I really don’t want to seem like another internet critic who hates everything and still inexplicably keeps watching the things he hates, but what an absolutely awful episode of Dexter. If you’ve not read my blog before, or only recent posts, I’m not one of the show’s constant detractors. In fact, up until the conclusion on “Nebraska,” I was ready to call this season my second or third favorite. One month later, I’m legitimately just about done with this show and am only still watching because I made the promise to myself to blog along with it. So, here we go, “Talk to the Hand.”
Tonight’s episode was written by Manny Coto and Tim Schlattmann (this season’s “Once Upon a Time” and “Smokey and the Bandit”) and directed by Ernest Dickerson (this season’s “Sin of Omission” and the movie Juice). Tonight we saw Travis’ plan to poison Miami Metro thwarted, Quinn saving Batista and Deb chewing them both out, Matthews being asked to retire as LaGuerta manipulated him into losing his job to get his position, Masuka’s assistant mailing the Ice Truck Killer’s severed hooker hand to Dexter, Deb starting to have lustful thoughts for her brother and Travis attempted to kill Dexter by burning him to death in a small boat surrounded by fire. All of this happened, none of it entertaining. Even though I like Dickerson as a director, he sometimes takes risks that just don’t fit the show and they were all over the episode. From the cheap suspense of cutting between Dexter and stopping the woman from releasing wormwood at the last second, to the easy resolve of the sexual tension moment between Dexter and Deb by oddly cutting to close-ups and later proving it to only be a dream, by visuals alone it felt like a different show.
That’s not even including the incest card they almost played which, while I’m not particularly a fan of incest, it would have been at least an interesting or (at the very least) DIFFERENT road to go down instead of continuously maintaining the status quo. As I’ve mentioned, what made the first half of this season so great was that they were going down so many very different roads, and the characters were evolving. Everything’s just about reverted back EXCEPT FOR Deb, the only consisting compelling thing about the show, and Matthews’ exodus, a titanic mistake as in the six seasons of the show he’s the only character to never have a bad appearance. He’s a strong catalyst for entertaining changes in the show and to remove him just for more ammo to hate the dull as a sack of boring LaGuerta is absurd. If she doesn’t die in the next episode, I’m checked out of Miami Metro.
Otherwise the Travis story is just bafflingly uninteresting now. Dexter not going to the ER and getting dizzy at just that moment was something that would hit the cutting room floor of a bad Batman cartoon. I know I’ve used this word already, but tonight’s entire episode felt cheap and forced. After stretching this plot out far longer than they needed to, it seems they just throwing whatever sticks in hoping next week’s shocker finale grips us into the next season. I feel Dexter’s become what people who never liked the show always thought it was. As a loyal fan who even loved the latter half of last year’s brutally criticized season, I’m never had my interest in the show at such an absolute low.
We give “Talk to the Hand” a One Out of Five
So until next time…let’s agree to agree!