Dexter Review: “Argentina” (Season 7, Episode 8)

argentinapromo9 Dexter Review: Argentina (Season 7, Episode 8)

Pictured above is one of only two moments I would venture to call a highlight in “Argentina,” the second straight episode to fall flat on its face for me. It says a lot about the episode that I was reduced to ogling Jamie in her bikini in order to get some enjoyment out of the episode.

While Dexter is nearing the home stretch of the season, it’s doing so in a slow, limping fashion. Part of me wishes the network would take it out back to the shed and put it down, forgoing the eighth and final season that I can’t see being any good at this rate, but I know there’s no chance of that happening. So it looks like I have another season (plus these last four episodes) of let downs to anticipate.

At least it appears the (one sided) love angle between Dexter and Deb is set to die a quick death. Deb finally confessing her undying (even in the face of him being a serial killer) love for Dexter was a moment I’d feared was bound to come soon, yet hoped would be put off until next season at the earliest; however, when Dexter made it clear that her feelings aren’t at all reciprocated, I breathed a sigh of relief. It probably won’t stop the writers from trying to force Dexter into a love triangle, but I hope they have enough sense not to have him go changing his mind all of a sudden, followed immediately by him and Deb having an unnecessarily graphic sex scene along the lines of Dexter’s first one with Hannah.

On the subject of death, it appears the tension between Dexter and Deb has all but evaporated. That is, unless you count the sexual tension on Deb’s part. Deb has now accepted Dexter for who he is and all that’s left to come between them is Hannah. Like many others I’ve seen, I’m baffled by how fast she reconciled herself with Dexter being a serial killer. Here I was thinking it would be a season long arc, that the big-bads of seasons past would take a backseat in favor of the personal dramas that must come with such a revelation, and it only took about half the season before she began trying to use Dexter as her personal errand boy.

What happened to the Deb who looked like she was about to throw up once everything truly and finally hit her? Now it’s the thought of Deb doing it with Hannah that causes her stomach to turn instead. Which, now that I think about it, is even sadder than I originally thought. Deb was obviously a character originally meant to buck the stereotypes associated with her gender, yet she’s become no different from all the other female characters that populate television and film. She’s controlled primarily by those silly emotions of hers.

They’re supposedly what allowed for her to accept that Dexter kills people on the regular. They’re what made what I first thought was merely a reconnaissance mission into an utterly random fling with Price. And they’re what have made it seemingly impossible for her to go a season without getting with a guy that’s all sorts of wrong for her. That’s what it always seems to come back to. She apparently can’t stand to not have a warm body with which to share a bed and so she disregards potential warning signs in pursuit of that.

Honestly, I can’t remember the last time the writers played her up as a strong female role model. She’s spent the past couple seasons or so failing, in immensely frustrating fashion, to discover the killer right in front of her and saddled with storylines that actually make her look weak instead, such as her snafu with LaGuerta a little while back. This season looked as if it was ready to change that when Deb started calling Dexter on all of his shit, but that unfortunately didn’t last very long. On top of that, what I imagine were moments meant to relay to the viewers that she’s ill-equipped to reign Dexter in in any fashion end up coming off as moments of weakness on her part.

Earlier in the season she told him she was going to be on his ass all day and all night, though likely not quite in the way she’d envisioned since she realized she wanted to jump his bones, and what came of that was Dexter sneaking off with the utmost ease, as well as her not stopping him from jetting off when she had the chance. This, coupled with everything else I’ve mentioned, has taken a character I once loved and made me bemoan her appearances to a certain extent.

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Unless this love angle is done away with entirely and we get to see Deb become increasingly more involved in Dexter’s killings, possibly even to the extent of her helping him in the act, my interest in her as a character has almost disappeared entirely. Speaking from the standpoint of a hormone-driven guy once more, Jennifer Carpenter’s not even much to look at anymore. I can’t quite put my finger on what’s different about her. Maybe it’s her skin which looks a little too on the tan side nowadays. But there’s just something off about her.

Likewise, as I mentioned in last week’s review, there’s something off about Dexter. Not in terms of his looks, though. I will always count Michael C. Hall among my man crushes. He even succeeded in making cancer look sexy. No, what’s off about Dexter is that he’s simply not on top of things anymore. Except for Hannah, that is. Except neither are the writers, I guess, since restoring the contents of Price’s recycle bin are apparently beyond the capabilities of Deb or anyone else in Miami Metro. There have always been moments like that on Dexter. Think back to him pulling the fire alarm to get some much-needed privacy all those years ago. The difference is that it’s gone from a random moment here and there to an unsettling trend.

It’s a wonder Dexter hasn’t been caught yet. Then again, having seen the trouble Deb had to go through to discover who he really is, and how woefully inept Miami Metro can be, I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. In short, if the other characters were anywhere near as smart as Dexter fancies himself, Dexter wouldn’t have made it past the first season. Dexter, once a weekly battle of wits, has slowly become a battle of the witless. People often talk about how inaccurate a representation of real-life crime scene investigation CSI isyet, for some unknown reason, I’ve never once heard Dexter singled out in a similar fashion. Oh, many have mentioned how unlikely it is that Miami would be the serial killing hub it’s been throughout the series, but none have really called it out on anything besides that and I can’t for the life of me understand why that is.

