Dexter Review: “Dress Code”

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Now that both shows are drawing their last breaths and airing their final episodes, you’ll probably see me drawing a lot of parallels between Dexter and Breaking Bad. Except there won’t be many parallels because Breaking Bad knows exactly where it wants to go and isn’t wasting a second to get there.

And in Dexter we have Masuka seeing his daughter’s boobs in a topless bar.

Though this may be the weirdest subplot in the show’s history, it’s not even the biggest problem with the show right now. Rather, with five episodes left, I have no idea where Dexter is going, which wouldn’t be a problem, but I don’t think the show knows either.

I will credit this week for not being slow, and for “things actually happening,” but what the what? Just last week we moved on from the brain surgeon killer, from Dexter and Deb’s drama, and now Dexter was going to start mentoring a new young killer. Now this week, Hannah shows up and everything gets thrown out the window so Dexter can help her escape from a controlling rich dude who, like Hannah’s father, appears and dies over the course of one episode.

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“Ooo you’re so pretty I just forget about all my other character motivations when you’re around!”

If you introduce a major character and he dies by the end of the night, you’ve done something wrong.

So now Vogel’s shadiness is on the back burner completely (she still has secrets but they’re beyond irrelevant right now), and Dexter straight up abandons his new protégé so that he kills his neighbor out of murderous frustration (that was telegraphed all episode). Also, shouldn’t Dexter be one of the prime suspects in her murder? He lives next door, was dating her before he was essentially dumped for another dude, and has also been accused of murder before. And they’re letting him work the crime scene? Seriously?

And then…Hannah. I hated her character last season, and now she shows up and makes everything terrible again. She drugs Dexter and drags him to the middle of nowhere because…why exactly? By the end of the episode I still couldn’t figure out why she did that.

She then reveals that her plan was to get Dexter to kill her new rich casino magnate husband. Then she changes her mind. Then she kills him herself. Then she has Dexter chop him up and toss him in the ocean anyway, cleaning the plush carpet of the yacht with bleach which totally wouldn’t look suspicious to anyone who would step foot in that room.

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“When I said get a day job, I did not mean murdering my neighbors.”

So now Dexter’s one-episode protégé has killed an innocent girl and probably needs to die. Dexter has lost the trust of his sister, again, because she spies him helping Hannah on the boat and will probably end up reading about the guy going missing in the next few days. So…what? What are we doing here?

The only barely interesting thing that happened all night was Deb’s boss finally flipping out on her in a way that was almost scary. She apologized and everything was cool, but that was a dark side of that guy we’ve never seen before, and made me think there could be more to him. But then again, I’m not falling for this show’s red herrings anymore.

This show has no villain, and it’s not like Breaking Bad where everything has come around full circle and Dexter is the villain. There just isn’t one, or if there is, it keeps switching every other episode. First it was the brain surgeon, then it was maybe Vogel, then maybe Deb, now maybe this psycho kid, now maybe Hannah. The show is just all over the place and I can’t believe they didn’t have a better master plan than this. There’s almost nothing that could happen in these last five episodes that would convince me this was all worth it.

I’m just disappointed. I’ve been wondering about what the end of Dexter would look like for years now, and this is just nothing like I imagined, a hodgepodge of pieces thrown together without anything resembling a coherent path to a satisfying ending. It’s not the worst season ever, but nor is it anywhere close to how good the show used to be, and how it deserves to end.

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  1. I have this dartboard in mind where the writers are just hurling darts at, going;
    “Okay, why does Hannah come back ?” *throws dart* Oh, because she wants Dexter to kill her husband. Why didn’t Hannah do it herself ? *throws dart* Because she’s an indecisive dumbass? And then SUDDENLY one writer stands up and says “Hey wait, what about Vogel and Zack ?”…the room goes silent, all the writers glance about the room cautiously looking at their peers with growing concern. Finally, one of them bravely says “Who ?”. “Vogel, the shrink that invented the code and Zack, Dexter’s new apprentice for the 400th time, what about them ?”. They deliberate for a brief moment and then say “Look, we can’t worry about actual plot development here, Quinn needs to make Sargeant and Hannah is just so damn hot, we know the fans love her and we get to see Masuka’s daughter’s boobs which is EXACTLY what this show needs! Boobs!”

