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Review #3736: Dexter 7.3: “Buck the System”

Posted on the 17 October 2012 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Gregg Wright

Written by
Directed by

I’ve mentioned this before, but seasons of “Dexter” tend to have a pretty clear three-act structure (three episodes for act 1, six for act 2, and another three for act 3). It will be hard to tell until we have some hindsight, but it’s already very clear from this episode that the season is heading in a different direction than I was expecting it to. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing remains to be seen, but I do have my doubts.

Review #3736: Dexter 7.3: “Buck the System”

Adapting to Deb’s new regimen is proving to be more difficult than Dexter or Deb had hoped. The Dark Passenger wants out, and Dexter soon realizes that his ritual vigilante kills may have been the only thing keeping him in control the rest of the time. Thus, much of the episode is about Dexter realizing that Harry was right, and that he needs to somehow convince Deb to let him go on killing.

Understandably, Deb is horrified by all of this. But we’ve had plenty of time to get to know Deb; perhaps even better than she knows herself. When we see Deb following up on Dexter’s tip about Speltzer, her frustration over knowing that another girl could die and being helpless to stop it are both elements that fit perfectly with her characterization. And Dexter must be well aware that Deb has vigilante inclinations, considering her actions at the end of season 5.

The appearance of Yvonne Strahovski as Hannah McKay, Wayne Randall’s ex-girlfriend, is a rather perplexing addition. It seems obvious that there is some sort of chemistry between her and Dexter, so there’s the possibility that she’ll be some sort of love interest. But on the other hand, what about all the build-up over Deb’s romantic feelings toward Dexter? Might this mean that Hannah is set to be another villain? She did, apparently, participate in Randall’s killing spree to some degree.

But infinitely more perplexing is the abrupt death of Louis Greene. After having been massive built up as a mysterious figure with an important role to play, Louis is unceremoniously murdered by new Big Bad, Isaac Sirko. So, um… that’s it? I’m not sure whether to be disappointed or impressed. This is certainly unexpected. I’ll give them that. But whenever Dexter’s problems just solve themselves through incredible coincidences, I start to become suspicious that lazy writing is to blame.

What about Louis’s obsession with Dexter? Was Ryan Chambers just a red herring to distract us from yet another red herring? What was the point of Louis? Will his death actually serve some larger purpose in the plot? Or did the writers just decide that they no longer knew what to do with him? I’m honestly at a loss as to whether or not to consider this turn of events a problem or not. But I suppose, considering that the show-closing arc was said to have started last season, I’ll have to give the writers the benefit of the doubt for now.

So now that Dexter has moved back to his apartment, and is now free of Deb’s restrictions, I’m expecting him to return to his usual nocturnal activities. I’m a bit worried that this episode might mark a step in the wrong direction. I’m not yet all that impressed by “The Brotherhood”. They do represent a small deviation from the usual formula for Big Bads, but they’re just not all that intriguing to me. I guess I’m just going to have to wait and see how everything comes together (or doesn’t) as the season progresses.

Score: 7/10

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