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Aug 8, 2013

TV Review: DEXTER: Season 8, Episode 7: Dress Code

Michael C Hall Sam Underwood Dexter

Dexter Dress Code Review. Dexter: Season 8, Episode 7: Dress Code was the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode of the season: a new subplot was introduced with its own villain, the subplot had a middle where decisions and actions occurred, and then a resolution happened that dispensed with the subplot and the bad guy at its end. There was a Forever Peace-like curve ball within its confines that was unexpected but the remainder was by the numbers and predictable.

The Next Generation subplot also introduced blatant lunacy into the episode: even with new identification, your face and finger prints are still the same (they still show who you really are). Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski) probably is the prettiest killer in Miami’s history. Every cop would know what she looked like and at least her first name. Going back to the city she escaped from under a transparent umbrella of protection was suicidal. State imprisonment for life or lavish servitude? Hannah’s eventual choice showcased her mental ineptitude and her loose grip on reality.

Example: Hannah walked into a swank nightclub, face exposed. Some nightclubs employee off-duty police officers or ex-cops. Nightclubs, especially the high end ones, make sure cops are around to quickly extinguish an incident should one arise. A wanted fugitive walking into a hotspot club is the act of a person who wants to be caught. It was like watching Wile E. Coyote going over a cliff except it was perpetual.

Hannah flippantly showed her face everywhere in Miami again and again. Granted ‘The Machine’ in Person of Interest is not present in Dexter‘s universe but someone, somewhere would (and could) recognize her at some point (her face was all over the news). Her money umbrella could not protect her from basic, ocular recognition. Why was she not afraid of this?

I surmised why.

Outside of FBI Special Agent Lundy and Police Sergeant Doakes, Dexter has never housed high-end detectives like those on N.Y.P.D. Blue, Law and Order, C.S.I., N.C.I.S., or Detroit 1-8-7. Technically speaking, she really has nothing to fear from Miami Metro: their halls are filled with cartoons and caricatures, nothing more. On some subconscious level (aided by Dexter‘s writers), maybe Hannah picked up on that.

Towards the end of Dress Code, remember when I spoke of the subplot’s resolution earlier, N.O.C. Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) waltzed up the gangplank and unto millionaire Miles Foster (Julian Sands)’s yacht unmolested, blocked, or questioned. Then he walked around the first deck before descending into the ship’s bowels. It was stupefying to watch something so fantastical happen. Celebrities and the ultra rich, like The Next Generation villain in this episode, have security strategically placed around them at all times (Athina Onassis Roussel has her own around-the-clock private security team). The nightclub had its own security and Foster wanted to speak with Dexter alone at the gas station, so lack of security in those two venues could be explained. On the yacht, the lack of security (and exposure to anyone: spelunking paparazzi, emboldened thieves, corporate rivals, etc.) was immediately in the viewer’s face.

Cut to The Next Generation villain being dumped – per norm – into a black, wet, nebulous grave. It does not get nicer and neater than that when it comes to a subplot’s ‘The End’ moment. Dress Code did contain other story-lines, harbingers of things to come, but this one made the greatest impression.

The narrative in the last episode made great strides beyond the norm for Dexter. It showed a possible future and expansion of the show beyond its safe and comfortable confines. In small ways that continued in Dress Code but in large ways the show took steps backward, showing yet again that it is long past its expiration date.

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