ANSWER: How many of Dexter’s potential victims are freed from the kill table?

Two: Hannah McKay in season 7 and Zach Hamilton in season 8.


Did You Know? David Zayas (Batista) and Sam Underwood (Zack Hamilton) Starred on The Following

David Zayas (Angel Batista) starred in season 1 of The Following as a former FBI agent in witness protection, and Sam Underwood (Zack Hamilton) plays a pair of twin serial killers starting in season 2.

Misogyny and Parenthood in 810: “Goodbye Miami” & 811: “Monkey in a Box”

Deb Pool Blood

Debra decides to return to Miami Metro just as Quinn decides to dump Jamie. Dexter’s control over his life and the people in it continues to evade him. Just when he is able to pack his bags and leave for Argentina with Hannah and his son, he discovers that his need to kill does not outweigh his need to be with Hannah, thus allowing Daniel Vogel the opportunity to shoot Deb and Deputy Marshal Clayton.

Mornings with Mum: Why Breakfast Is No Substitute for Parenthood

Though Thomas C. Foster in How to Read Literature like a Professor proclaims that “in the real world, breaking bread together is an act of sharing and peace” (7), communion in Dexter always leads to chaos. Daniel (alias Oliver Saxon) responds no more favorably to Evelyn Vogel’s desperate attempt to reconnect with him over breakfast than Rita does to her ex-husband, Paul Bennett, when he brings donuts to Astor and Cody. They each seem to be offering peace; however, donuts and coffee in each case are mere band-aids to the real  issue. Dexter can even be incorporated in this conversation, for he, too, uses pancakes to appease Harrison and his imaginary elephant friend. These parents offer the most basic form of human sustenance to their children in hopes of reestablishing or reinforcing a pre-existing implicit promise of protection and reliability with their children. While Cody, Harrison, and Astor (to a lesser degree) fall prey to this tactic, Daniel scoffs in his mother’s face when he claims that making breakfast for him makes her feel like his mother again, for she “gave up that privilege a long time ago.”

Continue reading “Misogyny and Parenthood in 810: “Goodbye Miami” & 811: “Monkey in a Box””

Happy Birthday, Sam Underwood!

August 4, 1987.

Sam turns 28 today.

Sam portrayed Zach Hamilton in season 8.

Doppelgangers, Brotherhood, and the Oedipal Complex in 808: “Are We There Yet?” & 809: “Make Your Own Kind of Music”

Zach Sleepilng

Dexter discovers that Zach Hamilton has absorbed the Code through the observation of his Spiritual Father. Hannah McKay further complicates Dexter’s already convoluted situation by consuming his every waking thought and involuntarily impairing his decision-making skills. Debra’s difficulty with her brother’s life choices and unmistakable vengeance against Hannah compels her to put Jacob Elway on her trail, ultimately leading us to Dexter’s final path of destruction.

Continue reading “Doppelgangers, Brotherhood, and the Oedipal Complex in 808: “Are We There Yet?” & 809: “Make Your Own Kind of Music””

LISTEN: Sam Underwood and Writer Wendy West on 808 on Wrap-Up Podcast

Dexter’s Demons in 806: “A Little Reflection” & 807: “Dress Code”

Dex Reflection Blood

Zach Hamilton is taken on as Dr. Vogel and Dexter’s spiritual son once it becomes clear that Miami Metro has no evidence to incriminate him for Norma Rivera’s murder. Debra, upon being drugged by Hannah McKay, inadvertently gives Dexter an ultimatum: choose safety for yourself and your family, or choose Hannah McKay.

Continue reading “Dexter’s Demons in 806: “A Little Reflection” & 807: “Dress Code””

Happy Birthday, Sam Underwood!

SamHappy Birthday, Sam Underwood (Zach Hamilton, season 8)!

August 4, 1987.

Sam turns 27 today.


808: “Are We There Yet?”

Original Air Date: August 8, 2013


This episode certainly made some waves, especially across the Tumblrverse. We have the return of the Brain Surgeon, a long overdue realization on Debra’s part, the return of Debra Morgan to Miami Metro, a falling out between Jamie and Quinn, the death of a promising serial killer, and absolutely no clue as to how this series will end up. There were naked bodies, poorly-done plastic-covered kill rooms, a special guest appearance of the 1969 band, Mama Cass, and one insular anterior cortex. If your jaw was not on the floor by the end of this episode, what were you doing, really? As our title reminds us, our series is winding down and there is only so much time before some serious s#!* goes down. This series will not end neatly. There is far too much enjoyment on the writers’ behalf in seeing blood spatter, dead bodies, and shocking the hell out of us all. Here is my treatment for season 8, episode 8: “Are We There Yet?”, with special input from Billy [CopaForever].

