Monday, July 1, 2013

On Dexter: The End Begins...

Spoiler warning.  Blah blah blah.

Over the course of several years I have developed a love/hate relationship with Dexter (both the show and the novels - the focus of this will be on the Showtime series).  The show has been a pendulum, swinging from the darkly, satirically, humorous phenomena of the Death to Smoochy caliber all the way to the utter cheese of the Batman & Robin badness (ok, maybe not THAT bad).  Maybe I missed my calling in life and should have been a script writer, but again, with Dexter I am more in love with the potential of the concept than I am with the execution (no pun intended).  I suppose that's the problem when you create expectations for something - you create the possibility (likelihood) of failure to meet those expectations.

I have read the Dexter novels (not sure if I am current, but have no intention to move forward from where I left off) and have watched all previous seasons.  This season is being touted as the final, the end of our lovable serial killer one way or another, the last of Deb's "motherfuckers," and my thoughts are "it couldn't come soon enough." Again, I love the concept, but the execution for the last several seasons has been weak.  The series needs to end before it really jumps the shark.

"Robin, hand me down the shark repellent bat spray!"
The season begins with five minutes of the cast gloating over their joy and honor and wonder for being a part of the phenomena that has been Dexter, and how great the show is and how exciting the end will be.  Five minutes taken away from advancing the story in episode one.  Unnecessary.  You're all getting paid handsomely to say these things, so the opinion may be just a little biased.

The show begins several months after the end of last season.  Deb is a drug-doing, undercover, bounty hunter.  Dexter is losing his cool.  And new plot device Brain Doctor/Consultant lady is added to the force and she knows!  The season is laid out.

<intermission music>

I wrote that first segment hours ago.  Since that point CrabCakes has lived up to her name and Peanut has been as much assistance as a one year old can be.  As such, my train of thought is gone, and my brain functionality has decreased to basic operational standards.  Children have a way of pulling the life-force from you, making menial tasks like remembering something from last night seem inconceivable.

I'm not going to go scene by scene through the episode.  I'm not sure I'm capable right now.

But my impression of the show was much of what my impression of most season-opening episodes is.  A sense of underwhelming data-dumping setting up the remaining episodes of the season.  I had been holding onto the feeling ever since the Trinity season that the series should have ended with

The season ending was so impactful, and even with Dexter still amongst the living it had a sense of finality to it.  Now that the show is in its official final season.  Let's hope they can end it on something as emotionally impactful without resorting to how everyone expects it to end.

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