Review: Dexter – Teenage Wasteland

Things are about to get very interesting for Dexter when a break in at his old house leads to a reveal that could put his entire plan on ice. As for the plan itself, Dexter will attempt to play nice with Jordan Chase… For now. In the hopes of finding definitive proof of his wrong doing as per the codes demands. Things will also get very dicey over at Miami Metro Homicide when Debra is placed on file duty until stumbling on a case that could lead the entire department on a war path leading right back to are beloved serial killer.

And by episodes end, someone’s truth will be known…

What worked: This was by far the best episode of the season. So much great emotional depth and character development from even the weakest ones in the bunch.

First of all, I really liked the return of Astor. Would I have liked some Cody in there as well? Sure, but just Astor will suffice. And it will suffice because Dexter’s reaction to her presence is near perfect. The best comes not in what he says, but the way he acts, hitting his head on the table when she first appears for example.

Astor allowed Dexter to work through something he didn’t get a chance to at the start of the season. He got to work through losing his family forever. Dexter, a man that lives his life through ritual and regularity had a knife driven into that with the death of his wife, and the appearance of Astor may have been what it took to truly begin his healing process.

This episode also adds an interesting dynamic to the relationship between Dexter and Harry’s ghost. As we all know, the ghost is nothing more than a compilation of Dexter’s memories of Harry, but in the scene after Dexter takes out the other step father, there is a genuine moment that made me forget that Harry is a figment of Dexter’s imagination.

As for the Quinn angle, the “I love you” angst actually didn’t bother me on this go around. Rather it felt like something that needed to happen between Deb and Quinn. It also helps that it came as part of a larger statement rather than him just blurting it out randomly. The writers have always been good at playing things out naturally in a real world setting, so another point in the win column for them.

I also think the internal conflicts going on in the department are working in the shows favor during this episode. Mostly the brewing conflict between LaGuerta and Batista. I have been against their character’s this entire season, until now. I feel like there was some real depth between the two of them in this episode that just hasn’t been seen yet.

As for the ending of this episode, it’s a testament to what a good actress Julia Stiles is. Her fast paced breathing in reaction to Jordan Chase’s reveal that he knows it’s her left chills up my spine and begging to see what was going to come next. Well done!

And as for Peter Weller, what can I say that I haven’t already? He’s just a walking pile of bad things to come, and I love it.

What didn’t: Not a thing.

Final thoughts: The best episode of season five for sure.

Episode: “Teenage Wasteland” (Season 5, Episode 9)

Airs: Showtime, Sundays, 9pm

What’s next: Dexter and Lumen will make final preparations to take out Jordan Chase.

To listen to the latest episode of Merrill’s TV Podcast, The Idiot Boxers with Kevin Carr, head over to Fat Guys at the Movies.

From a young age, TV guru Merrill Barr has been obsessed with the small screen. And one day he decided to put that obsession to good use.

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