On Why Season Seven Of DEXTER Is - Thus Far - A Failure

Founder and Editor; Toronto, Canada (@AnarchistTodd)
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On Why Season Seven Of DEXTER Is - Thus Far - A Failure

[Credit where it's due: Episode Five (Swim Deep) aired this weekend as was very good, indeed. Could've gotten where they ended up in one episode rather than wasting three, but they did at least end up somewhere interesting.]

I make no great secret of the fact that Dexter has been a staple of my TV viewing over the past six years. Though the quality has varied from episode to episode and season to season the high points have been very high indeed and many of the lows are flagrantly goofy enough to remain firmly in guilty pleasure territory. But three episodes in to Season Seven, Dexter is losing me. Dexter is failing in a manner that is no longer pleasurable and it all comes down to the writing, specifically in the dogged resistance to change.

Dexter (the show) has been running for six full seasons now without any actual development in Dexter (the character). He is exactly the same now as he was when the show began. Worse, the show's writers and the characters within the show - Dexter himself included - seem perfectly content to just continue asking the same questions about the character now as they were when they began, i.e. is the drive to kill something that can be controlled or is it a fundamental part of who he is. That this question has been asked and answered repeatedly from day one doesn't seem to phase anyone.

Now, they've gotten away with it to a degree thus far by shifting Dexter through different contexts in the early seasons. He went from lone hunter to husband to father and each of those shifts provided some basis to explore, at least slightly, some different aspect of his fundamentally unchanging character. So while he wasn't developing at all we were at least getting to know him a bit better. That has not been the case for recent seasons - ever since Rita was killed, really - and the show has essentially become a basic procedural with the character constantly resetting back to zero. And it's taken a good bit of heat for that.

Now, the final episode of Season Six and the opening episode of Season Seven opened the door for this to finally change. The established parameters of the show shifted, with Deb finding out who / what Dexter really was and Dexter acknowledging and stating what he truly is without any embellishment or apologies. He's a serial killer. Period. By putting Dexter into direct conflict with the only person in the entire show that he has ever shown an ounce of actual emotion for - and, no, I don't think he's ever shown any particular bond to Harrison, who is mostly treated by the writers as a prop to be called on when convenient - they finally opened the door to DO SOMETHING NEW. And given that they are now on the road to concluding the show that meant that they had the opportunity to do so in very conclusive fashion.

And what did they do instead? They immediately stepped back, pussied out and instead reset the character right back to the way things have ALWAYS BEEN. The revelation now means nothing. Deb is stepping into the role that Harry was in through Dexter's youth and - oh, joy - any discussion of his character has once again been reduced to "Can Dexter control his impulse to kill?" Because, you know, they haven't asked and answered that question enough times already.

What they've done is taken a story arc that could have been bold and fresh and pushed the character into new directions - bluntly, I want to know if Dexter will kill Deb if that's what it takes to save himself - and instead taken a route that is cowardly, small and completely lacking in imagination. They have revealed, conclusively, that the emperor is naked. They have nothing to say at all and so they are just going to revert back to the old standbys and hope that nobody notices. Well, I noticed. I noticed because they flew a great big flag in my face that said they were finally going to grow and develop and then immediately refused to do so. And so now all that I see is the enormous squandered opportunity.

Can Dexter pull out of the tailspin? I hope so. I'll give it another episode or two to find out, at least. But with the road that it's on now the show looks poised to end with a whimper rather than a bang and that's just sad for a show based on dousing people with blood.

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William FergusonOctober 15, 2012 11:19 PM

While I have not seen the new season, I can say that "TV Deb" is following the same path as "Literary Deb." Except in the books, she slipped into this role as early as the first book.

Todd BrownOctober 15, 2012 11:26 PM

Which would be totally fine if they'd gone there early on rather than spend SIX SEASONS addressing these character issues already before going back to them now as though they are somehow, magically, still fresh. He's a completely static character and that makes for shitty TV.

pgOctober 16, 2012 3:22 AM

The series is ending shortly and you cant expect them to pull off much else. I for one think they are doing a fairly good job laying the brickwork for something much larger later in the season.

There were a few slow points in previous seasons where I thought about not watching it any further...then I realized it's Dexter and I'm full of **** lol I think if you give it a few more weeks you will be sucked back in again.

Todd BrownOctober 16, 2012 3:32 AM

The fact that it's ending soon is a MAJOR part of why I find this timidity on behalf of the writers so frustrating. There's no benefit to business as usual any more. They don't need to keep things going. If there was ever a time to do something dramatic with the character and really get into the meat of things, this is it. Right now. But instead they're going out of their way to keep everything same old, same old.

JOctober 16, 2012 8:58 AM

I applaud you for writing this (in....sert.....slow....clap....here)

jasperOctober 16, 2012 10:26 AM

I’m surprised to hear that you haven’t liked this season so
far! From Deb’s discovery of the blood slides to the mafia uttering the name
Dexter Morgan, I think the twists and turns of this season are flawless! The
suspense of it all has quickly made Dexter the highlight of my Sunday, beating
out other great shows that air during that same timeslot like Boardwalk Empire
and Revenge. I definitely haven’t given up on those other shows, since my
Hopper DVR’s ability to record up to six things at once lets me keep up with
everything, but Dex is a top priority. I can see where you are coming from
though about the same old formula season after season. I’ve heard similar
complaints from the people I’ve talked to around my office at DISH, but don’t
lose faith in the show yet!

