So, it’s literally been ten days since I’ve updated this bad boy, and I figured it’s time to get my shit back together. I’ve got something pretty awesome happening in my life right now, and I made a conscious decision that I wanted to spend more time exploring that rather than updating this blog (especially since I spend 8 hours a day at work writing anyways). Don’t worry loyal readers though. I wasn’t gone for good. I just needed to devote time to something that is becoming more spectacular every day, but now that I’ve got some free time on my hands again, it’s time to catch up on my ridiculously large backload of posts that I need to do for here. First things foremost, you may realize that there are eight episodes of Dexter being reviewed at once for this blog. That’s because I ended up watching both discs of the last two-thirds of the season before I ever got around to reviewing anything and I actually like finished the series on Sunday/Monday I believe, so I’m really falling behind on here. Anyways, let’s talk about the sixth season ofDexter also known as the moment where the series may have finally jumped the shark.

I already apologize ahead of time if I get any details of the plot mixed up or when I inevitably leave something out. I’ve been watching these eight episodes for a while now. As the Miami PD (with their new lieutenant, Debra) work their hardest to catch the Doomsday Killer (which they believe [semi-correctly] to be Professor James Gellar and his assistant Travis Marshall), Dexter has already made contact with Travis and he tries to convince him to separate himself from Gellar before it’s too late. Dexter believes that if he can redeem Travis that there’s hope he can exorcise his own Dark Passenger. Travis eventually seems ready to leave Gellar behind and he begins to work with Dexter in order for the pair to kill Gellar (and stop his murders) when it looks like Gellar has kidnapped Marshall after a failed attempt on Gellar’s life. What actually happens is that Marshall suffers from dissociative personality disorder and Professor Gellar has been dead this whole time, and Travis has been committing all of the murders himself. After Travis nearly kills Deb with poison gas (through a female believer he uses as a suicide bomber) and then later kidnaps Dexter’s son, Dex finally stops him and catches him, but just as he’s stabbing Gellar, Deb walks in on the act. Cue end of the season.

If you’re wondering where the shark jumping is coming from, don’t worry baby bird. I’ll feed you (and if you’re even reading this review, then you probably already know what I’m about to talk about). Ever since Deb became lieutenant (and broke up with Quinn after he proposed to her), she was required to see a shrink to help her deal with any feelings she might have had about the shooting that helped get her promoted in the first place. After realizing how therapeutic talking to a psychiatrist can be, Deb extended her sessions and it became a regular part of the season. Deb really opens up with her shrink over the course of the season, although it seems like she talks about Dexter a lot. This is important foreshadowing though because in the penultimate episode of the season, Deb’s shrink says she believes that Deb is in love with Dexter. Deb then has a dream where she kisses Dexter, and in the season finale, she admits her feelings both to her shrink and to Dexter (although Dexter just interprets it absent mindedly as a sisterly declaration of love not “being in love”). WHY GOD WHY?

I could write a litany of complaints about this season, and the chief concern would be the introduction of this whole incest storyline (seriously, that is only an acceptable plot twist on Game of Thrones), but it also had a myriad of other problems dragging it down. My only concern here is that I really want to get as much writing done as possible today so I can go back to being caught up with my blogging (I haven’t reviewed a movie in like three weeks!). I get that Deb and Dex aren’t blood related so this as much incest as Maebe and George Michael on Arrested Development, but at least that was being played for comedy. They’re trying to make this straight up drama, and it just makes me really uncomfortable. Thank god that Jennifer Carpenter has become such an excellent actress over these last several seasons because otherwise it would have literally been completely unbearable to watch. There are ways where you could have kept a romantic subtext there and it would have been fine. That would have been subtle. But instead, to drag it out to the front, it seems like the show is just going for the most shocking plot twist they could think of with no real regard as to how it fits into the lore of the series.

The other biggest problem that plagued Dexter this season is that Doomsday was the worst villain the series has ever had and this includes Miguel Prado and Jordan Chase. Edward James Olmos was sort of creepy as Gellar, but when it turned out that he was really dead, most of the work went on Colin Hanks’ shoulders and he was completely unable to carry that weight. He was even less equipped to handle all of the screen time he was getting than Julia Stiles was last season as Lumen, and at least Stiles and Michael C. Hall had a real life romantic chemistry to spark up their on screen time together. The series quickly began to devolve into a cartoonish horror fantasy this season as well, and while I appreciated the way it poked fun at religion (while at least including one token good religious person in the form of the murdered Brother Sam), the show was so heavy-handed in its storytelling that it was insulting to anyone with any intelligence. Not only that, it simply seemed like the series was indulging the worst sorts of excess that plague this show when it isn’t trying to present a semi-realistic world. It was like being transported back to Season 1 all over again.

This series problem is how exhaustively formulaic it’s become. Season 6 ended up being nothing more than a rehash of different plot points from every season before, but just shook up so they could try and fool audiences into thinking its something new. I believe the series realized that when they tried to throw in the whole “Deb loves Dex” story as a last-minute hail mary but to say that wasn’t the trick to fixing this more and more broken series would be an understatement. I am very, very concerned that Dexter has officially overstayed its welcome. I’ll be back for the next seasons, but it’s going to take a miracle for this series to find its way again because I’m becoming more and more convinced that it is structurally unsound and that the brilliance of Seasons 2 and 4 were just flukes.

Final Score: C+

Advertisements