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The Dexter Scorecard, or Why I Won’t Hit it Big in Vegas Anytime Soon

December 7, 2009

Yet another big spankin’ SPOILER ALERT. Repeat: S P O I L E R   A L E R T !!!!

Dear readers, you can always rely on me to selectively and occasionally apply rigorous standards of accuracy and quality control when it comes to making TV-based predictions.  Now is one of the times when it suits me to do so, so I’m going to hold myself accountable by checking in on the status of the Dexter predictions I made last week.

Short version at the halfway point (after one of Season 4’s two remaining episodes has aired): my predictions sucked, and after next week, I think they’ll even be a little higher on the LCG Universal Suck Scale.

My original predictions are in italics, followed by their score on the Suck Scale, which ranges from 0 to 4 Larry the Cable Guys (LCGs) (because let’s face it, nobody sucks more than that guy). The higher your LCG score, the more you suck. Got it? Good.

1. Christine will become frantic in police custody and attempt but fail to escape. Dexter wants to kill her for killing Lundy and shooting Deb, but she’ll be killed in her escape attempt. In the fracas, either Angel or Maria will be wounded and/or killed. Call me a pessimist, but I just don’t see this show setting up the two detectives to find love and live happily ever after with each other. Jeez, look at what happened to Lundy!

I got a small portion of this one right. Christine did become frantic and did die, but she confined her desperate (and ultimately fatal) act to a private moment between herself and Deb. But she barely made it onto Dex’s radar screen the whole episode. Also, Angel and Maria both survived the episode, though they did surprisingly get married, which to me still suggests that at least one of them is dead meat. I could still get that one right.

Score: 2.5 LCGs

2. Trinity will keep digging until he exposes some of the facts about Dexter’s murder of the photographer, an innocent man. As in Season 2, the truth about Dexter will be frightfully close to being exposed.

Not very close on this one. The murder of the photographer seems long gone as a possible future plot point, other than adding slightly to the weight on Dexter’s fledgling conscience. And Trinity spent the entire episode discovering the basic truth that “Kyle Butler” is really Dexter Morgan. I also think that, with only one episode left, there won’t be enough time for Trinity to spend a great amount of screen time doing his own detective work against Dexter.

Score 3.5 LCGs

3. Dexter, having already violated the Code of Harry once by killing an innocent, will find it easier to do so the second time. The victim? How about his neighbor, the one who kissed Rita, after Masuka tells Dexter about what he saw? … Masuka and Quinn will immediately suspect Dexter after the neighbor turns up missing or dead, having already had some degree of suspicion aroused by Trinity (and by the fact that the guy kissed Dexter’s wife).

Pretty bad on this one. Dexter did find out about Elliott (the neighbor) and did commit an act of violence against him. But it was just a punch. However, the theme of Dexter’s burgeoning emotionality did play into it, as both Rita and Dexter himself reacted with a degree of surprise that he would react with actual violence. In keeping with Rita’s rather flat, traditional “damsel in distress” characterization, she was actually happy to see Dexter punch the hapless neighbor.

However, since I based most of the rest of my predictions on that early “Elliott is toast” premise, I lose big-time on the rest. It’s like when you blow a first-round pick in your NCAA bracket and you have that losing team going to the Final Four. Based on the teaser for the finale, it does seems that Deb will discover some uncomfortable truths about Dexter in relation to Harry’s connections with Dexter’s mother and her grisly death, and that may arouse some degree of uncertainty or suspicion in the final episode. However, it won’t be because Elliott became another blood sample in Dex’s collection.

Score: 3 LCGs

4. Dexter will kill Trinity in the finale, but he will get caught—actually caught—in the act by Quinn, Masuka, and Deb (who by that point will have become suspicious after discovering that Dexter stole Lundy’s missing Trinity files).

Yet to be determined. The set-up won’t be what I predicted, but the basic structure of this outcome could still emerge.

Score: 0.5 LCGs (with the possibility for greater Suckiness after the final episode)

5. The stage will be set for Season 5 to be the complete unraveling of the world that Dexter has skillfully built and maintained for so long. Many will respond to the news of his murder of Trinity by calling him a hero, just as they did when the “Bay Harbor Butcher” story, though not Dexter’s identity, became public in Season 2. Season 5 will explore that gray area—how should a killer of killers be regarded?—in great detail. But Dexter will, at least temporarily, lose everyone he has actually come to love.

Score: Yet to be determined

I am still mostly convinced that the writers will not miss the opportunity to explore those moral gray areas in what Dexter does. And if you’re saying, “What gray areas–the guy kills people, and it’s immoral,” then I’d ask you to think about your own position on the death penalty and see how those views reconcile.

Those thematic possibilities, I think, are too rich for them to miss. So I do still believe that we will end up in this place, or somewhere only a couple of lateral moves away, heading into Season 5. If I’m wrong, you can take away my Great Predictor’s costume. It’s a rental anyway.

Postscript: I’m currently at 9.5, and I could theoretically end up as high as 17 LCGs out of a possible 20. One is bad enough, but almost a dozen and a half Larry the Cable Guys–now that’s damn sucky. I’ll check in again next week, after the Dexter season finale, to see where I end up on the LCG Universal Suck Scale.

Go here for a final wrap-up of Dexter, Season 4.

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