GarthOctober 16, 2012 10:36 AM

The problem is that it's NOT ending soon. It's been renewed through AT LEAST eight seasons, meaning that there is more than a full network season left, minimum.
The reason it's failing,in my opinion, is that they know it should've ended long ago and keeping it going means that they can't do anything interesting. Deb walking in on him is something that should've happened when you have a clear ending in mind. This happening at the end of season 6 should've meant that it would be ending this season. But it isn't.
Nevermind that the show has been flailing ever since Trinity was dispatched with and Chip Johanssen, the showrunner from the beginning, left. I'm thinking more and more that he probably wanted to end it after season five and left because he was told he couldn't. Ever since that season, Dexter has started each new season all right but it has quickly devolved. Rita's death had only a very short term affect on Dexter. Lumen's story was interesting, but in the end it did nothing for the character. They had a phenomenal character in Jordan Chase but they didn't know what to do with him, and when they finally figured it out it was too late to save the season. Last season was awful, with a really bad, predictable villain. In my opinion they panicked and threw in Deb finding out the truth without thinking about what the consequences should have been.
There's no clear ending in sight and therefore they can't do anything interesting that will truly change the status quo.
Dexter has two problems. The first is that they haven't set a clear final episode and thus they will continue to flail. The second is that whoever is running the show right now clearly just isn't smart or imaginative enough to follow Chip Johanssen.

HempKnight757October 16, 2012 10:37 AM

Have you seen the last two garbage seasons? Compared this first few episodes of this season to last season & it way better. They kept trying to build that whole horse scene up which never went any where good. Quit your bitchin' & get back in the kitchen. The season is just getting started.

ChadOctober 16, 2012 2:04 PM

A... failure?! What in the world. This season is fantastic so far.

Clayton ParkerOctober 16, 2012 3:30 PM

Not really sure how a sociopath serial killer is supposed to develop. He's a creature of habit whose methods evolve as to evade capture. They generally don't tend to be very sponataneous

James F. ReillyOctober 16, 2012 5:07 PM

This season's been great so far, and looks like it's going to get even better. What do you want the show to turn into? Dexter Goes to Psychotherapy? Dexter Goes to Jail? The show is at its worse when Dexter tries to control his urges, question Harry's code, or attempt to lead anything close to a normal life. This season we'll be able to see a Dexter unbridled of the fear of getting caught by Deb, and, perhaps, re-energized by her complicity.

Todd BrownOctober 16, 2012 8:02 PM

Clearly you've missed the fact that - as stated repeatedly in the article - this season has been ALL ABOUT Dexter trying to control his urges. There's been no freedom at all and after six full seasons the character is back to EXACTLY where he was in season one: Holding to the code. There's been no development to the story AT ALL. Deb is now trying to control and channel him, there is no freedom. None. And the show has already gone back to the stupid psychotherapy / 12 step crap that it's done already in earlier seasons.

Dexter is interesting when he is in conflict. Rita provided that for a while. And Deb provided an opportunity to create the largest, most meaningful conflict in the entire run of the show but then immediately backed away and just went "Okay, back to Harry's code, then." Which is total crap. So what's the conflict for the season now? Dexter versus faux Ukrainian hitman? Bah.

Todd BrownOctober 16, 2012 8:06 PM

I will say, however, that I'm glad they backed away from the Deb And Dexter Make Out direction that they had been going in before the big reveal.

Elsie ParoubekOctober 16, 2012 9:11 PM

Dexter lost me half way through last season.

anonimousOctober 16, 2012 11:39 PM

I mean is like wishing that The Superman comic book evolution in to a Clarck Kent ho is just a reporter, right, thats kind of your wish, the heat of the show is watching someone ho has a dual morality, a Dexter humen when he is a father and a Justice Dexter when he sucmb to his urges...

Elli RothenbergOctober 17, 2012 10:52 AM

I agree with you on a few of your statements - that the show peaked - with regards to writing and creativity with Season 5 and hasn't been as good. However, when you say "He is exactly the same now as he was when the show began" - I think that's only partially true. Yes, he always has been a serial killer who follows a code. I don't think anybody at the writing table realistically said "ok, this season someone's going to come into his his life and he won't be a serial killer anymore". What the writers have done (arguably better in some season than others) is put Dexter in situations, or introduce characters - especially main adversaries that affect his character in other ways or show different sides of him and/or changes his perception. (**Previous season SPOILERS below**) * Lila - though rather annoying, served as a good lust/love contrast to the relationship he had with Rita. Dexter, when not killing is emotionless. I felt Lila was able to evoke many emotions out Dexter we had not seen previously. * Jimmy Smits' "Miguel" character was really the first Dexter truly confided in. Call it a bromance if you will but I felt Dexter revealing who he is and why he does what he does was defintiely character development. Dexter also realized the monster he created by sharing his Dark Passenger with Miguel. * The Trinity killer (my favorite season by far) was vitality important to Dexter's perception of what family meant. Obviously the writers had to now deal with Dexter being a father to Harrison as well as a father-type figure to Aster and Cody. What facintated Dexter about Arthur, was his ablity to be this "perfect father, perfect husband" and still balance being a brutal killer. Dexter's (and the viewer's) gradual realization that nothing is what it seems was a well-written and eye opening experience. The emotional rollercoaster ending of the season was really also the first time we've seen Dexter breakdown and lose it. Everything hit home. * Lumen's character played off the idea that Dexter kills for vigliante purposes. It was a bit of a departure from just "I kill because I have to kill" mentality. Dexter had trouble showing emotion to Rita but I felt Lumen's character was the first he was truly emotionally drawn to. I felt that was significant character development. * Brother Sam: While I felt the show became a bit too preachy with this, I think the point was to show Dexter "hey you could change, there's good in you". It was really the first time Dexter felt he could change his life for the better. Which leads to... * Brian/ITK's return to replace Harry's role. This is when Dexter threw his codes out the window and did what he wanted. I thought it was great because as we all know the show plays off this paradox of Dexter being a killer - but we're "ok with that" because he's saving lifes and taking out bad people. The few episodes where Brian was pulling strings was a Dexter we had not seen, he was truly evil. It was a good dichotomy of the angel and devil on his shoulders. * Deb finding out who Dexter really is, had to happen - for the series to survive. So now that the writers opened Pandora's box with this, I am hoping to see a new side to Dexter's character that I haven't before.

