Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Review of Dexter's 8x11: "Monkey In A Box"

Written by Tim Schlattmann And Wendy West
Directed by Ernest Dickerson

Harry (to Dexter): “I never thought this day would come. You don’t need me anymore.”

It might have taken him nearly four decades of his life but it seems that Dexter Morgan has gone from everyone’s favourite serial killer to a real boy in touch with humanity instead of pretending one existed. I realise that I’m falling into that minority of viewers that has actually enjoyed this season but Dexter’s last scene with Harry felt delightfully cathartic.

Harry and Vogel may have been the ones to have given Dexter his code so he could kill deserving victims and pretend to live a normal life but over the years it’s been Deb, Rita, Cody, Astor, Harrison and even Hannah (polarising as she may be with viewers) who have brought out his humanity.

This was the episode that confirmed what had been become obvious for a while – Dexter’s Dark Passenger is slipping away. It practically fell away with Harry fading out in this episode but perhaps in hindsight, Dexter should’ve just killed Saxon to be safe. It certainly would’ve prevented Deb from being shot by the guy at the very least.

Saxon hasn’t been the best villain this show has ever produced (I don’t think anyone can truly beat either the Ice Truck Killer or Trinity himself) but he did manage to be more effective in this episode. The threat he made on Dexter’s loved ones he lived up to but not just because Dexter made things too hot for him in Miami but because Dexter foolishly spared him.

I suppose this means we’ll get a good confrontation scene with the two of them in the next and last ever episode but Dexter’s personal growth made him reckless with Saxon. If he wasn’t going to kill him, he should’ve at least waited until Deb had back up and the police arrested him. Instead Saxon killed Clayton and left Deb for dead.

This leads me to two other things – will Deb die? Vogel’s death was poignant enough (both Dexter and Deb were affected by it in this episode) but having Deb would certainly be a big thing for Dexter to deal with as well. It could happen in the last episode, it just might not. Maybe, just maybe Dexter will get his happy endings after all.

As for the second bit – Hannah really did leave it until the last minute to get out of dodge, didn’t she? I’m still not sure if both she and Dexter can successfully live a happy life in Argentina or that they even should be allowed to. Both of them could either end up in jail or be killed next week. Either way, at least we won’t have to wait too long to find out now.

Also in “Monkey In A Box”

The second Quinn pulled out that engagement for Deb was the same one where it was obvious that something bad was going to happen to her.

Dexter (re Vogel): “If it weren’t for her -,”
Deb: “- We might have found our way back to each other.”

Further proof of Dexter’s humanity appeared with his genuine upset for Vogel’s death and Angel’s speech at her wake/his leaving do.

Sylvia: “So, why the sudden move?”
Dexter: “Too many memories.”

Deb (re Saxon): “Don’t you want him for yourself?”
Dexter: “I just want him taken care of.”

Sylvia’s appearance was a bit random in this episode but nice enough. I wonder if we’ll see any old faces in the last episode.

Saxon (to Dexter): “You know what it’s like to kill. It can be cathartic and it was. That’s why I’m giving you a choice – go on with yourself or come after me.”

Hannah (re Dexter): “I really love this man.”
Deb: “Me too.”

I loved Dexter and Deb having one last meal together and the two of them teaming up to trap Saxon. The fact that Dexter was willing to let the law take care of him surprised Deb too.

Dexter: “I don’t need to kill you.”
Saxon: “Then don’t. Walk away.”

Chronology: From where “Goodbye Miami” left off.

I know this has been a polarising final season and that in some parts it could’ve been better but as a penultimate episode, “Monkey In A Box” did a great job in hammering home that this really is the end for this show and good or bad, I am going to miss it. This episode however was very good, even if it was reckless in parts too.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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