Dexter – Buck The System (10/14/12)
Buck The System
Dexter tries to bring Debra on board with his new target. While the Ukrainian mob seeks revenge for the killing of one of their own, Quinn grows close to a dancer at their strip club. LaGuerta, convinced the Bay Harbor Butcher is still out there, attempts to enlist Batista to help her re-open the case.
EPISODE SPOILERS AHEAD
As a Cubs fan, I'm used to a strong start to a season, followed by a gradual decline. I'm willing to forgive the occasional error or lapse in judgement. Having said that...
Barring the last ten minutes, this may have been the worst episode of Dexter I have ever seen, and that includes all of season 5. I kept expecting Terry Hatcher to pop up and do some wacky pratfall. This show used to be a dark comedy about the practical applications of good and evil in modern civilization, but has since devolved into an entirely unrealistic soap opera full of clunky dialogue. The Dark Passenger has been relegated to a mutable Dark Back-Seat-Driver and the resulting void has been filled with convoluted pulp and unnecessary exposition, building to a climax that will likely leave the audience unsatisfied. When you have a character as complex and compelling as Dexter, why muddy the waters with extraneous story lines?
I know it's early to be passing judgement like this. I know I should be patient and judge the season as a whole. It's just that this whole Ukrainian-mafia-time-filler thing is really starting to annoy me when the moral dilemma between Deb and Dexter is far more interesting. At least we can thank them for killing Louis. Ding-dong, the dick is dead.
Following a haunted house run through an active serial killer's hunt, Deb finally realizes the benefit of Dexter's services. Given that she rode his hunch to a point that she was moving finger-on-trigger after her target, she would be remiss to ignore the similarities between the immediacy of her and Dexter's work. Coupled with the added guilt of arriving moments too late to save the victim, she is very likely to help Dexter acquire, vet and eliminate new loose ends from Miami Metro. As the show's moral compass, this sudden corruption would not bode well for her survival probability.
The ending sequence in the minotaur's maze was a nice visual allegory for Deb and Dexter's feelings of confinement. Dexter can't kill while Deb holds him to the letter of the law, and Deb feels constrained by the limitations of the judicial system. Even though they made it out of the maze, they weren't able to kill the monster. Does Ray Speltzer have what it takes to be a season-long pursuit, or will he meet his end in the next episode? Could he be Deb's first kill outside of the law?
Congratulations to Joey Quinn and Angel Batista for assuming the proud and unimportant responsibilities made famous by Donna Martin from 90210. On next week's episode, maybe they'll rescue a depressed cutter teen or help a runaway learn the value of teamwork.
Dexter got all fumbly around an attractive person-of-interest named Hannah, which is hack-writing shorthand for introducing a future love. She has a checkered history with Wayne Randall, the serial-killer-turned-hood-ornament from the previous episode, so perhaps she'll understand Dexter's need to eviscerate evil-doers. Perhaps she'll act to swing him the other way toward reformation while Deb slowly accepts his darker side, offering an interesting counter-balance for Dexter's character. Or, maybe she's just being introduced as a love interest for this season to act as a completely disposable but emotionally-charged source of leverage for the Koshka Brotherhood to use against Dexter.
Louis. Dead. Just in case you forgot. As one last possible middle finger to Dexter, Louis did leave a lot of DNA evidence behind on the Slice of Life. The Ukrainians may have disposed of the body, but why would they bother with a lengthy clean-up? Not sure if this is just a red herring, but it could be used to eventually cleave the strengthening bond between Deb and Dex. After all, Dexter had a clear motive for wanting Louis gone. Maybe Louis left behind another video blog to annoy us from beyond the grave? An investigation with Dexter as a prime suspect would certainly sound some alarms in Deb's fledgling lizard brain. More than likely, Dexter will find the blood on his own, and his curiosity over Louis's disappearance will put him directly on the trail of the Ukrainian mob.
Oh yeah, the Ukrainian mob. The Ukrainian mob had a tracking chip in a bracelet that has something to do with following the movement of their heroine shipments. That tracking chip was reactivated and lead them to Dexter's boat, which lead to a major development with Louis (see previous paragraph, rejoice). Generic Bond villain and leader of the Koshka Brotherhood, Isaac, knows that Dexter has killed his comrade and will likely risk everything to bring him to Ukrainian mob justice. Ain't no justice like Ukrainian mob justice.
What is all of this building toward? The Koshka Brotherhood is a Sword of Damacles hanging precariously over the house of Morgan, and will likely be the death blow vehicle that eliminates Deb/Hannah and unhinges Dex. After his requisite rampage, he'll either have burned his last vestiges of normalcy to get revenge or, like Spiderman before him, he'll realize that anyone he gets close to will always be in danger. Either way, I'm thinking a self imposed exile and an assumed identity will cap-off this series, if not the season.
What do you think will happen?
As we wait for more information, check out this ironic entry into Dexter canon, "Dexter: The Game." In this game, you can actually choose to be the serial killer. Why would anyone choose to be the serial killer? Dexter finds this offensive. Bye bye, Louis!