Jeevan ChyleOctober 17, 2012 1:29 PM

If you think that makes for shitty tv, one wonders why you ever liked it. He's a serial killer ; he isn't capable of growing or changing to the extent you want him to. This whole article comes across (quite suprisingly considering it's yourself) like a tantrum that the writers haven't taken the show in a direction you would prefer. Even the title seems more arrogant anger than anything else. 'Why I think Dexter is failing' would be more appropriate, no?

Todd BrownOctober 17, 2012 3:22 PM

That's categorically NOT what I want. Read the article. The strength of episode one was Dexter fully owning the fact that he is a serial killer, plain and simple. Gloves are off, restrictions are off, and he's on a collision course with Deb which is by far the most meaningful emotional conflict the character would have had over the entire run of the show. It's the perfect closing arc for the character. And one that the writers immediately retreated from. The 'static' part of the character is the idea that by moping around about his 'dark passenger' Dexter can in any way stifle the urge to kill. Killers escalate. He never has.

CarrieOctober 17, 2012 5:07 PM

Thank you, couldn't say that better myself.

Thomas M.October 17, 2012 6:24 PM

we are supposed to believe that deb's
police instincts never kick in: what about doakes, she doesn't realize that a good cop was set up? what about the fact that dexter's clashes with
his opponents brought herself close to death and left rita dead?

we get this protracted whinig about whether deb can accept what
dexter is. but that of course is no consequence to us, because we know
dexter is not what he appears to be, even now. he has killed an innocent
man (fashion photographer) and has killed for no particular reason (skinny redneck).

another thing: in s1e1 he was presented as a guy who has no feelings
but fakes emotions so he can fit in, and does it real well. and then in season 5 he tells the
kids about rita's death wearing Mickey mouse ears? c'mon...

the only thing this show can achieve now is not suck too bad. the thrill is long gone.

Todd BrownOctober 17, 2012 10:56 PM

They've been very clear that season eight is the end. They've got a fixed point to work towards.

Todd BrownOctober 17, 2012 11:01 PM

Given that the show has lost more than a million viewers in just three weeks - from 3.04 viewers in episode one to 1.98 million in episode three - I'd say the headline is perfectly accurate, thanks. That's a whopping 35% drop in a three episode span.

GarthOctober 17, 2012 11:08 PM

Well then the problem is that they didn't decide that until after the season 6 finale reveal. I've seen the first half of this season and it's still pretty directionless.

GarthOctober 17, 2012 11:12 PM

But he's not growing or changing at all.

Worse than that, he meets Lila and changes, then changes back. Miguel Prado changes him, then he changes back. Interacts with Trinity and that changes him, then he changes back. Rita's death changes him, then he changes back. Lumen changes him, then he changes back. Deb finds out about him and it changes things between them, then it changes back.

I don't see how anyone can still be a fan of a drama in which the main character keeps reverting back to the status quo every single season for seven years.

Slice of LifeOctober 18, 2012 7:07 PM

I think you're being too hard on the show. The fact that Deb accepts him as a killer is actually in keeping with the book series. Plus, the producers have said that this is the second to last season so if you're patient I'm sure something exciting with happen. We all know the most likely end of the series is death for Dexter.

DJ JarakOctober 18, 2012 7:18 PM

I love the season so far. I pride myself by curse of always knowing how a show is going to end. I can't even watch the CSI's anymore. However, this season of Dexter always has be guessing. I had no idea that guy would run in front of that truck and explode himself like a bag of meat.

UnregisteringOctober 19, 2012 9:03 AM

As an avid watcher, reader, and writer; they've actually done something rather brilliant with the series for the past episodes. You will see a boiling point that you're aching for if the interviews with cast & crew are any indicator. They are not shying away from the incestous element of the story either as you've implied you're glad to see they steered away from(murder is OKAY but incest makes us squeemish funny enough, those actors are ex husband and wife)

Laguerta is on to something - somebody who has no real emotion towards anyone no matter how close she gets, she is a wild card and her feelings for Dexter will not steer her away from redeeming Doakes when she discovers this and there are many strings from season 1 onward; all those messy bits you've gone 'gee Dexter you're stupid how did nobody notice this' like Moser, Lumen, his Trinity alias.. they get close but his proximity and control of the evidence and emotions is what he uses to shoo them away when somebody gets close. Deb realizing all her neglect in life was due to this secret will be interesting, and the revelations Dexter has gotten revenge for things like Lundey's death, the time she let him go with Lumen..open up the love arc.. the mob has Dexter's name now.. will they go after Deb or entangle Laguerta.. its a literal grenade already. Deb could get killed by the mob, Laguerta could get killed by anyone including Deb, Dexter could get caught.

