The final episode of Seinfeld bothered a lot of people because it forced fans of the show to realize that the characters they have known and loved for years are, in fact, complete assholes. This season of Dexter is asking a lot of really tough moral questions of its characters, which is both rare and welcome, but these questions are really changing a beloved landscape, which is a little unsettling as a fan of the show. Like Deb, I find myself looking at Dexter thinking, “It’s like you’re a different person.”
Deb is really calling out Dexter on every level, from fatherhood to the mock justice that drives him, which makes her acceptance of his work at the end of the episode that much more compelling. I don’t think she’s totally on board, but she might just be setting up roadblocks for herself with these moral interventions. Deep in her lizard brain, she can see the benefit of proactive vigilantism, but she is desperate to maintain her own sense of right and wrong.
This episode had one of the most satisfying pursuits and kills that Dexter has staged in a long time. However, from Dexter’s defiance in Speltzer’s maze to the “STAY” message in the graveyard and the absolutely unhinged profanity dance in the crematorium, everything felt much more sinister than usual. It seems that either Deb’s presence is getting to Dexter, or the writers are slowly chipping away at his loveable veneer to draw his Dark passenger out into the open. He’s been playing fast and loose with The Code for a few seasons now—perhaps he’s straying for a narrative reason. Maybe, in his decline, he will become the raving killer that he always was and end up as the show’s ultimate villain? It’s not likely, but it “would be a twist.”
The slow build with the Ukrainian mob continues. Instead of feeling like the coming storm that it should, these scenes really drag along and detract from some great moments. It’s soap opera melodrama turned to eleven.
It seems that Isaac and Dex will be coming face to face in next week’s episode. It also seems that Isaac’s motivation is love lost to the business-end of Dexter’s bloodlust. In a scene so cheesy that it merits nachos, Isaac swears a teary vengeance to a clandestine photo of himself and the recently deceased Victor Baskov. Isaac also bristles whenever anyone talks down about Victor, vehemently defending him despite the poor opinions. I think we’ll find that Isaac and Victor were involved romantically. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It does indicate that Isaac will be interested in making Dexter suffer in kind, by killing someone that he loves. Harrison has wisely been sent to stay at grandma’s house, so Deb remains the most likely target of the rainbow mafia. The odds of her survival are now approximately 3,721 to one.
The really important question, though… are we going to see a ghost Doakes? In my opinion, a disembodied “Surprise motherf***er” could absolve all of season 5 and most of season 6.
For a quick and unique glimpse of fonder times, check out the first three awesome episodes of the animated comic, “Dexter: Early Cuts.”