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Metaqualler: Dexter Season Finale Edition

Qualler here with some thoughts on last night's season three finale of Dexter. But first, my thoughts on our mostly-free 3-month trial of Showtime -- Dexter is incredibly entertaining, albeit probably not going to go down as one of the greatest television shows of all time, while Brotherhood is intriguing but I probably need to watch the first two. Chris highly recommends Weeds which I'll check out some time soon, and I will finally catch my first full episode of my radio-show-turned-podcast-turned-TV-show obsession This American Life (not to mention my non-sexual man crush on Ira Glass! Yowza! How is whatever he says so brilliant?! Marry me!!!) Overall, though, outside of Showtime's original programming, their movie repertoire is mostly crap, so it will go the way of Skinemax in the Qualler-Brigitte household -- down the tubes -- at least until the next season of Dexter.

Regardless, I'm bringing back the long-neglected feature, Metaqualler. When I was 12 I was kinda naive, 17 I had formed some opinions, 21 I was kind of a snob, and now I'm just content to have something that I don't fall asleep to. Props to Metacritic.com for providing the idea for the format. Away we go... (Dexter Season Three spoilers to follow.)

Jimmy Smits as Miguel Prado
12-year-old Qualler says: Isn't he on NYPD Blue? I read in TV Guide that that show shows naked butts!! I'll try to sneak that in some time after watching Clarissa Explains It All.
17-year-old Qualler says: A famous actor joining one of my favorite shows? How can it go wrong?
21-year-old Qualler says: Let me count the ways how it could go wrong...one, it's Jimmy Smits. Two, it's Jimmy Smits. Three, he was in a show called Cane last year on CBS and he's a network actor who overacts in every situation. How could this possibly be good for a show that is already bordering on the ridonkulous?
25-year-old Qualler says: Don't say "ridonkulous" please. Smits near the end of the season elevated the material with some truly fantastic scenes. Over-the-top is definitely the way to go with Dexter, and scenes at the end of the season (especially the rooftop scene) helped bring that over-the-top quality that the show excels with so much. Definitely more than stunt casting by bringing Jimmy Smits into the fold.
Is Jennifer Carpenter a terrible actress? Or is Deb Morgan a terrible character?
12-year-old Qualler says: Terrible? What's terrible about a show that is violent and occasionally sexy? Boner! I don't care for all of her curse words, though; it makes me feel uncomfortable around the parents.
17-year-old Qualler says: I'm 17, and even I have some problems believing that Deb would keep her job after all the crap that she does.
21-year-old Qualler says: Deb Morgan may be a woefully underdeveloped character, but Jennifer Carpenter's acting style -- alternating between emotional and really emotional -- doesn't help things at all.
25-year-old Qualler says: I'm willing to give Jennifer Carpenter the benefit of the doubt as an actress, since her character is woefully underdeveloped. (How about how she got her shield in last night's episode? Telling her boss to F off and then getting promoted by showing "strength"? Try doing that in any other job ever and see what happens, Deb.) Then again, I don't mind having her around as long as at some point in the series, she finds out a few things -- a) Dexter is a killer, b) the Ice Truck Killer / her former fiancee was his brother, c) DEXTER IS A FREAKING SERIAL KILLER, YOU IDIOT!!!!! Seriously, though, it ain't like this show is The Wire -- it's pure entertainment, and great entertainment at that.
How stuff wrapped up at the end of the season
12-year-old Qualler says: A wedding! This was as heartwarming of a moment as the time that Dr. Ross saved that kid from that flood in that episode of ER. (ER is the only serial drama I've ever watched regularly.)
17-year-old Qualler says: Dexter "saw" "Harry" "cry" and that's totally symbolic of Dexter starting to feel his own emotions. Symbolism is great, especially in the stuff I read in my AP English class.
21-year-old Qualler says: TOO EASY! IT ALL WRAPPED UP TOO EASY!
25-year-old Qualler says: Finally, I agree with you on something, 21-year-old Qualler. I promised myself that if there was no cliffhanger at the end of the season, I was going to be sorely disappointed. And, for the most part, things wrapped up pretty nicely, so I was indeed disappointed. I swear, Dexter is becoming the Jack Bauer of serial killers, and it's pissing me off a little bit. How can he ALWAYS kill people and ALWAYS end up getting totally away with it?

