Dexter Review: The Lowest Form of Storytelling

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Don't worry, Masuka, I braced myself for awful before Dexter aired tonight.

And, boy, did "Get Gellar" deliver just that, finally revealing the most obvious "shocker" in all of television: Professor Gellar is dead and Travis has been acting alone this entire time. The show has been airing scenes on a weekly basis that only took place inside Travis' warped mind.

A New Victim

I will try to be as succinct and as calm about this as possible, but this is simply storytelling at its worst and at its laziest. It's one thing to build toward a surprising reveal that is well-paced and nearly impossible to predict. Take The Sixth Sense, for instance, a clear model for this Dexter storyline.

At no point in that movie are we watching a character who does not exist. We are not purposely being misled by the writers, just so they can come back later and try to pull an "a-ha!" moment that changes the game. It's an intelligent movie, one with an engrossing plot that would have held up even Bruce Willis' character was NOT proven to be dead the whole time (ummm... spoiler alert?). The conclusion was not needed to make the movie; it was just needed to make the movie into the epic tale it has become. But the audience was never duped. Everything was witnessed was really happening. That is how one writes a true surprise. This, conversely, is the perfect example of a desperate, cheap imitation.

Let's forget the fact that Gellar's non-existence was more predictable than the Deputy Chief being the John in the room with last week's overdosed prostitute. Instead, let's just focus on how boring and uneventful the season has been, and how that's obviously been due to the fact that the writers were just waiting to play this pathetic ace in the manipulative hole.

Unlike The Sixth Sense, this season has been about nothing but this surprise. It's been a build-up to a development that everyone saw coming and one that makes it clear the producers are out of ideas.

You are entitled to disagree. If you found this to be a legitimately shocking moment, if you have no problem knowing you watched countless scenes with a character who wasn't actually there and if you don't agree this is writing at its absolute laziest... then I envy you. You will enjoy the rest of the season.

I, however, will be stuck wondering what happened to one of my favorite shows on television. But, hey, at least we have that enthralling Batista/Quinn feud to look forward to next week! Wasn't it hilarious when that stripper turned out to be an old, ugly mother?!? Hmmm... or did she? Perhaps Quinn was still drunk and that woman doesn't really exist...

What did you think of Dexter's big reveal?


Editor Rating: 1.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (282 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


There's no way Travis is doing the DDK kills all on his lonesome. Killing his sister and setting up that tableau in broad daylight? Would have taken hours, there's no way he could have done it without help. What if that Louis the intern is helping him? The whole "interning with forensics to do research for a video game" excuse is sorta flimsy. I bet Louis got into Miami Metro to help out with the DDK killings from the inside.


Did the writers of Dexter change? Is there anyone from Season 1, 2 or 3 still writing for Dexter? Or is it the same person? The directing in Dexter, the whole pace is likable and exciting, in my opinion. They are returning to the more independent feeling that characterized the first seasons. The writing, in my opinion, suffered a blow. I have to confess, I only knew about Gellar being imaginary because I've read stuff on the Internet after "Sins of Omission" and I regret it. Something tells me I would have a huge surprise if I hadn't read spoilers on the Internet. But for the people who figured it out early on, this season must have been a let-down. You still have some jokes. Mazuka is a great character, he becomes more likable each season. He got some extra points in my admiration when he fired Ryan, the blond girl. So, in my opinion, I think the dialogue is great. But the storyline is kinda messy. And, as many people point out, DEXTER IS MAKING A LOT OF MISTAKES. Who walks around with an axe on his hand on an university hall? Don't universities have securities? Night guards? Cameras? Also, after reading that Gellar might be imaginary, I thought the writers were going to do something even more extraordinary than that but I can't imagine what. On the other hand, of course everyone will tell you now "OH I SAW IT COMING AGES AGO"... yeah, we all do, genius... *rolls eyes* I confess it was a spoiler for me. The thing with LaGuerta is kinda boring... I don't really give a fuck about what happens there. I'd like to see Quinn get back on his feet. I like the character, although he's too much of cartoon sometimes. Specially his relationship with Batista. It's like I'm watching a cartoon sometimes. The thing with Quinn sleeping with the old hag fell flat with me. I don't know... it's not something that would happen in real life. Ever. Ever. Ever. Detective Mark Anderson deserves a bigger role. He's a better actor than the role transpires and I think the show will gain a lot of credibility if they give him more time on screen. I think the great twist now will come with Louis. I mean... the guy is dating Dexter's babysitter, has the ITK hand and, like someone pointed out, had access to Dexter's computer and probably installed a trojan there, allowing him access the historic of Dexter or something crazy like that. I like Jamie. I think she's hot as hell and I'll be disappointed if she's not around the next season. Hope the geek doesn't kill her. But I think that's the most logical conclusion here... Oh, yeah... by now, we can assume Louis is some sort of a killer, right?


This season is not all about this surprise. The season is about how Dexter deals with religion, and the Big Bad is still DDK. Whether or not this "surprises" anyone is irrelevant to the eventual conclusion of the show. It does take the show in a new direction compared to the earlier parts of the season, and it allows Dexter to explore further parallels between him and Travis. I agree with the above posters that said this review isn't well written - it's written worse than you think the writers of Dexter are. You complained about one point that happened at the end of the episode, and ignored all the other happenings.

Matt richenthal

@jmaddi: By all means, only frequent a site you enjoy reading, but point of fact: 70% of poll respondents above saw the twist coming and over 30% labeled it "pathetic."
So this the obviousness of the supposed shocker was apparently to well over a majority of readers so far.


My typo below... *to marry this report with [not to marry report this with]


Hey, I don't think this has been addressed yet: At what point did Travis kill Gellar? The part that throws me off is the report of Holly, the would-be victim, saying that she heard two voices, that there was an old man and a younger one who let her go. I can't see any way to marry report this with the idea that Gellar was dead at that point, so it seems to me they must have been working together at least until then.


the show went downhill fast.


Don't settle for mediocrity, people! You pay good coin for premium cable and should expect the best TV for it. Oh, and honey? This ain't it.




I swear i didnt see that coming, but i made one big mistake: I read the last review - and Matt (i think it was u) thanks for telling us your thoughts straight away. Man i wish i wouldnt have knew it, i think it was an awesome twist. But i have to say one thing: That was the worst review ive ever read! its not a review - what do u think about deb, dexter and all the other stories? etc. U cant just write: oh i hate that twist 1 star and finished.
I think its a good season and if u hate dexter sooo much, then PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE dont write reviews for that show!!!!

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