‘Breaking Bad’ Postmortem: Meta Commentary

Even though it’s only been a short time since the final Breaking Bad episode aired, much has already been discussed and dissected about the way the series ended. (My two cents: mechanical but brilliant, like its lead character.) Whether you loved it, hated it, or were indifferent to it, the finale — and the entire last season — followed the time honored troupe that many shows before it did: present a meta-commentary of the series as a whole.

That commentary could be the main thesis of the show (the reason it’s on the air), lip service for the fans, the pointing out of societal shortcomings, or all three but it’s usually done in a very self-aware way. And it’s a luxury that writer’s rooms have once they know in advance of a show’s end date.

Vince Gilligan and company were quite aware that most of the fans of Breaking Bad were rooting for Walter White to BOTH get away with starting up his meth empire AND to pay for those very crimes. They’re polar opposite ideas that had only one solution, which was hinted at in “Granite State” when Saul advises Walt to give himself up to the police and enter federal prison as the biggest badass of all time. (Think the sequence in Goodfellas when mobsters serve their time by cooking big Italian meals and easily smuggling goods in.) Now, as much as we wanted to see that happen, it would only have confirmed our own personal identification with the lead character. Being in Walt’s shoes, we wouldn’t have wanted to get shot down in a hail of bullets or left alone to contemplate how awful our lives have turned out. No, we want to have our cake and to eat it too.

As the damages caused by Walt, both collaterally and directly, kept piling up in the final season – the deaths of Mike, Hank and Andrea; the enslavement of Jesse; the breakdown of his family – he had no moral right to living his life as the King of Meth Mountain even if it were in prison. Instead, Walt died while in the middle of a multi-tiered plan towards partial redemption. And he did so only after coming to the realization that everything he did over the last five seasons was to satisfy his own ego, something most of us viewers kept turning a blind eye to. He thus then caused his own death both metaphorically and figuratively — by catching a stray bullet from the machine gun he rigged to kill a bunch of Neo-Nazis. That is the ending he, and the show overall, deserved not the ending most of us were craving.

(And speaking of Neo-Nazis, Todd, Uncle Jack and their bloodthirsty friends kept providing their own side quips on the action, like in “Granite State” when they called Jesse a “pussy” for crying while watching his videotaped confession. Their opinions tended to be very much in line with certain hardcore fans who’d been trolling the comments section of various sites. That is pretty much the definition of meta-commentary.)

This mirrors the final episodes of other TV crime dramas like The Sopranos, The Shield, and The Wire. With “The Sopranos”, David Chase and his fellow writers hammered the point time and again in the last season that not only life is messy and that Tony Soprano was a product of that mess, whether he wanted to be or not. His “evilness” was so ingrained in him that he couldn’t escape from its shadow, like guilt weighing him down. No form of punishment would be enough, including the Scarface-like showdown the show seemed to be heading towards with the New Jersey mob vs. New York mob plot – a showdown we, the viewers, were craving. Tony may only see true punishment in the afterlife but even then every bad (and good) thing in our realm will continue “on and on and on and on”. (Sorry for the Journey pun.) It’s a very Roman Catholic way to end a show. And a great way to knock the wind out of our own sails.

The Shield presented the viewers’ dream of crime fighting: attacking fire with fire (or bad guy with bad guy) in the form of Vic Mackey, a highly corrupt but more than competent cop, for six whole seasons before pulling the rug from underneath him in Season 7. The idea was that as long as he got the job done, most folks – and most viewers — would turn a blind eye to the crimes Vic was committing himself. He was like an angry junkyard dog, chasing intruders off the property, but when he became too much for even the Feds to handle, he was put on a leash in form of a desk assignment. He got away with his misdeeds (by not going to jail) but was left alone to contemplate his place in the world. That then put us in the position of contemplating why we were rooting for Vic in the first place.

