Dexter – Smokey and the Bandit
Given the shows current predeliction for padding and the recently announced plan for its now indefinate future, people may have started cracking jokes about a world where Dexter will keep killing into old age, slowly chasing criminals around the nursing home in his wheelchair; well this week we got to see that. Not literally of course, though Olmos has joined the show I doubt he will be bringing any of his Battlestar time lapses with him. Instead the already sputtering season arc stopped for a week to give us an interesting stand alone idea, one i’m surprised the Florida set show hasn’t tried before. An old timey serial killer comes out of retirement and it is up to our Dex to peacefully put him down, while reflecting on his own future; which, given the quality of the season to date doesn’t look good.
I’m not sure if the new writing team got their wires crossed somewhere along the line but Dexter isn’t exactly a procedural, sure it tells crie stories from the perspective of detectives, so I can see how you got confused, but that doesn’t actually make it CSI. Though to be honest the predictable procedural criticisms are probably cutting it too soft because the show has actually devolved further in its structure: if Dex going to a school reunion, Dex finding god and Dex dealing with a cranky old coot all sound like bad sitcom episode ideas, that’s because they are and yet that’s exactly what we’ve been given. The show is half comedy though, and when it’s funny these work, but these days those moments come few and far between leaving us with fourty minutes of limp-wristed, tension free banality.
So the A-plot didn’t work, well that’s not everything in a MothW type deal, what of the rest? The episode’s fleeting final images of patchwork men riding horses down the main street is representative of the season’s sub plot thus far; it is creepy and cool in theory but executed in such an excessively vague and external manner that we cannot possibly care. If we knew anything about these characters or if they were in any way connected to the rest of the cast then them initiating their ominous plans and predictions may mean something, but they literally are yet to interact in any way with any other storyline. The trailer for next week shows an episode set to change that, but I can’t judge next week till next week.
Until it does redeem itself we’ll just have to put up with this degrading material. One scene sums up the season to date on every level and that is Dex’s final moment in the episode. While slotting in his latest slide the serial killer accidently fumbles the box, sppreading its sanguine contents all over the floor. He pokes at the mess for a while before remarking, “I can’t remember who came first, which goes where. They’re all out of order. Like my life,” and looking crestfallen. Woe is me indeed, with writing as woeful as that I’d look pretty sad too; especially since at that moment there is nothing about Dex’s life that is out of order, unlike his show on the other hand. This show is out of order, can the witness please be excused?