Dexter: Goodbye Miami Review - Mania.com



Dexter Review

Mania Grade: C-

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Info:

  • Episode: Goodbye Miami (Season 8, Episode 10)
  • Starring: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Desmond Harrington
  • Written By: James Manos Jr. (developer), Jeff Lindsay (novel)
  • Directed By: Steve Shill
  • Network: Showtime
  • Studio: Showtime Networks
  • Series:

Dexter: Goodbye Miami Review

Flagship show limping toward the finale

By Jarrett Kruse     September 10, 2013
Source: Mania.com

*SPOILER ALERT*

I was impressed with last week's episode and went so far as giving it an overall “A-” grade. What a difference a week makes as the disaster that is DEXTER's final season returns to form with an episode that has Showtime's flagship show limping toward the finale. I genuinely wanted this week's installment to hold its ground after picking up some intensity and intrigue in episode 9. It fails miserably short and does not nail the making of a blood-slide worthy fourth quarter for the series. I was beyond bummed by the time the credits were rolling at the programs ineptitude to even remotely grab its faithful audience. As much as the production may have wanted it, in the end it just does not know what to do with itself painting itself into a very boring corner.

There is not so much a narrative here as much a race to the inevitable finish and the grand showdown of Dexter versus The Brain Surgeon. When last we saw Dr. Vogel, she seemed to have patched things up with her psychopathic son Daniel aka Oliver. It is confusing as to what exactly has transpired with Vogel and her estranged son. While it is admirable to see Vogel's enthusiasm to try and mend fences with her son, there is no connection despite the doc's best efforts. Vogel teeters back and forth trying to figure out what to do with her troubled son confiding in Dexter on her dilemma. Ironically all that Daniel/Oliver wants is exactly the maternal service that Vogel has provided Dexter this season. It is sad to see and it ends with a clumsy murder of the doctor by her angry son. Dexter watches but is too late and naturally Daniel gets away with ease. While the scenes with Daniel and his mother before she is offed are taut with good enough tension. However the psychopathic son just does not come off as being that formidable. Actress Charlotte Rampling definitely did not get the send off I expected and I was genuinely looking forward to her being a major part of the last two episodes. Bummer.

Dexter's plan is to whisk Hannah and little Harrison off to Argentina (See last season) where they can start a new life. However with U.S. Marshal's on the tail of Hannah, the ground is shrinking beneath her feet. Dexter has gone from being drugged by Hannah to doting on her every movement. He wants to close out what he has wrought and leave with Hannah and Harrison to start a new life in Argentina. Dexter's tunnel vision gets old real fast as the sister story lines struggle for screen time. Even the subplot with little Harrison hurting himself on Aunt Deb's treadmill feels like a cry for help. Especially when one of the nurses recognizes Hannah's mug from the TV broadcasts. All just a little too easy for me.

Now with barely anything left in the tank, Dexter is sputtering to its swan song with barely any momentum. I so wanted this to be the episode that would usher in a solid final quarter. With two episodes left, there will have to be some major fireworks for Dexter to finish in a respectable manner. There is not much left that we have collectively not seen over the years on the program and although this episode was a total miss, maybe the final two episodes will bring some sickening spatter ending the series on a bloody note. Or it could completely miss the runway for good, circling the airport until it runs out of gas.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 6 of 6
1 
TheSilentKiller 9/10/2013 4:45:24 AM

 Yeah, I mean there's  a very tangible difference between this and Breaking Bad. Even with Breaking Bad's slowburn, you can tangibly feel the tension and velocity building each week, and that it's heading toward a real effort to stick the landing.

The comparable season of Dexter, sadly, is like a gentle meander, and it hasn't even come close to jumping on the bouncy board thing. This series is heading for a youtube-worthy chestplant on the horse.

ddiaz28 9/10/2013 7:39:39 AM

Yeah the treadmill thing was too obvious.  As soon as he stepped on it the first time I immediately thought, "Oh, that's how they are going to get Hannah out of the house and recognized." 