Dexter is a slow burn show however and not every episode gets you on the edge of your seat; its when you watch the 12 episodes in a season that it suddenly bursts into flames. And although you know to expect fire, you never know when its going to ignite. Only 19 episodes remain - Season 8 finale is the end of the series and Michael C. Hall (Dexter himself) gets to decide the fate of his character as one of the newer show runners. Just food for thought. Watch Dexter as you would have watched something akin to Lost and you see cracks and signs everywhere in everybody.

BobOctober 19, 2012 9:51 AM

Watching Dexter requires an attention span. Quit complaining that exciting, new things aren't happening all the time. In reality, people don't change their core and the fact that this show addresses the question of whether or not a serial killer can change, and makes you sympathetic to him in the process, is the whole show. I'd rather keep watching a well-written show with a slow burn. I'm enjoying the new season so far.

Dexter MapOctober 19, 2012 11:19 AM

Just like a man, lost and won't stop to ask anyone for directions.

Jason UsherOctober 19, 2012 12:12 PM

This season is turning into the best yet, and the seasons that weren't so great were still better than any other show on tv.
Dexter has changed quite a bit actually, he really did love Rita and loves Harrison, in the 1st season that was not possible.
People who say this one is a failure aren't paying very good attention.

JQOctober 19, 2012 3:04 PM

Crazy...Dexter is excellent. Amazing cast and fantastic writers. Idiot.

spazmodeusOctober 20, 2012 5:46 AM

Interesting. While the seasons have been hit or miss, I have actually forgotten a couple of the ones that were not so good, I am not sure how you expect Dexter to develop. Serial killers are what they are and don't generally develop, I do hope they show him break his code this season and kill outside of the code. This will show that he is, after all, a serial killer and has NO moral compass. With the pressure from Deb he should crack, and maybe he will get caught.

spazmodeusOctober 20, 2012 5:50 AM

Very true, killers do escalate. I find it hard to believe he is still satisfied with the same old rituals. I'm sure that a killer that has been doing it the same for so long would get bored.

T-Dot1983October 21, 2012 12:09 PM

Fuckin A... Season 7 is amazing.... Love it. If u can say u havent been lookin forward to debra's reaction to the dark passenger... YOUR FULL OF SHIT:) Dexter is A GREAT SHOW. If you dont like it....DONT WATCH IT> RETARD:)

Tee MackOctober 21, 2012 12:28 PM

I agree with you. When Deb found out about Dexter, we all expected big things plot-wise. But for Deb to put him into Serial Killers Anonymous and develop a 12-step program for him was just ridiculous. That wiped out any suspense and turned Dexter into a comedy.

Last season was boring, and Dexter's been boring for several seasons now. I think my favorite season was with Jimmy Smits.

SkiznotOctober 21, 2012 3:57 PM

One word: Wrong.

Kumar NorrieOctober 22, 2012 12:17 PM

dexter is an emotionless person.he's not a good person but he does good job by killing the serial killer.he is organised, careful and follows a code.what more development can you expect from the character.they have told everything about him what we are supposed to know.he's emotionless,fakes most of the things that he does,loves kids,had a girlfriend and later girlfriend rita so that he can have a cover life.he doesn't trust anybody and people whom he trusted were wrong people. Dexter can never kill debra because she's the only one for whom he wishes to have feelings for.he a novice when it comes to showing emotions.Only thing we need to know is what kind of troubles dexter will get in and how he will solve it.only direction in the development in the character will be if he control's his urge to kill in future.

Alex YaOctober 22, 2012 9:48 PM

Best season so far ... Deb knowing his secret, and Dex now doing it without the blood glass slides.

Curtis James LaradeOctober 22, 2012 10:43 PM

this is the best season to date.

KevinOctober 23, 2012 1:23 AM

This is gonna bean epic season you are a Moron obviously

David Champ BoydOctober 23, 2012 5:48 AM

severely disagree been the best season yet so far!!!!

J KayOctober 23, 2012 7:24 AM

You can't judge a season based off of 3 episodes. These are all very premature reactions.

Todd BrownOctober 23, 2012 9:14 AM

Loves Harrison, my ass. He kicks that kid to side so often it's just ridiculous. Dexter is the definition of absentee father.

Todd BrownOctober 23, 2012 9:14 AM

I presume you somehow missed the 'Thus Far' in the headline. Though, that said, this week's episode was pretty crap, too.

Todd BrownOctober 23, 2012 9:15 AM

Oooh, with capitals, even. Then it must be true.

Todd BrownOctober 23, 2012 9:16 AM

How does someone vote down basic stats? The ratings are the ratings ...

JayphenOctober 24, 2012 8:08 AM

A *literal* grenade?

Season7RulesOctober 24, 2012 9:48 AM

This writer here is simply playing devil's advocate to draw an audience with this. There is no substance to this person's writing at all in regards to his points.
Todd Brown, you should be ashamed of yourself for calling yourself a writer and not seeing the pure brilliance in episode 7.3. The scenes between Dexter and Deb were spectacularly crafted and the acting and music was spot on. This season rivals the best that Dexter has offered.
Stop trying to be the "hip dude against the lemmings" guy. It simply is a failure of attitude. We all know you love the season and the route it has taken. Otherwise, you would have said you have stopped watching all together. Stop faken' to make the bacon. Fail.

