Originally Posted by zaphod7501
There were a lot of comments during the last season (IIRC) about how Dexter was starting to get sloppy but I wonder now if the entire series is about Dex losing his edge. His super careful, efficient kills might have been in his unseen past. (after his childhood development but before the series started).
Yes, clearly something had gotten very sloppy. In truth I can't be sure if it was Dexter or the writers that were on some sort of mindless carefree spree, as alot of demons were unleashed through last season.
I did think when I again viewed the treatment of Dexter improvising with Valerie Castillo -- he went off-script and impulse-killed her, leaving the body intact -- that the writers were keeping us on our toes by showing that Dexter might throw in an extemporaneous deviation every once in a while. The impact of that departure from protocol was the immediate slap-down of seeing the body reappear at the very site she experienced her last moments. Now that would have been pretty impossible for a number of reasons, but leaving the body intact was the only way it was going to be identified at the bottom of the ocean as the last kill and brought right back.
My guess is the writers wanted to shock Dexter and the audience with a back-from-the-depths moment, then they thought: how will Rudy find the right body? Then they wrote in the break from standard operating procedure -- Dexter leaves the body whole and pays the price -- apparently the only price to be paid really, inasmuch as there seems to be no other downside to leaving the body whole and dumping it, except for sacrificing more convenient transportability.
In any case, here with Valerie Castillo, the message seemed clear enough -- take chances with established protocols, deviate from strictly disciplined techniques and methodologies, pay the price. I think they were showing the virtues, even absolute necessity, of Dexter adhering to plan. In effect, vindicating his almost OCD attention to detail, through that violation of standards and practices.
Completely unknown what they had in mind last season by showing him robbing a convenience store, presumably under surveillance, blasting a gun down the highway, pitchforking up a pugnacious hayseed and quicksand-entombing the remains in grain....? That is way beyond sloppy. Were they showing that there are no consequences anymore for Dexter? That he had a schizophrenic break? That the writers had a schizo season? It does not even seem the same character we are seeing.
Not to mention that at season's close, he went to the place Deb asked him to go (to finish clearing the crime scene), he goes there and uses that appointed mission to also off Travis, getting caught by Deb who knows where he is. Now there is a consequence for you, I suppose. Well we might ask if Dexter thinks he deserves to die -- that has been an obvious enough subtext from the start, and definitely looks like there's a deathwish at play in the mix.
But it might too just be that the writers think they have exhausted potential for the old character, or even that they are not very competent writers. There is real argument for that possibility since clearly last season pales when compared to the one we are rewatching.