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Episode 11 - Monkey in a Box

18 September 2013

I still think the basic outline of Dexter’s story is strong. It became clear last week that Dexter had finally made a breakthrough. He had a way to escape Miami with his new family and leave Deb in good shape at Miami Metro. That happy scenario was constructed in such a way that I was genuinely tense then and now waiting for Saxon to take it all away. There could still be a horribly tragic conclusion to this. One which might bring the story of a man who lived by the knife and discovered that he could never escape it. 

But in the meantime the way things were manipulated in this episode were horribly clumsy. If it hadn’t happened half a dozen times before I would have railed against the utter inadequacy of the way Saxon was captured. But Dexter has always skipped over the detail work and presented life as pretty easy for Dexter and his serial killing nemeses to navigate. So why would I expect Saxon to be any smarter than Dexter? The police are looking for him. His face is on the news. So what does Saxon do? He drives straight to Dexter’s apartment to kill him? Why? What would that accomplish beyond revenge? Surely a smart killer would have left the city and perhaps prepared to murder Astor and Cody to let Dexter know that he was planning on a suitably brutal string of murders as payback?

But no instead he stumbles into a schoolboy trap as Dexter pops out of his bed clothes and Deb adds the coup de grace. At that moment I thought maybe this was Dexter’s dream as for Deb to smile at him the way she did felt silly. You just caught a very dangerous serial killer, is this the time to grin like you just planned a surprise party together? 

The performance of Saxon is a problem. I appreciate the choice to go with a lesser known actor rather than someone whose fame would affect the part. However he isn’t threatening or very interesting to watch. As he wakes up in the chair I was expecting him to show some anger or conniving or something that would indicate the genius which allowed him to be our final villain. Instead he just stoically accepts his fate and smiles through the whole thing. It lacked any kind of drama. 

Alongside all the plot dynamics we have the concept that Hannah has fixed Dexter. Yes, good old fashioned love is all he needed to experience to stop wanting to kill people. Again I actually like the idea that Dexter can see a future without killing just before he loses everything but this was the most vanilla method of achieving that. It might have meant more if their love was explored in more depth but it’s too late for that now.

In the end Dexter ends up looking even dumber than Saxon. As with last season when he let Hannah go to prison, it makes no sense to allow someone to be arrested who could incriminate him as a serial killer. Beyond that of course it’s just that appalling horror movie logic which leaves us all screaming at him to not leave Saxon alone. Marshall Clayton can then step in like a moron to let Clayton escape. I can’t believe the Marshall hasn’t just walked up to Deb’s house when she’s out and peered through a window. 

The big question now is will Dexter get a happy ending or the miserable one he deserves. I don’t know which will feel better as a viewer but it’s finally time to find out.



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  • Again, I didn`t mind this episode but it was very clumsy, I agree Robin. The writers are not paying any attention to details. For example, Miguel Prado`s wife, Sil, said she downsized after his death and was `focusing on the kids`, however I am 99% certain that it was made explicit that she and Miguel had no kids and I think there was even a scene with Rita where Sil was upset as `they couldn`t have kids`! Very lazy, if my memory does serve me right. Sure, it`s a minor detail, but if you are going to bring back a character (that we don`t need to see again) then at least stay true to the past storylines for continuation and making the show plausible. Not quite the attention to detail of Ozymandias with the trousers in the desert! (which I did not pick up on either by the way). There are just too many similar things on Dexter now to let them slide.

    Oh well, glad they at least killed off someone but not sure I like how they got there. It reminded me of the lazy reveal where Dexter kills Travis and Deb walks in.

    Posted by Kay, 19/09/2013 1:20am (7 years ago)

  • We're almost there! I just hope the marshal is okay.

    Viewer score: 40 / 100

    Posted by Romit, 18/09/2013 5:01am (7 years ago)

  • Joe - Very good :-) Yeah what was that about? Suddenly the man who has no feelings is incredibly attached to his amazing boat.

    Posted by The TV Critic, 17/09/2013 8:05pm (7 years ago)

  • Here's hoping The wonderful actors in this series get their revenge on what was done to their show by being very successfully utilized in their next roles.

    Dexter is just a plain old mess now, but I can't look away from this wreck. I have to see how it ends.

    Viewer score: 45 / 100

    Posted by Yogabon, 17/09/2013 7:06pm (7 years ago)

  • While watching Breaking Bad's "Ozymandius" this week all I could think of is will Dexter get a good price for his boat on such short notice?What unparalleled tension the writers of Dexter have built up this season!

    Posted by Joe, 17/09/2013 5:30pm (7 years ago)

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