Did You Know? Although Season 8 Was Aired in 2013, It Takes Place During 2012

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Dissecting Dexter’s Consequences in 812: “Remember the Monsters?”

Lumberjack Dexter, Hannah, and Harrison almost make it on their flight to Rio when Jacob Elway shows up at the airport, threatening the life they planned to share together. After getting airport security onto Elway’s case to defuse the situation, Dexter inadvertently delays all succeeding flights until after Hurricane Laura passes through Miami. Meanwhile, news that Debra is in critical condition after getting shot by Oliver Saxon reaches Dexter shortly after this delay, fortifying his desire for vengeance upon the Brain Surgeon. Though Dexter believes he has transcended the need to kill, his petulance toward Saxon makes this kill far more personal than any other kill he has performed. Once Saxon is taken care of, the only loose end left in Miami is Debra, who would otherwise be left to vegetate in Miami Central hospital. Continue reading “Dissecting Dexter’s Consequences in 812: “Remember the Monsters?””

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””

Set Photos from 807

807 BTS 1 807 BTS 2 807 BTS 3 807 BTS 4 807 BTS 5

Did Vogel Kill Harry? A TV.com Opinion Piece

TV

A user on TV.com suggested, just after episode four of season eight aired, that Dr. Evelyn Vogel killed Harry Morgan.

Abo_Malek’s main argument is that law enforcement generally use firearms to commit suicide, rather than overdosing, as Harry does on his heart medication.

I must preface my response with the fact that I understand that this user was projecting their ideas at the time that the fourth episode was aired, and so they did not have enough information regarding Vogel at this point in time, nor had we seen Dr. Vogel’s full character arc.

Because Hannah McKay, the poisonous female (in every sense of the word) antagonist, was a key component of season seven, I am inclined to believe that the writers of Dexter would not impute the same modus operandi in the following season. We do not have concrete proof of Abo_Malek’s point; however, we do have experience with crooked therapists. Dexter’s target in “Shrink Wrap” (S1E8), Dr. Emmett Meridian, pushed his powerful female clients to suicide when they were most vulnerable. While this was Dr. Meridian’s way of channeling his own Dark Passenger, Evelyn Vogel’s own dark curiosities (we can even call it her Dark Passenger) were further displaced. She compelled Harry to teach Dexter to kill by the Code, rather than counselling Dexter directly.

If we assume that Dr. Vogel pulled a “Dr. Meridian” on Harry by compelling him to kill himself, this would befit the situation that unfolds in that Vogel is willing, and desires, to step in as his mother figure, and the only way to do so was by eliminating the middleman.

Vogel is a known scholar in sociopathic and psychopathic behavior; her Frankenstein-esque curiosity and passion for her vocation complicates this user’s idea. Harry is virtually her only way to accessing Dexter and his psyche. She is well aware of Harry and Dexter’s profound level of trust and is too wise to believe that she could step in, at the time of Harry’s suicide, and pick up where his foster father left off. Although she wants nothing more than to observe her “creation” up close and personally, eliminating Harry effectively forces Dexter to live inwardly and trust no one. It would be ridiculous for her to believe that Dexter would seek another form of connection beyond his father, for she believes Dexter is a psychopath in every sense of the word, meaning that, characteristically, he does not actively seek human connection.

There is, of course, the possibility that once Harry evinced his unreliability, Vogel could not take the chance in keeping him alive, allowing him to possibly go on to tell someone of their unorthodox therapy sessions. Perhaps she saw him as a liability.

In a way, Vogel indirectly killed Harry through her recommendations; however, I am not entirely convinced that Vogel offed Harry herself. If she did, I don’t think she would keep the videos of their sessions, which could later incriminate her if they ever got into the wrong (or right) hands. As a therapist, she has the legal obligation to forego confidentiality if one of her patients poses a threat to either himself or others (I believe this applies whether or not they are formal sessions).

To read Abo_Malek’s argument in full, click the above image.

Julie Benz and Jaime Murray Want Happy Ending for Dexter

Julie Benz (Rita Bennett Morgan) and Jaime Murray (Lila Tournay/West) had some opinions on how the show should end.

Just before season 8 ended, Jaime Murray said:

“Lila should come back and marry Dexter and they should go off together and have little psychopathic children.”

