Showtime's 'Dexter' Retreats Back Into The Squicky

By: 11.20.12  •  77 Comments

With all of the great dramas on Sunday night — Breaking Bad, Homeland, The Good Wife, The Walking Dead — we often overlook Dexter, but it’s only because this season of Dexter increasingly doesn’t deserve our attention. For those of you hoping for a rebound season after a few bad seasons, forget about it. Not only has the show not steered away from it’s ickiest, dumbest plot line, it’s doubled-down on it.

SPOILERS

For those of you ignoring the SPOILER warning because you don’t care about the show enough anymore to worry about being spoiled, I commend you for getting out, especially at the end of last season after Debra revealed that she wants very badly to f**k her brother (yes, he’s not technically a blood relation, but they were raised as siblings). Through much of this season, that subplot had been put on the back burner, and many of us had hoped that it was forgotten, that it wouldn’t rear its incestuous head again. Debra found out that Dexter was a serial killer, and most of the season has been focused on her coming to terms with it.

Debra was sketched out at first, often feigning outrage at how Dexter was moonlighting as a murderer. However, over the course of the season, Debra has not only warmed up to the idea of a serial-killer brother, she put in a request to have someone killed, someone who — through legal technicalities — has avoided prosecution despite a substantial body count. Her name is Hannah, the character played by Yvonne Strahovski. The catch for Dexter, however, is that Hannah is his lover. In fact, he has fairly intense feelings for her, ONCE AGAIN finding common bond with another serial killer, for what must be the fourth or fifth time over the course of the series.

In this week’s episode, Dexter tried to explain to his sister that he didn’t want to kill Hannah on Debra’s behalf because he didn’t want to saddle her with that guilt, the knowledge that she was responsible for someone else’s death. Debra reluctantly acceded, reasoning that Dexter was probably right.

That is, at least, until Debra found out that Dexter was banging Hannah.

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That knowledge apparently hurt Debra more than anything that Dexter has ever done, including KILLING ALL OF THOSE PEOPLE. Why? Because, as Debra finally confessed — after it had not mentioned once through the first seven episodes of the season — that she was in love with Dexter, as in she wants to f**k Dexter and make gloriously dysfunctional serial killer babies with him.

Dexter, folks, is off the rails again.

I will concede, however, that the Big Bad this season (played by Ray Stevenson), had not been that compelling until the most recent episode, when the character revealed that he wanted revenge against Dexter because Dexter killed Victor, who wasn’t just the Big Bad’s bodyguard, he was his lover. On the surface, it sounds like another staid Dexter plot turn, but Ray Stevenson actually pulled it off brilliantly with one of the better acted scenes from the series.

Unfortunately, it still doesn’t excuse how dumb the show has gotten, nor the fact that, while every other major drama is killing off major characters left and right, Dexter’s disposable, useless characters — like Angel, LaGuerta, Masuka, and Joey — are still inexplicably hanging around. Also, as bad as this season has gotten, with four more episodes remaining, it still has plenty of time to somehow stoop lower.

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