Dexter - The Final Season (Spoiler Discussion)

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Agent Richard07, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. billcosby

    billcosby Commodore Commodore

    In season four or since season four?

    The Lithgow Trinity killer was the highlight of the series, IMHO. Although perhaps I remember it poorly, was Rita unusually, over-the-top annoying in that season? Oh well, it all worked out in the end. :evil: I thought Lithgow was a fascinating foil for Dex. Can't say that the seasons since then have been incredibly satisfying.

    I guess if you never "bought" that Litgow was the monster he was, it wouldn't have worked. For me, he well surpassed whatever remaining typecast ideas I had about him being from either 3rd Rock or Harry and the Hendersons. I thought Lithgow channeled some complex performances out of The Trinity Killer. If I ever rewatch Dexter it'll be seasons 1-2 and 4. That's it.

    Great point. The past is always being endlessly drawn up and reviewed in detail. I hope for Dex's sake his "mind father" evaporates when the series ends. Jesus Christ, who would want their own father's ghost following them around forever, giving them continuous advice during your day? We never see the mundane aspects of it, when Papa Morgan berates Dex for not flossing enough or undercooking his dinner.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  2. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Location:
    California
    Season 3 was terrible, season 4 was amazing, and it has been downhill ever since. Dexter has gotten increasingly lazy as the series progressed.
     
  3. billcosby

    billcosby Commodore Commodore

    Do you mean the character Dexter Morgan, or the series as a whole?
    I don't know what the word I'm searching for to describe season 8 is but... maybe that's it. 'Lazy.' There's something really meandering about this show now, like it's wandering off somewhere. Maybe that's how it ends. Dexter disappears and no one knows where he is!
     
  4. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2001
    Location:
    Sac, Ca
    In retrospect I think Season 3 actually looks like one of the stronger ones now. It wasn't up to the level of 1, 2 and 4 obviously, but Jimmy Smits' Miguel Prado still made for a fairly dangerous and unpredictable threat, and the storyline (with Dexter inadvertently becoming a friend and mentor to this shady DA whose brother he killed) at least flowed well and built up naturally to a conclusion.

    Unlike the later seasons which just seemed to wander around aimlessly with not much purpose, and which felt like they had just been slapped together at the last minute.
     
  5. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    Doris Morgan has been pretty much a non-entity since the beginning of the series (the fact that I had to look up her first name says a lot). We know she died of cancer when Deb was sixteen, but since Dexter is ten years older than his sister, Doris must have been a part of his early adult life. It's sort of surprising, in retrospect, that the show didn't explore Dexter's relationship with his adopted mom a bit more.
     
  6. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    The Great Wide Somewhere
    Wait, what? Dexter is 10 years older? I seem to remember a flashback of them being kids together or a picture of them as teenagers or something like that.

    edit: yeah, definitely not a 10 year age difference. There are numerous flashbacks to them as kids that show them only a few years apart.
     
  7. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2012
    Dexter was 35 at the start of the series and Deb was 27.
     
  8. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    The Great Wide Somewhere
    The flashbacks to them as kids are pretty compelling evidence otherwise.
     
  9. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2012
    That's nice. It doesn't change the fact that those are their actual ages on the show, though.

    Dexter's exact birthday was stated as February 1st, 1971, and Debra's birthday was revealed to be December 7th, 1979 in a computer database when Dexter was testing a blood sample.
     
  10. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    The Great Wide Somewhere
    As the scenes of them as children are far less likely to have been mistakes, I'll stick with that over a shot of a computer database.
     
  11. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2012
    That was just for her actual birthday. Her age was stated a few times. But you be as irrational as you want to be. Doesn't affect me in the slightest. (Nevermind that I can't even remember the scene you're going on about.)
     
  12. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Location:
    California
    I also remember the scenes with them as kids. Several of them, in fact. Mostly season 1, before all the Harry scenes became ghostly dark passengers, and were actual flashbacks to Dexter as a child learning the code.

    Despite age being stated on the show, the ages of the actors cast to play the young Dex and Deb are much stronger evidence to the contrary that they are very close in age. Almost as strong as the evidence that Harry brings Dexter home with him as a child (around 4 or so) after Dexter's mother is killed, and Deb is already born.
     
  13. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Location:
    the real world
    Reviewing, I see that posting as a distraction from sickness or other issues can immortalize a temporary biliousness. My apologies.

    I can see the point, but the writers didn't agree with you. They're the ones who raised the issue of the past by writing in Charlotte Rampling. It was bad enough that we couldn't visualize the Morgan's family life. But when the surrogate Mom shows up, memories of the real Mom are going to surface.

    Lithgow played a serial killer in Blowup and a lunatic in Raising Cain. There were some absurdities in the particular pathology he was supposed to manifest, such as the preposterous cycle four (not a Trinity) of killings each with its own insanely elaborate victimology and ritual. But Lithgow's excellent performance usually sold the character.

