Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Yep. We’re doing this again. In a few days the season finale of Dexter premieres and I’m strung tighter than a fiddle. The producers at Showtime have promised us the most explosive episode since the show’s inception. No easy task.
Once again, I thought it might be fun to stretch out the excitement, discussing a few final episode theories. Heaven knows the writers have thrown enough material at us to take it a number of directions. I feel like I could write a book. For both our sanity’s sake, I’ll limit the number of open questions to five.
#1 Will Dexter finally get the chance to kill Trinity?
This absolutely tops the list and I would say: Yes.
I don’t believe we’ll be surprised here. We’ve been strung along all season, watching Dexter thwarted time and again on bringing Trinity to erm “justice.” To be sure, he’s a worthy adversary. He’s the kind of epitome of evil that reminds us why we’re rooting for a killer like Dexter in the first place, but is oh so delicious to watch. Lithgow’s performance has truly been incredible in portraying this vulnerable psychopath, a character who recoils in disgust “I’m NOT a pedophile,” stopping short of correcting, “just a murderer,” but is savvy enough to (I believe) lure Dexter into a trap at the arcade in “Hello, Dexter Morgan!” Awesomeness.
It’s been fun to watch, but frankly, we’re ripe now for the payoff. And I think the writers recognize that. With the final shot of episode 11, ending with a face-to-face intimidation stare down reminiscent of a kind of morbid boxing match, we can be sure they are if anything only encouraging our anticipation. Trinity needs to go down. And not by the law. And it needs to be epic. Anything less will feel less like a witty stab at irony and more like some sick joke at the expense of the audience. From the episode 12 preview. we’re assured at least that he gets wrapped in plastic.
#2 Will Deb learn about Dexter’s Dark Passenger?
I’ve heard Deb finds out about her brother’s homicidal nature in the books, but I’m struggling to see how it would work in the show. Part of what makes the series so satisfying is the constant peeling away of Dexter’s safety nets to see if he can continue to get away with what he is doing. We’ve watched him survive scrutiny in the workplace and at home. This season he’s lost his trophy hiding places (twice) and his ever sturdy foundation, his code, seems to be crumbling beneath him as he finds himself taking hurried short cuts and shuffling life priorities.
Now, back to Deb. Dexter is not going to prison; our hero must prevail for at least another season. I don’t believe he’ll kill his sister, either. Should she learn the truth, it leaves us with Deb as an accomplice, or at least willing to keep his secret. In my opinion, this would suck. It gives him more wiggle room instead of less, loosening the rope the writers have worked so hard to pull taut.
From the sneak peak, we’re assured Deb learns about Dexter’s biological mother. I think it ends here.
#3 Will Quinn and Deb rekindle a romance?
I keep finding this lurking around in prediction circles, but we’ve already seen the Quinn and Deb thing happen in a previous season. Why would we visit it again, or want to? Seriously, I’m asking.
#4 What will happen to Batista and LaGuerta?
Season Four has been wonderful, but not perfect. This has to be the weakest plotline in the series so far. The episode that features LaGuerta staring misty-eyed into the sunset murmuring “I’m afraid… afraid to say [I love you],” in particular momentarily elicited my gag reflex. With all that is happening this season, it’s a gross misstep to assume our investment in a forbidden love affair between two relatively normal people and subsequent catharsis when they elope, escaping tragic “career-ending” consequences. Yawn. As stellar as the writing has otherwise been, I think the acting pair deserved better attention this season.
#5 Will Trinity kill Dexter’s family?
This is a tricky one. Let’s start with Rita and the kids. Probably not.
To build on the second point, we would lose Dexter’s scrutiny at home, and unfortunately for him, less drama for us in season five. But, it would also disrupt the building theme this season that I hope will be expanded upon next year: the detrimental effects living with a serial killer is having on Dexter’s family. Of course Arthur’s family is a mess, but Dexter’s has also been touched this season. His murderous impulses have arguably led to Rita’s “infidelity,” and Cody getting into fight at school. I’ve bought into it; I’m intrigued to see how Cody might be affected growing up, so clearly idolizing Dexter as his role model. Can I say that Rita has the worst taste in men?
And now Deb. Strong likelihood.
As much as I hate to admit it, I do see losing her as a real possibility. In a previous interview, Carpenter leaked that this season we will see a darker Dexter than we have grown accustomed to, that the audience has become too comfortable with our killer, and that is about to change. I can’t think of a better catalyst for his transformation than losing a member of the family, especially now as Dexter has learned how much it means to him.
Her long-held role in Dexter’s mind of moral and familial grounding is arguably now double-covered through Rita. And as a character, I think she may have been pushed about as far as the writers can take her, to the point of suffering the now-famous, gut-wrenching “I’m broken!” breakdown for which I hope earns Carpenter an award. She’s beyond likable, but writer Clyde Phillips maintains his steadfast willingness to kill off popular characters if good story-telling demands it. Adding more fuel to the fire, we’re promised in the episode preview a sinister Trinity visit to the address listing “D. Morgan,” which we might presume is Dexter’s old apartment where Deb now lives. Anyway, it seems an odd listing to have for Rita’s house (where Dexter moved). I’m inclined to vote Deb’s expendability a strong maybe.
So, what’s left?
Probably a lot.
Nothing above is the kind of earth shattering revelation the producers have promised. From the preview we know we get, another body, an emboldened Jonah squaring off with Daddy that potentially leads to a home invasion by the police. None of which I have addressed.
If anyone has pieced together more of the puzzle, I’d love to read about it below.
See you Sunday!
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
So, Jeremy encouraged me to start up posting to my blog again, basically to stop being “chicken,” and to finally post some of the stories I’ve been working on. So, we’ll see how this goes.
