Spoilers for last night's "Dexter" coming up just as soon as I remind you that "Project Runway" is on...
Okay, here's my issue with "Lost Boys" (which is more of an issue with the series as a whole): in previous years, the show made it clear that Dexter didn't kill bad guys because he was worried about their victims, but because he had a need to kill, and Harry had drilled it into him that these were the only people he could/should kill. That he was saving other people's lives was a byproduct, but one that meant little or nothing to him. This point was made most explicitly in season two's "An Inconvenient Lie," when Dexter didn't really want to alter his killing timetable even if it meant he would stop the evil car salesman from claiming another victim. So seeing him so torn up about saving the little boy didn't ring true to me, even though part of Dexter's inner struggle was the realization that this killing would be his fault for having foiled Arthur's suicide attempt.
"An Inconvenient Lie" was also notable for giving Frank Lundy (RIP) a speech that tore to shreds any attempt by Dexter - or the audience - to justify his murders as some kind of social good, back in a time when the series viewed Dexter with a lot more moral ambiguity than it does now.
These days, the show is mainly interested in pitting Dexter against other killers so despicable that the audience won't have any compunction about seeing our man put them down. Every time the writers introduce the idea of Dexter killing outside The Code of Harry, they quickly dance away from the implications of that and distract Dexter and us with that season's big bad.
On the one hand, I don't want my TV characters to remain stagnant. So the idea of a Dexter who's growing - who's more aware that he has emotions, who can form attachments to people like Rita and her kids, who feels empathy for his target's victims - could, in theory, be really interesting. But in practice, it mainly feels like part of the ongoing attempt to make Dexter into a more palatable serial killer, so Showtime can justify keeping their biggest hit around for many more years to come.
So as good as Michael C. Hall and John Lithgow have been this year, I find it harder and harder to care about what's happening on the show - which is why I wanted to stop reviewing it in the first place.
Talk about it if you want, and maybe next week I'll just do an open discussion thread and save myself the aggravation.
What did everybody else think?