The only way I’m able to reconcile myself to this season of Dexter is to consider it a waste of time. These twelve episodes were, at their unusual best, fairly entertaining and, at their regular worst, an insult to fans who’ve stuck with this series over the years. Whatever you may think of them as entertainment, there’s no denying that they didn’t actually take us anywhere. With one God-awful exception, each character ended the season in much the same place that they began it. The primary purpose of this year seems to have been to get us to where we should have been at the end of season five. It’s best to just ignore how lazy and contrived Dexter’s been recently and focus on the story telling potential of Debra knowing about Dexter. I’ll be happy to put DDK behind me after this write up.
I have my issues with the season premiere but I’m still going to give it a passing grade. While Dexter’s high school reunion ultimately proved to be weightless (like everything else this season) it was a fun departure for the series.
Brian’s return gave us what was definitely the standout episode of the season and had the virtue of showing us the fascinatingly dark places that Dexter’s psychosis could take this series. I really wish they’d had the courage to stretch it out over the season, but that doesn’t change how awesome this episode was in itself.
I rolled my eyes when I heard that Mos (at that time still Mos Def) had been cast, but he proved to be one of the only pleasant surprises. Brother Sam was a well executed character all around, but Mos’ performance help elevate him to something special.
Walter Kinney was definitely the standout kill-of-the-week this season. The procedural elements of this series are quickly becoming the only thing it still has going for it.
The Dexter/Brother Sam relationship was our stand in for a season arc during the DDK snooze fest. While I felt their friendship was somewhat forced, it was still great to see Dexter interacting with a positive role model for once in his life.
“The Twist” was pretty much ill conceived from the get go. Once you caught on to the fact that Gellar wasn’t real there was absolutely no drama left in his interactions with Travis. I can respect the series for trying something this bold, but hinging the entire season on one moment required a vastly superior execution.
Nothing against Collin Hanks, I’m sure he’s a nice guy. In fact, I’m so sure he’s a nice guy that I never really bought into him as a murderous psychopath.
The exposition this season was incredibly grating. Dexter used to be a smart show that expected the audience to keep up. Now it’s an obvious show that still feels the need to explain itself every episode. Standout piece of awful, “He still thinks Gellars alive!”
Dexter really looked like an idiot for much of this season. Part of what makes the series work is the fact that Dex is always two steps ahead of everyone else, it’s the only way to explain his getting away with a triple digit body count. Among his more grievously stupid mistakes: letting Travis go just because he said he didn’t do it; not anticipating Travis’ betrayal; sending Travis a threatening video of himself; assuming “Gellar” somehow eluded him on the second floor of the church; and not realizing Travis has his keys and wallet.
I could go on about what else went wrong, but I’ll conclude with Debra’s suddenly romantic feelings for Dexter. Does this need any further explanation of why it’s the worst decision the writers could possibly have made?