Gosh, I’ve been away a while. No excuses! First thing is first, though. A catch up on the past year is in order. It’s mostly family and friends that check back here, so many of you already know. In case you don’t: we had a baby. :) She’s two months old, born September 12th of this year. She was premature by three and a half weeks, but a solid 6 lbs 12 oz, 19 inches long and no health problems. I’m lucky in that I get to be home with her on leave for another month. She’s pretty much awesome and so I’ve been cherishing the time. Above is a picture of Hayden Elizabeth.
So, besides trying to squeeze back into my old jeans again, I’ve traded my occasional evenings at BJ’s relaxing with a beer for exchanging squishy faces with the little one, cleaning spit up, and singing “You Are My Sunshine” (Hayden’s favorite). Come to think of it, it's kind of nice to have the outlet for some adult conversation during the day.
Has Anyone Seen Vighpyr?
Vighpyr: you’re my reader of 2010, for donating the most to my site’s “penny” jar as you put it. If you’re still around, send me a message here or on YouTube. I have a little Christmas present for you. It's a silly reward that doesn't mean much in the real world, but I want to show my appreciation. Thank you and I hope you continue to drop in from time to time.
So, I’m planning to post my first story in short installments each Thursday at 7 p.m. The first story is one I’ve titled “The Howling.” To peak your interest, here is a (very) short preview. If you like it, come back tomorrow and next week to read more. Please don’t forget to comment – I’d love to know what’s working and what’s not for you. I hope you enjoy:
I’m one of the many completely addicted to this show inspired by the novels of the same name and starring Michael C. Hall. For me, this fourth season in particular has been the most explosive and fun ride yet. As it comes to an end, it’s a bittersweet pleasure of sort to turn on my DVR each Sunday night and watch the next installment. With only two episodes left, I thought it might be fun to spice up the anticipation by discussing some predictions of our own.
Some of my assumptions:
Before we dig into some reasonable and far-fetched, let me lay out some ground work. Scouring the nets, it’s clear that many disagree with the following. Season ending prediction surprises range from Dexter getting caught, dying and the like. These are fun to read, but for simplicity, I’ll lean on the formula we’ve been engrained with from the first season. Let’s assume, that Dexter gets two more victims. He gets one victim maximum per episode, and the last being his prime antagonist, Trinity himself in some explosive manner during the finale. This leaves only one more unknown victim, and he or she will be served to us this week.
So, who dies in episode 11?
Theory #1: Elliot gets the axe
All season, Dexter has been peeling the onion of his own persona, albeit clumsily. The character we have been accustomed to see so stoic and calm, “without human emotions” as Dexter self-describes, slowly realizes how much he values members of his family. He even becomes emotional on several occasions at crimes of the family. This very human response is undoubtedly a weakness: he uncharacteristically overlooks evidence that excludes Trinity from the guilt of his sister’s shooting, and puts himself at risk for exposure on Thanksgiving when he learns his trophy shed is no longer secure, but decides to stay at Mitchell’s house to “protect” Jonah from physical abuse. The “new” Dexter works – very yummy stuff. If you watched last Sunday, as Trinity slips away and an enraged Dexter screams his name into the night, you’ll know what I mean. So, how far are the writers planning to take this new twist on a family man?
We know that Dexter cares for his sister and children. It’s Rita that Dexter has yet to demonstrate he has much of an attachment for. But, then, with Masuka teetering on the edge of spilling her kiss with Elliot over Thanksgiving, his spousal attachment is about to be tested. Joy! I’m eager to find out if we will see the unattached “monster” we’re used to, or if Dexter will be given a lesson from the green-eyed monster. And if he does, will it be enough to send him over the edge to murder Elliot?
Killing (or even attacking) Elliot will not be simple. Dexter’s all too important code will need to be modified. We’ve had murmurings in a previous episode this season that he’d be open to some kind of a change here (the new “revenge page” of the code). But, writers will need to tread carefully to avoid losing our sympathy for our murderous protagonist that dangles by a thread each episode as it is. It may be that they have already begun to gage how far our collective sympathy can be stretched. Remember the recent episode “Road Kill” where Dexter learns he has accidentally killed an innocent man for the first time. Still, it feels a little ambitious for writers even as talented as we’ve seen thus far to pen a scenario in which we can stomach a murder as penance for a kiss. We’ll just have to see.
So, I conclude this is a stretch, but not quite out of reach.
Theory #2: Christine pays the price
It doesn’t take much dot connecting to come to the conclusion that this character has to go sooner or later. With the revelation that she shot Dexter’s sister, she doesn’t violate Dexter’s code and will easily be a major focal point for our hero. Getting to her will be difficult with the assumption at the end of episode 10 that she is now in police custody.
Christine is a huge problem for both Trinity and Dexter, since she has enough evidence to pin them both. It would be a nice and tight ending to see her somehow set loose before she spills the beans, brought to ahem Dexter’s justice, and somehow pinned for the Trinity murders. Unfortunately, the DNA evidence Deb already has on Trinity makes this ending impossible. If the police associate the name Arthur Mitchell with Trinity, Dexter will be linked through Mitchell’s family and his own cell phone records. As his own daughter, Christine is such a problem for Trinity, I could certainly him perform the deed himself.
At any rate, Dexter in jail for Season 5 sounds like a major drag of a show. If we assume Dexter will somehow brilliantly weasel his way out of suspicion this season, Trinity has to go away before the police discover Arthur Mitchell. Christine has to disappear.
Before I close: can I say for the record that I *love* John Lithgow in this role? Who doesn’t? He’s the kind of villain you’d hope for: evil to the core, yet hopelessly vulnerable, even socially naïve with his own strict code of ethics that leave both Dexter and us audience members captivated by every word. I can’t wait to see him face off with Dexter this week as he learns “Kyle’s” true identity.
See you all on Sunday!