The Wire possibly has the most famous of all meta-commentary finales in the form of the fifth season plotline that had Jimmy McNulty fake serial murders so that the Baltimore PD could get more funding from government officials so that the police could do its actual job of protecting citizens from drug dealers and other criminals. One of the inadvertent side effects is exposes the media’s need for sensationalism as local papers start to chase down this story instead of covering actual crimes. This was David Simon’s giant middle finger to everyone – viewers, politicians, other TV shows like CSI – everyone who has ignored or belittled the plight of the inner city. And what a way to make that point: by trying to guilt-tripping us all.

What the writers of Breaking Bad have done is give us multiple endings over the course of the last three episodes, each one to satisfy needs certain audience members had, without compromising their story. Those who wanted to watch Walt get away with his crimes but punished by tremendous loneliness got to see it play out in “Ozymandias” and for parts of “Granite State”. Those who wanted to see Walt turn back into badass Hesienberg got to see it happen at the very end of “Granite State” and for most of “Felina”. They were able to please most of the fan base to a certain extent – by saying “here’s your wish” — and then comment on it during the process, all while leading us to the show’s TRUE ending. A great example of this is the Charlie Rose scene at the end of “Granite State” where Gretchen and Elliot got their opportunity to throw in their two cents regarding Walt’s reputation. You like Hesienberg? Well, the rest of the world, including a PBS host, doesn’t.

It’s a matter of opinion whether or not Breaking Bad was successful in making its meta-commentary, or even if it rivaled the commentary others shows made. It’ll be an interesting debate among TV watchers.

Other shows to incorporate meta-commentary in its final episodes:

Lost – famously angering many fans by having major characters point out certain plot points – many of which have been played out across its six season – weren’t important after all (like the magic cave with the energy hole). The characters’ experiences in developing a community was suppose to be the most important journey of all. Now, was it successful? That’s still up for debate.

Seinfeld – Larry David returned to write the final episode were Jerry and the gang are sent to prison for being bad people, with a bunch of side characters popping out of the woodwork to testify against their awful behavior, a massive “FU” to fans who enjoyed the antics of the comedian and his friends.

30 Rock – the show’s entire run was colored by meta-commentary so it’s to no one’s surprise that its shortened last season was nothing but callbacks and winks to the audience, including one throwaway joke were Alec Baldwin’s Jack fulfills his dream of dating TWO gorgeous guest stars at the same time and another acknowledging that certain stretches of episodes weren’t up to snuff.

A show that could have used some form of commentary in its final season:

Dexter – a show that wore out its welcome somewhere in Season 5, its eighth and final season was marred by a complete lack of care by the showrunner and writers. The finale, where the title character is treated like a saint and gets to live his life as – of all things — a lumberjack after committing countless of murders, including some in front of seemingly incompetent Miami police force, will go down as one of the worst ever (somewhere between the Roseanne and Battlestar Galactica finales).

Dexter Morgan: Finding Love in a Frankenstein Family

Dexter Season 8 Episode 7: Dress Code

For the past few episodes of Dexter‘s eighth and final season, I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around that enigma that is Dexter Morgan.

Yes. We know he’s a serial killer. And, yes, he follows a semi-strict code, which warrants only the death of the guilty. I only call the code “semi-strict” since Dexter often strays from it when it suits his needs or when it protects his cover.

But, is he truly a psychopath – devoid of human emotion – as Dr. Vogel would have us believe? Or was he merely forced into this life like Michael Corleone because his father, Harry, couldn’t understand him and Dr. Vogel misdiagnosed him?

Perhaps we can look at his relationship with Rita (Julie Benz) and subsequent marriage as only a small part of his overall, serial-killer cover. As Vogel would say, Dexter is incapable of love.

Yet, it cannot be denied that Dexter thirsts for family. He saw his mother killed as young child, then murdered his only surviving brother, the Ice Truck Killer. Then, he found out that Harry committed suicide. Not a happy family life to say the least.

However, in season 4, Dexter found a new father figure in Trinity (John Lithgow). For a time, he found solace in learning from a man who had done the impossible – establish a seemingly stable home life while killing from state to state. But Trinity ended up on Dexter’s kill table just like the Ice Truck Killer.

