Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dexter Turns It Around In Season 7 (So Far)

I have to admit, the last season of Dexter was such a humongous pile of shit that I had no plans of ever watching the series again.

Twelve hours of my life evaporated away on a horrible and obvious story arc, with a twist so slow and choreographed, I called it out to my wife nine episodes before it was revealed.

Yes, Tom Hank's son is awkward in a Pillsbury Doughboy sort of way, and yes, his creepy religious serial killer mentor is imaginary (wow what a surprise!), but Deb has an incestuous yearning for Dexter (wtf)?  Not sure why the writers couldn't take the imaginary killing partner and make the reveal more of a punch to the stomach.  The twist should have been hard and surprising, instead it ended up being like two angry drunk guys staring at each other while one says "I'm going to hit you" over and over and then when he finally does throw the punch, the guy who gets hit is shocked.

The whole Deb being in love with Dexter thing was entirely unneeded.  It was used as an excuse for why she ended up seeing him for what he is.  Instead, she could have just as easily thought, "You know what, Dexter is all alone at the crime scene finishing up, I'm going to bring him some dinner."

It made for a very sub par viewing experience.

The only redeeming moment happened in the last 15 seconds of the season.  Deb just happens to be on her way to tell Dexter (her brother) that she's in love with him, hoping it leads to a little bro and sis bump and grind, when instead she witnesses him murder the Doomsday Killer (Colin Hanks).  She gasps, Dexter looks and sees her ... "Oh shit" FADE TO BLACK.

They could have just done a one episode season.  Dexter tracks and kills a serial killer, only to have Deb walk in and see it.  Done.  One hour, one solid episode could have encapsulated the entire sixth season.  It would have saved Showtime tens of millions of dollars, and the viewing public tens of millions of wasted hours.

I was done with the show ... but then I begrudgingly watched the first episode of season seven to see what they would do with that huge reveal.  Deb knows Dexter's true self finally, and you know what?  It doesn't suck.  In fact it may have re-energized the show.  She is now the mirror in which Dexter can see his true self, not the delusion he has convinced himself of.

So far it has really amped up the drama and tension in a good way.  It's no longer a kill of the week sort of show, there is something more important going on, something deeper.  I don't want to reveal too much about the storyline so that I don't ruin it for anyone, but I'll just say I'm hopefully optimistic that this may be the best season yet.