Dexter Review: “Helter Skelter” (Season 7, Episode 9)

Miami, as imagined by Dexter, is a city so writhing with the violent and the murderous that issuing a city-wide lock down to allow for them all to do away with one another sounds surprisingly sane.

This has always been a problem inherent in the show, the cornucopia of killers all converging on one unsuspecting city, but now it’s verging on the absurd. No sooner is one killer (Isaak) removed from the equation, another’s introduced.

At this rate, I half expect Dexter‘s Miami to become ground zero for a zombie outbreak, the rage virus manufactured from the city’s inhabitants. Sadly, it would take something that drastic and out-of-character to reinvigorate my interest in this show.

There was once a time when I anxiously awaited each new episode. That’s how I was as recently as last season’s premiere, an episode that couldn’t come fast enough. Lately, though, those days feel like the distant past.

I never thought I, of all people, would say this, but watching Dexter week-to-week has now become akin to watching your chosen football team, which started out the season with such promise, falter to the finish line. Does there still remain a small chance of redemption, of going out on a high note? Certainly, but it’s growing tinier by the week.

Deb isn’t about to stop loving her brother anytime soon, not if him being unexpectedly outed as a serial killer isn’t enough to squelch it. Dexter’s relationship with Hannah continues to be an exercise in cheese and tedium. The writers can no longer write off a big bad in a satisfying manner. And they could do with casting all the side-plots, LaGuerta’s included, to the side.

Quinn’s strained, and now defunct, partnership with George bothered me from the start, but in “Helter Skelter” it dipped to a whole new low. George banged Quinn’s stripper friend? The one he’s not shared a single believable moment with all season? And it finally sent him over the edge and George through a pane of glass and to the receiving end of a beat-down? Please, just have George kill the girl in an act of retribution and be done with it.

LaGuerta’s investigation into the Bay Harbor Butcher case looked to be accelerating, but now it’s stalled thanks to the re-introduction of Matthews saddling her side-plot with its own side-plot. What does she expect to gain from his assistance? Furthermore, why would he help her out to begin with? He provided her with an explanation for his sudden change-of-heart, yes, but it rang hollow.

Batista’s venture into the business of restaurant ownership and his subsequent struggles are of no interest to me. His decision to buy the place and retire made no sense, given there was absolutely nothing to suggest it’d be something he’d do, and I can’t bring myself to care about him having to contend with safety violations. 

I don’t watch Dexter for the humdrum lives of its tertiary characters. Honestly, I’d rather they be one-dimensional characters who are only fleshed out when their problems relate directly to Dexter’s. Minus Dexter and Deb, there’s not a character I care an ounce about.

Except for maybe Masuka. That is, if they succeed in getting him out of the rut he’s been in. Like Creed on The Office, it used to be you could rely on him for a laugh or two an episode. But, again like Creed on The Office, he’s become a pale imitation of himself who’s intermittently amusing at best.

I guess I should be thankful that he’s been relegated mostly to comic relief for the entirety of the series, since they would really ruin him as a character if they tried to make him anything more than that. Admittedly, he’s played a role in some minor side-plots, but they’ve luckily never asked him to do any heavy lifting.

Continue reading on the next page…

About the author