Friday, June 14, 2013


A rather disappointing seventh season


This season takes Deb down into the deepest layers of hell. It starts with Deb falling upon Dexter’s killing a Christian serial killer in his church and it ends with an even grosser and more deliriously crazy crime. Dexter used to be more or less manipulated by his Dark Passenger, by a need he had to satisfy, an impulse he had to follow, but little by little he realizes that there is no dark passenger and that he is entirely responsible for his crimes and that leads to the idea that he is killing to survive, and eventually to avenge the killing of his mother.

As soon as this idea that survival is the main objective Dexter becomes a plain ordinary simple and banal serial killer. He does not kill dangerous people, I mean dangerous for society because they are serial killers themselves, but he kills because he feels menaced. His killing is no longer an act of vigilante justice but an act of pure fear, the fear to be taken, and when his sister is totally involved, the fear she might get caught or that she might become the target of some other criminal, and little by little of the police itself. It is no longer awesome but it has become awful.

The psychological level of the characters, Dexter among them, then loses a lot of its appeal. Dexter is a monster, a self-centered, egocentric, selfish monster. He has not one ounce of humanity left. He has become a danger for society by not being a scavenger that takes care of mental rubbish and social garbage. Then the suspense in the series is no longer only about when and how he is going to be caught but rather how he is going to get out of his mess by killing whom, when, where, how. Up to now there was an ethical dimension he called a code in that appeal. Now it is purely morbid and nothing but morbid.

The series uses some circumstantial subjects to build some kind of setting and environment to the predator’s hunt. The Ukrainian mafia in Miami opens night clubs with Ukrainian dancers who are essentially strippers and pole dancers, in other words something close to prostitution that is more or less tolerated but the Ukrainian mafia uses that cover to import all kinds of highly profitable drugs. This clandestine commerce then comes to a direct clash with the Colombian drug mafia that tries to defend their territory. But that transforms the series again into a simple criminal action film like so many others.

The series tries to widen Dexter’s scope by making him fall in love with another criminal who has killed exclusively to protect herself from all kinds of ills, a father first who was brutal, a gambler, a child molester, etc, and then juvenile institutions and then the serial killer she makes an escape at 15 with and whose crimes she shares, apparently with a lot of zeal but her lawyer manages to get her some immunity for these crimes because she was considered to be a hostage more than an accomplice. She knows what killing means, and she is in poison, and she understands Dexter and Dexter understands her. They fall in love, real love, not some social convenient arrangement like with Rita. But she menaces Deb who is trying to step between her and Dexter. Then Dexter has to get her in prison for one crime he had covered up.

But she escapes. Food for the next season.

Then this season revives Maria La Guardia, the Captain, and her love affair with Dokes, a Haitian sergeant who hated Dexter and had seen him through, and her obsession, in continuation of Dokes’s own obsession, against Dexter and she brings back out of the boxes the case of the Bay Harbor Butcher, but things have become tricky and since Dexter promised Deb not to compete with the police any more, he has to find other solutions than killing people and he becomes very good at framing them. He thus frames Maria who has tried and is trying to frame him. These two framers and their accomplices are like writing the new constitution of the Crime Republic, but that is easy, that is not even respectable, nor believable. And the framers lose their frames in the mean time and have to come back to the radical solution: dispose of the menace.

I am afraid I have to say this season is packed with action and dynamic intrigue, but the main and most successful actor has become the mosquito in the very opening credit sequence, even if its nlife is very short-lived. Even the love of Deb for Dexter is turned into something perverse and sickening. Crime corrupts and absolute crime corrupts absolutely.


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