CSI: Cassie Thompson

808 opens on Cassie’s apartment, the inversion of Dexter’s habitat: Killed v. The Killer; Pink v. Blue; Crime Scene v. Closed-off, Private Space. Billy noticed right off the bat that Cassie was fond of floral patterns – which reminded him of Hannah – which appears on her curtains and other household decorations. He also noticed that the blood spatter on the light walls and blinds imitate the blood-spatter orchid that Hannah gifted Dexter last season. This sheds light on the fact that had Dexter been paying closer attention to Zack, and not Hannah, perhaps Cassie would not be lying in a pool of her own blood.

Dexter deduces that this was an impulsive kill – whomever killed Cassie used a decorative swan to hit her over the head (swans symbolize partnership, love, and beauty – does that point to Oliver as the killer instead of Zack if he was framed?). I find it hard to look past the fact that Zack’s blood is found under Cassie’s fingertips – although we are told that the underside of the car door handle cut Zack’s hand – I wouldn’t be surprised if this was Quinn’s way of getting Zack’s DNA to test against what was found at Norma Rivera’s crime scene. Vogel mentions that someone may have set him up, and I have a sneaking suspicion that it is her.

When Dexter brings up the murder to Zack, the boy says that Cassie “was alive when [he] left” – which could either mean he did bludgeon her over the head and left her to bleed out, or he simply left the apartment, knowing she was alive, hoping to give Dexter a time frame. The killer could have easily been Zack – Cassie may have let him in to try and help him out because she knew he is a friend of Dexter’s. If it is Quinn framing Zack, he may have posed as simply doing his duty – asking a bunch of questions about Zack, and then doing the deed (and I mean killing, not the other thing). (EDIT: Billy pointed out that Quinn knows Cassie. Remember how Jamie and Quinn double dated with Cassie and Dexter at his apartment that one night?) I do not believe Quinn is a cold-blooded killer like I am suggesting; however, there is another possibility: Quinn may have shown up to the scene before anyone else and planted the evidence – Zack’s blood – under her nails. Although all of these suggestions puzzle even me, I’m sure the writers will have a neat way of packaging this ordeal.

Zack goes after Norma Rivera in order to send his father a message: “stop making mom miserable.” If he turns out to be the killer (which we may never know for certain, given the fact that the Brain Surgeon offed him), we may be seeing a pattern. Zack could be going after women that pose a threat to his family life; or, more specifically, his father’s (or father-figure’s, in Dexter’s case) girlfriends or love interests. There isn’t much evidence to back this up, and we’ll never be able to establish a real pattern unless we’re given more background information and told that Zack is definitely Cassie’s killer. We will just have to wait and see.

The way in which Quinn approaches Dexter with the photos of Norma Rivera and Cassie Thompson seems as though Quinn is putting the pieces together. Dexter, somewhat uncomfortable in Quinn’s presence, says that “bludgeonings looks pretty fuckin’ similar” (side note: Dexter’s been doing the cursing lately – although he was quoting Quinn in this instance – and Deb’s has been toned down a bit). He does try to derail Quinn, reminding him that Batista and Matthews warned him against going after Zack; however, something in Quinn’s voice leads me to believe that he’s willing to go so far as to frame Zack, despite these orders. He is determined to prove that the “Hamilton kid’s a monster.” He’s so confident in this that he says to Dexter: “you know it, too.” We know that Quinn is a good cop when he wants to be – Angel even called it that Quinn is still trying to prove that he’s a good cop even after Angie Miller got the position of sergeant, and that is certainly what he is doing.


The Evolution of Dexter Morgan

Dexter wonders whether or not Cassie would have been murdered had he not been so distracted by Hannah’s return. There is a huge difference between season 1 Dexter, the serial killer that was not fazed by anything – and the season 8 Dexter, the man infatuated with Hannah, so much so that his mind even drifts when at a crime scene, while analyzing his favorite thing in the entire world (blood) to visions of Hannah. Dexter’s infatuation with Hannah is actually our bookends. 808 begins with Dexter unable to stop thinking about her, and ends with Dexter in her arms and begging her not to leave Miami — Hannah has consumed Dexter, and it seems as though he is consuming her, too. At least he’s aware of the imbalance in his brain: “I would give everything to feel nothing again.” Even so, I believe that he’s thoroughly enjoying his time with Hannah, despite all the havoc she has caused thus far.

