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About Last Night: Dexter Season 7 Episode 9 “Helter Skelter”

Posted on November 26, 2012 at 9:10 am by Jeff Mueller

Dexter Season 7The reality is that Dexter follows a fairly simple formula; introduce bad guy, watch Dexter track them, have some form of emotional crisis, toss in a side plot for one of the supporting characters, end up with bad guy wrapped in plastic. After seven years of this formula there is a certain sense of predictability to it all. This isn’t to say that the writers and actors don’t do everything that they can to elevate the source material, because they most certainly do, but there is only so much they can do within the confines of that story structure.

I mention this because I feel as though we might be on the verge of breaking out of that formula; which not only would be a welcome change of pace on a small scale from an episodic point of view, but also could set us up for an interesting end to the show. I don’t really know whereDexter is going to end, but I would like to think that after riding this train to the end of the station that the characters will end up in a very different place from whence they came.

The most obvious change to the formula came with Isaak. It started off a little abrupt, and I caught myself rolling my eyes at what seemed at first a very uncharacteristic and sudden change of heart, but it ended up being a breath of fresh air. Not only did it end up feeling believable by the end of the episode, but it really gave Dexter a few much needed pearls of wisdom when it comes to how to live and love (along with a really cool kill at the shooting range!) What and odd character Sirko turned out to be! What started off as a very cliched villian archetype really turned into a deep and almost sympathetic character. It is a shame the ride couldn’t have lasted longer, but I like the formula break having this major plot-line closed up with three episodes left in the season. And how oddly sentimental was it that he asked Dexter to take him where Viktor’s body was dumped into the ocean? (I also wonder if that top down shot of all of Isaak’s blood is a setup for a possible tie-in with the La Guerta investigation?)  

We have watched Dexter over the years struggle with social conventions and emotional expression. Like a blade wielding Sheldon Cooper he continually puts his foot in his mouth and blunders through situations that often further alienate those he is trying to bond with, and this week was no exception. Once again we hit on a piece of self observation that has been a constant part of the character’s journey, this feeling that he really doesn’t know who the real Dexter is. How can he ever truly be himself around Hannah, or anyone for that matter, until he understands for himself who the real Dexter is? He says it himself this week, he doesn’t even know if the real Dexter exists. I hope that is where we end up soon, with a definitive answer from a fans perspective, as to who this man really is inside.  

The almost scary thing is that if the writers wanted to take a bold stand they could reveal to us that the real Dexter isn’t a like-able character. You see it in glimpses already, how Deborah becomes more and more the sympathetic and moral center of the Miami Metro world. Seriously, how many times will Dexter flat out hurt her by making the “wrong” choice when it comes to their relationship? It just seems as though he deprioritizes her more and more as time goes on and she just sucks it up because she loves him. At some point he has to realize that she is the one constant in his world, right? He is at his most human when he is with her, the conversations he is able to have with her now are ones that would have always been inner monologues in the past, so when is that particular realization going to hit him?

And when are the writers going to realize that his kids need a point of closure? The off-handed way that they were shipped off back to Orlando after all of one episode shows that they just don’t know how to gracefully integrate them into the story line, so how about we just write them out for good somehow? Have Astor O.D. on something and then have the grandparents move to South Dakota? Anything to stop the forced random injection of them into the story…  

However this season ends with Hannah, Deborah and Dexter‘s emotional states one thing is clear, Miami Metro should be a very different landscape next year. La Guerta is going to be shaking things up and there doesn’t seem to be anyway that Quinn could believably make it out of this situation with his job intact.

So what do you think? Should the writers leave poor Bautista alone? What’s the deal with the arson killer showing up so late in the season? Let us know!

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