When we first met Evelyn Vogel (Charlotte Rampling), her sophisticated demeanor belied the crazy she’s emerged from. Her loss of two children, one through death and the other into the arms of psychopathic tendencies sparked a desire to work in the special field that she does. We sat patiently through her know-it-all rambling. Her spiel about Dexter (Michael C Hall) being perfect was a tad over the top, but hey, we trusted her knowledge and experience. Since last episode’s unveiling of the familial ties between our real Brain Surgeon, Oliver Saxon aka Daniel Vogel (Darri Ingolfsson), we’ve seen a new side to Vogel, a woman who has crumbled to stupidity due to maternal instincts. Her anguished and anxious disposition while cajoling Dexter to skip town and spare Daniel’s life was a far cry of her former self. Vogel’s desire to save Daniel is as strong as Dexter’s desire kill him and save her.
It’s been pointed out, this is one of the rare occasions that Dexter is driven by feelings, she is after all, (insert cringe) his spiritual mother. Furthermore, our once-favourite serial killer is ignoring the voice of reason. He wants a new life with Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski) and he wants to escape to Argentina, and yet he’s hell bent on getting that one last kill. Even rationale Harry’s (James Remar) guidance is not enough to quell Dexter’s new dark passenger. He’s evolved into a hybrid of a normal human being and a psychopath. Instead of finding his way through these unchartered waters, Dexter’s doing it guns blazing.
We’re ten hours into the last (and we cannot stress on that enough) season, and what we’ve seen so far is merely a shadow of the brilliant writing we’re used to. For instance, Debra Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter) didn’t even put up a fight to become an accomplice in sheltering McKay, nor was there enough drama when Dexter reveals his Argentina plans. Her story arc has entirely taken a supplementary role to Dexter’s makeshift family. Her romantic entanglement with Joey Quinn (Desmond Harrington) has reached its pinnacle, but where is the slow and steady build-up? It’s just unfulfilling.
It all seems a bit surreal, like this show is airing, and yet we know or hope there are alternative episodes lurking somewhere in a parallel universe that will satiate our “Dexter” needs. So we just play along. The creators’ constant attempt to build Daniel into a worthy antagonist is falling on blind eyes and deaf ears. There’s something missing, either he cannot make us believe in his abilities or whatever screen-time he’s allotted is dedicated to intimidating his mother and manipulating her into giving him the love he deserves. Classic case of mommy issues fallen flat on its face. They could have done so much more. If only “Dexter” had just built momentum on a steady rise, rather than only just revealing the real serial killer, perhaps this season would have been better.
This episode has more misses than hits. For example, Vince Masuka’s (CS Lee) sperm-spawn showing up high to a crime scene. Was that even required? Or Batista’s (David Zayas) absolute lack of a story. Let’s hope this decreased screen-time means he’s got work elsewhere. Also, someone please give McKay something else to do other than irresponsibly look after sassy-bordering-on-annoying Harrison Morgan.
Next week, on “Monkey in a Box,” we’ve been promised some juicy drama, with the Morgans, McKay included, attempting to flee. But Daniel has other plans. Also, for those who just can’t take the disappointment, here’s a supposedly water-tight leak of the series finale, courtesy Reddit. Read at your own risk. Makes us wonder if there really is a mole at Showtime considering “Homeland” Season Three’s premiere was leaked a while back.