While driving down to the Keys with Hannah, Dexter explains that Zack resembles what he “used to be,” which is yet again an indicator of how Dexter has changed. In a way, it sounds like Dexter is having a mid-life crisis because he has become more passionate about Hannah McKay than he is about killing. Hannah reveals that they missed a spot of Miles’ blood when cleaning up – clearly Dexter’s got more on his mind than making the Castner yacht immaculate. As Deb so accurately describes Dexter, he has “dick for brains.” Well, who wouldn’t if Hannah McKay was around? Even Dexter’s internalized Harry realizes that Dexter’s needs are evolving – he’s not so gung-ho over killing anymore. He’s far more preoccupied with the woman in his “orbit” (and he has a great track record for picking up the crazies in his gravitational pull).

Furthermore, we see Dexter becoming concerned with not just his own safety, but the safety and purity of his son. The first thing he tears into Zack with is the fact that he killed Cassie “next door to [his] son, [Harrison].” It’s not the fact that he killed an innocent woman – but the fact that Zack was in action so close to where his naive boy was sleeping. If I am not mistaken, Zack does not deny here that he killed Cassie. He never comes out and says that he didn’t touch her – so we will not know for sure who killed the poor woman until another killer comes out of the woodwork (could it be Vogel?). Regardless, Dexter is more set on family issues and partnership conundrums than he is on finding his next kill, or determining his next threat. Whereas he used to fill his time with hunting-stalking-killing people who deserved to die, he’s been busy teaching Zack how to not get caught, keeping tabs on Harrison (and by that I mean making sure he pays Jamie), making sure Hannah is kept safe and sound, and dealing with the subsequent rebuttal from his crazy sister.

We still see remnants of the old Dexter – his clever shrimp metaphor and how he takes out the trash (in black garbage bags, none the less) – despite the fact that we are watching a virtually revamped and renewed Dexter. Apparently Hannah enjoys Dexter’s clever puns and metaphors just as much as we (read: I) do. In this exchange, we also see how happy both Dexter and Hannah are. Rarely do we see that kind of amusement and joy radiate from Dexter’s stone-cold façade, and Hannah isn’t exactly known for her coyness or kittenish coquetry (maybe coyness, but not in the way other women can be). We are used to seeing her as the “Evil Temptress” or the “Passionate Poisoner,” as she calls herself. It is debatable whether or not Hannah is a threat – it depends upon to whom you speak. Debra thinks she’s the devil, whereas Dexter is willing to make light of everything all in the name of love. No matter how much havoc she has caused in Dexter’s life, he is still intent on finding out where she will be going, where she will end up, and whether or not they will stay in contact.

Despite the fact that Dexter has become nearly helpless since the reentrance of the “Fiendish Florist,” apparently he is a “Master Manipulator.” Despite what we were told to believe, the infamous Hannah McKay has a weak spot, and its name is Dexter Morgan.



This weak spot is so convincing, and this season has been reading (or playing?) so much like a soap opera that I was half expecting Hannah to say she wanted to change her name to (insert first name here) Morgan, like Rose does on the immigrant ship to New York after the sinking of the Titanic. But of course, the fans would have been outraged if the writers pulled that kind of crap, so we end up with Claire Thompson as her new alias. Speaking of sweet nothings and romance, apparently the Master Manipulator is influential enough to reduce her from threat to mush. Dexter defines her as a distraction; however, it seems as though he is taking a liking to the idea of starting a life together with her (as we hear in the preview for 809).

Hannah dons black and white stripes in this episode, which reminded Billy of the old-fashioned prison suits. Billy took this to mean that she’s “imprisoned” by her circumstances or at least at odds with Miami and/or Dexter. These extreme situations, according to Hannah, made her do “extreme things”( which she tries explaining to Debra, but Debra’s beyond comprehension and acceptance at this point), hence why she’s on the run in the first place and killing her husbands as she goes. From her conversation with Deb, we deduce that Hannah is a sociopath, unlike Dexter who is a psychopath. If I am not mistaken, sociopaths become what they are due to situations in which they were put (her escapades with Wayne Randall). Sociopathic behavior has no basis in genetic makeup, as does psychopathic behavior. This is what Hannah was touching on when she was trying to get through to Debra. Of course she claims that she is not a threat; however, we can never underestimate the infamous Hannah McKay. Debra’s doggedness in getting Hannah to admit her wrongs forces her to subconsciously address her own issues with Dexter and his relationship with Hannah. Hannah explains that “sometimes right or wrong doesn’t even make it into the equation. Sometimes there are other forces driving us.” We learn that her “driving force” is Dexter for Hannah. Coincidentally, Dexter is Debra’s driving force as well (the issue of Debra, Hannah, and Dexter will be revisited in Debra’s section).

