The Ninjabot

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About Last Night: Dexter – Season 7 Primer

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 10:23 am by Jeff Mueller

This upcoming Sunday, the 30th, the 7th season of “Dexter” hits the airwaves.

Dexter Season 7I go into this season with mixed feelings (if you have not seen the show yet, and plan on jumping in, get thee to Netflix quickly and start catching up!) When “Dexter” is done right it strikes with the fist of an angry God, leaving you breathless and in shock; but when it is done poorly it leaves you scratching your head and wanting it to get back to being what is half the time one of the best shows on TV.

On one hand we have had runs like Season 4 which had more Holy.Crap.Balls. moments and absolutely outstanding performances (John Lithgow deservedly won the Golden Globe for his supporting role) across the board; on the other hand we have last season. Don’t get me wrong, it had its genuinely interesting moments and a healthy dose of dark, dark humor (one of the show’s most under-rated aspects) sprinkled throughout but in the end the plot and the suspense felt very forced. The writers were just trying too hard and as a viewer I felt it; plus don’t get me started on that failed M. Night Shyamalan twist they tried. Who didn’t see that coming from the third or fourth episode???

TV viewers are generally smart, and those who tend to watch HBO or SHO series tend to be even a little more discerning and/or sophisticated. We know when the writers are struggling, we know when things are being forced, and we definitely know when we are being pandered to. Season 6 was full of those moments. I don’t want to drop spoilers, in-case some people are going to pull a marathon of back season viewings prepping for this season of “Dexter“, but the show is very often guilty of trying to red herring for what feels like red herring’s sake alone. If a twist or a redirection is important to the story then great, but not if you are doing it to just be clever.

The other major flaw of the show is that is very often goes down a road a little, and the viewers think to themselves “This is interesting” and then they completely drop the sub-plot and never reference it again; it can be quite frustrating (how many times is Quinn’s shady past going to come up then go nowhere?)  Luckily this time there is no escaping the big ending of Season 6…

 

Spoiler Alert

 

(for those who haven’t seen the 378492 previews for this season SHO has been airing, look away)

Deb caught Dexter in the act! It happened, finally, and the fall out should be spectacular! While there is some visceral thrill in watching Dexter stalk his prey and deal out vigilante justice, the most enjoyable part of the show to me has always been the psychological aspects. That is what sucked me into Season 1 when it first aired; Dexter‘s struggle to hide himself in plain sight. That was the theme of the show when it started, the struggle of a monster to stop himself from completely giving in to his violent urges all the while trying to create a facade so that he can fit in a world that is very foreign to him. The social awkwardness, the mimicry of other’s reactions and mannerisms and the inner monologue that accompanied them (all masterfully acted out by Michael C Hall)… that was the heart of the show! Hopefully this season we can return to what made the show great, the interplay between Dexter and those around him as he tries to balance his Dark Passenger and a life as a forensic technician and father.

I can’t wait to see how the writers are going to handle Deb’s realization and how Dexter is going to try and spin this. Does he come clean and hope that Deb understands? Does he manage to talk his way out of this (no clue how that would be possible)? Does he think about offing his own sister in a fit of frantic self-preservation? Who knows, but I will be definitely there on Sunday night watching to find out! Who is with me?

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