Dexter, "Make Your Own Kind of Music" Review: The Way, Way Back

By Cory Barker

Aug 26, 2013

Dexter S0809: "Make Your Own Kind of Music"

Everybody on this show is really interested in going back in time. Not, like, DeLorean-style—it's more like most of these characters want to revisit their past lives. Maybe they're looking to escape a relationship or city they're no longer interested in to reconnect with old flames, or hoping to make amends for past mistakes. But to move on, they want to go backward. 

This isn't an abnormal vibe to get from a series at the tail-end of its run; an easy way to do closure on TV is to show that characters' lives are continuing, but that they're somehow changed. And the Dexter gang seems desperate for change. Unfortunately, unless the final three episodes of the series are going to be as boring as this season's most boring moments, that change isn't going to be what Dexter, Deb, Hannah and the rest actually want. 

"Make Your Own Kind of Music" isn't the episode I thought we'd see after the end of last week's "Are We There Yet?". By this point, my pontificating about where this season is headed is embarrassingly off, but after making it seem like Vogel was directly involved in the brain surgeon murders, the show did a lot of legwork to throw us off the scent. In fact, Dexter himself barely considered that Vogel could've killed Zach. I'd write about how dense Dexter could be, but A.) It's been eight years, he ain't changing, and B.) Did you see that pink dress Hannah was wearing? I'd be distracted, too.

Although Zach's killer was on Dexter's mind, his lovey-dovey haze dominated much of the proceedings this week. Once he discovered that Deb's prying had brought a U.S. Marshal to town, Dexter and Hannah did their damnedest to slip the feds and start planning their new life together. Whenever the world starts crashing down on Dexter, he often considers making a run for it, and it's always B.S. It's probably B.S. this time, too, but by now, I'm almost convinced that Dexter's creative team thinks he deserves a happy ending with the woman he apparently loves. Argentina's on the docket, there's money in the bank, and even Harrison wants the three of them to be a family. And what's more, it doesn't seem like their big obstacles are even that difficult to overcome. If Vogel and/or her newfound son are the ultimate villains of the season, that's not much for a couple of pros.

Meanwhile, Deb spent another episode thinking about moving on from all the recent drama... by running back to the awful job that brought her to such a dark place. But unlike Dexter, Deb seemed as if she was a little more clear-headed about her conflicted feelings. She knows that returning to the force is probably stupid, and that she'll almost immediately be miserable, but she's also miserable in her current state, so maybe it's worth it (it's probably not worth it). Making matters worse is the possibility of a rekindled relationship with Quinn, who also appears to be hoping he can turn back the clock to a happier time. The chemistry between Deb and Quinn (and between Jennifer Carpenter and Desmond Harrington) is kind of weird, but honestly, I don't hate it. While I pity my poor domestic goddess Jamie, if Dexter is going to give Quinn something to do in the final few episodes, it might as well be this. 

Even Vogel got in on the backwards-looking action. Whether it's yet another misdirect or just part of some slightly different, long-simmering story about just how evil Vogel really is, it seems as though her long-lost son killed Cassie and now it's time for the two of them to reconnect. The reason Vogel's been interested in Dexter is that he shows more empathy than any of the sociopaths she's studied; her son, we're told, is the exact opposite. But when you want things to be like they were before, only better, you bury your head in the sand. Like Dexter and Hannah, and even like Quinn, that seems to be what Vogel did here. 

it's all well and good, but I'm wondering: Should we really care? Dexter has already done this a couple of times this season, building up moments where it seems like everybody's content, or where happiness is right around the corner, only for those best-laid plans to get blown up. Sure, that's all TV in some regard, but doesn't it feel like that's all that has been going on?

Even if you're a big fan of the Dexter-Hannah relationship, we know they aren't getting out, and it's not like they deserve to be happy anyway. We know that something awful is going to happen to Deb, and we know that Quinn is still a moron. The Vogel family reunion wasn't nearly as compelling as it could have been, mostly because Darri Ingolfsson didn't have much to play with in this episode, and it's hard to care about the relationship between Vogel and her son when the show has lost the thread with Vogel and her metaphorical son Dexter.

Ultimately, what's weird about this season is that amid all the starts and stops, it just keeps building, only I have no clue to where or to what it's building to. I could guess, but that's gone very poorly thus far, and it's not even like there's mystery in the air. I've never experienced a final season that's so weirdly paced, simultaneously content to wait out the clock and to throw a slew of half-baked but interesting ideas at the audience. It's not even frustrating, it's mostly fascinating, or something.


– Even Batista was hoping to relive the past, noting that Deb coming back means the family is back together. Literally the worst family, though.

– This was the episode where I realized that the story with Masuka's daughter is probably over. What an arc that was! She doesn't know who Deb is, the hilarity! 

– You don't hire Kenny Johnson to do one episode; the Marshal sticks around.

– Dexter's taking a week off for Labor Day. See you on September 8!

How are you feeling about the show going into the season's final episodes? 

  • Comments (326)
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  • efonsecajr Sep 09, 2013

    Dexter took the whole season off. The stench is nauseating.