Todd BrownOctober 24, 2012 10:00 AM

This is hilarious ... Not even remotely playing devil's advocate and stand behind every word in the piece. As I do behind every word in the reviews of the individual episodes linked above. This has been far and away the worst season of the show so far and it's sad to see it completely descend into soap opera territory. Dexter has joined shows like Six Feet Under and Rescue Me as series that started brilliantly, then ran out of steam but kept going anyway. It's gotten to the point now where the characters are referring to themselves as being cliche within the dialog of the show itself and that's never a good thing ...

Jack AndrewsOctober 24, 2012 11:34 AM

who the #*@$ cares

MonsterkillspilotOctober 24, 2012 2:18 PM

better than any other show on tv.. I am so sorry for you

ChrisOctober 24, 2012 5:51 PM

Id agree with this article if it was written in the past 2 seasons as Dexter went from being great to decent to complete garbage but this season has actually been really great again and is a must watch finally again. Some people's opinions just baffle me.

Ben J. KullerdOctober 24, 2012 6:29 PM

I have to agree with you about Harrison. Dexter shows very little real affection, if any, for his son, and he's rarely a serious element of the show. Mostly, he's a sticking point in the plot to add minor conflict to an already tense show. I haven't watched last Sunday's episode, so I don't know how I feel about this season yet, really, but I'm sort of in the middle of being disappointed and hopeful with the show.

Derie Keene ShipmonOctober 24, 2012 7:06 PM

I understand your dilemma But - it would not be Dexter if he we not allowed to be Dexter; it's about the Maze that his world creates around him and the challenges that arise out of the cravings of his "Dark Passenger". I would have liked to have him have more of a hassle out of the Video Game developer -

MIkeOctober 24, 2012 7:45 PM

Couldn't disagree with you more. The dynamic between Dexter and Deb has been electric in the 1st 4 episodes. The acting/writing has been spot on. My friends and I watch the show every week and this season has been unbelievable!! No letdown at all. Great, great season so far....

Sean GoodOctober 24, 2012 7:54 PM

wow...what are you smoking?? Best season since S4!

GuestOctober 24, 2012 7:56 PM

This season is not terrible at least not yet. The thing about the show is that the premise is already a narrow one and you could only do so much with possible stories. There is an actual story development and it has some elements of done before but what can you expect. This show probably lasted a little too long, Seasons 5 and 6 to me were a bit weak and sloppy in the writing department. I just hope they don't have Laguerta sit on that blood slide too long, should be soon.

As far as doing something new they did in the previous season finale, and so far the only thing I did not like was the 12 step thing. But besides that it looks that point of yours is nullified.

Heathen NymphaletteOctober 24, 2012 10:10 PM


AndreasOctober 25, 2012 4:42 AM

You saw Season 6 right? Because Season 6 was complete and utter GARBAGE! I'll take this actually entertaining and intriguing season over that shit any day!

Now quit your whining and crawl back to whatever hole you came from. There's more to life than complaining and so much other good TV out there!

Jamie CatchesThe TramOctober 25, 2012 8:32 AM

Well, considering that they've completely dropped that point about 'can Dexter resist his impulse to kill', which I also agree was getting a bit old, and we do see a new relationship form between Dexter and Debra, as she starts to understand what he does and become accepting of it, this article is basically irrelevant as of episode 4.

Svensk_RiddareOctober 25, 2012 8:32 PM

I Love Dexter!

Gerard GibneyOctober 26, 2012 5:43 PM

Anyone who could turn around and say the Jimmy Smitts season was good has no Dexter cred at all, loving this season so far, this article is rubbish. What better way to move Dexter to redemption than to develop a love interest with a reformed killers partner.

AnonOctober 27, 2012 12:31 AM

I guess you've never seen Breaking Bad.

QOctober 27, 2012 12:33 AM

Better than garbage isn't exactly a compliment.

Vitamin ROctober 27, 2012 12:45 AM

I completely agree-- the show has always had its weaknesses but managed to at least be entertaining and then peak (because of Lithgow) in season 4. The problem is that at that point they could have thought about giving it a satisfying ending in season 5 or 6, but instead Rita, the children and Harrison were brushed aside and we got Lumen in season 5 and then I don't even know what (religion??) in season 6. It feels like they're just in it for the money at this point.

Todd BrownOctober 27, 2012 3:27 PM

Or Game Of Thrones. Or Boardwalk Empire.

Eloy AlfaroOctober 28, 2012 1:27 PM

Todd Brown!! WTF?!? Seriously you're an idiot. Best season hands f@*&ing hands
down... TARD..

Todd BrownOctober 28, 2012 1:37 PM

Way to present a rational argument you can be proud of.

Wednesday Lee FridayOctober 29, 2012 7:33 AM

Is this a troll? Honestly, is it a troll to get people to pass this article around out of sheer outrage? Dexter has changed tremendously since the first season (well, not his hair--but he explained that). He went from not understanding relationships or sex, through a marriage, to fatherhood, to revenging his own pain, to where he is now--actually sharing his dark passenger with the person who means the most to him. Rita changed him. Astor and Cody changed him, as did Lila, and Trinity, and Lumen, and Harrison.

