Sunday, October 06, 2013

The end has come for disturbed avenger 'Dexter'

(Published Oct. 7, PDI-Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit

An era ends with the conclusion of the groundbreaking crime drama “Dexter,” beloved for its quirky and cathartic protagonist Dexter Morgan.

Introduced eight years ago, the main character of the show (currently airing on FoxCrime) is a blood spatter analyst by day and a merciless vigilante by night.

Played by Michael C. Hall, Dexter’s unfeeling savagery was revealed as the product of a childhood trauma. A witness to a violent crime, young Dexter’s murderous tendencies were eventually redirected by his adoptive cop father Harry (James Remar).

The final season revealed that this rechanneling of young Dexter’s bloodlust wasn’t entirely the father’s idea, after all. Encouraged by neuropsychiatrist Dr. Evelyn Vogel (Charlotte Rampling), Harry implemented the “code,” which strictly forbade Dexter from randomly executing people, and tasked the young killer with targeting only people who deserved it.
“Dexter’s” eighth season started promisingly with the revelation of this “mother figure,” as well as the continuation of the arc concerning Dexter’s cop sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter). Reeling from her involvement in the death of their colleague Captain LaGuerta (Lauren Velez), guilt-ridden Deb struggled with keeping Dexter’s macabre secrets.

Compared to previous seasons, this eighth is less gripping, but still has powerful, deeply affecting moments. To be fair, none of the others were as taut as the fourth season, which featured the Trinity Killer (John Lithgow) and culminated in the death of Dexter’s wife Rita (Julie Benz)—that is easily the strongest, most shocking.

The main foe this time is the Brain Surgeon, an elusive killer trying to catch the attention of Dr. Vogel and, inadvertently, Dexter. The new mystery character is a formidable villain, an unexpected match for Dexter, who has gotten less-focused and, at times, careless.

Hall unwaveringly portrayed the stoic, introspective Dexter Morgan role through the years; as the disturbed avenger, the actor consistently delivered the unique dichotomy.

The small cast of characters has undergone significant changes, season after season. There have been hit-and-miss storylines, but the pervading dark humor and philosophical musings continually empowered this blood-soaked saga. (The series finale got mixed reviews recently from viewers abroad; some found it bittersweet while others considered it a letdown, or even a non-ending.)

While the show has had its share of confounding plotholes and unusually contrived situations, viewers nevertheless rooted for this particular antihero. Dexter is, and will always be the embodiment of rage and release, a distinctly cathartic TV character that will surely be missed.

(“Dexter” airs Wednesdays, 10:50 p.m. on FoxCrime Asia.)

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‘Super Fun Night’ on ETC
The sitcom “Super Fun Night,” starring Rebel Wilson, will air tomorrow, 7:30 p.m. on ETC. It will be followed by the horror-drama series “The Vampire Diaries” at 8  and its new spinoff, “The Originals,” at 10. The three shows will have “match airings,” releasing episodes close to their US air dates.