  • wudntulik2know Sep 01, 2013

    Excellent summary of the crap that is this year's Dexter on TWOP.

    Best line: " the writers don't know what the **** they are doing".

    Soooooooooooooooooooooooooo true.

    Only 3 more - YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • geoffmaze Sep 03, 2013

    shame they took the week off, just one more week more to wait (suffer?) until this thing wraps!

  • Iluvteev Sep 01, 2013

    I can't stand Hannah! She poisoned and tried to kill Debra, and she killed the reporter Debra was dating (not to mention all of other people she killed before going to prison). I also thought it was a bit self-serving and disingenuous for the writers to have Dexter's son suddenly say that he wished Hannah was his mommy. Come on! The kid played with her once, last year for like five minutes. He was like two years old. I would be surprised that he even remembered her let alone wanting her to be his mommy. And then, of all the people and places in the world, Dexter has Hannah stay with Deb, where they bond over a home-cooked meal prepared by Hannah! I think the writers are trying too hard to make us like Hannah, but if poor sweet Rita didn't deserve a happy ending, Hannah definitely does not. I was really hoping Dexter would come home and find Hannah's head cut open like Zach's, but I guess there's always next week.

  • wudntulik2know Sep 01, 2013

    All true.

    The writers are idiots. Ignore them.

    This show can't end soon enough.

    find Hannah's head cut open like Zach's,

    Wouldn't that have been nice!

  • JanneViljanen Aug 31, 2013

    I really dont get why Dexter insists on killing Vogels son. Feels really harsh even for him. Scenes where Dexter was following Vogels son seemed particularly stupid and clumsy. Deb and Quin scenes felt really forced and boring as well.

  • wudntulik2know Sep 01, 2013

    See above. The writers are idiots.

  • Hansjoachim Aug 31, 2013

    I think he will be a huge threat to Deb and practically everyone Dexter cars about. This guy seems like a born malevolent - sadistic type of psychopath .

  • AmyTeves Aug 31, 2013

    The season started off fine with Dexter finding out Vogel knew his secret and she was the force behind Harry's code. I thought this season would be better played with Dexter being more retrospective about how he came to be the way he is. I was hoping he would not fall under Vogel's spell and reject her diagnosis of him as a killer deluding himself that he really cares about people. I also thought Dexter would be talking to Harry a whole lot more. It hasn't turned out that way, but I am glad Hannah is back, if they go out, it should be together.

  • geoffmaze Aug 30, 2013

    Just got around to watching the ep. last night. Pretty bland to say the least. Love how Dexter's age progression program confirms Oliver is Vogel's son. LOL. Why can't the real police figure stuff out so easily? All the Missing Persons cases would be cleared up in a week, just need Dexter and his Miami Metro software and voila!
    Really seems like everyone has mailed it in, not only the writing but the acting as well. Still feel absolutely ZERO chance that Dexter is in danger, sure they could off him in the end but the way in which these lousy writers are going I'm pretty much expecting a happy ending for all.

  • wudntulik2know Sep 01, 2013

    Yup. Can't believe they're the same group of writers from season one.

    I guess success buys a lot of drugs, or alochol, or whatever. They suck.

  • geoffmaze Sep 03, 2013

    ACtually I think the writers and the show runner have changed since S4. The dropoff in quality is appalling really.

  • deathly_hollows Aug 29, 2013

    Too many missed opportunities - no cohesion between episodes, no synergy. It feels like every episode was written by a different writer (for example, I feel 'Make Your Kind of Music' was written by the same guy responsible for season 6).

    And the dialogues... oh my. So bland, so cliched, no dynamics, no emotions, not compelling or exciting at all.

    This last season of Dexter seemed like it was going to spectacular places at times, but the next second they just presented a clean slate.

    Not impressed.

  • wudntulik2know Sep 01, 2013

    They examine on TWOP exactly how many storylines have been brought up and dropped. It's hilarious.

    And the reason? The writers are idiots.

  • s3rkill3r Aug 29, 2013

    My current theory is they are leading us to believe that Dexter doesn’t have a clue that Vogel is playing him. However, the huge twist at the end of the season/series will be that Dexter does know and has been playing her all along. I believe the “attack” that Vogel and her son will wage on Hannah to hurt Dexter will ultimately be a trap set by Dexter to kill them both before he and Hannah run off to Argentina together. Any one agree?

  • Im_right_aint_i Aug 28, 2013

    What the hell ? How can we still look for a brain surgeon ? Didn't they sold us the brain surgeon as the guy Dexter's killed in episode 5? The guy who had a foot fetish ? Damn, I'm lost !

  • wudntulik2know Sep 01, 2013

    You're not lost. The writers are idiots.

  • geoffmaze Aug 30, 2013

    That guy was pretty clearly NOT the brain surgeon, yes they did try to spin it that way but it's been pretty clear Vogel was the Big BAd.

  • LeaveComments Aug 28, 2013

    I am a bit dissapointed but still loving it. I just hope they go out with a bang not a whimper like Weeds did. I will never forgive Weeds the final crappy season.

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