Dexter – Sin of Omission
Dexter brought donuts! As soon as I saw the man do that in the opening scene of this episode, just like he used to in the good old days I knew that this episode was going to be yet another step back on track. For that part the following fifty minutes wasn’t a disappointment because Dex finally did something else that he used to do back in Season’s one and two and that is actually getting involved in the case of the year. Brother Sam is dead, Brother Sam’s killer is dead, Trinity’s family is dead and yes Dex’s brother and the spirit thereof are also dead; We have now gotten all of the unneccessary – out of the way, so the man can finally start focusing on the case at hand, finally fix the biggest flaw, the one that has been bugging me all season, the lack of any Big Bad or overarching plot (Don’t mistake these for an overarching theme and vocabulary, both of which the show has been far from lacking).
That it has taken eight episodes for Dex and his annual antagonist to be in a room together is unforgivable no doubt, a mortal sin of omission, however knowing now what we do about Gellar’s incorporality this decision does become a lot more understandable. When one of your main characters is imaginary – The wisened, mysterious ways working patriarch isn’t real? In a season based around religion? Whatever could this mean? (Actually that’s too harsh, it’s actually a solid metaphor) – and the main beat of your season is presumably revealing this secret to the audience then having him involved in any scenes with any – relatively – sane characters would force them into either giving their game away too early or being overly deceitful in hiding it, neither a nice option.
So it makes sense now that Geller has been kept apart from the rest of the cast, but it still doesn’t make good television, characters need to be able to interact if they are to have any effect on one another. As for the reveal, when will this happen? I was expecting Dex to stumble over the body in the attic at the end of this week’s ep but apparently we are simply going to string this out even longer. Is there any added impact in only telling those few remaining who haven’t figured it out in the finale? If not then all the writers are doing by labouring the point is further alienating the rest of the audience who now know. Scenes like the church set climax of today’s episode are rendered laughable to those in the know; when Dex says ‘He’s seen my face. This is going to make things much harder’ we have to laugh and say, it’s really not going to change anything at all, because we know that it won’t.
The real shame of this segregation is that when Dex and Colin, the imagineer, interact the show takes on a great new dynamic, with our hero becoming a sort of inverted imaginary friend to Adama’s DDR, the Angel to his devil, or at least the higher plane demon to his Lucifer. Seen through the eyes of this simple, spiritual sociopathic man Dex has to be either a demon or demi-god because he appears without notice, knows everything that he has done and speaks in terms of light and dark, of good and evil and of life and death, utterly ominous. Seeing a show from this perspective, about a man torn between two ethereal beings who claim that they kill only for good, his mind and spirit competing with their words. Given the context that it appears here however these scenes eventuate as nothing more than a feeling of possible potential, a ghost of what could have been, a sinful omission.
That we got at least that from the episode is enough, or at least it’s going to have to be because besides moving to correct one major mis-step this little nugget of interest is all the episode had to offer; that and the vague hope that they may finally be setting up Deb to find out about Dex, though given the recent renewal one has to have their doubts on this. The biggest omission of all though has to be the fact that there has yet to be a single moment of tension this year, nor one of powerful drama, what we’ve gotten has basically been a waste of time as far as television goes, however we are now entering the final third of the season and this is where the show can redeem itself. Pull it all together now, have Dex chase and be chased, have the reveal hit and deal with it in interesting ways, pay off your current storyline rather that worrying about what went on in the past or what will in the future (even as important as both of those are). Do those for me writers and I will forgive you, fail however and next year from your ratings I will be ommitted.