenient, until we see the human smuggler is a bad guy.  It makes us wonder how much fight Dexter actually has left in him after almost becoming a human marshmallow roast in the ocean.  Apparently he still has plenty.   There is something so very satisfying watching Dexter stab the coyote/human trafficker who tries to rob all the refugees.  It felt cathartic to watch Dexter openly murder someone with a group of people who were grateful for his violence and — relieved.

While I know I should be worried about Harrison’s welfare and whether this season will end with him becoming the next sacrifice in Dexter’s life, even in his cute little lion suit, I am far more concerned whether or not Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) is going to reveal her incestuous feelings to her brother.  Not concerned in a bad way because I find it sickly fascinating if the show goes there.  This just goes with my overall dislike of the DDK storyline.  It’s not that Travis (Colin Hanks) doesn’t do an excellent job at being a creepy loser, he does.  End of the world storylines just never interest me.  I was also banking on the fact that it was bad enough they made Professor Gellar (Edward James Olmos) another Harry (James Remar).  Okay, evil Harry.  But if they were going to kill Harrison as well, I would give up on the show.  Because that would signal they had run out of fresh sick ideas.  But the incest story line, in my book, qualifies as a fresh sick idea. It gives me hope that next season might be really screwed up.  And there is nothing I love more than screwed up characters.

While there is drama between Batista (David Zayas) and Quinn (Desmond Harrington) who he wants transferred, it doesn’t go very far.  Quinn fights back by talking to his Union rep and claiming he has a problem with alcohol.  As far as Quinn is concerned, he is staying put.  Perhaps there will be increased tension between the two next season.  That could get interesting.

Travis is obviously on his way out.  Nobody breaks into Dexter’s apartment, eats his cereal and drops it everywhere, steals one of his shirts and then lives.  Dexter does not violations of personal space.  Especially by those he is hunting down.  When Travis does take Harrison from the children’s pageant, it seems almost anti-climatic.  As if Dexter will let anything happen to his son… And he doesn’t.  The whole scenario quickly (thankfully!) ends with Travis knocked out and tied up in back of Dexter’s car.

In the meantime, Deb does her best to lead the manhunt for Travis.  She must be having quite a hard time concentrating, especially since at the beginning of the episode she rushes to Dexter’s apartment, hugs him while he is shirtless, looks like she’s in complete bliss and declares her love for him.  He reciprocates by telling her that he loves her too (but most likely in a brotherly way).  Too bad for Debra Travis’ actions interrupt their intimate moment and they get called to his latest crime scene.  But it’s Debra’s excitement about her declaration of love for Dexter that motivates her to go visit him while he does one last sweep of the church… just in time to watch her beloved brother plunge a knife into Travis’ heart.  And for Dexter to realize he’s actually been caught.  NOW I can’t wait for next season.

Dexter: “Talk to the Hand” episode review

26 Dec

I think this Dexter episode might be my favorite this season. It has just the right mix of perverted sex, death and a bit of suspense. And I like the title.  This show was originally going about going to dark places and sometimes, over the last few seasons, I felt like it didn’t always go dark enough; however, with this episode, I can see we are back on track.  You can’t get much darker, really.

SPOILER ALERT:

Dexter (Michael C. Hall) gets called to his own crime scene, something I always find amusing. By the time he arrives, the police have fished Holly’s body out of the water.  Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) recognizes Dexter’s victim, Steve Dorsey (Kyle Davis) and Louis (Josh Cooke) informs Deb that he told Batista (David Zayas) about his lead last episode (regarding Steve Dorsey and his address), which leads Deb to ask where Batista is and Quinn (Desmond Harrington) rushes there just in time to disrupt Travis’s (Colin Hanks) plans to shoot Batista.  But Beth (Jordana Spiro) has already left to create Wormwood at the Miami Metro PD building in Deb’s office.

Beth makes it into the office with Batista’s ID/key card and waits to talk to Deb.  Dexter passes her on his way in and once he starts looking up Steve Dorsey, he notices a picture of Beth and makes the connection.  He rushes out just in time to see Beth following Deb into her office pushing the button to discharge the poison gas.  Dexter pushes Beth into an interrogation room and we get to see her gas herself.  It’s a gross but fitting death for a nutter.