Not only do we have Dexter, a serial killer who has effectively flipped his way of life so that his personal and social life has taken priority over his Dark Passenger, but we have a sociopath who is so in love that she’s willing to restrain herself from killing her biggest competition. Strangely enough, Hannah becomes a part of the Unholy Trinity, replacing Dr. Vogel, for this episode. When Dexter shows up at Vogel’s house to fill her in on the day’s events, she invites them in for dinner, as if Dexter is bringing home is girlfriend/wife to his mother and his son (Zack) for a visit with “Grandma” (did you happen to notice how Zack looked just like Dexter and Hannah’s child in the back seat? Asking “are we there yet?” was also a nice touch to his childishness – this is perverse when we recall that Zack was checking out Hannah just hours before). The situation is fitting, for Dexter described finding Dr. Vogel to Hannah as “finding a family member.” It seems as though everyone is transforming in their roles to fit and create the said Unholy Trinity. Dexter and Hannah partners; Zack as son to two serial-killing parents; Vogel as a psychopath-whisperer grandmother. Vogel’s form of “grace” is a strange way of bringing the four of them together for what seems like the Last Supper in retrospect, because it is for Zack (Zack is dying for his own sins, and the sins of Vogel and Dexter, if we want to be religious about this). Dr. Vogel looks like she is about to meet a celebrity when she learns that the infamous Hannah McKay is sitting in the car at the curb. Vogel could not have been happier even if a whole psychopath farm and lab was gifted to her by the government to continue what she does best: operate illegally and immorally. She is offended when she thinks that Dexter was not going to bother to even introduce her to Hannah. She even goes so far as to tell Hannah to “call [her] Evelyn” – which immediately reminded me of my least favorite work of literature’s first line: “Call me Ishmael.” I’m not even going to try to pull out significance of this because of how tedious that could become. Carrying on.


[Photo Credit: misterrogue]

Vogel begins “saying grace” by offering Hannah the recipe to whatever she is serving. Mentioning that she hopes nobody at the table is a vegetarian was a great way of remembering Ron Galuzzo (our cannibal); if that didn’t turn your stomach, she mentions the red wine in the casserole. Might as well have human blood in the casserole and the wine glasses, Vogel. Between the people at the table, the red wine, and the fact that Vogel, Dexter, and Zack have been orbiting the “Unholy Trinity” idea, I could not help but think that Vogel was hosting an awards dinner for the prestigious killing team (Dexter and Hannah) and the rookie of the year (Zack). The conversation on sharing recipes sounds as though Vogel is interacting with her daughter-in-law, and introducing the idea of marriage to the two of them. Much like a visit with in-laws, the visit is peppered with compliments and insults alike (namely, that Dexter and Hannah are both a good and bad couple –although the woman is crazy, I tend to agree with her). It eventually leads to a discussion on Hannah’s hobby – gardening. Vogel points out the irony in the fact that “the best hobbies are the ones that take us farthest from our primary occupation.” Of course, this is assuming that Hannah McKay is good for nothing else but poisoning people. She’s not wrong at least. Dr. Vogel seems amused that Hannah enjoys “bringing things to life” nearly just as much as she enjoys sucking the breath out of peoples’ lungs (whether it be by the “flip of [her] pretty blond hair” or by way of her poisonous cocktails).

Hannah also asks the question to which we have been dying to hear the answer: What got Vogel so into psychopaths? Because we do not know much about her, I was looking forward to this answer; however, Vogel brushes it off as a story with which she feels is not worth boring them. I beg to differ: psychopath stories are never boring. She says that it makes for an “interesting life worth living,” which reminded me of Debra’s quip about steak that Dexter made a reference to in 806 (regarding the steak). If I’m not mistaken, a glimmer of recognition and remembrance flits across his features; however, he is easily distracted by the thought of Cassie’s crime scene. Whereas Dexter might have stayed preoccupied longer with Debra in previous seasons, his mind goes right back to the situations at hand and the women in his life.

Before we forget about the Last Supper table altogether, did you happen to notice what was in the background? There was an orchid in the far left corner by where Hannah sat in the crimson/violet family, as there was other red and pinkish flowers in the corner of the dining room between Dr. Vogel and Hannah. As Hannah speaks about her gardening, we see a Greco-Roman-like piece hanging on the wall, which reminded me of two things: John Milton’s Eve and Dr. Rappaccini’s garden. The orchid is self-explanatory; the Greco-Roman body is significant in the fact that I compared Hannah McKay to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Beatrice Rappaccini from “Rappaccini’s Daughter.” Beatrice is a warped type of Eve, as is Hannah. Beatrice, to refresh your memory, smells like poisonous purple flowers whose aroma is enough to wilt other living things and to kill anyone to whom she gets too close. Hannah, if not plucked directly from this short story, was based very closely on Hawthorne’s Beatrice. To see this statue-like piece and the orchid so close together behind Hannah is to remind us of where she has been as far as her character and threat level to everyone around her.