When the series began, Deb was self-conscious and unsure. Her self esteem often hinged on what she thought her father would think. She was terrible with relationships, intimidated by LaGuerta, and was unwilling/unable to examine her own behavior. She has dealt with that and more, and has actually altered her own behavior in an effort to get the life she wants.

Showtime could have dicked around all season with what Deb knew, what she suspected, whether or not Dex was lying. They didn't. They gave it up upfront. We've been able to see Dex and Deb struggle with Deb's discovery, what it means, what it's always meant. To say that there's no value in that because Dexter might not have to murder his own sister? That makes me wonder if you have the first clue as to what drama is all about.

For me, the only disappointment of the season is ***spoiler alert****

Louis turning out to be just some lame bitch instead of the devious, two-steps ahead, supercriminal he purported himself to be. But we still have Sirko. Even if none of that were true, I'd probably still watch just to see Masuka.

Hiroaki JohnsonOctober 29, 2012 9:39 AM

Or Mad Men. Or Homeland.

Todd BrownOctober 29, 2012 10:31 AM

Well, hot damn. Episodes two, three and four were horrible but episode five (Swim Deep) was GREAT. One of the best of the entire run of the show. Smart, efficient, not afraid to push and challenge the characters ... it's finally paying off on what was promised in episode one.

Todd BrownOctober 29, 2012 10:37 AM

Or (though completely different) Moone Boy. Or The Thick Of It.

Mikey POctober 29, 2012 2:31 PM

I think this is the BEST start to a new season of Dexter EVER!!!!

Hiroaki JohnsonOctober 29, 2012 2:43 PM

I'll have to check those out. I'm also fond of Justified, has a nice pulpy feel and Goggins kills it.

Mike DamoneOctober 29, 2012 8:06 PM

It's a tv show about a serial killer. He finds bad people and kills them. Sometimes he almost gets caught or found out and that's the thrill of it. Who cares if a serial killer is a good father or not. I think he should kill Deb. Getting her off the show would be a way of making the show even more fun to watch. Go read a book if you don't like the character development.

Todd BrownOctober 29, 2012 9:11 PM

I love that you just told me to go read a book as though that's some sort of argument-winning insult. And as though Dexter isn't based on a book. That has character development.

Chicago7October 30, 2012 12:30 AM

I think showing the degree to which Dexter is able to feel affection for anyone - limited by his own admission - is really just revealing elements of the character we started with and doesn't actually represent character growth on his part. Having said that, I'm a loyal fan of the series and love it still. I guess I don't bore easily or something.

Chicago7October 30, 2012 12:40 AM

In regard to the Dexter/Deb relationship, I admit I've been squicked by the incestuous element. I was furious with that quack of a shrink who planted that idea in Deb's mind. But my reason is this. I believe that Dexter and Deb are in fact biological half-siblings, sharing the same biological father. The scenes introduced to us showing Harry becoming friendly with Dexter's mother, combined with her murder scene, when Harry scooped up baby Dexter and rushed him away, leaving another child on the scene, ignored, told me everything I think we need to conclude that Harry's deep caring and concern for Dexter was based on more than just being a good guy to a child of misfortune. Dexter was his own child. So Deb having romantic feelings for him didn't sit well with me at all. And if my theory is true and Deb ever finds out through some DNA test or something, it just might be the thing that puts her over the edge.

Wout ThielemansOctober 30, 2012 6:16 AM

Completely disagree with the article. Dexter cannot change - he is a psychopath, addicted to murder. Debs is the one who is changing, who has her entire life revealed as a lie, and who tries to cope with all her conflicting feelings.
And no, the show shouldn't (yet?) be about is Dexter willingto kill Deb to protect himself. And putting the character in that bind is something you can only succesfully pull off at the end of the series, not at the start of a season.
Up to now we have had amazing acting from both leads, and a chilling and charismatic bad guy in Ray Stevenson. Dexter is trying to get back to normal as quickly as possible ) which makes total sense for the character. Debs has to adjust her sense of family history, her emotions for Dexter, her position as a cop, her concepts of right and wrong. And it makes for incredibly compelling viewing.
This is definitely the best season since season 4. And it's a real shame that this season didn't follow the mediocre season 5, but that we had to suffer through the inane season 6 first (with Mos Def being the only positive element therein, and he died way too soon).

AlexiOctober 30, 2012 12:59 PM

To each his own taste or you're convinced that what you think is the best has to be really the best in the world?

KENNETH BOctober 30, 2012 2:16 PM

Season 7 is much better than Season 6.
I'd say letting go of his trophy blood slides is a form of character development, and thinking outside the box by setting up a trap for the Russian mob guy walking in on Colombians shows he's adapting.
I love all things Dexter, but I admit that one thing that's irked me is he's gotten 'dumber' as each season goes by. Once he was a master of the crime scene, knew exactly what to do to always get away with it... the last couple of seasons has him falling into predicaments created out of stupidity or oversight, which ruins the character.