Deb’s doctor sees the siblings together recovering from the Wormwood aftermath and brings up Deb’s feelings for Dexter in their session.  And yes, she says what you never think you will hear broadcast on American television, that Deb has incestuous feelings for Dexter.  Of course, Deb blows a gasket and denies it but later, she has a very vivid dream that lets us know that yes, she does indeed harbor romantic feelings for her brother.  The big question now is:  what is Deb gonna do about it?

Louis, aka Creepy Man, has also lost the plot.  It looks like perhaps he is going to try to be his own serial killer, or at least a demented stalker and he starts his real life game by sending Dexter the Ice Truck Killer’s hand in the mail.  It looks like we will be seeing more of Louis next season.

In the meantime, Dexter’s been slightly poisoned by the Wormwood gas but still goes after Travis.  First by getting his attention, defacing an Angel in the museum courtyard where Travis works, then by sending him a taunting video.  Travis obviously takes the bait but when Dexter tries to attack, he has a dizzy spell and a bloody nose and Travis injects Dexter with his tranquilizer.  Dexter wakes up on a boat, tied up and surround by gas canisters.  Travis plans on creating his own burning lake of fire, which he does.  Dexter narrowly escapes and knows he must hunt down and kill Travis before the DDK deadline…

Dexter: “Ricochet Rabbit” episode review

26 Dec

As we near the end of this season, Dexter (Michael C. Hall) closes in on Travis (Colin Hanks) – almost  – while Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) seems to slowly realizes that Dexter is the number one man, as well as person, in her life.  What exactly does that mean?  I think we all know what that means.  Yes, I’m going there because that is exactly the path the writers are leading us.

SPOILER ALERT:

Dexter tracks down Holly, the victim Travis previously freed, but not in time to save her from Travis’s new found followers, the crazy loser couple, Steve (Kyle Davis) and Beth Dorsey (Jordana Spiro), who believe in “Gellar’s” prophecies.  Holly, who ironically is a whore, and it appears disliked, gets herself murdered on her lover’s yacht, the Ricochet Rabbit.  Because going on a boat alone is the smartest thing to do after a homicidal maniac almost put you in a death tableau once.  Fortunately, for Travis and company, her stupidity makes their successful murder of her go as easy as pie.  She also managed to give them the privacy they needed to cook up.  Smooth move, Holly.

In the meantime, Deb has more moments with her therapist realizing how important Dexter is to her.  She also does some quick detective work and discovers who was with Jessica, the murdered prostitute.  She turns to Dexter for advice.

Louis (Josh Cooke) tries to show Dexter his homicide game which is about becoming serial killers.  One of the characters the player can be is The Bay Harbor Butcher, in other words, Dexter.  He gets offended and tells Louis to find another idea.  Louis gets upset but still manages to work through his disappointment and ID Travis’s accomplices.  Or at least the husband.  Batista (David Zayas) goes to follow up the lead on his own since Quinn (Desmond Harrington) is MIA.  Most likely, hung over.  Probably not the best idea…

By the time Dexter discovers the boat, it’s too late.  Holly is dead.  Dexter spots someone on the boat in a hazmat suit and knows something bad is going down.  He mistakes Steve for Travis, attacks and kills him, only to discover it’s not Travis in the suit.  And while Dexter makes an anonymous call to 911 about poison gas because this is too big for him to handle, Batista finishes questionning Beth Dorsey and realizes she’s lying and working with Travis, just in time to be hit over the head by Travis and become his next prisoner and potential victim…

Dexter: “Get Gellar” episode review

23 Dec

This might be my shortest Dexter review to date, most likely because it feels more like there are highlights in this episode rather than a story, which, sometimes is not a bad thing… especially since I am not loving Dexter’s redemption storyline this season or the DDK fiasco.  Yes, there are some great sick tableaus, however, that doesn’t make up for the subject matter, religion, which I find overused.  How many times can an idiot decide they are going to help bring on the end of the world?  According to Hollywood, thousands of times.