[Photo Credit: walturz]

Before we discuss how Cassie’s crime scene becomes a public matter, I wish to bring up the fact that Dr. Vogel is preaching a makeshift Code before they begin eating about boredom and entertainment. She says life is a “battle against [boredom];” I cannot help but think of the saying: “The devil finds work for idle hands.” Vogel has this twisted: it is likely that she got into psychopaths (and scooping out the anterior insular cortexes of peoples’ brains – yes, I said it – I think she’s the Brain Surgeon) because nothing else inspired her, so the Devil swooped in and took over. This happened with Hannah – young and naïve, Wayne Randall swoops in and makes use of her time by robbing, stealing, and murdering their way through Miami. Vogel says she’s kept interested by the people around her dining room table. When Cassie’s crime is mentioned, and they all suspect someone of framing Zach, Dr. Vogel says: “You see? Never a dull moment.” Somehow, I think she’s creating her own entertainment with Dexter and Zach as her puppets.

As Dr. Vogel is seeing the “family” out, she comments on how it is “refreshing to see a girl who can really eat.” Well, that’s one way of calling her a “maneater” in so many words, while also being polite. What a great mother-in-law she is!



[GIF Credits: fuckyeahstrahovski]

Make Your Own Kind of Music

Zack immediately became a threat to both Dexter and Vogel’s safety as soon as Cassie showed up dead, and even more so when Dexter lifted his blood from beneath Cassie’s fingernails. They have a conversation as to what should be done about him. Surprisingly enough, Vogel calls Dexter out on his attachment to the boy. I did not think she was right, but mother knows best. It seemed as though Dexter was going to continue teaching his little Disciple had he not shown up with the back of his skull cut into quadrants and part of his brain scooped out like a melon ball. She ponders: “I wonder if it will be different for you … because of what could have been.” She sees Dexter’s attachment to Zack before we ever do.

It is not all too far-fetched to believe that Zack is Cassie’s killer; however, he has no reason to lie to Vogel and Dexter about it. The fact that Vogel mentions that someone could have set him up automatically puts her into question. I have never been one to trust Vogel 100%, so this could just be a suspicion founded on a false foundation; however, this season casting Vogel into a rather demonic light as of late.

On a side note, I mentioned last week that it was odd that Zack showed up in clothes exactly like Dexter’s. It is brought to our attention that Zack copies what he saw in Dexter’s kill room to set up the hotel room in the Keys. If you recall, Zack was put on the table after he showed up looking like Dexter does on his stalk-hunt-kill ritual. There is no way he could have known that Dexter dresses in the way he does. There is something innate within Zack that tells him how to behave just as Dexter does. Could the need to blend in (the forest green shirt/neutral clothes) inspire people like Zack and Dexter to dress the same way? I just found this interesting that Zack was intuitive enough to copy Dexter without even knowing he was. In addition, Zack went after a killer after Cassie’s death, and Dexter points out: “Zack was following the Code without even knowing it.”

There must be something about a set of knives in a roll, too, that attracts psychopaths. Zack probably saw Dexter’s set, but how do you explain the Brain Surgeon’s first accomplice who we saw in the video that was “left” in Vogel’s office? That man (who killed himself, then someone came back to rework the crime scene so that it looked like a murder) also had a roll of knives. Monsters like their tools, I guess. Then again, I’m not exactly sure if this man was ever deemed a psychopath to begin with.

Deb and Hannah fighting over Dexter does not help Zack’s impression of the Life of the Code. Dexter’s life is glorified in Zack’s eyes – when added to his overzealous attitude, we have a child bouncing around, squealing in excitement about murder and bludgeoning. Even Dexter realizes he’s molded Zack into even more of a monster than he already is: one that believes he is invincible.

Given the conversation Dexter and Vogel have at the beginning of the episode, it is reasonable to believe that Vogel would take care of Zack for Dexter. Why she would kill him is beyond me (perhaps because he told her the casserole had too much red wine), but that just furthers my theory that Vogel is experimenting with Dexter so that she can write book after book on Dexter Morgan, the best Serial Killer that ever was.



