Televisions favorite serial killer is back as Dexter heads into its eight and final season.
The first few seasons of Dexter remain as impressive as any in contemporary serial dramas. However the slide in quality after the unforgettable finale of season 4 was as dramatic in its abruptness as to the depths it has since plunged. This coincided with the departure of showrunner Clyde Philips and head writer Melissa Rosenberg, losses the show has never satisfactorily been able to fill.
While the show’s popularity never experienced a notable drop-off, the same cannot be said of the quality. Michael C. Hall’s portrayal of a serial killer trying to find his humanity is always fascinating viewing, but the shift to recognizably formulaic plot and characters has been depressingly stark. Season 7 is generally acknowledged as a return to form it was never quite able to capture the off kilter ingenuity that made Dexter such a rewarding experience.
The task for this final season is to find some semblance of quality, character progression and logical plot construction and finish off the series in a satisfying way. The first episode made some headway towards this while still featuring many of the problems that have contributed to the shows deterioration.
Miami Metro also appears to have a very generous policy to welcoming back former employees. Not only is has Batista managed to get his job as a detective back, but Matthews has been reinstated as Deputy Chief after several years hanging out on a boat getting drunk. Quinn confirms that quite possibly his only role in the show is to sleep with every female cast member.
Perhaps the most glaring plot hole of the episode belonged to Debra’s ‘out for a sandwich’ alibi which surely in any logical universe would take about two seconds for a half decent detective to see through.
I can just imagine that conversation
Officer 1: So did you see what happened?
Debra: No, although I have been following this man for quite a long time, his death just so happened to coincide with my sandwich expedition.
Officer 1: Well that covers every single question I could ask.
Officer 2: Should we perhaps ask Debra or anyone other person at all what happened or if they saw anyone else at all? Should we check out the victim’s room, certify Debra’s alibi or maybe question that creepy guy staring at us?
Officer 1: I feel like this case will forever remain a mystery.
I do hope that there are lasting repercussions since murder is becoming worryingly easy to get away with in Miami.
The most notable inclusion to this series is Charlotte Rampling playing neuroscientist Evelyn Vogel. Despite apparently being a legend in profiling psychopaths hailing from Miami, no one in the police department has heard of her. It’s kind of like when suddenly one of the character’s hot sister turns up completely out of the blue, despite there never being any mention of her existence, nor having any physical resemblance while also stretching a comprehensible age disparity. And then she sleeps with Quinn.
But I digress.
More troubling for Dexter is that Vogel already possesses some of his childhood paintings, talks about his code and knows that he’s a serial killer. What Vogel’s intentions or history with Dexter’s family are currently a mystery but will no doubt consume much of the next few episodes. The cliffhanger reveal of Vogel knowledge was well handled since there has been no forewarning about her characters role in this series. It presents an interesting and unforeseen progression.
What role the brain scooper killer and Hannah McKay will have is still yet to be revealed yet you can be assured both will have pivotal roles in this series.