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TV REVIEW: FTN reviews Dexter SO8EO7 Dress Code

August 13th, 2013 by Andrew McCarroll Comments

For an episode that contained the titular character being beaten up, a topless bar and two murders, it’s actually impressive that they managed to make it feel like nothing of any consequence has happened. The episode opens by showing that Poison Ivy knock off Hannah Mckay, who we saw returning in the last episode by drugging Dexter and Debra, has left Deb in her apartment and brought Dexter to the other side of town. It is revealed that her master plan for this was………she didn’t have one, well she did have one but sometime between drugging the siblings, dragging one to the car driving to an industrial estate and dumping him out she has had a change of heart.

Zach shows up for his first day of work as Dexter’s murderous Padawan and is told that they must never be seen in public together and Zach needs to be careful as he is being followed. Zach says not to worry as it’s only Quinn and he is not very good at his job. The kid has a point, if a 17 year old walking bundle of suspicious behavior can shake Quinn so easily he really needs a new career. Dexter uses his new apprentice’s social connections to track Hannah and what turns out to be her husband – the Warlock himself Julian Sands – she tells Dexter that she has changed her name to “Maggie” and now has a new identity. Her husband returns and lets Dexter know that he is aware of who he is and he knows that he betrayed Maggie/Hannah. Dexter looks up Hannah’s new husband and finds he is millionaire casino owner. He brings Debra up to speed on the latest developments and Jennifer Carpenter was at her spiky best in this scene, especially when Harrison joins in the Morgan men love of Hannah.

Masuka meanwhile, visits his daughter at work in a “sports bar” only to find it is in fact a topless restaurant or “breasturant” as he brilliantly refers to it. Masuka is not too happy with this development and tries to get his daughter to take up a position with him in the lab but she turns it down, most likely because she is looking for more than $13.95 an hour from her father. Zach then shows up at Miami Metro with pictures of Quinn following him and demands that they stop following him. For some reason Matthews and Angel agree that a detective following the main suspect in a murder case is a ridiculous thing to do and tell Quinn to back off. Dexter confronts Zach in the car park and tells him that he needs more patience.

Dexter then meets Hannah in her old greenhouse and Hannah confesses her initial plan was to get Dexter to kill her new husband. She would do it herself but she says the family already think of her as a gold digger and would suspect her – why the family wouldn’t suspect her if Dexter killed him instead or how the police would overlook the fact that she was an escaped murderer just because Dexter did the deed instead of her – was not addressed. This scene was pure torture to watch, as the two have zero chemistry. Yvonne Strahovski is a charismatic vacuum! Her bland, plodding monologue felt like an endurance test to try and sit through. I was genuinely surprised that by the time she had finished it was still the same day.

Dexter meets with Vogel and tells her about Zach being a little too enthusiastic. She reminds him that Zach is his responsibility and he needs to “take this very seriously.” Dexter calls Zach and leaves him a voicemail asking him to meet at his studio; three men wearing very snappy matching suits then jump him. Hannah returns to the yacht to find that her husband has used his Warlock powers to find out that she secretly met up with Dexter. He then threatens her with a life of shopping and a luxury cruise for the rest of their lives!!! The rest of their life together turns out to be about 30 seconds as he awkwardly attacks her and she stabs him with an eyelash curler, which I assume she stole from Zach. Dexter shows up and the two dispose of his body.

When they return we see that Deb has been following them and she does not look pleased that her brother seems to be thinking with the wrong head. Dexter is then called to a crime scene as his apartment building where his neighbor- who earlier had a run in with Zach – has been found beaten to death. Dexter worries that he won’t be the kind of teacher Harry was to him. I don’t think he needs to worry about that as Cassie’s boyfriend seemed to do enough to worm his way into suspicion for me, or if they want to shock the audience completely have Debra be the jealous killer. But given the lazy resolution of the BSK storyline I am not holding out much hope.

This episode was a chore to watch. It felt like a “Days of our Lives” cast off with a script that included millionaire casino owners with a young beautiful wife, who is a serial poisoner, luxury yachts, murderous young men wearing too much eye liner, evil mother figures. All of this would be forgivable if the show was actually entertaining but it is done with such po-faced seriousness that it is hard to enjoy on any level. I am sure there is a big twist in the pipeline, however, short of Jack Bauer and Doakes teaming up with KITT to take down Dexter there is not much that can see this season be viewed as anything other than a letdown.

Worth a donut: Masuka’s attempts to cover up his daughter at the topless bar were hilarious. Jennifer Carpenter seemed to be back to herself she delivered a few nice one-liners.

Strap it to the table: Yvonne Strahovski is an atrocious actress who is completely out of her depth when she is asked to do anything other than stand still; her delivery is excruciating to watch. Charlotte Rampling also seems to of completely checked out; Vogel has none of the sinister zip she had earlier in the season. Debra being called “a bitch” by Elway and not only taking it but then seeming to like him more as a result of it was totally out of character.

2 Out of 5 nerds


Andrew McCarroll never quite built on the dizzying career heights that he hit at 6 years old, when as a member of the “Ghostbusters” he would charge his neighbours to remove any unwanted spectres. Now retired from slaying spooks, he spends his time obsessing over superheroes (especially Batman) and devouring shows like Dexter, Game of Thrones and Archer in a manner that would make Galactus proud. You can follow his rants on twitter @andymc1983