The fifth, sixth and seventh seasons of Dexter may have gone off track. But one thing remained constant. Dexter was always searching for a family to love and open up to.

Remember Lumen? Sure, you may have hated her, I know I did, but she was the first woman that Dexter could try to be himself with.

Then, he tried to establish a suitable home life for Harrison. He’s great as a daddy, never raising a hand to his son as he teaches Harrison right from wrong.

However, our lone wolf has always craved more: a parent to confide in, a sibling to talk to, a woman to love, and a son to pass on his legacy.

Now, it seems as though he has those things. Dr. Vogel, his mother from afar, resurfaced. We still don’t know if she can be trusted. Deb’s finally on-board with Dexter’s Dark Passenger, but she can’t deal with Dexter’s love, Hannah. Can Dexter truly love a woman that can potentially kill him or his sister at any time? As screwed up as Dexter is in the head, the answer is probably yes. Dexter loves Hannah unconditionally. He chose his sister over Hannah before, can he do it again now that he knows Hannah is the love of his life?

Finally, we have Zach Hamilton (Sam Underwood), Dexter’s potential protege and surrogate son.

These four people all know the truth about Dexter and have chosen to live with it. The problem is, there is no room left for Harrison. Zach has already taken a life right next door to where Harrison sleeps. What happens when big brother gets jealous of little bro taking up too much of daddy’s time?

DexterGoing into Dexter’s final season, I imagined that the story would focus on the proverbial “end game.” Dexter on the run and his secret out. How does he survive. I know longer believe that this is the case. Whether Dexter dies or not, this final season is more about Dexter’s legacy. If Dexter dies, will the code continue on through Zach? Will Harrison’s white lies turn into something more? Can Dexter take his entire Frankenstein family and move them out of Miami and start fresh?

Perhaps Dexter lives at the end of the series. But if he does, two lives will be lost in the balance: Deb and Harrison. They are the innocents who love Dexter unconditionally. If Dexter dies, will the cycle of serial killing continue through Vogel and Harry’s code? The art for this season – depicting Dexter lying in plastic on a kill table- would suggest that he dies at the hands of his protege. It’s the circle of life.

At the end of the day, whoever dies, I’m still left with one question. Is Dexter truly a psychopath? I’d argue yes. You can’t kill that many people and get a sexual release from it without being a little cuckoo.

However, Dexter’s undying thirst and need for family is a contradiction to Vogel’s theories. Our serial killer is capable of love. So for now we’ll just have to wait and see how love ends up being the end of his piece meal family or the beginning of a long-lasting, serial-killer dynasty.

‘Dexter’ 8.05 Preview: More Tension, Please

So, who is this mysterious and deadly brain ‘surgeon’ that’s terrorizing Miami in this eighth season of Dexter?

We’re heading into episode 5 this Sunday with “This Little Piggy” and there are a number of theories (sounds more polite than ‘guesses’) about who this killer is.

Is this deranged person just another run-of-the-mill Miami serial (there’s been one every season)? Is he or she a former patient of Dr. Vogel? Or is it Dr. Vogel herself?

We’ve been here many times before; a killer has piqued the ire of Dexter and what follows is the race to hunt this purveyor of evil down. For me, it’s all about the ride and this season has yet to evoke the trademark tension that Dexter is known for.

Don’t get me wrong; Dr. Vogel is an interesting character. But I’m not necessarily concerned about her safety, even if she theoretically ‘created’ Dexter and shaped his Dark Passenger into a weapon for good. Would you shed a tear if this mysterious killer made her his/her next victim? Or would you be relieved (I’m, of course, assuming that Vogel herself isn’t the killer) as this would signify the start of the next threat?

Because, the truth is, there are a number of things more important, such as the return of Hannah McKay, the relationship between Dexter and Debra and the whole does Dexter get caught/die question? Of course, this brain surgeon killer could be related to one or both of those threads, but I have a feeling the writers have something more grandiose planned for both.

There is some great potential still in uncovering the truth about how the manifestation of Dexter’s Dark Passenger ultimately killed Harry and how this all relates to Deb. I hope none of this is glossed over as Dexter hunts down this killer.