Debra, the “crusader on the payroll,” is still preoccupied with Dexter and is determined to catch Hannah McKay, as if arresting her would change Dexter’s mind and provide him with a change of heart. Out of all the women Dexter has been with, nobody has gotten to Deb like Hannah has (that might have something to do with the fact that Hannah poisoned her and is the only woman that has reduced her brother to a bumbling mass of boy). There is a fine line between Deb’s jealousy and Deb’s madness, and Hannah certainly blurs that line. She asks Dexter: “On a scale of one to ten, ten meaning out of our lives forever, where the fuck is Hannah McKay?” (which begs us to remember ‘Where in the World is Carmen San Diego,’ that computer game I could never figure out how to play).

When reassuring his sister that he’s “on top of” taking care of Hannah, Deb asks: “Are you on top of it or are you on top of her?” Of course, this is an inappropriate question to ask one’s sibling. In this case, it reminds us that Debra has some socially frowned-upon feelings that are driving her to ask these questions. In a way, we pity Deb, but also identify with her on a small level. Forgetting the foster sibling relation for just a moment, it’s frustrating trying to get through to someone you care about when you have an objective opinion and standpoint on a situation. Although Deb mocks Dexter and his “altitude” to see that he’s being used, she, too, is coming from a compromised and biased position. Elway reminds Deb while on the docks, looking for the Castner yacht that emotions easily cloud one’s judgment – and that is definitely what Deb has a case of here.


[GIF Credit: late-dawnsandearly-sunsets]

Hannah overhears Dexter’s conversation with Deb while they are on their way to the Keys to find Zack, then later retorts how Deb is just “a ray of sunshine, isn’t she?” This, of course, also illuminates the fact that Deb is being childish about the whole situation. Had Deb been 20-something years younger (assuming she’s in her early thirties), this whole act would be adorable and encouraged; however, it is not the case. She’s outgrown the stage of always looking up to Dexter and seeing him as the kind of man she would want to spend the rest of her life with. Hannah is not the first to point this out to Deb. Vogel tells Deb to be very careful of “taking matters into [her] own hands” before considering all of the consequences; Elway points out how her emotions are misguiding her better judgment.

Hannah decided to stop going after Debra for aforementioned reasons; however, Debra’s extended pursuit of her brother’s girlfriend will likely result in people looking out for Hannah McKay, which will also get Dexter into quite a bit of trouble. Not to mention, Quinn’s dead set on finding Zack Hamilton. Like we always say – if the great minds of Miami Metro put their heads together (or even joined up with Elway’s business), they’d have Dexter within a few hours’ time. Once Hannah spells it out for Debra, she realizes that by trying to get rid of Hannah, she is being selfish. Perhaps the fact that everyone is “horribly flawed” sinks into Deb’s brain and she realizes that Hannah is probably the one that can understand Dexter best. That’s probably part of the problem, why she is so irked by Hannah: Deb can never read Dexter, and yet Hannah understands him perfectly (takes one to know one, eh?). Although it visibly hurts Debra to hear that Dexter loves Hannah, it is enough for Debra to change her mind about her entire operation. Not knowing what to say, Deb simply chalks it up to this: “My brother screws up everything.”



[GIF Credits: late-dawnsandearly-sunsets]

Of course this is perfect timing for Dexter to walk in, and then Zack to stumble in immediately after. Deb asks “Who the fuck are you?”, to which Zack responds “Who the fuck are you?” (Billy, naturally, felt like we were in an episode of The Most Popular Girls in School.) She has no idea who Zack is because she is no longer in the loop with Miami Metro; however, she knows better than to ask any more questions when it comes to her brother because chances are, she does not want to know the answers.


[GIF Credit: underneath-the-sky-so-blue]

This encounter forces Deb to realize that she has used company resources to track her brother to see to it that her personal vendetta be carried out against Hannah McKay, only to have wasted her time. She realizes that, in essence, she has access to too many different forms of private information that allow her to spy and eavesdrop on anyone. It’s clear that she’s not proud of the work she does – she does not dress as if she takes her job seriously, or as if she is a professional. It did not seem like Debra wanted to go back to Miami Metro until she set foot on Cassie’s crime scene and started spitting out things that should be checked in order to catch her killer. We haven’t seen that kind of light in Deb’s eyes since before she shot LaGuerta – even before she found out her brother was a serial killer. When the light returned in her eyes, so did the pre-season 7 Debra – the one we came to love. She immediately backs off because she does not feel it is her place any longer to be with the Miami Metro dream team; however, Angel is more than open about taking her back. Of course the payoff comes around after Deb walks back into the office without a blond in handcuffs. She expresses how she’s not proud of what she does with Elway, personal investigative work. She wants her occupation to mean something “more than the zeroes on my paycheck.” She says this isn’t something she’d want recorded on her tombstone, for what she’d be remembered. I’m not all too sure why Deb has death on the brain. In the preview for 809, we are informed that Deb does, in fact, return to Miami Metro, which is incredibly exciting to me. Deb back at Miami Metro means that we can finally see Quinn get his girl back.

