For the first forty-five minutes of last night’s episode of Dexter, “Make Your Own Kind of Music,” it felt very much like any other episode of the season: Wheel-spinning, a lot of false turns, and a lot of choices that made me irate, until of course the payoff. The last five minutes of the episode let us know that there’s still something left in the tank, the show still has the ability every once in a while to surprise us, and things are finally getting interesting.
Still, the first 45 minutes really were a slog. “I was so glad to see” that spot of blood,” Hannah told Dexter early in the episode, “because it reminded me of you.” Folks, that’s some terrible writing, and as much as I love Hannah McKay (mostly because of who is playing her), the mooning between Hannah and Dexter was, well, kind of gross, like two lovesick teenagers on a CW show.
Meanwhile, the investigation into Cassie’s death continued, and a drop of Zack Hamilton’s blood found itself on the crime scene, which naturally led Dexter to believe that Zack was behind it. He took Hannah to the Keys ostensibly to kill Zack, only to discover that he had not, in fact, murdered Cassie. He was too busy stalking another kill, which he mostly botched due to first-time jitters.
It was in the keys where Debra also tracked down Hannah with the intention of arresting her and turning her over to the police to collect the bounty. But after a conversation with Hannah in which she realized that she couldn’t do that to Dexter, she had a change of heart.
That filled the majority of the episode, and when Dexter, Zack, and Hannah visited Dr. Vogel for dinner, I was as frustrated as I’d ever been with Dexter: No one killed Zack. No one arrested and/or killed Hannah, and Hannah seemed destined to flee the country, only to maybe come back for the season finale to walk off into the sunset with Dexter.
Then something interesting finally happened: After dinner at Dr. Vogel’s house, when the four of them were sitting around looking at pictures of a dead body, like you do, Dexter made an unspoken connection, although it was one that wasn’t hard to pick up on. Quinn killed Cassie, and he tried to frame Zack so that he could get the collar and, ultimately, the promotion.
Quinn really is a dumb son of a bitch, and him turning up on Dexter’s table can’t happen soon enough.
Even still, that wasn’t a good enough revelation to redeem the rest of the episode. However, when that Mama Cass song played for the third time this season (seriously, you really shouldn’t be stealing from Lost), we knew before we’d even seen the back of Zack Hamilton’s head that the brain surgeon had taken him. Boom! The subplot that had seemingly fizzled in the most anti-climactic fashion ever a few episodes ago reared its head again, and it roared. The mystery returns.
The revelations that came after that — the fact that Debra decided to return to the force, that Dexter convinced Hannah to stay, and that Debra’s boss decided to continue pursuing Hannah — were just gravy for an episode that was finally worth watching. Maybe next week, they can make the entire episode interesting.
Still, I have no idea what is going on with Masuka and his daughter, Nikki. Red herring? Or is that actually going somewhere?