TV Review: Dexter S08E09, Make Your Own Kind of Music

With only three episodes to go, the real antagonist of the season finally surfaces, at the cost of the show’s pace

Deborah Cornelious August 27, 2022
  • Direction
  • Acting
  • Screenplay
  • Cinematography

As much as it hurts, and it really, really does, it needs to be said. We’re just not feeling the thrills we once felt for “Dexter.” What’s worse is that there are just three episodes left before we bid farewell. On the upside, there are just three episodes left for this washed-up debacle to end.

Last week, much to the viewers delight, all previous notions about AJ Yates being the brain surgeon were dispelled with the tragic death of Zach Hamilton (Sam Underwood). Poor guy was just getting into his element and his brain was sliced open. We’d like to take this moment to just say we told you so, since it was repeated oh so often that Yates possibly couldn’t have been a worthy adversary to Dexter’s (Michael C Hall) prowess. This especially since Yate’s MO and reason for killing conflicted with those of the real brain surgeon. Now that gloating is out of the way, onward we go.

“Make Your Own Kind of Music” is not the episode we would envision to follow the explosive end of “Are We There Yet?” It’s not only jarring in its placement, but the fact that it manages to make us feel like we’re stuck in one spot, despite there being consistent traction with the plot, is disconcerting.  Dexter’s afraid for his family (the brain surgeon could have left Hamilton’s body when Harrison could have been around) and also for Evelyn Vogel (Charlotte Rampling), his spiritual mother. Anyway, Dexter is straddling two worlds, hanging in between. His love for Hannah (Yvonne Starhovsky) is pulling him to protect her and his dark passenger beckons to get the brain surgeon on the table. The revelation of the real brain surgeon should have been a jubilant moment, instead it’s anti-climatic and even when he’s revealed, we were still waiting for the curve ball. But he’s as smart as if not as smarter than Dexter, he’s heavily burdened with parental issues and we know it’s going to be mayhem next episode onwards and yet it just doesn’t feel right.

Vogel, with her happy bubble burst is back in the realm of danger.  Her rant about Dexter not being a typical psychopath hits home this time, not that it’s not as annoying as it was before. But still, it’s apparent Dexter is consumed by his need to avenge Hamilton’s death fuelled only by his feelings for McKay. If there ever was a time when Dexter was naïve, it is now. It’s embarrassing instead of endearing to see him think, no believe, he can get away with and from everything. When Vogel disagrees with the psychopath’s ambitious plans, we can’t help but feel like Dexter is being a petulant child who just wants everything in sight. It’s obvious he’s already bitten off more than he can chew. We know he’s not going to get what he wants, we know something terrible is going to happen as a consequence of his greed. It’s just a matter of time now.

His sister, on the other hand just can’t get a break. Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) is just fed up. From a crazed and frantic woman to one that is adjusting to life, the poor thing is constantly shoved in the face of discomfort. Either it’s her brother, or her boss or her ex-fiance. Also, please give her something other than striped tees and cardigans to wear.

This episode skimmed the surface of what could have been something deeper, except that the identity of the main antagonist was finally revealed. This last season has been building us up (buttercup) and then just breaking us down. There’s nothing worthwhile to keep the audience consistently invested, neither is there any big mystery that will compel us to return. What the show probably has going for it, on its last leg, is just a loyal fanbase waiting to see how the creators will wrap up eight years of faithfulness.