AN OPEN LETTER TO THE WRITERS AND CREATORS OF DEXTER…

1.20.13

To the Writers and Creators of My Most Favorite Guilty Television Pleasure, Dexter:

I am writing today on behalf of myself, and millions of other fans I’m sure, who were left lukewarm and lacking after this years season finale. Deb shoots LaGuerta? Really! I mean I think we, as dedicated fans of Deb, all know that she has been teetering on the edge of a potential nervous breakdown since season one and now she’s shot the Captain of Miami Metro? So basically, you all just tied the restraints to a beloved characters straight jacket… My personal, completely non-professional creative writer thoughts on this particular ending, it was a lazy, lackluster cop out. Ouch, it hurt a little to even say that concerning writers who have in the past written cliffhanger finales that left me screaming “NOOO!” at my television screen, followed by a thirty minute period of shocked silence where I sat slack jawed and unmovable because Rita had just fallen victim to Trinity. Now that, as unbelievable and shocking as it was, is the kind of television that I crave!

Unfortunately for me the entire season, while good in many ways (aka the Dexter/Hannah storyline), seemed a little scattered and disjointed. In previous years there have always been main threads connecting the individual plots of each episode throughout the season… For example, while Dexter encountered many a bad guy during season one and successfully alleviated them of their badness upon his table, the Ice Truck Killer was that seasons gold medal kill. The same goes for Trinity in season four, his serial killings were the overarching theme throughout the entire season leading to Rita’s bloody death… And by the way, thanks for ruining relaxing bath time for millions of women with that one! No really, I can live with the fear of ever taking a bath alone in the house again for that sort of brilliant writing. It is this high standard that you, the writers, have consistently spoiled viewers with that left us all, well at least me, wondering what was up this season? It seemed as if there were a lot of little stories that were slowly building to climax and then fizzled just before we reached the peak, and really, nobody likes a plot tease!

Lets start with Hannah McKay, basically because her relationship with Dexter was the most interesting and steady storyline this season, and I’m a girl who enjoys a hot storyline. Since I first began watching the show a few years ago, plowing through four seasons in less than two weeks, I was curious as to how the writers would handle Dexter in the love department. Then came Rita and as their relationship progressed I thought to myself “Ok, look Dex, she loves you and she knows how the evil of others can affect a person. Just come clean and tell her and maybe she’ll understand. Maybe she’ll go on a kill with you or at least do your kill laundry when you come home…” And yes I am very aware of how bizarre it is that this show has persuaded an entire fandom to root for a killers happiness, but hey, vigilantes need love too
I think that sentiment alone speaks volumes about the writing of seasons past. So, needless to say I was extremely excited when the apparent heat between Dexter and Hannah began to develop. Of course then he put her on the table and I thought “Oh great this love affair is going nowhere fast!” Thankfully Hannah put a stop to that as she cavalierly told Dexter to “Do what you gotta do!” And if you’re a fan, well, you know what happened next… Finally Dexter had found someone who understood him, someone who accepted him, even the darkest parts. He didn’t have to hide or lie anymore and unlike Deborah, Hannah understood his needs in a way no other person, not even Harry, ever had before. Despite Dexter and Hannah’s obvious emotional connection the writers, instead of giving the fans what they wanted by taking the relationship to an even deeper level, chose to have Dexter run from his true feelings and have Hannah locked up for Deb’s sake. I mean, I understand his need to protect his sister, but really Dexter did you have to go to such extreme measures? And then there’s the matter of Hannah’s escape and her simply walking away by the cover of night… Please tell me that’s not how their relationship ends? Didn’t we already go through this with Lumen two seasons ago, Hannah cannot just walk away and leave Dexter to live alone, that is simply unacceptable!

Other storylines that fizzled as the season progressed included Ray Speltzer and his rental house of doom. As the season began I just knew that he would continue to elude the authorities and torture Deborah until the bitter end when we would all gain the usual satisfaction from watching Dexter take the life of this seasons arch enemy… No go! Instead he was dead by the end of episode four and while his death led Deborah to an odd acceptance of Dexter’s kill code, it left fans still wondering who this seasons final kill would be…

Then there were the Russians and Isaak Sirko. I mean how confusing was that? First we hated them because they killed Mike Anderson, then we feared them as Isaak sought to avenge the death of his beloved Victor and then mid season we become totally thrown off as Dexter helps Isaak die peacefully after developing some sort of mutual respect and friendship with his enemy… I mean how are we suppose to know how to feel? We hate him, but kind of feel bad for him and then we’re kind of sad that he has to die yet relieved that Dexter is no longer in danger. Talk about toying with our emotions!