That being said, I do believe the next two seasons of the show will be worthwhile. There are enough balls still hanging in the air that have yet to drop that are doubtless to be compelling-as-eff. The whole Rita-doesn't-know-he's-a-killer thing is a pretty big one, as is nobody-knows-he's-a-freaking-killer. At some point, Dexter's occasional recklessness has to come back at him. But, as long as Michael C. Hall is the lead, the show is pretty much irresistible.

Until then, I finally have a break from new scripted television, at least until January when why-do-I-still-watch-it Nip/Tuck returns, my new obsession Damages picks up again, Big Love and Flight of the Conchords finally frickin' come back, and the late night TV changes start happening. 'Til then, it's pretentious movie season. I've got a lot of pretentious movies to catch up with during the rest of this month. Bring it on, gritty/naturalistic and/or actors'-showcase films at the local pretentious cineplex!

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  1. Anonymous The Apple Capital Rumble | 12:58 PM |  

    Pretty much agree with all-aged Mark assessments. I fucking love Dexter to the point that I want a dog just so I can name him Dexter Morgan (I'd push for a child, but don't think I'd be able to get that past the old lady).

    I was happy with the way the season ended. At the beginning of the season, I was worried that it would completely fall short of how great the second season was (in my opinion), but Miguel Prado's involvement was the piece necessary to bring about success (and that rooftop scene was amazing).

    There's a built in cliffhanger with the wedding that can easily be overlooked since there wasn't an in-your-face dangling story line like most shows...


    This show is great, and I agree that it is very under praised, but that goes with being on Showtime. HBO gets all the hype but their shows have been shit of late, and Showtime's quality has been increasing precipitously.

    Debra can be too brash for my taste, but I've grown to like her character and appreciate her immaturity with the back plot of her having to grow up in Dexter's shadow. Her reaction to finding out Rita was pregnant was awesome in how she described a "baby" (possibly was my favorite point in the season), which really vindicated her tendency to depend on swearing for dialogue.

    I can't wait for Season 4.

  2. Blogger chris | 5:10 PM |  

    Jimmy Smits is probably the straw that broke the camel's back for me as to whether I will ever give Dexter a 4th try. Maybe it is the "over the top" thing that ultimately keeps me from it, and Smits surely plays into that.

  3. Anonymous The Apple Capital Rumble | 9:02 AM |  

    I can see where you come from with Miguel Prado, but the conversation Dexter had with Ramon Prado explained the dark character flaw of Miguel and how "psychotic" his brother was. That explanation ti me proves that while Smits may have seemed over the top it was just the way his charater was.

    Smits role as Matt Santos on "The West Wing" was pretty watered down and didn't offer any opportunity to overact.

  4. Blogger qualler | 9:17 AM |  

    I really do mean "over-the-top" to be a compliment for Dexter, because the show really finds itself when the tension builds to a ridiculous level. I was pretty suspect of Smits too when he joined the cast but he proved himself to be *sort of a spoiler alert* a very worthy guest star *end sort of spoiler alert*. The rising action in each of the three seasons builds to an unbelievable level by about ep 8 or 9. Not that I expect you to try it a 4th time, Chris, but maybe that's why you don't see what all the fuss is about? Not that the show is without flaws, but it's definitely the most entertaining show on TV now in my book.

  5. Anonymous The Apple Capital Rumble | 6:50 PM |  

    Mark...agreed. Dexter's greatness has only been solidified in my book with how bad everyother show has been this season (or at least how disappointing most shows have been post-writers strike).

  6. Blogger Old Man Duggan | 3:49 AM |  

    Brotherhood is actually pretty good. Definitely not a show you can jump in in the middle of.

    I have friends who jumped off the Dexter bandwagon after the finale, but I am starting to trust them less and less.

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