    But the series is called Dexter. In season one, Dexter rejected serial killing with his brother as a way of life. In season two, Dexter rejected serial killing with a hot girlfriend and chose to surrender himself, until Lila provided an out for him. In season three, Dexter rejected serial killing with a friend. Part of the problem should be obvious by this point, namely, like most soaps the series was puppeting the hero through the same story over and over. Also, the quality of writing was steadily declining. Turning flashback Harry Morgan into a stupid cliché projection of Dexter's own personality was a key milestone marking the degeneration.

    Now, as nicely sensational as Lithgow was, by season four, the story would have been, according to the formula, Dexter rejects a serial killer who has a family as a model. It was already way past time to move on to another story, as in Dexter decides to commit to Rita. Or, Dexter decides to quit killing. Really, if you were to treat Dexter's decisions in seasons one and two seriously, such a development would have been the logical, almost inevitable one.

    Instead, they opted to tread water, playing around with foolish plots where Dexter was the vicarious agent of righteous retribution fantasies. Rita was hampering these fantasies, partly by an inconvenient presence making Dexter's activities seem even less plausible. But also because Rita's presence kept raising the issue of what Dexter was really going to decide to do: Get off on killing, or have a real life. Killing off Rita kept Dexter from making any choice at all. In a way, it broke the formula. But it did so by just decapitating the entire season, without replacing the old formula.

    You know, the Dexter who was going to surrender rather than kill Doakes, the Dexter who chose Rita over Lila, just isn't the Dexter of the later seasons. In a way, it's strange that the show chose to disembowel itself this way. But if Dexter was really about a dream vigilante getting away with it, first, they should go to the trouble of making the plots halfway plausible. Second, Dexter should have dumped Rita for Lila.

    Maybe the series would have been over? That is the best explanation of why the series went bad the way it did. But this problem was inherent to the open-ended serialization format. I simply cannot agree with people who say that there is no intrinsic difference in formats, it's all a matter of execution.

    It's common to say the first two seasons were the best. It's also common to say the fourth season was the best. But the first two seasons and the fourth season undermine each other. And since they do, I do in fact include fourth season as the terminal season for quality writing in Dexter.

    It was especially surprising since an interest in Dexter's childhood was always a part of the series. I attribute it to Hollywood's pervasive problem with women. If you put Dexter to the Blechdel test: Doris Morgan, talking to Deborah about anything, not gonna happen. In the particular case of Dexter, Doris Morgan looking askance at the way Harry treated Dexter or trying to compensate for Harry's peculiar behavior, true to life as it might have been, would have jeopardized in show one of the founding elements in the show's mythology. To wit, that a sufficiently loving father can impose a code on a psychologically disturbed youth. There's a reason we never got a flashback to Harry explaining that Dexter could never sexually abuse the kills, or even masturbate on the scene.
     
  14. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    The Great Wide Somewhere
    Yeah. The first few seasons had a much more cohesive backstory, so I'm gonna give it to them. Later seasons I honestly wonder sometimes if the people making the show have watched it.
     
  15. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    Michael C. Hall is 42; Jennifer Carpenter is 33.
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    Per Ardua
    CBS and Time Warner reached an agreement. Showtime is already back on here in Northern Kentucky.
     
  17. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    The Great Wide Somewhere
    Harrison Ford was only 12 years younger than Sean Connery who played his father in The Last Crusade.

    Kate Mara played Heath Ledger's daughter in Brokeback Mountain when he was only 5 years older than her.

    What matters is what they look like, and how it is portrayed. The Morgan siblings are clearly portrayed in the first couple seasons as being close in age; likely within a few years. As those were the only seasons worth a damn, I'll stick to that.
     
  18. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Location:
    California
    Reread the quote. I said YOUNG Dex and Deb. I'm not talking about Michael C Hall or Jennifer Carpenter, nor am I talking about adult Dexter and adult Debra... I'm talking about the various actors cast to portray the two characters as CHILDREN. I do not dispute that Dexter's character's birthdate is given in the show as 1971 and Debra's is given as 1979, in fact I point out that it is a continuity error because of the much more bountiful evidence that this is not the case.

    I finally broke down and looked up some specific childhood events that dispute the claim that Dexter is 8 years older than Debra:

    Dexter is formally adopted by the Morgan's at age 7 after living with them since age 3. A young Debra asks Harry what happened to Dexter's real parents.

    Doris Morgan (Dexter and Deb's mother) dies when Deb is 12 and Dexter is 16.

    Harry Morgan is in the hospital for several months and dies when Deb is 16 and Dexter is between 20-21 (he has a prolonged sickness in the hospital, and the nurse who has been poisoning him is Dexter's first kill). This is later contradicted by the current season, where Harry Morgan claims he witnessed Dexter's first kill and is mortified, implying that he takes his own life shortly thereafter.

    Other evidence shows Dexter as being in the class of 1991 (his 20th high school reunion being in 2011), which disputes the claim that he was born in 1971 because then he'd be 20 as he graduates high school, which seems unlikely for someone who had good grades and was at the top of his college class in medical school.
     
  19. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    You're right; I should have read more carefully.

    Although based on your post it seems like the show's timeline has been a little...flexible.
     
  20. Savage Dragon

    Savage Dragon Savage Mod Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2001
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    Well I wasn't expecting Vogel to get offed like that. I thought she was going to lead Dexter into a trap to prove herself to her son.