Even though the writers claim the reduced time between seasons didn't affect the scripts, there is plenty of filler and wasted opportunities. That's not to say that it was entirely bad; the season has still been perfectly enjoyable, although at different degrees and extents. But in a time when the show should be pushing for awards season and a stunning conclusion, too much of the story seems like it was created on a rushed schedule.
Episodes 9, 10, and even arguably 11 had a main story that could have been told in one. Although less so eleven, nine and ten felt like filler. Frankly, the brain surgeon hunt felt like filler in the first few episodes and hasn't really melded into a "big bad" worthy of Dexter in this writer's opinion. These clues all lead me to believe that much of the season was hastily written.
That being said, I do expect to fully enjoy the series finale but I do hope it can hold a candle to the season one and four finales. Chances are it won't but at least it's been worked on for years. If we post a review of it though and the finale is amazing, then expect a glowing review to make up for the widely-agreed-upon criticisms of this season.
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