It’s not quite time for the fall TV season, but …
The most obvious element to take from last night’s Dexter, in terms of reference and connection, is the use of the titular song, a piece of music immortalized by Lost’s second season opener. But oddly, the twisty turny nature of the plot has a far greater debt to the show’s own history that, while hardly reeling back the years, acts as a very enlightening and thoughtful rethink of some of the series’ greatest themes. Revelations and shock reveals, another connection to ABC’s mega hit, show that as bizarre as it seems, the writing team has actually gone back and watched the seasons they didn’t write and have developed a nice echo to greater days. Following last week’s excellent “Are We There Yet?”, “Make Your Own Kind of Music” has found some consecutive consistency.
The trouble with ending a story is that too many people want too many different things, the author included, and quite often the natural endgame to set up is the one that people are afraid to see. It’s a scary thought, after all, if you’ve been invested in something for it to come to an end. We all want different things, have different expectations and not everyone will be satisfied with the result. With Scar Tissue, the fourth installment of Dexter’s final season, it has become clear that the last great chase will focus almost entirely on its two central characters, not villains of the week or rival serial killers. Unfortunately, with the episode’s indecisive conclusion, the chosen direction is not in the slightest bit clear. Fear, it seems, has crept into the men and women behind the TV monster.
For a long term fan, nearing the end of Dexter Morgan’s journey is an experience that holds a tangible fear and pang of panic in one’s stomach. Not because of the fact that it will soon all be over, one of TV’s most immorally ambitious tales ever reaching its final chapter. The trouble has come with the undeniable rut that has set in the minutes following the harrowing ending to Season Four, when a writing team who had canvassed together a quadrilogy of emotive, compelling and unforgettable continuing stories stepped out the back door. By September 22nd, this will mean that a full half of the show’s run has been beset by a gang of scribes who too often have revealed themselves as producing well financed fan fiction. The real fear, ultimately, is that they will screw it up at the punch. ‘A Beautiful Day’, the opening salvo of the last hurrah, proves inconclusive in this regard.
The pilot episode of a show that you love represents a vacation in time, a chance to go back down memory lane and smile, grin or laugh at the way things once were. The awkwardness of first meetings, how different they were as people, the sense of blind wonder at what may come; it’s an oddly personal experience, rather like remembering your first day of college.