But all in all, I'm enjoying this season a hell of a lot more than Season 6 or the season w/ Jimmy Smits (was that S3? Jimmy Smits sucked).

skidroe34October 31, 2012 10:33 PM

You're a complete idiot! Maybe you should be the writer! NOT!!! You're to fricken stupid, that's why you just write dumba** bullsh** on on dumba** websites! you're just bustin on Dexter because you''re pissed that you're NOT a writer (and obviously never will be)!!!

skidroe34October 31, 2012 10:36 PM

And the show is by far a failure. Read the stats, Imbecil! I hope Dex comes and gets you for writin shitty blogs! Ha ! That would be hilarious.....

skidroe34October 31, 2012 10:39 PM

I think he should kill off the idiot that wrote this article!!! LOL

skidroe34October 31, 2012 10:41 PM

you are a spaz!

durNovember 1, 2012 2:38 PM

Um, dexter is a psychopath. Change is not possible, his brain is literally unformed in the emotional areas. It's why he acts like Spock from star trek. Try to learn a bit more about the character before you expect the impossible from him, then get pissy about it not happening, hmm?

Oscar Rivera ToledoNovember 2, 2012 9:41 PM

this guy needs to go watch glee or something else cuz he doesnt know what he saying

X-MANNovember 3, 2012 6:04 PM

This Mr. Rothenberg here made a much better post about Dexter Sir!

X-MANNovember 3, 2012 6:12 PM

This show is ,meant for mature audience, what are you doing here?

chinagreenelvisNovember 5, 2012 6:12 PM

"I want to see Dexter kill Deb."

This is everything that is wrong with this article. You have no fucking idea who Dexter Morgan is.

jedi4life2003November 5, 2012 7:02 PM

Wasn't it one of Todd's points that the reason why he felt that the
season was a let down after the first episode was because it backed off
from Dexter admitting to Deb that he was a serial killer? Rothenberg's
last statement was that the writers opened Pandora's Box, which was apt,
but it's also acknowledging Todd's criticism, mainly that once they
opened the box that promptly tried to close it again without dealing
with what they let out. This was my problem with eps 2-4 as well, that
they were backtracking instead of progressing. I agree with you, I want
to see a new side to Dexter, so does everyone else, which is why Todd's
article is spot on, because for a while there it seemed as though we
were being shoved backwards instead of being led to new paths. Most people who don't agree with this are attacking the article as though he was actively trying to bring down the show. Nothing in it is libelous or meant to be taken as an attack on Dexter, so wouldn't it be better if we discussed things calmly than reach for the pitch forks and torches? I mean, if you don't like the article that's your choice to make, but it doesn't call for being petulant about it. We're supposed to be fans, not fanatics. I like this site, it has given me a lot of really great recommendations and interesting articles to read that have made it possible to stave off my boredom, so that's why I think that if you're going to be a visitor you should have at least the common courtesy to debate with each other based on sound arguments instead of throwing around jeers. That's my two cents.

Todd BrownNovember 6, 2012 10:38 AM

Quotes should be reserved for things that people actually said.

chinagreenelvisNovember 6, 2012 3:27 PM

I wasn't quoting your words, merely what I perceive to be your thoughts. The very fact that you would consider, for even an instant, that Dexter killing Deb would be a possibility shows that you don't understand his character.

Todd BrownNovember 6, 2012 5:08 PM

Then you clearly don't understand what quotation marks are. Quoting a perception of my thoughts? That's simultaneously asinine, incredibly self absorbed and literally nonsense.

And if you don't think a sociopathic serial killer would consider doing pretty much anything to protect himself, then I'd say it's you who doesn't understand the character. He's already showing very clearly that he has no problem whatsoever lying to and misleading Deb for his own gain. He'll protect her when he's not at risk himself but what will happen if she becomes a direct enemy? That's an interesting question worth exploring. And given that they're now setting up a pretty clear triangle between Dexter, Deb and Hannah I'd say it's a question they're at least going to dabble in.

chinagreenelvisNovember 6, 2012 6:15 PM

Even an intentional misquote still requires the use quotation marks!

Dexter would never kill Deborah Morgan, even to save himself. "If I were capable of having feelings, I'd have them for her." Anyway, they already tackled his option to murder her at the end of season one. Killing her off at his hands (willfully) would completely undo everything the series has established about who he is.

Todd BrownNovember 6, 2012 6:28 PM

Ah, but my gut feeling is Hannah is a more effective lure than Brian was. She offers Dexter a level of connection that he's never had before and that's a much different situation. Especially considering Deb was a completely passive / innocent victim at that point and depending on how things play out with Hannah she could very well end up playing a much more antagonistic role this time around. Very different scenario.

And note the "If" at the beginning of the quote you use. Dexter himself acknowledges that he DOESN'T have any emotions for Deb. He just wishes he did. If Hannah offers him something better, that wish goes out the window.

chinagreenelvisNovember 6, 2012 11:06 PM

Dexter thinks he doesn't have emotions, but that's what his training has led him to believe. This is another integral part of his character, and the consequences of Harry's upbringing. We've seen, repeatedly, that Dexter questions himself in ways that we already know he should be confident.

We hardly know anything about Hannah at this point; any conjecture about what role she might play seems highly speculative, but it's already obvious his major conflict with her is whether or not to kill her.

Bottom line, I think if Dexter murdered or even considered murdering Deb, I'd be pretty disappointed with the show and would absolutely feel as if it were a writing decision and a direction that is unfaithful to what the series has established. All the talk about "taking things in new directions" may satisfy people who think the word "edgy" defines an appropriate concept to strive for, but I think solidarity of content is far more important to maintaining the audience.

flyingreddragonNovember 7, 2012 6:01 PM

I agree 100% the show could have dicked around all season as to how dexter was going to get out of being caught telling lies to his sister, or saying it was an isolated incident, but they went full throttle exposing what he has done and who he is to her. And for the first time the show is actually doing something different it's not about some serial killer, it's making tie ends with previous seasons. The author of this article is way off and imo this is the best season so far, I was actually a little disappointed with season 5,6 but they were still great.

travkaBNovember 9, 2012 8:33 PM

My theory for how the show will (or should) end:

Dexter gets caught (you know it's coming), is either killed in the arrest or is sent to jail and there's some montage of him being on trial, sentenced, sent to the chair, something that ends the character Dexter. Deb goes home to be Harrison's guardian, and as she opens the door, she sees Harrison kill an animal- his first real act of violence foreshadowing his own Dark Passenger. Deb looks at him, her eyes widen, the screen goes black.

