Dexter is falling into a becoming an exercise of futility as we reach the third-way through point. After episode 4 this week it just felt like the program is struggling to find its footing; something that should most definitely not an issue after close to a decade of production. In a sense I was angered because like most fans that have stuck with the show we have put in the time and effort. We’ve held up our end of the deal so why are we getting such a lousy season that does not seem to be “sticking the proverbial landing”? Eight years is a big TV investment and I just can’t help think that the production is spinning its wheels already with just eight episodes to go until the nail is in the coffin on Dexter. In my opinion the show that once captured pay-cable customers is on the TV version of life support with a looming end that I do not have much invested in. Don’t get me wrong, the ship can be righted but it definitely was not in this week’s chapter.
The tandem of Dr. Vogel and Dexter as a crime-fighting team to find the elusive Miami “Brain Surgeon” killer is proving to be a pretty boring exercise. Dexter never seems to have any amount of trouble slipping in and out of residential or business places and after eight years, this ease of movement makes him seem like more Superhero than serial killer. I understand that they are using Vogel’s published works as a primer to catch this killer but it just feels off. While the good doctor is brilliant and charming in a creepy way she doesn’t seem to be the shot in the arm that the show needed in a Post-LaGuerta era. Sure it is interesting to find that Harry co-created “The Code” with Vogel but after watching some of the session DVD’s, Dexter feels worse about his dark passenger rather than better. I really thought that Vogel was going to tighten the leash once Dexter knew everything but instead she seems to think that because of her past relationship with Harry she is the architect of the monster and deserves a backstage pass to Dex’s life.
Vogel has also taken on the task of rehabilitating Debra who was falling down a path of booze and drugs while in a terrible state since killing LaGuerta. For a good part of the episode, it seemed like the old Deb was making a return. The foul mouthed Deb we have learned to love in the past decade seemed to be on the road to recovery. But when Vogel shows Deb one of the Harry session DVD’s she is doing her very best to try and grasp just what her brother is and how she can possibly have someone like him in her life. At the same time Dexter is dying for forgiveness from his kid sister as she deals with her own demons with Vogel. It is very difficult to grasp the conflict of interest that Vogel dismisses by treating both of the Morgan’s. When Dexter finds out that Vogel has been keeping detailed notes of their chats, he is insulted by her actions of treating him like a lab rat. Dex severs ties and lets the doctor know that once the Brain Surgeon is apprehended that they are over in her little experiment. However I have to feel that with eight episodes left there is plenty of time to mend fences and continue down the dark DVD sessions with Harry from the grave. It was also interesting to see Deb watch some of Vogel’s sessions and see her dad’s reaction to Dex’s first kill. Harry simply could not live with what he and Vogel shaped and produced in Dexter. It becomes clear that their beloved father took his own life—unable to live with what he had done. Or should I say what they created.
In an ending that caught me off guard, Dex and Deb go for a drive and things seem calm and it appeared to be the hatching of a new era of peaceful coexistence. However as they are driving along the hot Miami roads, Deb grabs the wheel and plunges their car into the adjacent river. Deb is quickly saved by a nearby fisherman and as she sees the car submerge deeper, what does she do? She goes back in and saves Dexter. Aaaaand scene. It reminded me of the end of Friday the 13th where Jason is in the lake. Anyway although it was a surprise ending, it would have had far more weight had they left Dexter in the drink. It was as if the whole episode was erased once Deb saved him. To be honest, I don’t much care for these characters much anymore. Or should I say in this episode; it’s just them going through the same motions we have always seen just with Vogel in the mix. I hope that things turn around and soon.