Written by: Bryant Dillon, Special to CC2K
Fanboy Comics President Bryant Dillon makes his CC2K debut with this call to arms for the Dexter production team.
The fifth season of Dexter came to a close last week. While I was excited by many things this season, the end result was fairly predictable, leaving some fans worried whether the writers still have more ways to explore our favorite serial killer. While watching Dexter struggle with Rita’s death was painful and compelling, it also felt disjointed. Lumen was an excellent addition to the cast and provided a twisted Batman and Robin relationship to explore, but they barely scratched the surface with the storytelling possibilities that a young protege provided before writing the character’s exit. Now, this season wasn’t a complete loss! Along with the interesting story elements that I just mentioned, there was also the excellent and frightening performance of Johnny Lee Miller as Jordan Chase, the self-help villain of the season. Leading a group of men who were successful in their public lives but who, in private, would sexually brutalize and kill young women, Jordan Chase and his partners were the kind of bad guys one loved to see in Dexter’s slide collection. As great as it was to watch Dexter and Lumen cut their bloody path through this despicable group, the story is starting to be old hat after five seasons.
Since we know that the show has been given another season by Showtime, here are my five recommendations to pump some new blood in to Dexter and keep the show going strong!
Get Rid Of Deb!!! – The last couple of days have made it clear that Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall are over as husband and wife. There are rumors that this is due to Hall’s developing relationship with this season’s guest star, Julia Styles, but that’s really besides the point. Now that there is sure to be some uncomfortable tension on the set, isn’t it time to give Deb her last season? I believe Carpenter is a strong actor, but the elimination of Deb will affect every character on the show in significant and interesting ways. It will also open room for some new characters to be included. Also, this doesn’t have to be done by killing Deb. While I may favor the dark places that the death of his sister might take Dexter, good writers should be able to come up with plenty of reasons for the character to move on.
Beat The S@#$ Out Of Dexter!!! – I’m not sure if I am the only one that has noticed this, but Dexter never really seems to have too much trouble physically overcoming his enemies. Sure, there have been one or two really big fellas and a few times where Dexter has been knocked out or tied up, but usually this just results in Dexter working his way out of the situation until he can grab his syringe or choke the baddie into unconsciousness. I think it’s about time that we see someone blood up Dexter! There is something visceral about seeing your hero beaten to a pulp. Besides, the image of Dexter staring down his attacker through his own blood as his dark passenger starts to take over is just too good to pass up!
Cooler, More Challenging Villains!!! – This season’s horrific sex criminals were a pretty good group of people to be hacked into bits, but it’s time that Dexter gets put up against some major challenges! Jordan Chase was a good start, always seeming to be one step ahead of our hero, but, in the end, he ended up on Dexter’s table just as easily as most of the others. John Lithgow was great as Trinity, but when it came down to it, his character was more of a fascination for Dexter than a challenge. Ever since he killed his brother and lost the over-the-shoulder presence of Doakes, there hasn’t really been a worthy opponent for Dexter. While there are a number of criminals worthy of Dexter’s power saw, the one that I want to see is the equivalent of Dexter’s Hannibal Lector. A serial killer that is refined, intelligent, experienced, and knows Dexter so well, that Dexter just can’t seem to keep up with him. Also, while I don’t think that they should do a full rip-off of Lector, having him eat people would be a wonderfully creepy nod to the king of serial killers. The point is: bring in someone who would make us worried for our main character!
Don’t Be Afraid To Lose The Location, The Job, And Main Characters!!! – It’s time to start shaking things up! Getting rid of Rita was a good start. We covered most of the ground we were going to cover with Dexter and Rita without seeing our serial killer become completely housebroken, and it forced his role as a parent into new and interesting territory. It was also nice to see him finally find a lover, like Lumen, with whom he could share his true self. Keep going in this direction, because, in this case, when Dexter loses, we win! By potentially creating changes in Dexter’s location or job, the writers could open the door to reinventing the show and giving it new feet. Also, put those main characters on the chopping block! They’ve been safe for too long! At least make us think that they might be in danger!
Choose And Plan An Ending!!! – Too many shows have squandered their greatness by continuing on even after the writers have run out of fresh ideas (*cough, cough* X-Files *cough*). Dexter seems like it still has stories to tell, but there is also that feeling that there is not much more down the road. If they’re smart, the writers will decide an ending, chose which season will be the last, and work towards it. I’m not saying that the sixth season should be the last, but it’s time to pick an end point on the horizon. Not only will a planned ending send out Dexter on high note, the knowledge that the show is wrapping up will give the writers the advantage to choose a final message for the character and the series, while giving them the freedom to play with characters in ways that they would be hesitant to do if the show were to continue. It’s odd how the sight of an ending can sometimes bring out the best in a show, and, hopefully, that would be the case with Dexter.
Fanboy Comics was founded in early 2010 by Bryant Dillon, Sam Rhodes, and Barbra Dillon. The company’s first graphic novel, Something Animal, will be released in 2011.