Sunday, December 9, 2012

Break My Heart Again, Why Don't You, 'Dexter'!?...


A poisoner knows how to kill someone without leaving a trace, but a poisoner also knows that sometimes you can do more damage by not killing your victim, but instead leaving them to go crazy with suspicions they are unable to prove. Unfortunately for Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski), Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) is much more skilled at both deduction and deception, and when it all boiled down, he would pick his sister over a new girlfriend because she was the constant in his life. The thing that made this decision on Dexter so tragic, though, was not that it seemed to doom Dexter to be alone, romantically, for the rest of this life (as a character, he has always been most comfortable being alone, and things only seem to go wrong for him when he distracts himself with a new relationship) but instead the way in which he went about ending things. 

Seasons past, Dexter grappled with what would happen to him if he was ever caught and uncovered as a serial killer. At that point, Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) didn't yet know his secret, and he worried about her devastation at learning the truth. Obviously, she has proven to get past the knowledge better and quicker than one might expect-- perhaps only because he wasn't hauled off in handcuffs and therefore she could talk it out with him. But there is still the question of his friends and the rest of his family, his son. Dexter never wanted his fate to end with him being hauled off to jail. Yet, he couldn't see that for as similar as he and Hannah really were, she wouldn't want the same thing, either.

Hannah was certainly falling for Dexter, and that was a dangerous game because whenever someone came between her and what she wanted, she got rid of the complication-- usually permanently. She may have shown some growth by not taking fatal action against Debra, but her easy answer was still something to be feared. If Dexter was falling for her just as hard-- if he understood her just as well as she seemed to understand him-- he would have known that she would have wanted to take that "easy" out for herself, too. She may not have had any friends or family left to ruin when she was hauled off in handcuffs, but no one wants that to be their legacy. Hannah's "You should have killed me" was so haunting because in that moment it all seemed to click for Dexter-- just how alike they were, just how perfect they were for each other, maybe even another option (like my recommended sailing far, far away from Miami)-- but it was too late.

I'll be honest here: I was hoping so hard, against every piece of logic the show has ever delivered, that Hannah was innocent when it came to Debra and that she had just accidentally taken too many pills. First of all, I liked the path it could have sent Debra down-- if suddenly she couldn't trust herself, if suddenly she was so paranoid it started to make her question a lot of things in her life. That would have been a different show, though. Intellectually, I knew while watching it's not what would turn out to happen-- to be true-- but I wanted it anyway. The way Dexter himself has come to find he wants some normalcy in his life. Unfortunately for both of us, a leopard doesn't change its spots, and a serial killer doesn't change her M.O. 

The irony is that more than ever Dexter actually is thisclose to being found out (seriously, how does he get out of strapping his mother's killer to his table, only to cut him lose after spilling everything about himself!?)-- and by someone who has proven herself so downright incompetent this whole time. While Hannah's end was certainly sad, it would be downright awful if it was foreshadowing of Dexter's own. The key to "Do You See What I See?" was that Dexter actually did see things clearly in the end. And now that his head is back on straight, he should have nothing stopping him from taking out his threats and moving on steathily, to kill again another day, as always...right?

RIGHT!? 

After seven years of teaching the audience to not only understand Dexter but also to relate to him and to fall in love with him, too, I won't stand for an ending worthy of any old procedural anti-hero serial killer. Dexter certainly started off as the king of the anti-heroes, but flaws aside, he's full on hero now.

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