Switching topics, something else that made little sense to me was the calm nature with which Isaak spoke to Dexter at the bar. This was a man desperate enough to put himself at odds with his own men and attempt a drive-by on Dexter when he stopped to get his daily box of donuts. He’s completely unhinged, as the preview for the next episode, where he kidnaps Hannah and threatens to kill her, goes to show. Yet he goes so far as to tell Dexter that they might actually have been able to become good friends if things were different. The two simply don’t mesh.

Bravado, like the type he displayed as Dexter and the others came to investigate the murder in Viktor’s apartment, I can see. But not this oddly polite attitude displayed in the conversation between him and Dexter at the bar. Still, in spite of it feeling a little out of nowhere, I rather liked it. That’s the only thing in this episode, other than Jamie in a bikini, that I can say that about. And it looks like that’s yet another trend that’s only going to continue as we move towards the season finale. Dexter could pull another rabbit out of its ass (I know I’m mixing my metaphors and I don’t particularly care) come the finale, not unlike last season, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Bits and Bobs:

  • Quinn’ll either end up in jail or dead by the end of the series the way he’s going. Book it.
  • Masuka’s not even himself lately. He got, I think, three lines and only one was at all amusing.
  • Did they pay the writers to have Cody mention Angry Birds off-hand or are they just too lazy to come up with anything more original than him being yet another teenager too attached to his phone who also happens to play the most popular game there currently is?
  • I imagine Astor and Cody being back was a welcome sight for many, but not for me. All it took were a couple brief moments for me to be reminded of why I was glad they were essentially written off. Cody’s simply not an interesting character and Astor’s nothing but cliched teenage melodrama. It was nice, however, to see Harrison again. He barely did anything, but I can’t hate on a cute kid being cute.
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  • Sin

    Nah she’s still very hot. It’s just the makeup. Loved the episode. Entertaining review as usual, but maybe you should do yourself a favor and quit watching the damn show?

    • Travis Jarrod Smith

      Dexter was once my second favorite show of all time. After this, it only has one season left. I’m going down with this ship whether I like it or not.

      Plus, I still have some hope, though admittedly not much, that it will turn itself around and finish strong. The start of the season looked to be a return to form, so they do still have it in them. It’s just the past couple episodes or so have failed to hit the mark for me. Then again, the beginning of the season could also have just been a fluke of sorts, meaning all the episodes from here on out will be about on par with last season. However, I would rather believe that’s not the case and hold out what little hope I have left.

  • Tess

    I too have felt that Dexter has been really far off after a few episodes into this season. I wasn’t unhappy with the show before.. I actually liked last season, though apparently some critics didn’t.. But it is funny to see them praising this new season. Dexter was one of the few shows that I didn’t peg exact plot lines in the first few episodes. This season, has been such a bore of predictability and unusual behavior for a character I grew used to being competent for over 7 years. I can look away from oversights of reality vs fantasy clashes.. and I don’t get the same enjoyment as yourself to just oogle the hot girls. :P I had already guessed a few weeks back that:

    1.) Izaak and Viktor were lovers. Despite mafia-stereotypical bromance relationships, the hurt he expressed and lack of disregard for the brotherhood suggested something way more then just a simple “They kill us, we get them.” attitude.

    2.) I knew Deb would resolve her issue with Dexter’s “hobby”.. and ask him to kill someone for her. I thought Izaak as I thought he’d do something to her.. So i was half wrong here. It was an obvious set up for this scenario though. To watch “grace fall” as lame as it sounds.

    3.) After Dexter banged Hannah on his table, which I wish could of ranged a little hot and not absolutely silly and pointless, I knew right then that Mr. Ukrainian Boyfriend of the Year was going to either snag her or Deb to force Dexter to choose somehow someway.. oh lookit those previews!

    Seriously, the writers are just getting this thing over with. We already know it’s going to end. Trinity season was the highest praised season amongst most people… and they’ve never hit that note again. Lumen and Hanks Clone were alright seasons.. and look better than this current one that’s for sure.

    My eye-roll of the night was the kids showing up. Really? Grandpa needs to have kidney stones removes and I guess that means Grandma gets to be in the hospital 24/7 and no way to get a sitter for a couple of days as it doesn’t take months to recover from… Kidney Stones.. Not a Liver Transplant. Pathetic excuse just to get the kids there to have some sort of drama around them later no doubt.

    Just like you I’ll stick it out for the rest of this season.. But unlike you, unless this season turns around something I don’t have already written in my head.. I won’t even need to see the next season as apparently i’ll be dreaming it anyway it’ll be so easy to guess and more eye-roll inducing I’m afraid i’d lose them.

    Cheers, and glad to see someone else thinks the same thing! Beginning to feel alone out here.