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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dexter Season Six Discussion

Dexter had its finale on Sunday night, so now it’s time for us to look back on the entire season and tell you what we think worked and didn’t work. We think this was Dexter’s weakest season. We don’t think it was terrible TV, because we watched and enjoyed it, for the most part, but last season was better and season four was DEFINITELY better. This season just seemed unnecessary in terms of the show’s growth and the characters’ journeys. At least season five, the Lumen season, stretched Deb and Dexter, even though it was muted compared to the Trinity killer stuff that came before it.

What worked: Debra Morgan as Lieutenant
It’s nice when Deb grows AND has something to do. We liked seeing her in charge, because she always acted like she was anyway. The job fit her and she deserved it. She did a good job. Watching her curse people out while she was in charge made her seem authoritative, rather than whiny.

What didn’t work: That the religion wasn’t edgy enough
The show tried to tackle religion and didn’t say anything new. It didn’t even say something old in a new way. We expected Dexter to push buttons a little more, but the season was just lightly religion-themed, rather than something that could make anyone think. We guess that’s fine if you just want to be entertained rather than be made uncomfortable. We always want people to bring on the discomfort.

What worked: Mos Def
Mos Def’s touching, courageous character and his portrayal added to the show, because it showed the good side of faith. We had the crazy side of faith with DDK, but with Brother Sam, we saw how faith can change lives for the better. It is one of the things, if not the only thing, that can take a hardened criminal or killer and give his heart a 180. We would argue that after Mos Def died, the season took a turn for the sucky. He was keeping the season good. Without him, we were lost.

What didn’t work: Masuka’s first intern
The first one was so stupid. The second one just hasn’t paid off yet. We’re annoyed that we have to wait until the next season to see what his deal was. This season, it just felt like he was wasting our time.

What worked: DDK at the beginning
In the beginning of the season, DDK went all Se7en with their killings, making them both creative and meaningful. Putting the snakes in the man’s belly and recreating the four horsemen was nasty fun. If only all of their killings had been that disgusting and jarring.

What didn’t work: DDK at the end
Neither of those actors are remotely scary or charismatic. They don’t command the screen, and that’s something you need in a Big Bad. Then they had that ridiculous twist that we all saw coming. Ok, some people didn’t, but they obviously haven’t seen enough TV yet. Can we all just put the “HE WAS DEAD THE WHOLE TIME” and “it was all in his head THE WHOLE TIME” twists to bed? It was great (and pretty surprising) when The Sixth Sense did the dead thing. That’s still one of our favorite movies for the jolts, the acting, the emotional depth, and the twist. But it’s over, people. And Fight Club had the best “he was crazy the whole time” twist. If you can’t beat it, leave it alone.

What worked: Debra Morgan finding out that Dexter is a killer
That last scene was incredible and so was Deb’s face. After the Lumen season, we knew that Deb was going to find out Dexter’s secret eventually, but we didn’t see it coming in the last seconds of the finale. What a cliffhanger! We’ve really been waiting for this, so we’re elated that the show finally delivered it unto its fans. Granted, it should have happened at the very end of the Lumen season. We felt like we were treading water through this whole DDK season. Here’s hoping Dexter’s secret will kill off that pesky crush. Speaking of…

What didn’t work: Debra loves Dexter
UGH. We’ve been over this, but as people with siblings, IF OUR SIBLINGS TOLD US THEY LOVED US, WE WOULD FREAK THE F OUT. Gross gross gross. And it wouldn’t matter if it somehow came out that we weren’t blood related. Just growing up as siblings ruins it. Deb should know this, the skanky, twisted ho. The icing on the worst cake ever was when Deb screamed overdramatically to her therapist, “I finally told my brother that I love him and he said he loves me back!… I’m in love with him!” This just doesn’t fit the show. They already had a neat sibling relationship, and now that’s ruined. This whole plotline would have to have been handled perfectly for it to work, and it wasn’t. It came out of nowhere and wasn’t hinted at in previous years (or even in the first half of THIS season). We could have gotten behind it if the writers had the sense to make it believable. But they didn’t. And we are just disturbed.

What worked: Keeping the side characters on the side
Hey, guess what this season didn’t waste our time with? Batista’s love life. We felt like all the characters we didn’t care about didn’t get huge plots this year, and that’s awesome.

What didn’t work: The psychology
This never works on Dexter, but watching Dex about to sacrifice himself for his son in the finale had us rolling our eyes. What makes psychopaths what they are is that they are unable to really love another person. Dexter often pushes this. He’s like a guy with Aspergers who kills, not a real sociopath. It’s just…such a fantasy. Obviously we don’t know what psychopaths can feel or whether they can care about another person to a significant level, but we are pretty sure that Dexter Morgan crosses a line of reality. In the first season, it was believable. Maybe the future seasons, procreation, and marriage to Rita/dating Lumen stretched him? Meh. We’re not fully buying it, and that’s a problem.

What worked: The devil on Dexter’s shoulder and passing light to Trinity’s son
One of the effects of Brother Sam and Dexter’s brush with the light of faith was that he was able to help Trinity’s son and tell him to forgive himself. We also liked the brother coming back to push Dexter further toward the dark side. It was a nice contrast to the angel on Dexter’s shoulder, Harry. Now we are glad it only lasted for one episode, but it was a good idea for the season’s theme. The religion thing also reaffirmed for Dexter that he has a purpose in the world and that he brings light to it, in his own way. Dexter giving some grace to Trinity’s son was great for us to see, because that’s what Christian faith is all about.

What didn’t work: The rest of that Trinity episode
It sounds like a revisit to the Trinity stuff would be great, but it really wasn’t. That episode, overall, was one of the series’ worst. We liked about two scenes and felt like they needed to happen (the things described above), but the rest of the stuff needed to be more interesting. That whole episode just needed to be retooled.

What worked: Crazy Quinn
Quinn going all drinky and crazy in the aftermath of his breakup gave him something to do and made us feel bad for him. Clearly, he is still part of the show even though he is not linked to Deb anymore. For all you Quinn haters, don’t you wish he had ended up with Deb now? Anything is better than Deb and Dexter.

What didn’t work: Batista didn’t die
We hate Batista. He’s just a waste of time.

What worked: Some of Dexter’s lines to Travis before Travis’ death
“You used God. It’s not the other way around.” Can someone please say this to Rick Perry?

What didn’t work: Most of that exchange
Before Dexter killed Travis, they had a hokey theological discussion that was too preachy, too cheesy, too weird, and about three minutes too long. At some point, we thought, “Are they STILL talking?” Pithy this was not. “I am a father, a son, a serial killer.” That was the ever-loving WORST.

We will still be watching next season, because we don't give up on a show that we've watched for six years easily. But we hope that next season is better. After all, season two annoyed us and what happened to Doakes was just SO WRONG, but we kept watching, and eventually we got the Trinity season. Hopefully the show learns that the strengths of Dexter lie in its main characters and its Big Bads and casts accordingly.

Finale grade: B-
Season grade: C


  1. I agree with everything you guys said. I don't wanna keep watching Dexter because of the gross/out of character/out of nowhere Debra's feelings for Dexter. But I do wanna keep watching because Deb found out about Dexter.I just hope she gets over him.

  2. You know what...if this show took place a long time ago, I wouldn't have minded it. It's just weird seeing a show that is in more of a recent time go this direction. It just makes it more creepy..Yeah yeah they aren't blood but they were basically raised as brother/sister. Uhhghghghhgahhf