So on we tread. Check out two clips from this Sunday’s episode (beware spoilers). Dex and Deb are apparently ok (of course) after she decided to get all murder-suicidal in the car last week. Dexter also has a Creep contest with the son of someone he’s investigating.



‘Dexter’ Meme Circles the Internet in Response to Zimmerman ‘Not Guilty’ Verdict

What would Dexter Morgan do if he were a real person and Zimmerman had just been acquitted in Trayvon Martin shooting case?

After the ‘Not Guilty’ verdict was revealed, this photo meme began circulating around the Internet. It features a photo of Dexter during the series’ earlier seasons holding up a newspaper, except the newspaper features the headline of the Zimmerman trial.

I’m not one to chat about politics or religion. But since we’re in the final season of Dexter and the Zimmerman trial was one of the most followed court cases of the year, I opted to share this photo.

Truthfully, the photo only speaks to more violence. At the end of the day, a young man is dead. And there is nothing humorous about that or the circumstances in which he died.

Beyonce held a moment of silence for Martin at her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour in Nashville, Tennessee. News of the verdict began circulating roughly thirty minutes after her concert began.

Dexter Takes Cue from Tony Soprano and Turns to Therapy (Season 8 Episode 3 Lead-in)

Every year, Dexter gets a little more uncomfortable to watch. And it all spiraled out of Rita’s death and the legendary season of Trinity.

We’re two episodes deep into Dexter‘s final season. That alone has added new tension to every episode. But what’s really disconcerting is Dexter’s mom figure, in Dr. Vogel (aka Dr. Frankenstein). Thanks to Dr. Vogel, Harry was able to construct the infamous code, which Dexter has had a hard time in maintaining throughout the past four seasons. Although her appearance came from left field, the character makes perfect sense.

Harry was a good, by-the-book cop. He needed the right nudge to set Dexter on his downward path, for good or for ill. Dr. Vogel was that impetus, lurking in the shadows as a bizarro version of Dr. Melfi on The Sopranos. Except, Dexter did go out to seek therapy like Tony Soprano did when the mob boss started having panic attacks.

No. Dexter’s therapist nurtured him from afar, using Harry as her conduit to birth a new breed of killer. She cradled the Dark Passenger without his knowing. Now, we’re left waiting to find out her real motives. Unfortunately, Deb may be in the good doctors crosshair. Dexter’s mind has been clouded, thinking of his sister. If Dexter’s empathy hinders him from becoming the perfect killer, then Dr. Vogel may have to nudge Dex overboard.

Did Vogel venture to Miami metro simply to seek Dexter’s help or is she trying to pit him against the other killers that she has trained?

Let’s not forget the little matter of Hannah McKay, who is just moments away from making her reappearance on the series. She tried to kill Deb once. Then, Dexter set up his estranged lover to be arrested. What will Hannah’s next move be?

And on a different note, does anybody think Quinn should have been killed already? Phew.

Watch this clip from Dexter Season 8 Episode 3 to get a taste of what’s coming next as we inch towards the Dexter series finale.

Blast Off #23: Awkward Moments in Superhero, Comic Con Parties, Fall TV & NextGen Consoles

The Team Focus Blast Off podcast is back. Now that the typical lineup of broadcast TV series are on hiatus (can’t wait for more Arrow and Person of Interest in the Fall), it’s time to switch our attention over to Summer TV, San Diego Comic Con and of course the series finales of Dexter and Breaking Bad.

Now that E3 is behind us (our heads still reeling from the Xbox One vs Sony PS4 rivalry), we gear up for Comic Con, while reflecting on some of our favorite superhero flicks.

With superhero on the mind, we dip into Warner Bros’ latest comic book film, Man of Steel. Did this film set the right tone for a Justice League movie? What other DC Comics heroes or teams deserve a solo flick?

We also chat about cool villains, Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) and fun parties from Comic Con’s past.

Listen to the podcast below:

Tune in weekly for more discussion by Subscribing to the Team Focus Blast Off on iTunes.

