Three weeks ago I was sitting on the edge of my seat eagerly anticipating Dexter as it, after 5 1/2 seasons, was finally hitting a bold new incredible stride. Tonight, I struggle to put into words how the show entirely killed my interest in three episodes. Yes, that’s overly harsh hyperbole, but when the show just doesn’t care anymore, it’s hard for me to put effort into recapping it as well. Two weeks ago suffered from the show returning to the status quo, last week suffered from a series of underwhelming revelations packed into an hour like processed tuna into a can, and tonight suffers from having absolutely nothing of remote interest. Let’s now tackle the unfortunate task of recapping “Ricochet Rabbit.”
Tonight’s episode is only the second non-finale in the show’s history to credit three writers in a single serving. Jace Richdale (this season’s “Just Let Go”), Lauren Gussis (the show’s co-producer) and Scott Reynolds (the story supervisor), who have all turned in great episodes in the past, couldn’t save this dire story from being an entirely unappealing monstrosity. It was directed by Michael Lehmann (first time Dexter director who did two great films in Heathers and Airheads as well as several episodes of True Blood, Bored to Death and Californication) and while I enjoy a lot of his previous work, really didn’t fit the feel of the show at all. But I’m not trying to single any one person out as to why “Ricochet Rabbit” was such a disaster, rather it seems to have taken a team effort to make tonight’s offering suck this much.
In “Ricochet Rabbit” we get a lot of Dexter arguing with Harry, something that while irritating earlier in the season has become absolutely unbearable. Michael C. Hall is such a talented actor that he’s made the voiceover inner-monologue an absolute art, as well as one of the show’s most endearing hallmarks. Instead of that, we get Harry continuing to be the irritating uncool chaperone at the party spelling out every bit of story development ensuring there would be no tension whatsoever. Travis completely throws the “he didn’t know Gellar doesn’t exist” line of thought right out the window during the worst dialogue in the show’s history between him and Gellar, making his quest as the witness to the apocalypse the worst motivation in the history of Dexter arch-nemeses. It’s painful to watch this scene because Hall, Hanks and Olmos are all ridiculously talented and they’re trying their hardest to pull out all the stops and make something worth watching only to be saddled with dialogue that is an absolute mess.
Later, Travis recruits two painfully uninteresting followers (although I do like seeing It’s Always Sunny‘s Lil Kev on my television, the writers gave his Doomsday Adam character the depth of a Putty Patroller) to kill the woman he let go a few episodes ago. Dexter also breaks the heart of Masuka’s assistant when he expresses how offensive the video game he was developing is, causing the computer whiz to immediately cancel his date with Batista’s sister and become another one-note boring character. Even Quinn’s downward spiral was just cartoonish, substituting the delightful scumbag elements for being a lazy irresponsible worker. This gets Batista, one of only two characters on an interesting upswing this season, captured by Travis. As for the other still enjoyable element of the show, Lieutenant Deb, she didn’t really do a whole lot. We got the split-second panic of her discovering Matthews’ involvement with the dead girl, and her finally being self-sustained enough to not rely on talking to Dexter about everything. Again, we get growth from Deb but this feels like territory that has either already been covered in a previous episode or should have been. It’s unfortunate now that, if any characters look like they aren’t going to make it to next season, it’s these two.
We have two episodes left and my interest in the show is at an all time absolute low. I know the internet is a great place to complain about things, but in my quarter-century of watching television I don’t ever recall going from being at the absolute pinnacle of enthusiastic for a show to complete and utter indifference in a matter of weeks. I’d like to think the only place to go from here is up, but as last week proved, sometimes the bottom drops out.
We give Ricochet Rabbit a One Out of Five
So until next time…let’s agree to agree!