And speaking of toying with emotions, I hardly think that I’m the only one who had to back track to season two just to check on the way Doakes actually died… As soon as his face showed up in the preview for the season finale I immediately checked my Dexter fact book (aka google) to determine if his death had included plastic wrap and blood slides or he’d simply fallen victim to the exploding swamp shack. Of course once I found out that he hadn’t died on Dexter’s table I just KNEW he had escaped the fiery flames and had been tracking Dexter for the last five years… I mean if you’re going to resurrect a previously pivotal character, who had the possibility of escaping death and could potentially still be alive, in a preview for a season finale you’ve got to do more with that storyline than a stinkin’ flashback!!!

And then, there’s Bobby… The arsonist! I mean this story line did allow Dexter to comes to grips with his “dark passenger” and the fact that he himself was responsible for the lives he took and not some external force, much like Jensen and “Bobby”. This of course led Dexter to have mercy upon his victim and allow Miami Metro to deal with his crimes and punish him appropriately, this also led to another dead end for fans who thought this story might lead to the seasons big kill…

I guess by this point you can tell where my frustration lies with this season, where was the usual fluidity that the writers usually use to glide us anxiously through to the thrilling end? Or was this seasons villain suppose to be portrayed by LaGuerta and her undying pursuit of Dexter as the Bay Harbor Butcher, finally resulting in her not so shocking season ending death? You can ask my Dexter watching cohorts, I practically spent the entire season chanting “LaGuerta’s gonna get it!” like a school kid after every episode. Even though I’ve had my issues with LaGuerta’s behavior in the past she’s never really irritated me so badly that I wanted her dead. And I certainly never would’ve put the smoking gun in the hands of Deb who recently told her brother she thought she was in love with him and successfully spent most of the season pouting because he was in love with a woman she loathed. Again I ask, are you guys trying to send her to the nuthouse? Or maybe that’s part of next years storyline. As for me, the gunshot that ended LaGuerta’s run in the series was rather over dramatized and anticlimactic. And then Dexter and Deb just tidy up and walk away as if nothing ever happened and leave us waiting for a grueling nine months to see how the writers will, hopefully, somehow pull this whole storyline together and help us all realize that this ending was not in fact a fatal mistake after all!

After the finale I was left wondering “Am I the only one who was totally disappointed?” I found, after talking to other Dexter fans, that I was not alone… One friend even blamed me for her disappointment after I had filled her head with my theories of how the finale might play out. Following the shocking trailer for the seasons final show, which ultimately ended up being more shocking than the actual final show, my head was flooded with possibilities! For example, LaGuerta drugged Deb causing her car crash in an attempt to keep her from covering Dexter’s back so she could in turn catch him red handed and prove, once and for all, that he was the real Bay Harbor Butcher. When Dexter discovers this he not only uses the information to free Hannah, but also now has motive to take care of LaGuerta in the usual “kill room” manner and save himself from the fact that she is correct about his mysterious and deadly past… Don’t like that one? Ok, I’ve got more… Hannah’s escape from prison serves an actual purpose other than her fleeing by night. When she finds out that LaGuerta is onto Dexter and trying her absolute best to bring him down, Hannah does what she’s best at, she creates an accident! This does three things, it puts an end to LaGuerta’s quest for justice, it allows Dexter to continue to explore his more human side as he continues to develop the loving relationship that fans so want him to have and it mends her contentious relationship with Deb! I mean lets face it, there is no way Deborah could continue to hate Hannah after she saved Dexter from certain demise… Still not satisfied? Ok, here’s the big one, that whole Doakes teaser, not a teaser at all! He’s alive and he’s been tracking Dexter for the past five years, hiding out, watching as every kill took place, gathering the evidence needed to bring Dexter down. And since he’s been following each kill he knows that LaGuerta is in danger and shows up, along with the rest of Miami Metro, just in time to save her from Dexter and leave fans wondering how on earth our beloved killer will once again escape unscathed…

While I remain immensely disappointed with the conclusion of this slightly schizophrenic season I sincerely hope and pray that the next season will work itself out and help me understand all of this craziness in the long run… I must admit when I recently discovered that the new season will air June 2013, I was elated to find that the usual nine month wait had been reduced to six and I would hopefully have answers sooner than later! With this in mind, I beg of you the writers, please return our show to its usual cohesive yet shockingly dramatic formula… There is definitely something to be taken here from the old adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” We’ve loved Dexter for seven seasons now, as a serial killer, son, brother, husband, father, friend and lover. We know that eventually our time with this beloved character will end, so this is my plea as a devoted fan, please don’t disappoint us in the home stretch… Bring Dexter and the customary riveting story lines back in season eight, we are patiently and faithfully waiting to be shocked and delighted once more!

Sincerely,
A Devoted Dexter Fan