Be sure to Follow hosts Bags Hooper and Ernie Estrella on Twitter for more.

‘Dexter’ Season 8 – Should Dexter Morgan Die?

The teaser trailer for Dexter’s eight season is an ominous reminder of just how many people have met their end in the show’s seven season run. All the names are there: those of Dexter’s victims and more consequential names like Arthur Mitchell, James Doakes, Rita Bennett and, the latest, Maria Laguerta.


But how many more will be added to that list? And, more importantly, will (and should) Dexter Morgan join the ranks of the dead prior to the Season 8 bow, which will presumably be its last?

The irony with anti-hero drama has always been that we (as viewers) fall in love with an incredibly conflicted character, who typically has committed unspeakable acts. We get a vicarious thrill in watching them do what most of us could never even fathom doing (of course, I’m assuming that none of you work for Miami Metro while moonlighting as a nighttime justice fighter).

Does that fondness know no end? Do we expect our anti-heroes to atone for their acts? I’d imagine it’s a tremendous burden for a showrunner to do an iconic figure justice in the final scenes of a show. On one hand, you spend a great deal of time building this figure up, making the viewer empathize with them. At some point, you then proceed to remind viewers of all the bad that has been done and you plot an end game.

In The Sopranos (spoiler alert), David Chase completely avoided showing us the fate of his anti-hero, Tony Soprano. In fact, he didn’t show us an end at all, leaving what happened in those final moments up to viewer interpretation. Was it all an overt Godfather reference? Did the man in the Member’s Only jacket whack Tony? Was all the death foreshadowing, just that… foreshadowing of what really happened. It leaves you wondering if a dead Tony with a bullet through his brain would have cheapened the experience or left us with a different impression of the show? We’ll never know.

Vincent Gilligan is also facing the same dilemma with Breaking Bad and anti-hero Walter White (another spoiler alert). The AMC show will see its last 8 episodes this Summer and Walter has committed a whole lot of… bad over the last 4 and a half seasons.

Back to Dexter, are we ready to see Dexter Morgan dead? Should we? What are the other options? Incarceration or, dare I say it, walk away scot-free? As dark as the show can get, it does have enough of a humorous tint that I could actually fathom Dexter getting away with it all. But that’s just me, what do you think should happen to Dexter Morgan?


Dexter Season 8 adds Iceland’s Darri Ingolfsson to Final Season Roster

In three months, the eighth and final season of Dexter, starring Michael C. Hall, will begin.

Every year, we look out for the villain of the season. In Season 4 we got the indomitable John Lithgow as Trinity. Then, after two slow seasons, Ray Stevenson joined the cast as Isaak Sirko, a villain who “almost” had the chance to be great, in season 7.

Now, with the Dexter series finale looming, we’re all wondering who will be Dexter’s ultimate big-mean-baddie.

EW reports that Darri Ingolfsson – of ABC’s cancelled series Last Resort – will be joining Sean Patrick Flanery and Charlotte Rampling as a new cast member. Ingolfsson’s character will have keen insight into medieval equipment (which sounds a little too much like Doomsday).

Season 7 ended with Deb falling victim to Dexter’s web of deceit. She pulled the trigger for Dexter and called an end to “Doakes round 2.” C’est la vie Laguerta.

In Season 8, Deb will have to deal with her decisions and Dexter will have to deal with Deb making those decisions. The tangled web will surely lead to Dexter making several mistakes, which will also lead to his ultimate demise.

Then of course, we have Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski) to deal with. She still roaming around free and may have a vendetta out for Dexter – or Deb. Perhaps Hannah will return to kill Deb and then we’ll finally see Dexter kill Hannah.

Dexter season 8 is expected to premiere on June 30, 2013.

Dexter Season 7 Finale – Dexter’s moral descent is now complete

Surprise, Mutha’Effa!

Well, not really. Let’s all applaud Captain Maria Laguerta’s noble attempt to take down Dexter Morgan; she was so close and even had Deb herself on the ropes. But, her Matlock-like investigation (just when did she become a super-detective?) ultimately turned out to be a futile one. And by futile, I mean she ended up dead in a shipping container.

