"This Little Piggy", the fifth episode of Dexter's final season wrapped up the story of the Brain Surgeon killer, reintroduced a new love interest and possibly a new apprentice for Dexter, and seemed to bring the show's main characters to a place where they have reached an unstable peace with each other. All of this was accomplished in a tidy 47 minutes that left me unsatisfied.
There are elements of this season that I have been fine with. The secondary stories have been so thin and given so little time that it's nearly impossible to care about whether or not Quinn makes sergeant, or whether Masuka's daughter is after his money. Great! Those characters have added to the show over the years, but the heartbeat of the series has become the relationship between Dexter and Deb. Deb's humanity, Dexter's struggle with whatever shred of the stuff he has himself, and whether the two can coexist.
The show opened with Dexter and Deb in a family therapy session with Dexter's self-proclaimed "spiritual mother", Dr. Vogel. Dexter was comically agitated to find himself sitting a few feet away from the sister that had just tried to kill him. As she pointed out, though, Deb also saved him.
I have no problem with believing that an emotionally ravaged Deb might do anything, including trying to kill Dexter only to end up rescuing him seconds later.
My issue with how the entire conflict between the two was tied up lies in the fact that the show continually brings us to a point where we feel as though there is no turning back, that whatever decision Deb has made on how to deal with Dexter is final, only to reverse course in the very next scene, or next episode. We've been at this for seventeen episodes, and Deb still can't seem to make up her mind.
I understand it, and I think it's totally in character for her to do any of the things that she has done. It's also hard to complain when it's given Jennifer Carpenter the chance to act the hell out of the material that she's been given. I also don't expect this to be resolved for good until the final scene of the series, so I guess I should just accept it and move on.
Deb: "I saw the car going underwater. I knew you were going to die. I couldn't imagine my life without you in it."
Dexter: "So, now what, everything just goes back to normal?"
Deb: "It was never normal."
Vogel showed some of the traits that made her the famed "Psychopath Whisperer" later in the episode, but as she was abducted by one of her former patients, I couldn't help but wonder whether or not her success rate was higher or lower than Dr. Drew on Celebrity Rehab.
Vogel was kidnapped while listening to "Make Your Own Kind Of Music", a song that I don't recall being used in a TV show before Lost, and one that a ton of shows and movies have used since. And just as I believe that this episode was constructed in such a disjointed way intentionally, I believe that this song was chosen for a specific reason as well.
Its lyrics speak to doing your own thing, regardless of what others may think. I think it speaks to the sort of family unit that Dexter has cobbled together for himself. He has his sister, his creepy mother figure, his son, and even his nanny who will work any number of hours for him and also wants to set him up with a foxy lady.
I don't think that his family will be enough to save Dexter. I think he'll likely pay for his crimes at the end of the series. But until then...