Dexter Season 1 Episode 12

Borrrrrn freeeee, as free as the wind blows, as free as the grass grows... Or, free of sense and logic and morals. That's not such a good thing to be free of. Silly Dexter.

Right. Last episode. That means, once I've written this review, I'm free. Free! Free from trying to figure out why Miami police are so stupid, free from trying to figure out how Deb doesn't just snap in half, free from trying not to cry as my intelligence gets repeatedly battered every week...

So, Dexter knows who the Ice Truck Killer is. He's got DNA evidence, too. (Which you'd think he should maybe tell someone about?) Doakes and Laguerta know who the Ice Truck Killer is, too, and finally so does Deb, the silly cow. All of this is dealt with pretty quickly, which is a relief. For some reason, a new lieutenant has been hired to start work in the middle of the Ice Truck Killer case, right when an officer has been kidnapped and is probably being murdered right this minute. Really not very bright, are they? It's weird how sometimes there's actually a sense of urgency this episode, and then everyone just stands around yapping for ages instead. I really wish the office politics wouldn't keep intruding into policework in the way that they do. I hope that's not realistic.

Okay. Dexter knows where the Ice Truck Killer will have taken Deb, because it's linked to his childhood, and he's finally remembered that he's got a brother, so that takes care of who the Ice Truck Killer really and truly is. Hands up who figured that out at least six weeks ago? Ugh.

Remember that weird eating-in-the-car joke they shoved down our throats in the first and second episodes and then forgot all about? (Have we even seen Dexter driving since then? It's all a blur now.) It turns out there was a point, and there was even a point to Dexter having been eating a banana: the Ice Truck Killer/Rudy/Biney/Brian is doing it now too. Well, that was worthwhile, wasn't it?

That's not the only thing that's back from the early shitty episodes, either - the rubbish dialogue is back with a vengeance. Quote of the week: "... his happy place, where he kills more than time." Gag me. Bleurghhh. And while I'm on the subject of killing more than time: if that home refrigeration unit would have taken years to put in, then why weren't the first few bodies frozen? Why did he need an ice truck if he already had a walk-in freezer in his house? Why have we been calling him the Ice Truck Killer, considering how irrelevant the ice truck turned out to be? Does this hurt anyone else as much as it hurts me?

Breathe.

I really like the dynamic between Doakes and Laguerta now that they're partners again. That's how it's meant to be. It's nice. Rita showing up while Dexter's in the middle of running about trying to track down Deb isn't so nice: why does everyone in this show take everything so personally? Fuck, not everything is about you. Fuck off, Rita.

Now, here's where having read the book really comes in handy. In the book, the idea that Dexter was closely linked with the Ice Truck Killer, maybe to the point of actually BEING the Ice Truck Killer, was a big deal. It's been almost completely obliterated in the series. But that closeness is what they're trying to evoke now, and it's not really working. There's no real temptation for Dexter to give up trying to be human and go be with his brother, because the Miami police actually know what's going on this time. There's no way Dexter could kill Deb and make nice with his brother; all that tension is gone, because we just know it isn't going to happen. So all the conflict that should have been in this episode has evaporated, which is a massive shame.

Plus it doesn't help that I'm actually hoping someone will kill Deb, whether it's Dexter or Brian.

Eventually, as we all know, Dexter does the 'right' thing and Brian gets his comeuppance, and everyone lives happily ever after. But not before a horrible conversation with Rita along the lines of 'the poor thing must be a mess, falling for a serial killer'/'what are the odds?' re: Deb and Brian. Well, higher than you'd think, Rita. P.S. I hate you.

It's a shame that most of this episode sucked. I love Mousaka's little aside about the apparently suicided Brian: "It's retarded. Look at him. He's dead." I love the Dexter parade. I don't love the over-abundance of alliteration when they summed up how damaged everyone is, and I don't love...

I don't love this series. I wish I did, but I don't think I can keep watching. There are some snappy one-liners that genuinely make me smile, and I'll miss those. I'll miss Michael C. Hall's spot-on facial expressions. I'll miss the few moments of poignancy the writers have managed to squeeze out of Angel's ongoing heartbreak. But I won't miss being constantly treated like I'm an attention-deficit idiot by writers who apparently never moved on from blunt crayons. Sorry, Dex. I wanted to love you.

Originally published at Den of Geek.

1 comment:

PoeticJaffaCake said...

I have to admit after the initial 'wow' factor of the series my attention did waver, I haven't however read the book which might be something I'll delve into. I saw the whole season a while back via an online download beginning with 'T'. Season 2 is on it's way and I think I will take the plunge if only to do what I did with the 4400 and get annoyed and bored at the same time. You can't beat Six Feet Under with the excellent Mr Hall. which reminds me, it's probably about time for me to dig the DVDs out for a rerun.