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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.

Not yet. With a little over a season left, though, there’s plenty of time, and I almost expect it the way things are going. I mean it when I say I’ve lost all trust in the people running this show. Only they could take something as ripe with potential as Deb finding out who Dexter really is and allow it to devolve into this lovey-dovey bull. Or reduce Isaak, a man who took out three armed men by his lonesome, to a weakling and a sad-sack who barely poses a threat to anybody, least of all Dexter who randomly becomes his sidekick for an episode.

Plus, as I already mentioned, Dexter can no longer dispose of its big bads in a manner befitting the buildup. Dexter and Isaak make short work of two hit-men who couldn’t have been as good at their jobs as we were led to believe, throw away their weapons together in an act of solidarity, and then George chooses that very moment to waltz up, put a single bullet in him, leave him to bleed out, and ignore Dexter’s presence altogether?

Following that, Isaak becomes, in his dying moments, another ham-fisted life lesson for Dexter? What about that was supposed to be the least bit satisfying? Not a single link in that chain of events worked for me.

Even the bit about Hannah being Isaak’s captive went nowhere. Well, nowhere interesting. She was never in any real danger. Dexter was tasked with taking out two trained hit men, yet he still managed to find her (with Deb’s help) in time to save her life. On top of that, Hannah attacking and killing her captor, then being subsequently rescued, was a scene viewers could see telegraphed from the moment Hannah uttered those terribly cliche words: “It’s not like I’m going anywhere.”

Even her failed grasp for the key to her chains didn’t leave me in suspense. Deb or Dexter would find her soon enough and she’d live to kill another day. As little as I think of Dexter‘s writers at this point in time, even they wouldn’t kill off two characters in such an unclimactic fashion.

That being said, I hope they do kill off Hannah before season’s end. People hated on Rita, Lila, and (to a lesser extent) Lumen, but she’s easily my least favorite of Dexter’s love interests. We get it. She’s a killer, he’s a killer. It’s a match made in Heaven or, perhaps, Hell. That doesn’t make their interactions any less groan worthy.

It’s the writing that bears most of the blame for that. While my comparisons to Edward and Bella’s relationship in Twilight might have been a bit much, I can’t help but be reminded of it every time I hear them share a conversation or see their overall lack of chemistry.

Dexter and Hannah work in concept. For all intents and purposes, she’s Lumen 2.0, so it’s natural that he’d be drawn to her. Except their every interaction looks and sounds more like the awkwardness that I’d expect from him and Deb if Dexter were to begrudgingly give things between them a shot just for Deb’s sake.

Now we’re set to get an extra-large dose of that awkwardness as it and LaGuerta’s side-plot are all we really have left to carry us towards the finale. Because of this, I’ve officially abandoned all hope of this season redeeming itself. Will I be proven wrong? Probably not, but I sure as hell would love if it that were how things turned out.

About the author

Travis Smith