Sunday, December 21, 2008

Reflecting on "Dexter"

With this season's final episode of Dexter now just about a week in the past, I'd like to say that I agree with Jane on her previous post about the episode. Not our favorite season, but good in many ways, with the always terrific work of the ensemble cast chief among the pleasures. They are all superb. I'd also like to comment on a few of my favorite scenes in the finale.

I loved the way Dexter talked Ramon out of his head and back into the world, in that jailhouse conversation. It was a humane act from Dexter, and Ramon really wasn't such a bad guy after all. It was Miguel who had poisoned the whole Prado family, it seems.

The father flashbacks with the tie-knotting lesson -- very simple and yet moving. If we thought that we weren't going to be seeing lots of James Remar in the past season, we were wrong. Dexter's frequent conversations with his late Dad were psychological delights, and if we read our signs correctly, Debra will now be finding out secrets about her father in next season.

I loved LaGuerta making the cupcake ritual that she shared with her murdered attorney friend Ellen Wolfe her own, and sharing the ganache-frosted treats with her new detective Debra. LaGuerta symbolically and literally closed the file on her ex-lover Miguel Prado and his poisonous deeds, and has moved on. A nice female bonding moment for both LaGuerta and Debra, who have been at odds in the past, but only because they both are tough-minded cops with similar ambition. I loved Debra making the joke -- how being in a dress made her feel like a transvestite -- to Dexter when she visited him in as he finished dressing for the wedding. Avoiding the usual sentimental drivel, she was as sharp-witted as always and also shared Dad's tie-knotting ritual with Dexter, and the affection between these two is a terrific portrayal of the sibling bond.

I also was amused by the many romantic hook-ups this season, with even Masuka finding a girlfriend in the savvy adult entertainment consultant Tammy. The humanization of Masuka from a strictly-creepy lech into someone more conventionally likable hasn't made him lose any of his edge, and you don't have to feel that he is so clueless anymore. That's good. Angel seems to have found a worthy love match in the tough but devoted Lt. Barbara Gianna. Now that Debra has embraced the laidback and appealing Anton, her love life is in good shape, too.

Probably the least interesting match of all is Dexter and Rita, but the existence of a first mystery marriage for her might bring interesting repercussions in the future. I'm not sure how much Dexter will play with the conventional new baby plotline -- how much can you do with that? -- and here's hoping that the next season is as surprising and ultimately as satisfying as this one was...or even more so, perhaps.

1 comment:

Jane said...

I think the flashbacks with Dexter's Dad (James Remar) formed some of the most riveting scenes in this past season...especially in the finale. I spent a few hours over the weekend watching (again) some of my favorite episodes from Six Feet Under on HBO on Demand. It occurred to me that the continuous dialogue that Nate Fisher had with his dead Dad in that series (played by the amazingly accomplished actor, Richard Jenkins) is very similar to what we see on Dexter. I'm still working on a post for 6 Feet, my favorite TV show of all time. I think I'll be able to do it soon.

Nice re-cap Lisa! You always get the most awesome pictures!