Had this been the eighth (and final) season, maybe, just maybe Laguerta would’ve been able to take Dexter down, exposing him as the true Bay Harbor Butcher and vindicating Sergeant Doakes in the process. But, once she reopened the case early on in the season, it was an easy guess she’d end up as collateral damage to Hurricane Dexter.

Laguerta’s predictable death represents something bigger though (come on, did you really think that Laguerta would be the one to put Dexter behind bars?) – it completes Dexter’s moral descent. Forget just a slippery slope, said slope is now coated with oil, grease and topped off with a banana peel (the kind you find in Nintendo’s Super Mario Kart). Laguerta was an innocent and did not fit ‘the code’ whatsoever. Sure, she got on the nerves of 99% of the collective Dexter viewership, but that’s not a prerequisite for dying on the job, especially when her (improbable) hunches about Dexter were right on the money. Her’s was a death of convenience, one that keeps both Dexter and Deb on this side of a closed jail cell.

Speaking of Deb, she’s the one that actually caps the Maria storyline (pun intended), producing the finale’s most surprising moment. Dexter had every intention to kill her, but it’s Deb who decides in real time that her brother’s freedom (and hers) is worth more than Laguerta’s life. Does this make her as bad as the writers want us to believe? I’ll go with a soft ‘no’.

I say no, because Deb represents us viewers: we all willingly root for a monster like Dexter, despite all that he’s done. When Laguerta has Dexter practically dead to rights in the finale, the scene is written so that she’s viewed as the enemy, an annoying obstruction to Dexter’s freedom. In other words, we’ve made Dexter into a superhero, one that is worth of all our praise and awe.

In reality, he’s just always been a “creep muthatf*cka” as Doakes (yes, Doakes!) so eloquently put it in tonight’s flashback episodes. The show has gone through painstaking iterations of villains and other treacherous tangents to show one clear truth: Dexter is not that different from the murderous prey he has stalked. In fact, he’s pretty similar. His path of destruction is a selfish journey, putting many other innocent people in the line of danger.

There are many examples of this littered through the series. Doakes didn’t deserve to die, but he’s killed as an indirect result of Dexter’s transgressions (at the hands of crazy Lila). He was hot-tempered and volatile, but he single-handedly solved the Bay Harbor Butcher case before meeting his end.

Miguel Prado was also seemingly a good man, until he entered Dexter’s radius. As Dexter’s first apprentice, he became increasingly more receptive to his darker qualities, ultimately meting out ‘justice’ the same was Dexter does: by killing those escaping prosecution. Sure, Dexter didn’t force Prado to start killing, but his manipulative ways played a huge part and almost made killing seem like a normal thing to do. In the end, Dexter has to kill Prado because he intended to kill Laguerta.

The most tragic of deaths Dexter is ultimately responsible for is Rita’s, which made it apparent that our ‘hero’ was poison to anything he touches. Instead of just killing Trinity when he had the chance, Dexter decides to play games and learn more about him. But, if you play with fire, sometimes you will get burnt. Trinity’s killing of Rita should’ve served as a point for Dexter to part ways with his Dark Passenger. Instead, her death stung for a short period of time, and was just a bump in the road for Dexter. In fact, it may have indirectly made him number to normal feelings, putting him back on the path to kill again.

Now Deb is caught in Dexter’s destructive web. In many ways, the corruption of her character is already a ‘death.’ Deb has represented the virtue of goodness, always striving to make the right call. She rose to the ranks to become a good detective and was rightfully promoted because of her good work in the field and her desire to clean up Miami.

But now she’s ruined and with her, the moral compass for the show is as well. The dynamic of good versus bad now is represented by the Morgans versus whoever from Miami Metro rises up to be the next Doakes/Laguerta. It doesn’t seem fitting that anyone but Deb brings Dexter to justice. It’s still a possibility that Deb comes clean and ultimately confesses, taking her brother down with her, but I have a feeling the producers have something more explosive in store.

