Dexter: DRESS CODE Review -

Dexter Review

Mania Grade: C-

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  • Episode: DRESS CODE (Episode 7, Season 8)
  • Starring: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Desmond Harrington
  • Directed By: Alik Sakharov
  • Written By: James Manos Jr. (developer), Jeff Lindsay (novel)
  • Network: Showtime
  • Studio: Showtime Networks
  • Series:

Dexter: DRESS CODE Review

Crashed and burned...

By Jarrett Kruse     August 13, 2013


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. 


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blankczech 8/13/2013 9:28:27 AM

 The show has gone totally downhill.  The writing has become more and more shoddy and non-sensical.  I'm not optimistic that anything will be logically resolved this season but I've devoted years to this series and I'm determined to see it through to the end.

TheMovieGuy28 8/13/2013 10:38:29 AM

 Their best season was 2 seasons ago, if not mistaken, when Colin Hanks& Edward James Olmos were on. That season was simply a brilliant one, the writing, the acting, the casting (including Mos Def)....

but, since that's happened...we've had a gay Russian mob boss who had a thing for Dexter? Last season was just so terrible. Not even the death of La Guarta had much of an impact, save for the chance to let Deb go off the rails.

This season has just truly been terrible. As if they didn't know they were finishing things up. Or forgot how to make Dexter, well, Dexter. I agree that all other storylines are horribly lame. When will Bautista stop giving a shit about Quinn? That story arc of him dating his sister, is what? Three seasons old now, and still has issues?

Masuka has a kid? Pffft. Who cares. His character does nothing but annoy me and make my teeth grind every time he's on set.

And the Hannah storyline has to go. Along with the Vogel line. I think the makers of the show felt Vogel could be an ugly enough actress of a woman, it would help into the foreboding nature of her psyche, but it hasn't. 

And it sucks. Dexter blew his wad at the end of season 6 when Deb saw him stab Travis. The show has gone totally downhill from that moment.

TheSilentKiller 8/13/2013 1:29:44 PM

 I kinda liked last season. This season has been pretty weak. I think they're working toward a slow burn, but it's burning so slow it's extinguished.

wish 8/13/2013 2:25:19 PM

yup, they've finally produced an unwatchable tv series out of Dexter, it took them 8 seasons but they've done it!!  Congrats!



DarkXid 8/14/2013 7:52:33 PM

 I was screaming, on the inside, by the end of begining of the middle of the last season of Breaking Bad...why don't they just make it season six for God sake we've waited a year!  But, I have not done that with Dexter this season.

TO improve this season they need a scene at the end of this season where Dexter wakes up from his "dream" (the last 12 episodes, I won't demand they undo last season as much as I want to) and have Dexter facing off against his greatest nemesis ever.

The room is dark, he's just awakened from his dream (Season 8) when he hears something in the dark, something like . . .mechanical...he peers down at the end of his bed and sees a dark shape in the form of a man.  

Dexter reaches over and turns on his light, when he turns to face the shape at the end of the bed he hears a voice he is very familiar with, yet so alien to his ears "Suprise, MotherFUk3R."   

Fast cut to black where the screen reads: "Sorry for the inconvenince Season 9 will be more awesome as Dexter faces his last greatest threat:  Darth Doakes."

This will require us to bring back the most awesome Erik King and maybe throw some cash at James Earl Jones...and maybe Disney as well.  But, I think we can undo the stain that is called season 8.

rkngl 8/15/2013 2:41:43 AM

Well, this season there is no story arc worth watching, and every cliff-hanger is solved in five minutes in the next episode. The show has become a "one conflict per epidose" kind of show, where every episode has its own problem to solve, and solves it. Next episode, Zach is gone for what he did to Dexter's neighbor, and something new and boring appears out of nowhere, just to be immediately put aside on the following episode, and so yawn...

Noovtere 8/26/2013 12:45:12 PM

I think part of the show's problem is the suspense about the possibility that Dexter will get caught is gone now.  Dexter has been caught, both by Deb and LaGuerta, and nothing really happened.  When Quinn told Dexter
recently that he knew what Dexter was doing, it turned out he didn't, but I almost think that if Quinn did figure out what Dexter was doing he'd say okay, you keep getting the really, really bad guys off the street so I can worry about my own problems. 

It used to be that every episode of Dexter had you on the edge of your seat practically from beginning to end because any mistake by Dexter could mean the end for him.  But now we've seen what happens if he makes a mistake, and it always turns out okay.

This season, being the last, you'd think they could manufacture that suspense again, but they haven't tried.



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