Zzzzzzzzzzzzz…huh, what? Was that meant to be a new episode of Dexter? Because it sure bore all of the hallmarks of a sleeping aid
Let’s bitch it out…Wow. I’ve rewritten this sentence a half dozen times because my opening remarks are so dismissive and bitchily sarcastic. Let’s put our cards on the table here: this is not a great episode. It may be what the series needs to do to set up the second half of the season, but as far as episodes go, this is a bit of a chore.
‘A Little Reflection’ suffers greatly because the preliminary storyline that occupied the first half of this final season – Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) vs Dex (Michael C. Hall) – came to a close last week. Unfortunately this means that there’s a lot of (boring) heavy lifting that needs to occur to jump start new plotlines, in addition to the tired carry-overs featuring our B listers.
This might have been tolerable if the new direction Dexter lays groundwork is even remotely interesting, but sadly it’s not. Trailing murderous rich kid Zach Hamilton (Sam Underwood) as he takes pictures is hardly compelling TV, especially when we already know that a) he’s a killer (duh) and b) Dexter (Michael C. Hall) will put him on the murder table. We’ve seen this story play out before, but Dexter has never been a really subtle show, and this particular episode feels especially heavy handed in the way that Zach is presented. As I mentioned last week, he might as well have a blinking neon “Killer” sign over his head. This week does nothing to even that interpretation out as Zach seems just as nefarious as ever.
The telegraphed outcome sinks the episode early on, leaving us approximately 45 minutes or so to wait for it to play out. The result is an episode that’s equivalent to Nyquil: sleep-inducing in its lack of urgency and drama. My hope is that now that this boring introductory elements have been crossed off, Dexter will dig into the difficulties of reforming Zach with the Code (this should instigate more friction between Dex and Dr. Vogel, whose intentions will likely continue to operate at cross-purposes). There’s every possibility that IGN’s fears that Zach will simply end up being killed (like everyone Dex lets into his life), but perhaps this will play out differently will play out differently because it is the final season?
Overall, however, this episode should have come with a warning about operating heavy machinery while watching. Snooze worthy
- As many of us have long suspected, Dexter’s relationship to his son Harrison (Jadon Wells) is starting to be compromised by the dark passenger. After catching the boy in a lie, it’s revealed that Harrison still has the bloody bear from the murder Dex committed in 8×01 ‘A Beautiful Day’. The realization that Dex can’t confide in his son drives him to initiate a mentor relationship with Zach, but the toy also represents a piece of evidence that could eventually come back to bite Dex in the ass (or both)
- In other completely obvious news, Elway (Sean Patrick Flannery) likes Deb (Jennifer Carpenter). Unfortunately it seems that he’s likely going to turn out to be a crazy, judging by the way he goes off in a jealous rage when her undercover sting ends in fisticuffs when the mark tries to kiss Deb
- Concerned viewer advisory: Jen C. really is in need of a cheeseburger or something because she is looking rail thin
- Admittedly the awkwardness of Dex’s date with neighbour Cassie (Bethany Joy Lenz) is pretty awesome. I love that Dex doesn’t realize he should put a bit more effort into being personable as Cassie rattles off a list of things he may do on his boat. Ah those monosyllabic responses…who hasn’t been on a date like this?
- Peanut butter and nutella fries? OMG get in my belly!
- Like an idiot, Masuka (C.S. Lee) offers his daughter Nikki (Dora Madison Burge) money and confesses to investigating her. I just can’t, folks…so dumb
- Quinn (Desmond Harrington) is pissed that Angel (David Zayas) passed him up for Sergeant. So is Jaime (Aimee Garcia). The only one who isn’t mad presumably is Miller (an unseen Dana L. Miller), but who knows because she’s not even in the episode! Gosh this stuff is riverting, huh?
- Finally, the episode ends with a big tease as Dex’s killer lady lovah, florist Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski) returns. I’d say “yay” but Hannah was a pretty divisive character last year and…well anyone with a working internet connection knew she was coming back. Here’s hoping that the series uses her a little better this second go-around. Side Note: how hilarious is Hannah’s entrance? Apparently for a serial killer drugging people is the equivalent of the ringing the doorbell. Way to make a good (second) first impression
- Masuka (welcoming Dex to a bloody crime scene): “Welcome to splatter city. Hope you brought extra string”
- Deb (when Elway suggests he just needs pictures with his sister’s boyfriend) “Are you sure? I can marry him, maybe pop out a couple of babies”
What are your thoughts on the episode: necessary transitional episode or boring waste of time? Is Elway a psycho? Can Zach be reformed? Should everyone give up putting anything in their mouths now that Hannah is back to poison everything? Sound off below
Dexter airs Sundays at 9pm EST on Showtime