SPOILER ALERT.

We experience a great therapy moment as the therapist explains to Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) that Dexter (Michael C. Hall) is a chair, not a table.  He’s been a chair all his life and now Deb expects him to act like a table.  Now if Deb had realized this back when Dexter was 17 or 18, maybe he could have become a table-chair hybrid but now, he is simply a chair.  And she tells him he’s a chair, which baffles him to no end.  I think that it’s the best part of the entire episode.  In fact, this particular episode does an excellent job with the characters.

In other news, Travis (Colin Hanks) agrees to help Dexter track down Gellar (Edward James Olmos).  Dexter puts him up in a motel to keep him safe.  That doesn’t seem to stop Gellar from leaving bloody messages on the wall later in the episode.

Quinn (Desmond Harrington) continues imploding.  He ends up losing his gun in the back seat of a stripper’s mother’s car.  And no he didn’t sleep with the stripper but her mother.  And he took photos.  Maybe the best and most comedic humiliating moment for Quinn in the history of the series.

Deb decides to pursue Jessica Morris’ death much to La Guerta’s (Lauren Velez) displeasure.

Louis (Josh Cooke) gets advice from Masuka (C.S. Lee):  when it comes to matters of the heart, always follow your dick.  Louis ends up taking home Batista’s sister, Jamie (Aimee Garcia), and they sleep together.

The next DDK victim is an arrogant professor who ends up laid out dead with the bowls of wrath.  Fairly disgusting but par for the course for DDK.  If you liked Carrie, you will enjoy the body discovery scene.

Later, Gellar seems to have knocked out Travis in the church while Dexter prepared to capture him.  Dexter discovers a trap door to a basement, then a freezer.  Inside the freezer is something Dexter was not expecting:  Gellar’s frozen dead body.  Oops.  I guess it was Travis after all.  And that means, sadly, that they made Gellar like Harry (James Remar), which I think essentially is a sort of cop out.  It’s just a bit too convenient.  I was truly hoping that wasn’t going to happen.

Dexter: “Sin of Omission” episode review

13 Dec

The theme in this episode: relationships between siblings.

Kids trust everybody.  The first line in this episode of Dexter.  This is what I would always tell my students is one of those “universal truths” that is a lie.  It is an evil thing I call a generalization.  You can’t prove it, so don’t try to start your story or argument by stating it.  I blame a few misguided high school English teachers for perpetrating this lie.  Personally, if I meet any high school English teacher that admits to teaching this kind of crap to students, I will most likely deck them, as I have been the recipient of thousands of examples of their remedial teaching.  But that’s another story.

Travis (Colin Hanks) and his sister, Lisa (Molly Parker), are juxtaposed with Dexter (Michael C. Hall)  and Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) throughout the episode.  Deb shows up to question Travis’s sister.  Obviously the irony is that both sisters don’t realize their brothers are killers, even when one is a police lieutenant and the other is a teacher.  Both trained observers.  Both choose to ignore glaring signs that something is wrong with their emotionally challenged brothers in order to keep the pretense of a close relationship alive in their fantasies.  Both Dexter and Travis seemingly will do anything to protect their sisters from danger (think Rudy and Gellar), never truly comprehending they pose the biggest danger to their siblings.  And if the sisters theme, protection, observation and blindness wasn’t clear enough, we get to watch Louis (Josh Cooke) having lunch with Batista (David Zayas) and his sister, Jamie (Aimee Garcia).   Batista, the overprotective brother is the least crazy of the three.  In the end, Travis’s sister becomes the latest victim for Gellar’s tableau, The Whore of Babylon.  Later, Deb is in her therapy session discussing Travis which moves into her problematic relationship with Dexter — a clear link between not only the two brother/sister ‘couples’ but what I am believe looks like a decidedly questionable relationship between both sets of siblings.  These questions of communication and lack of intimacy tend to belong with romantic couples, not always brothers and sisters.

