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Worst episode of the series
I've enjoyed Dexter as a series. While it's never been the best show on TV, it's always at least avoided many of the usual mistakes and failings of lesser shows, until this episode.
So many missteps in this episode with characters acting in unbelievable ways.
The line "If my son said that's what he saw, I believe him" was particularly bad.There's no way anyone in that position says that line, but they force it in there in order to push the plot in that direction. Then at the end where Dexter makes the mistake of letting the bad guy get away yet again inexplicably by not finishing the job.
Bits of brilliance, but a few missteps
There is the makings of an outstanding show here. It is at its strongest when it portrays the patient caught in the crossfire between these two feuding doctors. Where it goes wrong is in failing to solidly provide the motivation for the consultant doctor's actions. I'm sure the writer thought it best to try and make this ambiguous, but it just makes for a weaker story as the motivations begin to conflict and appear questionable. I felt like almost the entire racial angle could have been scrapped and it would have been just as interesting if not more so. Instead, it should have focused on the consultant's need for power and control over his subordinate vs. the subordinate's idealism and desire for some autonomy, all while maintaining more ambiguity about whether the patient was truly "mad". Still a good show with some great acting from all 3 leads.
Subtlety out the window
To say this was too "preachy" or "obvious" is an understatement. The best Twilight Zone episodes were those where the meaning was not obvious and was instead subtly conveyed via fantastical allegory. Serling was forced to go this route after suffering from censorship early in his career that prevented him from directly addressing current social concerns with criticism that might offend the advertisers. This episode fit the prevailing Cold War mindset of the time and was therefore free from their censors. In the end, it became proof that perhaps the censorship Serling often complained about was actually a good thing. It forced him to "hide" his messages in his fantasy stories and avoid preaching directly to the audience as he does in this episode. The main characters here are ridiculous caricatures of the evil tyrant and the saintly martyr. The whole plot strains the limits of believability time and time again. Serling's ending monologue feels like he's hitting us over the head. Those who strongly agree with its message might be able to overlook or even enjoy these things, but in the end, it is a weaker episode than if it had been more subtly executed.