Dexter 3.11 "I Had a Dream"

I was expecting a few things from this week's penultimate episode of Dexter but what I got was the one thing I wasn't expecting. A ho-hum episode. Granted a ho-hum episode where a lot of big things happened but somehow, a few of the big events we've been waiting all season to see were dispatched in an oddly perfunctory matter. Dexter finally kills Miguel and the scene isn't much different from any other killing scene. He finally reveals to him that he killed his brother and all we get are a few Jimmy Smits moans? I almost want to go back and watch it again because I feel like I missed something. Surely after two weeks of ratcheting up the tension and building up to a climax that's not what was supposed to happen.

Maybe I'm being too hard on the episode because the cop-out in the beginning left a bad taste in my mouth that never really went away. Note to Showtime- fake cliffhangers are never a good idea no matter how many tits you put on the screen immediately after them. People don't like to be disappointed. That's like the old Jack Handey bit about telling a kid you're taking them to Disneyland and then instead driving to an old burned-out warehouse and telling them that Disneyland burned down. It's not a funny joke and those aren't tears of laughter.

The actual story of the episode was a lot of point A leading to point B and then point C without many surprises thrown in along the way. It turns out that Dexter's “kidnapping” that ended last episode was (groan) just an elaborate scheme cooked up by Masuka to get him to his bachelor party. Maybe that's just how they roll in the Miami PD, but I think I'd be justifiably pissed off if my friends attacked me in a parking lot, tied me up and locked me in a trunk to take me to my bachelor party.

Miguel's speech at the bachelor party was the only time the hidden mutual fury between Dexter and him ever came close to the intensity of the rooftop scene in the previous episode. After that it was just a lot of Miguel realizing Maria might be on to him and making the decision to kill her while Dexter moves in on him. It all goes by so fast nothing interesting ever has time to develop and the whole thing seems like it would have been better played stretched out over a few episodes. As flabby as the middle part of this season was it's odd that now it feels like we're in a rush to tie up loose ends before the finale.

Aside from the Dexter/Miguel show the only interesting development was him revealing to Deb some of the truth about his real mom and Harry before asking her to be his best man. Well, that and Masuka's fairly entertaining attempt to find out if his new girl is screwed enough to actually be in his league. While it was amusing enough and god knows I'll take it over any subplot involving Angel or Maria, again, it's kind of a lame, tacked-on subplot getting in the way of what should be the non-stop tension of the next-to-the-last episode of the season. Miguel's gone but we've still got the Skinner out there and from next week's previews it looks like the episode they teased us with last week might be coming next week. That is, unless it all turns out to be a dream in which case there won't be a recap next week because I'll be too busy wrapping myself in plastic and plunging corn cob holders in my eyes.

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