Dexter Season 7, Episode 9, “Helter Skelter” Recap

dexter_season_7Throughout the seventh season of Showtime’s Dexter, Vinny Ginardi will hand out his thoughts on each episode. Beware of spoilers.

Helter Skelter: Lacking a visible order or organization; haphazardly; with undue hurry and confusion

How fitting. After eight episodes of gradually building two storylines that could cause potential danger for Dexter (Isaak’s and Hannah’s), the writers decided it was time to  end one of them, haphazardly killing off Dexter’s greatest nemesis since the Trinity Killer in a way that failed to feel satisfactory. And while I have often criticized the show for too often going for cheap thrills and having Dexter unrealistically escape from improbable situations, Isaak was one of the best antagonists the series has had, a killing machine whose intelligence seemed to surpass even Dexter’s, yet the two were never put in a situation where I felt Dexter’s life was in danger. Isaak had the potential to be a great character, but his storyline went nowhere, and by killing him in a way that felt forced and sort of came out of nowhere, you can’t help but feel a little ripped off.Dexter usually has its fair share of implausibilities, inconsistencies and illogical character moves, but this episode seemed to be full of them. Like why does it make more sense to have Isaak’s body guard looking after Hannah when two men are trying to assassinate him? Is Dexter really the only person Isaak could have gotten to help kill the men that were after him? This man wiggled his way out of prison because of the connections he has! And if Isaak is the killing machine we saw a few episodes ago, why did he need Dexter’s help at all? Also, if George wanted to kill Isaak, why did he go through all of that effort to break him out of jail, where he was going to spend the rest of his life? And apparently, Dexter doesn’t rank Harrison being taken by the Doomsday Killer as one of his top two moments of feeling uneasy.

Needless to say, this was a big step back for a season that, even still, is much improved in comparison to the previous two. And although the Isaak’s death was anticlimactic, seeing how different Dexter was in talking with him on the boat at the end of the episode from talking with Hannah on the boat in the beginning of the episode gave this episode a nice cyclical feel.

It’s interesting that the show appears to be bringing in a whole new storyline (the killer who played with fire) with only three episodes to go. Maybe this will be a bigger storyline in season eight? Or maybe the writers need to fill the minutes in screentime that no longer belong to Isaak. Hopefully this killer will get a better send off.