falafel_musings: (dexter)
[personal profile] falafel_musings
Long time no LJ entry. I've finally finished my run in The Forsyte Saga and I'm on my school holidays. I've also recently finished my Dexter marathon in good time for the final season. Well, I skipped Dexter S6 on strong recommendation from fans who suffered through it. I didn't want to be tempted to jump ship.

Dexter S7 Thoughts: So the Dexter writers are Breaking Bad fans, right?

I had mixed feelings about S7. Deb finding out Dexter's secret was definitely a shot in the arm that the show needed and I found pretty much all the scenes shared by Michael C Hall and Jennifer Carpenter to be thrilling and terrifically acted. I particularly loved Debra's attempt at creating her own serial killer rehabilitation program for her brother. Deb's desire to cure Dexter seemed incredibly naive and hopeless at this stage but even Dex was wistfully contemplating whether this method might have worked if Harry had tried it when he was a kid. Between the rehab story and the return of the Bay Harbor Butcher investigation, S7 felt like it was coming full circle and mirroring S2. When a story is coming to an end I think it always benefits from linking back to the way it began.

But then there's the Dexter/Hannah ship which I HATED - oh man, I hated it with the fire of a thousand suns - even though I loved the Dexter/Lila ship from S2 which it seems to be echoing. The thing is, Dexter/Lila was portrayed as a toxic relationship between two people who brought out the worst in each other. The same was true of Dexter/Hannah except that the writers seemingly wanted us to see Dexter/Hannah as "LOVE!" and to like them as a couple. Now I may be the only Dexter fan who actually liked Lila, but I would argue that even Lila was a nicer person than Hannah. Okay, so Lila was a stalkerish pyromaniac psycho-bitch, but at least Lila encouraged Dexter to resist his dark impulses (though Lila couldn't resist her own). Hannah encouraged Dexter to believe that he's not psychotic; he's just a survivor and he should kill anyone who gets in his way. It's the Hannah influence which makes me lose sympathy for Dexter for the first time. I also can't cope with the stupidity of Dexter having Hannah arrested rather than killing her and Dexter just trusting that his betrayed girlfriend won't tell the cops that he's a mass murderer. Ugh! I didn't feel like Dexter needed a new (instant!) love interest in S7 but if they had to have a romantic plotline then having Isaak as Dexter's first male lover could have been far more interesting than Dexter/Hannah. Well, honestly I'd have preferred them to take the Dexter/Deb incest story further than this weak contrived Dexter/Hannah mess.

But back to the positives, I liked Debra's S7 development now she finally knows the terrible truth. Before S7 Debra seemed like the Hank Schrader of 'Dexter', the good cop who struggles with PTSD and who has a blind spot for their seemingly nerdy brother/brother-in-law. Now Deb seems more like the Jesse Pinkman of 'Dexter', the guilt-ridden manipulated accomplice of a dangerous sociopath. Like Jesse, it seems Deb's tragic flaw is her love and loyalty for the wrong person. Certainly the final moment where Deb shoots LaGuerta to protect Dexter seems like a direct homage to Jesse shooting Gale to save Walt. And then there's Deb in the S8 trailer...she's become a self-destructive nihilistic junkie! Oh, if only Deb and Jesse could hook up in an NA group.  

Season 8 Trailer right here! Is it me or does this look potentially AWESOME?

Dexter S8 Thoughts: Why I think the final season could be pretty damn great.

Just like S7 shared a lot of parallels with S2, it looks like S8 could link back to the origin story of S1. I know a lot of fans fear 'retcon' but I'm really liking the idea that there may be more hidden fuckery in Dexter's childhood. I'm particularly excited about the Evelyn Vogel character (an expert in child psychopaths!) who some sources say is going to be the person who gave Harry Morgan the idea for the code. I've already talked about how I feel like Harry gaslighted Dexter and never let him get the psychological help he needed. But what if that's not the full story? What if Harry did seek advice on Dexter's mental health from a professional and this Dr. Vogel manipulated Harry so she could conduct her own psychological experiment with Dexter? Maybe Vogel has been the woman behind the curtain this whole time ("She knows!"). I expect some fans would hate that twist, but it really appeals to me. It would serve to redeem Harry a little for his highly questionable parenting if we find out the code and the serial killer conditioning weren't all his idea. I also think this angle would bring back a lot of my sympathies for Dexter himself. My biggest reason for caring about Dexter is that (for me) he's Frankenstein's monster. His creator made Dex believe he would always be a monster, that he couldn't change things and I feel for any character oppressed by this kind of fatalistic brainwashing. Since Harry has been dead from the beginning, we can't ever have Dexter confronting Harry about the psychological abuse he suffered as a child. But if we find out this Vogel lady is the real evil genius behind the code, then I would say she is the perfect Big Bad for Dexter to face in the final season. Dexter "meeting his maker" is actually part of the synopsis for S8 which suggests all my wishes will come true with Vogel being the creator. Of course, it also hints that Dex is gonna die in S8.

How will Dexter die in the end? As with Walter White, this is another show where I'd be shocked if the lead character didn't die in the final episode. And personally I've always predicted that this will end with Dexter being caught and sentenced to death. It would be the perfect ironic reversal if in the final episode we get Dexter strapped to a table like his victims (getting the lethal injection) and it is the Miami justice system who are now in the Dexter role: protecting society by executing a killer. MC Hall has said in this BTS video that Dexter's 'legacy' is a big theme of the final season. It seems like there's a big focus on Harrison and (I would imagine) whether Dexter's child might be doomed to the same psychological scarring as his father. Or maybe it's Debra, rather than Harrison, who will be doomed to inherit the code and become the new serial killer. If Dexter turns himself in to save Debra from going to jail for LaGuerta's murder then Deb may end up seeing Dex as her savior, just Dex saw Harry as his savior. I'm going to predict that this might end with Deb stalking her own kills and having her own Head!Dexter to give her sage ghostly advice on how to survive.

While I'm on the subject of lovable serial killers, let me recommend 'Sightseers'!!                

One of the most haunting and darkly funny British films I've seen in ages! Watch it.
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