BEWARE OF SPOILERS…
“Are we there yet?” is a such an appropriate title, not just for this episode but for the season as a whole, that you would like to think the writers have done this on purpose as a knowing wink to a season that has seemed to take forever to reach its conclusion. However, if the writers were capable of such cleverness you would hope that they would try and put some of that to good use and actually pour that into the show. The season has resorted to using the old soap opera trick of having nothing happen for 50 minutes then tack on something shocking at the end, so the viewer still feels compelled to sit through next week’s episode.
The episode begins with Dexter examining the murder scene of his neighbor Cassie; didn’t he buy the apartment next door last season in order to stash Jamie for babysitting? He finds blood under the nails, which he thinks belongs to the murderer. On analysis of the blood he finds it belongs to Zach, who has since fled to the Florida Keys. Dexter decides that this would be the perfect chance to take a nice little murderous vacation with Hannah before she has to leave Miami. By far the worst part of this season, and last season for that matter, has been Yvonne Strahovski’s horrendous portrayal of Hannah McKay. While undoubtedly beautiful, she seems to be reading her dialogue from cue cards being held up one word at a time. She shares zero chemistry with Michael C Hall, so of course this episode pretty much consists entirely of scenes with just the two of them talking. During their scenes together the genuinely talented Hall has the look of a heavyweight boxer in the ring with a lightweight, being forced to hold them up to appease the crowd but knowing at any point he could knock them out. The awkward, clunky exchanges would seem more in place in an episode of “Curb your Enthusiasm” than what is supposed to be a gripping thriller.
They arrive to find that Zach has set up his own, albeit slightly less professional, kill room. When Zach arrives back to the room Dexter confronts him and to the surprise of no one finds out the Zach is not responsible for murdering Cassie. Zach, who apparently has traded in his brooding angry young man persona for a new stoner frat boy version, tells Dexter that he has been sticking to the code and has murdered a former high school classmate who had killed somebody on spring break. Meanwhile, Quinn is still angling for the Sergeants position despite it being filled already and is still trying to prove that Zach is a killer. He meets up with Cassie’s boyfriend and shows him a picture of Zach Saxon. The boyfriend, who is undoubtedly the killer, tells Quinn that Zach looks familiar but he can’t place him. If Quinn is so desperate to solve a case he should look in to the disappearance of what happened to Detective ‘what’s her name’ who has not been seen since she was promoted to Sergeant ‘what’s her name’.
Debra, who has been tracking her brother and his “evil temptress,” confronts Hannah with the intention of arresting her. However, Deb decides that despite being drugged twice and nearly killed by Hannah, the love that she shares with Dexter is so amazingly awesome she can’t come between them and loses interest in taking Hannah in after a 15 second conversation. Zach arrives with Dexter and he joins in with the ‘Hannah and Dexter are the best couple ever’ conversation, seriously this storyline is starting to look like Twilight fan fiction. Dexter and Hannah take their surrogate son back while he spouts the titular line. Hannah and Dexter share a “kids, shucks” look and all involved seem to have forgotten that Zach has murdered two people, one of them an innocent victim.
Dexter then brings Zach to Vogel’s house for some reason and she invites them all in for dinner every bit as bizarre as the one from “Hannibal.” Hannah asks Vogel how she got into her profession and Vogel shows Scooby Doo villain subtlety by brushing it off with a cryptic comment before adding that she also is on ‘Team Dexter and Hannah’ and thinks they are good for each other. Dexter shows them the crime scene pictures from Cassie’s murder and explains that he thinks Zach was being framed for the murder. When dinner ends, Dexter takes Hannah back to her hotel to go through the arrangements for her escape to the Bahamas. But of course the passion between D-Patz and an even less expressive Bella is too much for them to bear and then they have the most hilarious sex scene in recent memory. The scene is most memorable for Michael C Halls ass seeming to have more emotional range then Strahovski’s entire body.
The episode concludes with Dexter arriving home to find Zach dead in his apartment with a piece of his skull removed…dun dun dun! I’m pretty sure this was supposed to be a twist but it is borderline insulting if the shows makers think that anyone for a second thought that the brain surgeon killer was AJ. Dexter disposes of Zach’s body and just before Hannah and her terrible, terrible storyline can leave forever, Dexter arrives and asks her to stay so that they can ruin the final four episodes together. Or live together; I’m not sure which. This was another subpar episode with clumsy shifts in tone. Zach’s turn from cold-blooded killer to Zoolander pouting comedy relief and finally to murder victim was supposed to make the audience feel what exactly? Sympathy for him or glad that a killer got his comeuppance? There also seems to be a set up, to put suspicion on Quinn, which if it turns out to be the big twist will be met with frustrated groans from viewers who have had to put up with enough nonsense this season. Right now all I can do is echo Zach’s sentiments “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet”
Strap it to the table: Hannah McKay, please for the love of god, get rid of her. She has dragged down almost two seasons of the show now.
Worth a donut: The Brain surgeon killer returning will hopefully give the season a much-needed shot in the arm
2 out of 5 nerds