    For the record, I think Masuka’s daughter is hot and I wasn’t opposed to seeing her boobs, that being said, If I didn’t do Season by Season Dexter reviews, I’d be f*ckin’ done with this show, right after this episode. I almost turned it off the second Hannah said;

    “I changed my mind!”

    HOLY CRAP! Whenever you want a POORLY written female character, have them say those exact words about the DUMBEST f*ckin’ thing imaginable! “I’m gonna drug my serial killer ex-boyfriend and leave him on the side of the highway so HOPEFULLY he’ll agree to kill my controlling husband for me…oh wait…I don’t wanna do that, but I already did that…oh well I’ll just tell him I changed my mind because that makes perfect sense.”

    *sigh* Where’s Melissa Rosenberg when you REALLY f*ckin’ need her.

  2. @Ugo Strange
    It could be that everything Hannah said was bullshit and meant to manipulate Dexter. She drugged him to fuck with his head, then used a little reverse psychology.

    I think the most frustrating thing is that Dexter is so much more stuod than he was at the beginning of the show. He used know exactly what psychopaths were thinking, but now he needs Vogel to spell it out for him?

    Is he even a psychopath anymore? He acts emotionally and he doesn’t seem to enjoy the crime scenes at all.

  3. Oh Dexter is this what you have become? I had naively hoped that with this being the last season the writers could use the freedom to do something great, redeeming. Instead what we have before us is a jumbled mess , honestly as im watching this show i keep thinking how , why, and no. How can you call yourself a writer and be this sloppy ? Why didnt you at lest try harder? and No to this season. Really i mean crappy plot aside anyone else feel like even the lines are crappy? The pace of this episode in particular was all over the place. The earlier seasons of Dexter had his great voices overs that made even a poor plot some what believable. Hannah tired to kill Deb and that was Dexter’s reason for turning her over, yet she comes back and he’s all like lovely dovey again. I’m guessing the writers were like “oh Breaking bad comes back this episode so fuck it!” I’m guessing the show ends with Dexter on the table of Vogels new student. He fits the code now, so it makes sense. Last scene is Dexter watching his own blood pour out of him. Or knowing this show Dexter rides off into the sunset with Hannah the last line being ” fuck it! YOLO!”

  4. I had a lump in my throat when the credits rolled on the last episode of Breaking Bad. Dexter hasn’t elicited that type of emotion from me since the Trinity Killer. I still watch Dexter though, maybe because I just want to see the show finally run its sad, overdue course.

  5. I have hope that all the loose ends will be tied up and all (or most) questions will be answered.

    Has anyone thought that Deb recovered too fast? I think she killed Cassie because Cassie was interested in Dexter and Deb was jealous.

    Now Jamie and Quinn can move next door to Dexter! They can raise Harrison when Dex is killed by Hannah or Deb.

  6. Dexter himself isn’t even compelling anymore, that’s what’s making the show so painful to watch. He’s not smart, not doing anything impressive, and he’s lost all sense of self-awareness that made the first seasons so good.
    That and..why the hell would they make it so incredibly obvious protege guy was going to kill neighbour woman? I get it when it’s a red herring, but they pull this all the time lately…they hint at something…then put your fucking nose in it….and then that’s exactly what happens. No subversion, no mystery, no nothing. It makes me so so angry

  7. Copying my comment from another recap of this episode:
    I was discussing this episode last night with the bf and all of the issues I have had with the show. The show peaked with Trinity, but I did like season 5 a lot too. But I think they have wasted so many potential stories with Dexter NOT getting caught (beyond Deb finding out and now being totally OK). The thing(s) that make me feel like ripping my hair out are things that show just how far this show has fallen. This season, now that Hannah is back we have SIX serial killers. Dexter Hannah Zack (Zach?) Foot Guy (who is NOT the brain surgeon) Brain Surgeon Random Cannibal whom Dexter found out about while searching for the Brain Surgeon. The guy that Deb killed was a hitman, but wouldn’t really be considered a serial killer in my book. You could argue that he is #7 though. The show was never realistic, but it used to try. Dexter used to be careful. He used to follow the damn code. I will keep watching until the end, but I am not happy.

    *then someone pointed out that Deb has killed multiple times and could argue that she is #8. So there’s 8 killers, at least 6 of whom are definitely serial killers. This show is a fuckin mess.

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