Dexter Review: “Buck the System”

Ahhh man, it’s nice to finally be basking in the glow of another great Dexter season. I’d liked each and every one up until last year’s wild and weird tangent where Dexter made sarcastic quips about God and the world’s most telegraphed plot twist took an entire season to unravel.

Here, however, we’re back into the familiar realm of the show rocking, with unexpected twists and turns and moments that make me go HOLY SHIT DID THEY JUST KILL _____?

The _____ in question is none other than Lewis, Dexter’s new foe who seemed like he was going to be his new arch-rival serial killer in the making. Rather, they pretty much just had a prank war until Lewis was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and got a bullet in the head.

What’s your deal you little shit?

This answers my question from last week, where I wondered if Lewis or the Ukrainians were going to be the major plotline of the season. It answers it much more directly than I anticipated. But a lot more questions about Lewis still remain, both pre and post-mortem. What was his deal with Dexter? Did he know his secret? Was there actually any more to him? If not, that’s rather disappointing for a cross-season build up. And now after he’s dead, will his death come back onto Dexter since he was murdered on his boat? How ironic would that be if the one time Dexter gets  a murder pinned on him, he really did have nothing to do with it.

I really like Ray Stevenson’s Isaac as the arch-baddie, now that he’s officially earned that title. Dexter has taken on serial killers for years, but someone as well connected as a mob boss? That’s a different animal. And unlike previous seasons, Dexter doesn’t even know he’s being hunted. They already have his full name and place of employment, this seems to be escalating rather quickly for episode three. Not that I’m complaining.

We also got our first look at Yvonne Strahovski’s character, Hannah McKay. She was NOT the stripper like some of you with no eyes have been saying. Rather, she was the child-bride of the Colin-Farrell-in-Horrible-Bosses killer from last week, and a DNA swab later, she and Dexter are already making eyes at each other. I’m wondering how they’re going to bring her into Dexter’s life in a more prominent role, as this “find the bodies” case seems a lot more separate from everything else going on, and Dexter now has the Ukrainian mafia on his back.

DNA swabbing has never been so sexy.

Dexter sure has a thing for blondes, huh? First Rita, then Lumen, now Hannah? Sorry Deb, you’re out of luck with that stupid crush you had last season that will hopefully NEVER come up again on the show.

Speaking of Deb, her arc was far and away the best part of the episode, and it was brilliantly handled how the show made her learn a hard lesson about why Dexter does what he does. It was a nice touch that they made the killer get away in the end, as I almost though he’d end up on Dex’s table with Deb watching. But the knowledge that he’s still out there killing will haunt her, and bring her around to Dexter’s side.

What I still can’t figure out is why Dexter isn’t telling her things like about Lewis’s snooping or the fact he killed Viktor. And has he gone over the rundown of the whole ice truck/bay harbor/trinity/jordan chase murders yet? Or are we just assuming she understands all that?

So far, this is a great season, that has me guessing, which is a hell of a lot more than I can say for Travis and the good doctor last year, who by this point I’d already figured out their big secret. With two seasons to go, we’re starting to feel like we’re heading toward a real resolution, and I can’t wait to see how we get there.

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  1. Paul, you and I have a completely different view of this season all together. While I like Isaac, the whole Ukrainian Mafia things feels like I’m watching a different show entirely (namely a really good episode of CSI as opposed to Dexter). I like Dexter going after Serial Killers, cerebral thinkers who have a lizard brain. Having The Ukrainian Mafia after him is strange because Dexter has never killed anyone with an organization of people backing them, it’ll be strange to say the least how this turns out. It’d be like some hoodlum killing someone in the FBI. That’s gonna cause a MASSIVE sh*t storm!

    Speaking of sh*t storms, let’s talk about Louis which has me PISSED BEYOND BELIEF!! I thought he was going to transform into Dane Cook’s character in “Mr. Brooks”. I figured this Season, Deb would be trying to protect Dexter and his secret and keep Dexter from killing, while Louis would try to get a “vicarious thrill” (his words) from blackmailing Dexter and asking to be present whenever he kills someone. Words cannot express how disappointed I am in this.

    Also, let’s not forget Callista Flockhart will be joining the cast, as an FBI agent hell bent on helping La Guerta find the real Bay Harbor Butcher no doubt. Furthermore if Yvvone Strahovski turns out to be a new love interest for Dexter I may lose my lunch, sure she’s hot and all but Dexter NEEDS TO KILL NOT HAVE SEX!

