Which brings us to season 6, or “How do I raise a child when I don’t have faith/religion/a system of morals?” As with the previous seasons, a threat rises to challenge Dexter that’s the epitome of what he wants gone wrong (like the Crazy Girlfriend, the Crazy Best Friend, the Extra-Crazy Serial Killer and The Girl Who Has Also Been Damaged). It was at this point that I began to wonder if Serial Killer Central gets word every year that Miami is in need of a new guy and just assigns someone to the territory. I’ve never been to Florida but if Dexter is any indication its serial killers per capita ratio is the highest in the nation. While I know the series kicked off with a “big bad” to have a season long confrontation with, isn’t it about time we moved past that? Haven’t we built up enough in Dexter’s world and supporting cast that what happens to them should be driving the season’s story and not the “Serial Killer Analogy for What Dexter Is Going Through” that’s ham-fistedly dropped in?
If we must have a Big Bad that Dexter chases around all season to the exclusion of almost everything else, can they at least be more interesting than a mixture of the Saw movies and the worst Bible studies class ever? I get that serial killers are a kooky bunch, but The Doomsday Killer’s whole shtick was that by setting up elaborate murder dioramas he was going to bring about the end of the world. Really? There’s crazy and there’s “what the fuck,” and DDK passed WTF about three exits ago.
Of course, no discussion of DDK can be complete with out the “shocking reveal” that it was just one guy and not the two guys that we were shown all season. Big ups to PoP!’s Jason Kerouac for pointing out that possibility on an episode of the PoP!-Cast early on in the season. I don’t know if I ever would’ve caught on to that myself, but once it was pointed out it became so glaringly obvious that every episode that went by without it being revealed that Edward James Olmos was just a hallucination became a giant irritant. How many times can Colin Hanks have a conversation with someone in his sisters yard with no one around? Even worse than dragging out the reveal was the fact that, once it was made, EJO leaves DDK for good. I’m not a scientist, but studies have shown that an Olmos is worth about three Colin Hanks.
Lackluster Big Bad and Shocking Reveal That Was Drawn Out Too Long aside, let’s look at some of the other missteps of the season. Batista and LaGuerta’s marriage just evaporates? Why, did they just not know what to do with them? I was hoping we’d get some sort of insight into that over the course of the season but no dice. Even LaGuerta herself becomes a background character this season. Sure, she shows up to torment the newly promoted Deb with her one woman “I’m Supporting You/I’m Holding You Back” show but other than that she’s become a non-entity or a prop in the incredibly uninteresting “Matthews Slept With Someone He Shouldn’t” story.
The Saga of Masuka’s Interns was almost interesting, but the disappearance Brea Grant’s character left me puzzled. Computer Game Intern (and I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if you work in game design and are apparently that successful at it you can’t just show up and be studying crime-scene forensics on a whim) almost had an interesting story and I kept hoping for some kind of reveal that he and Grant were working together but instead his solution to the Missing Hand Problem really was that neat and tidy, making it more than a little unbelievable.
By far the biggest and most horrifying turn of events was Deb’s sudden realization that she loves Dexter. Not just loves, but Loves. I’ve been known to have emotional reactions to television shows (my stories, as I like to call them), so I may have yelled “EWWWWWW GROSS MAKE IT STOP!” at my TV during a certain dream sequence. I get that Deb has every issue in the book, but the fact that she can decide that she’s in love with her adoptive brother with a single suggestion from The World’s Worst Therapist is kind of mind-boggling. It’s not like she and Dexter met when they were teenagers, they were raised from or near birth (depending on when Deb was born) as brother and sister. I find it really hard to believe that any amount of bad relationships would make someone turn a wandering eye to someone like that. It’s a shame because while they did their level best to sell Deb as a legitimate leader, her erratic nature over the course of the season meant her most valuable contribution was yelling “Holy Frankenfuck, Snakes!” at the beginning of almost every episode.
My initial annoyances aside, the season ended with a couple of genuine cliffhangers, which I’m hoping will shake the show out of its annoyingly repetitive cycle. I can’t imagine how they’re going to stretch Deb seeing Dexter kill someone across two seasons, but given how unstable she’s been portrayed all season maybe he can just Jedi mind-trick her out of it. I do wish that over the course of six seasons they’d given Dexter a bit more confidence in who he is and what he does so that a potential confrontation with his sister would have more drama. If Dexter was convinced that what he does is necessary there’d be less room for he and Deb to go “Oh, we can cure you.” That route has been tried over and over again and it’s time for fresh ground. While season six may have been a mish-mashed train wreck, maybe that’s what we needed to get there.
Filed Under: Retcon This!