Of course that means leaving Jamie in the dust. This should be an interesting dynamic – Jamie’s boss’ sister steals back her boyfriend, and Jamie has to still nanny for said ex-boyfriend’s new (old) girlfriend’s nephew. Jamie calls Quinn out on the fact that he would do anything for Deb, and yet Quinn could not stay put when Jamie asked him to because she was upset about Cassie’s sudden death. I don’t know whether or not this was all too smart of Quinn, but he points out the fact that Deb wouldn’t even ask him to stay (as if it was a burden in the first place) because “she’d want to catch [Cassie’s] killer as badly as I do.” In essence, Jamie is more needy than Debra, and that makes Quinn want Deb to want him and need him even more. In the preview for 809, we see Quinn kissing Deb, and I have a feeling that she won’t go for that. Perhaps she will, but I do not know where her morality meter is these days. Will she feel bad about Jamie? Will she be a willing accomplice? Only (one weeks’ time) will tell!



We see Harrison drawing a zombie in Batista’s kitchen. This is not all too unusual for a 4-year old boy; however, we were just reminded of the fact that Dexter isn’t “human” or a “real person.” Perhaps he’s drawing a portrait of his father and he doesn’t even know it.

Billy pointed out that when Deb approaches Elway about cashing in on Hannah McKay, there’s an awful lot of green in the background (the walls, logo, the trees outside the window). Clearly Elway’s in this for the money. Furthermore, Deb phrases her idea as a way to make a “boatload of cash.” Why not a fuckton? Or a shitload? What happened to Ms. Curse-a-Lot? Calling it a “boatload” is also ironic, given the fact that they start their search on (or attempted to) a super-expensive yacht that is probably worth more than Deb would make at Miami Metro in several years’ time.



Elway is now after Hannah McKay. He has evidence of the reissued passport, and perhaps even an inkling of the fact that Dexter was a proponent in getting her new identity issued.

Quinn’s been on Zack’s (and therefore Dexter’s) tail for quite some time. It’s only a matter of time before someone slips up or Quinn figures out something is up before the shit hits the fan.

Not to mention Hannah is in Miami – a wanted woman – and she’s palling around with Dexter Morgan, a man whose integrity has been compromised on multiple occasions. In Quinn gets wind of this in addition to his involvement with Zack (or either in isolation), Dexter is screwed.

Oliver has seen Dexter with Zack before. We know that Oliver recognizes Zack, but it is only a matter of time before he places the face and reports back to Quinn.

The odds are not in Dexter’s favor this season.



I had suspicions early on in the season that Dr. Vogel herself was the brain surgeon. After Yates was killed, I was not all too convinced that he was, indeed, the Brain Surgeon; however, I was unhappy with the way that the writers took care of the situation. I thought it was a schlocky ending to the Brain Surgeon plot. And here we are, in episode 8, faced with the fact that the Brain Surgeon is on the loose. Upon watching 808 for the first time, I was convinced that Dr. Vogel was the Brain Surgeon herself. After all, her favorite song is playing in the iHome on Dexter’s desk. Upon re-watching 808 Monday morning, I started questioning Vogel’s involvement. As she ponders the brain ball in her jar of formaldehyde, it seems as though she is just as terrified as the time she received the “His” and “Hers” boxes on her front stoop. Looking at this scene again, it seems as though Dexter and Vogel are on the phone with each other when we see this shot of Vogel, so there is a substantial reason to believe that what we see is an act. Dexter is on the other side of that phone call. I believe we have just determined our “big kill” for season 8; however, it is sad that Dexter has not caught onto the fact that Yates’ M.O. did not match up with that of the Brain Surgeon, and that Vogel will have the advantage over Dexter. It seems as though Vogel is the “Dexter” in this season. My suspicion is that the “cut by numbers” map and the brain jars found in Yates’ basement were in fact his, but he was copying Vogel’s M.O. Perhaps there is yet another person involved that we have yet to become aware of (Oliver? Niki perhaps?) that has something to do with this situation; however, I think it is still too soon to tell. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the past 7 seasons, it is that the people who are in the background, all innocent and chipper, are the ones we have to watch out for (Quinn’s reporter girlfriend, whose name escapes me; Jonah Mitchell; Rudy Cooper/Brain “Biney” Moser; and the list goes on).