The stage is set for what I’m guessing is a wild final season. There’s no apparent path that the show will take here and it’s anyone’s guess as to how things will end up (death and incarceration for Dexter are certainly on the menu). One has to wonder if Hannah will play a role or if she’s out of the picture for good. And now that Dexter is ok with killings that don’t fit the code, will he go on a new spree that indulges his Dark Passenger?

But, how about this seventh season? Say what you want about Season 7 (it’s had its ups and downs), but it has successfully put Dexter back on the map after two subpar seasons. Next September now seems like eons away, but that’s when the craziness will start back up once again.

What are your predictions for Season 8? Should Dexter die for what he’s done or should he walk off scot-free? What would be a satisfying end to this tale for you?


Dexter Season 7 Finale Lead-in: The Inbetweeners

“You should have killed me.” – Hannah

Dexter Season 7 came in like a lion.

Deb learned the truth about Dexter’s secret. He was the Bay Harbor Butcher – not Sgt. Doakes. As Deb came to terms with Dexter’s dark passenger, we were introduced to Isaak Sirko and Hannah McKay – two killers who both found their way into Dexter’s crosshairs.

EDITOR’S PICK: Dexter’s moral descent is complete – Dexter Finale Postmortem

Hannah had a past shrouded in death-by-poison, while Isaak came to America to avenge Viktor, the man who killed Mike Anderson and was later killed by Dexter.

In every season of Dexter, we’ve come to look forward to the “main villain” – that ultimate foe who will end up on Dexter’s table.

Dexter put Hannah on his table first. It came as a surprise because everyone was expecting a Dexter-Hannah relationship. Then everything got flipped on its back – quite literally. Dexter stared at Hannah – all wrapped up in plastic – and decided to cut her loose so that he could stab her in a different way – sexually. it was an odd turn of events, but there was no denying the chemistry between Michael C. Hall and Yvonne Strahovski. The two became a couple. Unfortunately, Deb was none to happy about her brother the killer dating a killer. That’s just too much murder to deal with especially when you’re the odd-sister out in a love triangle.

As for Isaak, he ended up dead but not by Dexter’s knife. George killed him after the brotherhood wrote him off. It was a lackluster end to a great Dexter villain.

Sadly, the death of Isaak left a void in the season.

We were introduced to an arsonist that we didn’t really care about. Then, there was the matter of Laguerta hunting down Dexter.

Would Laguerta be Dexter’s ultimate enemy this season?

Going into the season 7 finale, there’s not much to look forward to. It feels like the series is stuck in a holding pattern of filler episodes, while it waits for the final season. Whereas Breaking Bad was able to stretch out the suspense with subtle nuances, Dexter let the tension run out with the death of Isaak.

Laguerta is hardly Doakes. She did setup a clever ruse to lure Dexter into killing the last of the three men responsible for his mother’s murder. Although Dexter escaped, the plastic evidence clearly exposed him. He’s just not as methodical as he was in the first season. Personal relationships and desperation have caused him to become a sloppy serial killer. Also, he’s becoming more of a villain ever since he realized that his dark passenger wasn’t an entity but just a “choice” he made every day.

Right now, the only things to look forward to in the season finale is a confrontation between Dexter and Laguerta as well as Hannah’s arraignment.

If Dexter kills Hannah, it will just be him cleaning up the mistake he made – just like when he let Trinity live during season 4. Leaving Hannah in the hands of the police was a somewhat foolish mistake, especially since she knows all of his secrets. She could leak the testimony Laguerta needs to put Dexter in prison and exonerate Doakes’ name.

Dexter could kill Laguerta, but that would be no major loss to the series either. She’s more of an annoying gnat that you just want to swat.

Right now, the filler episodes have backed the writers into a corner. There are no major plot elements that can leave us with a feeling of true awe – just shock. The writers could shock us by killing off Quinn, Deb, Laguerta or Harrison. It’ll be that curveball that says, “Hey, look what we did, that’s crazy, right?”

The Dexter season 7 finale airs tonight. One question remains. What can the writers do to get us truly excited for Dexter Season 8 and the series final season?