    If Dexter was indeed going to go up against an organized group of people, I’d rather have it be some sort of ritualistic cult of murderers. That way Dexter isn’t tracking down not one but SEVERAL serial killers just as smart, careful and ritualistic as he is. People who would take their own lives to protect their leader. I’d rather watch that than Dexter going toe to toe with drug pushing Ukrainian mobsters.

    It feels like there is WAY too much going on this Season for me to judge where it’s really going, but after Louis got shot I pretty much gave up on hoping this Season to be anything special. I’m not saying I hate it, but for everything that Louis was doing last Season, (ie, his game, resurfacing Ice Truck Killer evidence and so on) it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to have Louis figure out Dexter is a serial killer…but alas…

  2. I agree with Ugo. This season, for me, seems to be shaping up into something kinda bland.

    I was really interested in the Lewis story and they killed him. They did make a point to show his blood splatter in the boat, so I am sure we will be back to him at some point, but I was really hoping to see them battle it out.

    The mob thing does seem like a CSI ep instead of dex. And it feels like it was added in. I wish this season was more about him and deb and him and Lewis.

    Also, last season was the best.

  3. @UGO

    Yeah, the Russian thing seems out of place, but I think that’s GOOD. How WOULD Dexter take on an organized crime syndicate? He already did the cult thing with Jordan Chase more or less.

    But yeah, I agree about Lewis. I also like how the tentative title of the finale is “Surprise Motherfucka!” though that’s likely just a rumor.

  4. I don’t think it would be a good idea to tell Deb about Viktor as Dexter know how uncomfortable she was when she had to lie to everyone about the Travis’ dead!
    As well, I think that telling her every details about ice truck/bay harbor/trinity would just make her more aware about how “dangerous” Dexter can be and will not at all help her to understand him
    BUT, I really don’t get why he don’t talk with her about jordan chase as he know that Deb let his murderers go away with it!

    PS : aren’t you forget about Jaime Murray’s character when you say that dex is into blondes 😉

  5. Reminds of a time Dexter went after a gangster, but chose to back off. I think it’s good that the show dares to change a little, many good shows try to stay the same way after it should have changed, like Supernatural for example.

  6. The season is shaping up to be alright. Much better than last seasons Deb wanting to start a relationship with her brother….gawd I’m glad they dropped that (and hopefully the writer who thought that up as well) and are moving towards something fresh and new.

    But with that said, this story line kinda reminds me of Garth Ennis’s run on Punisher with “The Slavers”. Kinda ironic that Ray Stevenson is it.

  7. Why did Lewis send Dexter the arm? with him being killed off it makes no sense at all. I really think they changed something before this season, probably something behind the scenes because that’s a huge plot hole right now and hopefully it’s addressed by the end. I know they made a point to zoom in on Lewis’ blood on the boat so this will no doubt be brought up again but Lewis sending the arm only makes sense if he knew who Dexter was and at this point it doesn’t seem like he was anything more than just an asshole.
    I would rather a storyline where Lewis ends up turning out to be a psycho killer obsessed with Dexter and begins doing copycat killings but without any code being followed and by the end they can deflect the Bay Harbor Butcher investigation on to him with the help of Debra. The Ukranian mob angle is just stupid even though we get a great Ray Stevenson the story to me is just too ridiculous, not Lumen ridiculous, but ridiculous.

  8. You really think we’ve seen the end of Louis? Sure, he’s dead.. but that blood splatter is definitely going to come back and haunt Dex.. not to mention if he did succeed in screwing up his boat.. and who knows what else Louis could’ve gotten into before he’s fatal confrontation with the Russians.

    I think the mob twist could be fascinating.. How could he get away from something as powerful and all-knowing as the mob? Look at how far they’ve gotten already. Will he have to join forces with Quinn (Who’s going to get in over his head soon, I’m sure.) or even the entire force to bring down this syndicate?

    Also, who can he pin the Bay Harbor Butcher crimes to to get away (when it comes to that)? Surely not the mob.. Louis?

    Also.. Where the hell has the baby been? Since Dex’s shacking up with Deb, was babysitter just keeping him the whole time? How did they explain that to her? I just don’t get how all of that went down. But hey.. she survived again!

  9. I love Quinn, the only reason I didn’t mention him is because no one’s done anything interesting with Quinn since Season 4. And The Ukrainian Mafia angle COULD be awesome, COULD be…if we didn’t already add in the whole Wayne Randall angle as well. I just feel like there is way too much going on this Season.

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