Dexter inherits Brother Sam’s bible.  Dexter ponders if Sam (Mos Def) brought out some light in him as he stalks Travis, questioning if that is why he let Holly Benson, his and Gellar’s latest victim, go.  Dexter tries to convince Travis to lead him to Gellar (Edward James Olmos).  Travis remains uncommitted to Dexter’s quest for justice.

In the meantime, Dexter takes a call where there’s a dead hooker/escort.  She overdosed.  Someone tried to revive her and fled the scene.  While it looks straight forward, Captain LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) pushes Deb to close the case as an accidental death.  This doesn’t set well with Deb.

Later, Gellar chains Travis who he says must repent.  He learns Gellar made his sister the Whore of Babylon.  Travis is understandably upset but remains chained up as Gellar’s prisoner.  Dexter follows a clue with a part of the tableau and discovers the name of the priest associated with the abandoned church that Gellar uses as his hideout.  When he arrives at the church, he discovers Travis, chained to the floor.  He begins searching the church for Gellar, who escapes.  Travis agrees to help Dexter catch Gellar.

Dexter: “Nebraska” episode review

25 Nov

Most of us have had at least one moment in our adult lives where we decide to throw caution to the wind and just go with the moment.  In this episode, Dexter finally throws caution to the wind and decides to see just what his life will be like if he ignores responsibility and goes only where his darkest desires (in his case, murder) take him.

SPOILER ALERT:

Rudy  (Christian Camargo) replaces Harry (James Remar) as Dexter’s conscience and — little voice of unreason.  The super ego gone rotten.  Rudy’s sense of moralizing is about justifying the id’s needs and in this episode, it is all about Dexter as the id.  And whether or not his ego and moralizing super ego, Harry, can rectify his behavior back into what the viewers consider acceptable and justifiable killing by Dexter.

In “Nebraska” we get to see Dexter on the path to becoming an irredeemable killer.  His ability to identify with Rudy who is a full-fledged psychopath makes it fairly impossible for the viewer to even enjoy the ride because not all of us are psychopaths.  We might cathartically enjoy Dexter’s killings but that is because they have a code attached to them and Dexter must carefully reason out whether a death is morally justified.  The ‘hunt’ for Jonah (Brandon Eaton), the Trinity Killer‘s son, takes on the sort of tone you might find on a ‘couple on the run’ killing spree movie.  Because of Rudy, Natural Born Killers comes to mind.

While Dexter does many things out of character including blowing off Debra’s (Jennifer Carpenter) request that he stick around for work, and leaving his child for more than a night with the babysitter, he does something even more surprising while he is on his road trip:  sleeps with the convenience store clerk.  Yes, it might just be to steal her gun but this is so uncharacteristic of Dexter that it seems excessively – strange and immoral coming from him.  Even more disturbing is Dexter shooting up freeway signs under Rudy’s encouragement and guidance.  By this time I almost had to double-check and make sure I was actually watching a Dexter episode.

And that is really the point of this episode.  Dexter was in the throes of an morality and identity crisis with Brother Sam’s death.  It’s at this moment a character or a person in real life will end up taking a journey, either physically, metaphorically or both, to clarify their thinking and direction in life.  What is most important about the journey is that the character takes himself out of his normal surroundings, or at least the individuals he interacts with on a daily basis and thinks for a day or so about what motivates him and makes him happy and excited about life.  Or simply, what does he really want out of his life?  Are his current beliefs supporting those needs or does he need to rethink them?  Will Deb and Harrison and love win out or will nihilistic existence in the form of Rudy drive him into oblivion?

Once Dexter arrives in Nebraska, his problems only mount and his journey looks like it will be a rough one.  His gets a flat tire.  Norm (Scott Michael Campbell) doesn’t buy Dexter’s story about being a landscaper.  He offers to fix his flat tire but then steals his forensics kit and knife set.  In the meantime, Dexter talks to Jonah and knows he’s lying about his father, the Trinity Killer, being responsible for the deaths of his sister and mother because Dexter personally killed Trinity.  So Dexter does a bit more investigating in the house, is fairly certain that Jonah is following in his father’s footsteps but wants a bit more proof… when Jonah shows up at the house.  That situation doesn’t go so great and now Dexter feels one of them has to die… and it should probably be Jonah.