To me, this would be the ultimate ending, full of possibilities- will Deb be the new Harry? Will she try to help Harrison get rid of his Dark Passenger, or teach him to kill safely?

Sid SlothNovember 13, 2012 12:12 AM

Your post is like a premature ejaculation, you're all done while they were just starting....

BazNovember 13, 2012 10:25 AM

Season 7 hasn't been great so far. And isn't Deb just a little bit too forgiving of the fact that her step brother is a brutal serial killer?

stimpNovember 16, 2012 2:13 AM

What? You obviously haven't been watching closely. In the season with Doakes getting offed. He question himself whether he would kill and innocent man to get out of it. At the end, before the crazy girl killed Doakes, he basically was going to have Doakes arrest him.

Jake OvertonNovember 20, 2012 11:33 PM

I realize that I am very late to the party on this one, but my response now is exactly what it would've been a month ago: You're going to have to watch both this season and next as 1 story. That's what it's intended to be. Passing judgment this early is unfair

Micah CareyNovember 21, 2012 11:26 PM

This season is the best in years! You're a pretentious douchebag!

Tgc GamingNovember 22, 2012 5:09 PM

Aholes like you want spectacular endings... giving us crap like the ending of BSG, personally i like the show the longer its on air the better, too many great shows are over before their time to be replaced by pure garbage, because someone like you decides oooo the story needs an ending.... its TV FFS you want an ending go watch a movie.

Szilárd HajdúNovember 28, 2012 1:29 PM

Since Rita died the show is just not that great. They've done a great twist by killing her, I loved that finale, but since that Dexter didn't lose anything, he didnt have a single serious threat, Tic-Tac or whoever was a joke, but Travis had great potential and they fcked it up... And now Isaac too, his death was a joke. I hated the second season becouse of the crazy girflriend and now it seems like Hannah will be like that too... Hope not... Btw the pyro-killer seems interesting, has some potential

Jason ZolinaNovember 29, 2012 9:31 PM

Ray Stevenson made this the best season to date. Granted this has happened since the time of this articles writing.

Todd BrownNovember 30, 2012 7:24 AM

And to reward him for his fine performance he was given an absolutely half assed, trivial and pathetic exit. So poor. So very, very poor.

AntoDecember 4, 2012 5:57 AM

Failure? No, not in my opinion. Quite the opposite to be honest.

amaru psynDecember 5, 2012 12:01 AM

re: s07e10


Todd BrownDecember 5, 2012 11:13 AM

Haven't gotten around to watching that one yet. It's been a crazy week. Hopefully tonight.

Dave MelgesDecember 6, 2012 7:58 AM

One of the WORST things writers do, is tinker with successful characters. The "need" to improve people, make them grow or mature RUINS so many shows. Dexter is NOT a teenager....please don't encourage the writers to "change" him.

Emma ColesDecember 19, 2012 7:23 PM

I haven't watched the show since Rita was killed!! After 6 season of him learning to love having all been for nothing I was a little pissed off!! Is this new season worth watching so is it just more disappointment??

JustmeJanuary 18, 2013 2:56 AM

I thinkwe´re leaving out the main reason of this season´s disastrous trend.. the girl...the character is soooo boring it is´nt even worth rememering her name.. she is ruining it really. You ca´nt give tDexter such a background to explain his killings and then throw in this nothing, plain girl who seems just to kill anyone that crosses her, in a fit of " I am sixteen and life is baad poor little me". Ruining it..

Plus I thought we already covered the fellow traveller option with Lumen.. and that had´nt turned out so bad.. There was a chance to bring back the glorious days of Trinity with the character of Isak, but they got rid of him too soon without using his real potential.

About the distant relationship with Harrison.. I think its not your pink unicorns ending to the family bit story but more realistic given how they drscribe Dexter, what did you expect? I think the few father-son before bed moments are more than enough.. I was afraid when Rita got pregnant and it seemes she was actually going to have the kid that it would ruin the show, in the end fatherhood is just another mask he deals with

Randal HarrisJanuary 23, 2013 10:34 PM

"far and away"...hardly. 5 was so bad (except Johnny Lee Miller) that I didn't think it would get worse...then we got season 6 which still makes me cringe thinking about it. Season 7 has been a breath of fresh air. Nice to see Dokes again too. Seriously, you've lost all credibility by giving ANY credence to season 6. Best season so far this certainly is not. That award begins and ends with John fucking Lithgow.

Jim KosiorFebruary 22, 2013 1:18 AM

As an actor.. what I loved about season 7... is the way that the actors qualified each and every situation that the writers put them into.. and pulled it off in a virtuoso fashion.. It was just awesome.. I'm not slamming the writers.. They had the confidence in the actors.. to bring truth into it all. . to flesh it out. I was very impressed.. Actually.. it was an excellent season..