I’ve been thinking hard lately about what will become of the Dexter series. Usually the writers are pretty good about bookending their episodes and seasons, and I’m assuming the series will follow suit. We began season 8 with the memorial service for Lieutenant Maria LaGuerta. I have a sneaking suspicion that we will be having yet another memorial service for a Debra Morgan. The bench is optional. Oh, how ironic it would be if their benches were side-by-side. I have a feeling that Deb is going to attempt suicide one more time, but she will not take Dexter with her this time.

For some reason I feel like Quinn is going to catch Dexter. I feel like he’s stuck around long enough (since season 3, I believe) – I think there are bigger plans for Joey Quinn in the works. He can’t always be the one that gets slighted.

Elway is a pretty good private investigator. Perhaps he will see Dexter and Hannah together – but what will he do? Will he spare Dexter just because he might have feelings for Deb? I don’t think so, since it seems as though the money is more important than whether snooping into people’s personal lives is right or wrong.

We see a Federal Deputy Marshal enter into Dexter’s office in the preview. That makes me rather nervous – but as we are reminded time after time: this is the beginning of the end.

We also see Dexter with intentions on “taking down the messenger” – AKA Vogel. Perhaps he will discover then that Vogel is the Brain Surgeon. But of course things cannot be as easy as taking out Vogel now. I have a feeling that Richard Vogel, the husband Deb mentioned in 806, is going to make an appearance. Better yet, the man who “operated” on Yates will show up. I have a feeling Vogel has an accomplice. Perhaps that accomplice is Matthews?

That’s another theory I have. We see Matthews covering up for his own mistakes, covering up for the Hamilton family – what else is he hiding? I always was suspicious as to why Matthews did not hear out LaGuerta about her suspicions about Dexter. Perhaps Matthews is just as aware as Camila of Dexter’s Dark Passenger. We know that Matthews and Harry Morgan were good friends, and perhaps Matthews vowed to look after both Dexter and Debra if anything should ever happen to him (which it did – Harry – and Vogel—happened to Harry).


Comedic Highlights

When asking Dexter about how Zack escaped from his table, there is an underlying suggestion/joke that Zack’s price for escaping the table was similar to Hannah’s (sex). Any hint toward homosexuality in relation to Dexter automatically brings my brain to the thought of Michael C. Hall playing David Fischer on Six Feet Under. Unless that was the Doakes-look-like boyfriend in the plastic wrap, I can guarantee Hannah that no such thing occurred.

We are hit again with the joke of pseudo-homosexuality when Zack boasts about what he “did with the room” – dress it in plastic wrap, as if this were Extreme Home Makeover: Serial Killer Edition.


When reintroducing Niki to Dexter: “Remember Niki, the apple that didn’t fall too far from my tree?” (Something about the phraseology of this bothers me.)


  • Masuka: “We call Dex the King of Spatter.”
  • Dexter:“We do?”
  • Masuka: “I do. In private.”


  • Quinn: “You’re not alone. You got the kid.”
  • Harrison: “My name – is Harrison.”


  • Dexter: “[My father turned to Dr. Vogel …]”
  • Hannah: “How did that conversation go? Hey, I have this son who’s got these urges …”


  • Zack: “Hey, aren’t you that old guy’s wife?”
  • Dexter: “Not anymore. She’s with me.”
  • Zack: “Not nice … did you take out her husband?”


  • Zack: “Dude …”
  • Dexter: “Don’t ‘dude’ me.”
[GIF Credit: gifthemall]


“You’re both still breathing. That’s a good sign.”


[GIF Credit: onewaymylovelyother]


  • Zack: “Can I drive?”
  • Vogel: “Not a chance. My car’s older than you.”



And now to put a “number” on this episode. Dexterity (neat-handedness, puns, trickery, clever sayings, placements, etc.) will judge all of the small things that I pick up on. The higher the score, the more fun I had picking apart the episode for hidden clues. Entertainment (how much I laughed and enjoyed the episode) will judge how excited I was on average throughout the episode, as well as after it for the upcoming episodes. Xtremity (how dramatic, but also how believable the episode was, edge-of-the-seat, white knuckles, the “holy shit” factor) will judge just how jaw-dropping the episode was.

Dexterity: 6

Entertainment: 9

Xtremity: 9

DEX-Factor:  8


WORKSHOP WEDNESDAY — Dexter Wrap-Up: Season 8, Episode 8: “Are We There Yet?”

Released August 18, 2013

“Producer Scott Reynolds sits down with Writer Wendy West to discuss writing episode eight, followed by an interview with Sam Underwood.”

WORKSHOP WEDNESDAY — Dexter Wrap-Up: Season 8, Episode 8: “Are We There Yet?”