I was psyched for the seventh episode of Dexter’s eighth season but it crashed and burned into a boring malaise of exposition. Nothing about this episode struck me as remotely interesting in accordance with the Dexter canon. I rarely flat out say that any episode is a total failure but if there was a bomb of an episode it was no doubt “Dress Code.” Last week ended with the appearance of Hannah McKay dosing both Dexter and Deb but this week the show opens with a beleaguered Dexter waking up on the other side of town. Huh? It was a confusing move and all that I kept thinking was “why did Hannah show up, poison them and then just dump Dexter on the side of the road?” Further still, why did she leave Deb to sleep it off in her house especially with their checkered history of intense dislike of each other. Very odd and moving the narrative in the wrong direction. At least in what I was hoping for as the home stretch began.
While Deb and Dexter are trying to figure out what Hannah’s game is it seems that Hannah has done pretty well for herself since leaving the Florida corrections facility. She landed a casino mogul and married him quickly but it was way too easy to see what was going to happen to her controlling husband played by Julian Sands. Totally one-dimensional and flat from start to finish, “Dress Code” fails on every front. Worse still is that the subplots seems to be taking over the main narrative and it is becoming tedious to watch. As much fun as Masuka is as the comic relief, I do not really care that he has discovered that he has a daughter by donating his “essence” years ago. It is funny to see Vince in such a quandary because he is not exactly father material but in no way does it tie into the story. Then we find out that Jamie Batista and Quinn are moving in together much to the chagrin of big brother Angel. But really who cares at this point? We are in the eighth and final season of a hit show and I want old problems to be solved, not new situations that are just plain boring.
The one saving grace is that Dexter’s prodigy, the wealthy Zach Hamilton is a real go-getter and anxious to hone his craft by learning from the best. The kid has a short fuse and all of the tools to be the next Dexter but his hubris and overeager rich kid attitude is becoming a problem. He is overzealous and sloppy and has quite possibly murdered Dexter’s neighbor Cassie whom Dex briefly dated. The pace is lethargic and as I approached the 45-minute mark of the episode I started to think, “Is anything going to happen in this episode that is worth writing about?” The answer sadly is a profound “no” and whatever they were going for in this episode fails on every level. Deb, who I find to be the most layered and interesting character on the show after Dex is concerned at the return of Hannah because she knows that Dexter still has love for her. However that is not cool with Deb as she is working hard with Dr. Vogel to get over her PTSD from killing Laguerta in last season’s finale. Even Vogel who has been a breakout character this season has nothing to contribute except when she divulges to Dexter that Zach is very upset and agitated. His thirst for blood needs to be satiated and with Dexter swooning over Hannah, Zach is not getting the attention he needs. By the episodes end, Hannah has killed her controlling husband with ease and Dexter swoops in to save the day by disposing of the body on the Slice of Life. Problem is that a mogul worth close to a billion dollars is going to be missed.
The narrative seems to be turning into a love story again now that Hannah is back in the picture. Dexter still has it bad for her and will seemingly do anything to keep the bad seed in his life. Even Debra knows that Dex is smitten and goes as far as lojacking his car to track his movements. With just five episodes left I genuinely am hoping for some real hardcore classic Dexter moments that will salvage this final season. I do not want any of this warm and fuzzy stuff that feels like the cast is just going through the motions each with their own not-so interesting story arc. Right now the show is falling apart but I am trying to be hopeful that they can get back on track for the big finale. I thought I was being too hard on the show this week but after two viewings I feel safe in saying that episode 7 was a total dud.