The season 6 finale, as usual, left us sitting on the edge of our seats. Just as Dex plunges his knife straight into the chest of the big-bad, religious lunatic Travis Marshall, Deb happens to walk in the door. We all knew it was coming at some point, so it makes sense that the writers would use it as a cliffhanger to keep us interested in next season. Because, let’s face it… there’s not much else to be interested in.
|This picture sums up the whole season. Utterly and completely ridiculous, but still somehow the most epic thing you’ve ever seen.
Throughout the whole season, it was clear the writers were trying to develop Dexter’s character in a direction he has never gone before. He toyed with the dichotomy of good and evil, and even befriended an ex-con turned ghetto angel aptly named Brother Sam. However, when Brother Sam is murdered and delivers a touchingly cliché hospital bed speech (amazing really that he could wake up from a coma just to talk to Dexter one last time and then die a few minutes later), Dexter kind of abandons that whole plot. Seemingly the whole season was developed around the idea of religion and a higher power, and how Dexter fits into the whole picture. But for Dex, when Brother Sam dies, it’s like his whole fledgling concept of religion dies, which kind of renders the rest of the highly religion-themed plot unnecessary.
With Dexter done developing and no real character changes or modifications, what is the purpose of Travis Marshall? He’s still a creepy villain that epitomizes the dangers of interpreting religion too literally. But at this point, he kind of loses that comparison to Dexter. Earlier in the season, Dexter struggled against his “dark passenger”, as did Travis with the hallucination of Gellar. Dexter ends up giving in to his passenger again and abandoning all hope of reform, while Travis actually overpowers Gellar and ends up killing him in his head once more.
At the beginning of the season, Travis is timid, and seemingly ashamed of his acts. But somewhere in the middle of the season, he loses it, and becomes a cold-hearted killer who seemingly enjoys his acts.
So when Travis is murdered once and for all… that’s just it. He’s made this dramatic transformation from religious fanatic to murdering crusader. He’s just another victim, and Dexter is still… Dexter. It would have been nice to see Dexter actually change a little, or at least come to the realization that he can never change and completely embrace his killer identity once and for all without hesitation or the annoying Harry hallucinations. Instead, the religion thing just kind of trickles away, as though the writers hoped we would forget about it. Spoiler alert, we didn’t.
As for the other characters, it seems like Deb gets the most screen time with her therapy sessions. These seemed long and drawn out, and the therapist didn’t really give her any helpful suggestions. The fact that she falls in love with Dexter overnight (literally, it happens in a dream) suggests that she is too gullible and open to anyone’s persuasive hints. And tell me again how a woman like this ended up in charge of homicide over people with years of experience? However, since she’s fallen in love with every other taboo kind of man (drug dealer, serial killer, creepy old dude, co-worker, etc.), there’s really nothing else to make her character do except become a lesbian. Which will probably happen next season anyway.
Quinn just stumbles around being drunk and horny for most of the season, which was really just a distraction from everything else that happened. It’s apparent they wanted to make him struggle after Deb broke things off with him, but they could have done it more behind the scenes. There didn’t really seem to be a point to the scenes of him visiting bars or speeding in his car because he overslept. If he’s still going to be a character on the show, he needs more development, or at least a better story-line.
And what about Dexter’s baby… seriously, he can’t always be away. That girl that watches him has to go to class sometime, or have sex with that creepy dude, or something. And how did he afford to buy the apartment next door as well pay the nanny a full-time plus salary? Even if he pays minimum wage, that’s got to be a good chunk of his salary. It’s just these little things that get to me. The writers think that introducing these new plot elements just explains everything, like last season when Angel off-handedly remarked to some random detective we never saw again how he broke it off with his girlfriend from two seasons ago. And this season, when he seems relatively ignorant of LaGuerta even though they were just married. It makes limited sense, and it would be much better if they refined the smaller details.
And lastly, I’ve got to talk about the elephant in the room – this Louis guy. He better end up coming back next season, because his story is far from over. So far, he’s just been that creeper stalking Dexter. I don’t really like him, or the idea of him. I think he was introduced to us this season so we could develop a bond with him, or gush at his lovable dorkiness. But that really didn’t get me. On the outside, he’s passive, nerdy, and kind of ignorant in the sense of being oblivious. I’m thinking he has a more sinister, melancholic side to him underneath, but I don’t seem to care. Will he become the next villain? I kinda hope not, but I also hope he’s more than just the dude that sent Dexter the Ice Truck Killer hand.
While I’ve spent a lot of words bashing this latest season, don’t let me fool you – it was entertaining, and I certainly enjoyed it. I just wish the writers would be smarter about things. You can’t sum up entire plot changes in a few words, create characters and story loops only to abandon them, or make characters do crazy things just to keep us interested. These are some of my biggest pet peeves, but I fear they will only get worse as the series continues.