Other than whether Dexter will get what he wants or whether it will all fall apart, I don't feel any suspense this season.  That's been my biggest dissapointment.  I'm with it until the end but I there are only 2 episodes to really give us an ending worthy of such a great series.

jd25u 9/10/2013 10:40:53 AM

 The only thing that's keeping me watching at this point is, after investing so many years into it now, to see how it ends.  Me thinks they are banking on that a little too much though ... they know that regardless of whatever crap they put out there, Dexter regulars will stay to see how it ends.  So sad.

blankczech 9/10/2013 10:53:05 AM

SPOILERS

 Dex continues to be an A-hole putting his sick appetites above all else including the needs of those close to him.  Good thing Harrison wasn't hurt more seriously because as usual Dad was nowhere to be found in a time of need.  He was too busy preparing the room where he intends to kill the Brain Surgeon while conversing with his imaginary father (Dex is a sick F...like he'd be a different person in Argentina).  

Don't know why Hannah hasn't colored her hair and/or put on a pair of eyeglasses or something to try to conceal her identity (she'll be a good looking corpse)?

Dex may as well have put the knife to Vogel's throat himself...screeching to a stop in front of her home didn't draw too much atttention to his arrival (Duh).  What happened to stealthy Dexter? Of course Vogel who has behaved like a mentally ill person for much of this season had basically served herself up to Junior by refusing to meet him in a safer place.

Still predict  Dexter will escape in the end...or at the very least think the writers will leave us wondering if he got away or not...(as I've said before the author of the books hasn't decided to end it yet and it's his character)...I expect Hannah will be killed or apprehended...

 

 

angst9ine 9/10/2013 2:58:43 PM

It’s disappointing in every which way, poor dialogue, horribly executed gibberish. This nonsensical plot line sucks. What’s worst is the writers had an opportunity to have a grand end game, with no holds bars scenarios, everything goes. Yet we get wishy washy characters and a slow predictable ride with minor bumps on the way. I never have cringed so much. It’s just altogether bad. I agree with the grade, which extends to the season as well…..thus far. Perhaps they will accelerate the last 2 episodes to….a……ok ill stop. Hoping for nothing is not fun. Nothing can save this mess.

SmokingFrog77 9/10/2013 6:27:56 PM

Wow, I really enjoyed it. I take a number of the points above about illogical plot issues (e.g. Hanna not dying her hair or doing anything to hide her appearance) as sound, but then this show has never been above ignoring logic to move a story forward (e.g. in 8 years Dexter is yet to set off a home burglar alarm system, despite the camera panning past the control panel in a house he was breaking into on at least one occasion - so we know they do exist in the Dexterverse!).

I think that it was an interesting move to bring Vogel into the mix this season. It's unfortunate that nothing about her existence was ever foreshadowed in the previous seasons, as that would have made it feel less inexplicable, but she's here and she's well played, and her role in Dexter's life is successfully moving the character into new territory - which every season, despite the flaws, has always managed to do.

Unfortunately Deb's storyline hasn't been as strong this season, and that is probably the major failing here at the end. I think that the Argentina plot is doing exactly what every Dexter plot does - however bizarre or contrived - it's providing avenues to explore Dexter's character and identity and how he sees himself and others - which is what the show is all about. Season 8 has focussed on returning Dexter to his roots, with Harrison being the only real change to his life since season 1, once Deb leaves Homicide. Unfortunately, as I said before, the Deb story from here hasn't grabbed me as it has in every other season. But this episode, specifically going back to the very first episode with Dexter preparing the same kill-room as where he killed the choir master, is contributing to things coming full-circle.

Can Dexter actually leave this part of himself behind? Are Hannah and Harrison enough motivation for him to stop killing and start afresh? Given that Oliver Saxon is being set up as kind of an "anti-Dexter" - the psychopathic son who never got the training and teaching from Vogel that Dexter did, however indirectly through Harry, it's shaping up to be the ultimate symbolic confrontation between Dexter and his 'Dark Passenger', and that's the direction the show always needed to go in. It was the question that always needed to be resolved. The books tried with the whole demonic possession angle, which was later dropped, and Season 7 really confronted the idea and showed the Dark Passenger to be nothing but a creation of Dexter.

Now he is facing what he could have become - a killer with no constraints, no burdens, no responsibilities, no competing priorities. I'm loving it. It's been one of the 'slow burn' seasons for me, like season 2, and hasn't packed the consistent punch of seasons 1, 4 or 7, but the pieces are all falling into place. And the perfectly reasonable complaints about the writing etc are just as easily levelled at episodes in every season. We shall see how it ends.

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