In the meantime Dexter regroups back at the hotel to get his knives, etc.  Norm tells Dexter he has the knife set and it will cost Dexter $10,000 to get it back.  Bad idea, Norm.  Dexter kills Norm with a pitchfork and is forced to dispose of the body in a grain silo.  He goes to meet Jonah.  Dexter reveals he killed Trinity and he knows Jonah is lying.  Jonah explains he found his sister dead in the tub – she’d killed herself and he did kill his mother but she had blamed them for Trinity’s disappearance and essentially emotionally tortured her kids.  That’s why Jonah killed her.  He begs Dexter to kill him.  Instead, Dexter tells Jonah to forgive himself then runs over Rudy with his car and stops to pick up Harry (James Remar) on the way back to Florida.

In Florida, Travis (Colin Hanks) does his best to release his version of Rudy, Professor Gellar (Edward James Olmos), but he doesn’t quite go away.  And instead of running from his sister as Dexter does, he runs to his sister.  Probably not the smartest move considering Professor Gellar is alive, breathing and out for blood…

Dexter: “Just Let Go” Episode Review

11 Nov

Forgiveness.  The theme of this episode of Dexter.  Yes, I know, we are supposed to forgive each other for certain transgressions and with enough time and space, most anything can be forgiven.  I might not be a serial killer, but I, like Dexter (Michael C. Hall) don’t think all people should be forgiven.  Isn’t that the point of the show?  Not everyone who is human is actually human.  Although Dexter likes to believe he isn’t, the nature of his need to make wrongs right makes him more human than the individuals he kills.  It makes perfect sense to me.

SPOILER ALERT:

Dexter, Deb, Quinn and Travis.  They will all face personal challenges this episode and their choices will help define and trigger what will happen to them in the coming weeks.  Most significantly, Dexter loses his new closest friend, Brother Sam (Mos Def ), who calls Dexter to his bedside and tells him to let Nick (Germaine De Leon) know he forgives him for shooting him.  Dexter resists and doesn’t understand how Brother Sam could forgive him but promises to pass on his message to honor his dying wish.

In the meantime, Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) has taken a positive first step in regaining control over her life and making it hers.  She throws a housewarming party for her new place.  She repairs the initial damage to her relationship with Harrison’s nanny, Batista’s sister.  She and Batista (David Zayas) also fix things from the earlier debacle in Clarissa’s questioning.  It seems as if Deb is finally maturing.  She even manages to hold it together in a professional manner when she discovers that Quinn (Desmond Harrington) slept with their key material witness to the Doomsday Killings, Clarissa (Mariana Klaveno).

Travis (Colin Hanks) is letting go of Professor Gellar’s (Edward James Olmos) powerful hold over him.  He resists branding the victim that he and Gellar kidnapped and lets her go at the end of the episode.  I cannot wait to see the repercussions for that move.

Dexter spends his time investigating if Nick was responsible for shooting Brother Sam.  The answer is:  yes.  After all that work Brother Sam did to try and help Nick, he gets gunned down because, as Nick admits to Dexter on the same beach where he was baptized by Brother Sam, nothing changed for the better.  In fact, Nick went back to his gang and had to shoot Brother Sam to prove his loyalty.  It becomes clear instantly that Nick was never worth saving and Dexter rejects Brother Sam’s doctrine of forgiveness and light and drowns Nick in the same water he’d been ‘reborn’ in.  But that rebirth never actually took.  It seems that this time there is an unholy baptism of sorts for Dexter because after he drowns Nick, he turns to see his dead brother, Rudy (Christian Camargo), applauding him and offering his support.

This development, I would assert, is the symbolic journey that Dexter has taken into darkness.  His alter ego is no longer Harry (James Remar), who provided him with some sort of code and guidance, instead, Dexter has chosen to embrace darkness, characterized by Rudy, who represents murder, death and chaos on the most depraved scale.  It looks like Dexter will be on quite a journey of self-discovery for the rest of the season.

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