Julie Benz commented:

“We can’t kill Dexter. We just can’t,” she said. “We should always have the potential to have a Dexter movie or something. Maybe he moves away and starts in another town. I don’t know. We can’t kill him.” 

Click here for the full article.

Did You Know? Angel Batista Wasn’t Always Played by David Zayas in Season 8

According to IMDb, several times in season 8, David Zayas’ son, David Zayas Jr., stood in for his father in some shots.

Zayases

811: “Monkey in a Box”

Original Air Date: September 15, 2013

 

Time is ticking. There is only a single episode left. More things are coming full-circle, and Dexter must make decisions, and start making them quickly. Theories and literature have been weaved into this post in attempts to explain Dexter’s new pattern of behavior as well as to address the straddling of two lives: the one of the serial killer, and the one of the empathetic, “typical” brother/boyfriend/father. This treatment of season 8, episode 11: “Monkey in a Box,” was greatly aided and shaped by the wonderful ideas of Billy [CopaForever], Maria B. [redvsgreenmotiftheory], and Lindsay B.

Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina: The Evolution of Dexter Morgan

It finally sinks in that Dexter is moving; “it’s no longer pretend”: the Slice of Life is for sale, his apartment is on the market, his SUV is going to Astor (what a great step-dad!), and Harrison’s stuffed monkey is in a box. Harrison is clearly upset and Jamie is even more distraught. Aimee Garcia had said in her session on the Dexter Wrap-Up podcast for episode 5: “This Little Piggy,” Jamie is the one who loves both Dexter and Harrison unconditionally, and it certainly shows in her interaction with the young boy. It’s certainly a throwback to season 3 to see Sylvia Prado, Miguel Prado’s wife, back in the picture; when asking why he’s moving so suddenly, Dexter can only answer “Too many memories.” This reminds us that Dexter has too many skeletons in the closet … rather, slides in the (figurative) air conditioning unit, that could come back to bite him in the ass if he is not careful (did you see Dexter gaze sentimentally at the air conditioning unit where he kept his slide box?). Moving to Argentina will allow him a fresh start.

Angel’s send-off was surprisingly emotional – not just for us, but for Dexter as well. There was a marked quiver in his voice when he said that he’d miss everyone at Miami Metro. This is certainly unlike the pre-season 7 Dexter. As I’ve said before, Dexter has certainly changed, but it is becoming increasingly more apparent in this final season. His most recent kills have been nothing like what we have grown accustomed to: no plastic sheeting, trash bags, apron, or spatter helmet. His needs are changing, and his Dark Passenger is receding as his need for survival and preservation is trumping all else. I am reminded of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: at the most basic level are physiological needs (breathing, food, water, sleep). Those are met – those come before Dexter’s Dark Passenger, as we see in the intro. Dexter eats well. These needs are at the bottom of the pyramid, making them the most basic, but most important. If these needs are not met, all other concerns go out the window. At the next level is safety, encompassing the security of body, employment, resources, morality, family, health, and property. At this stage in the game, Dexter’s safety (of his family – meaning Hannah) has finally taken priority over his Dark Passenger, meaning the Dark Passenger is higher up in the pyramid than his physiological needs and need for safety. This is not to say that his concerns of safety are newly emerged. His Code is basically the second level of Maslow’s Hierarchy. The difference is the fact that family is now factored into the equation. Harry asks Dexter: “What happens when you get to Argentina?”, to which he responds: “I don’t know.” If they  do make it out of the country, I have a sneaking suspicion that once Dexter’s intense, passionate love for Hannah starts to die down, as does love with age and the passing of time, that the Dark Passenger will rise again, as will his need to kill and perpetuate the lifestyle in which he adapted as a teenager. For now, Harry leaves because he is no longer needed, and this send-off is even sadder than the one from Miami Metro, in my opinion. It marks the end of an era – the end of Dexter’s immediate connection to his roots (not to mention he’s leaving Deb behind, too).

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[GIF Credit: lloydgrints

With this in mind, it makes sense that Dexter has resorted to using any and all available resources to capture and get rid of Oliver Saxon because “there’s no time to [waste].” Dexter doesn’t even care of Saxon dies by his hand or someone else’s. It is imperative to keep in mind that Dexter is not satiating is Dark Passenger; rather, he is dealing with the issue. When Debra questions whether or not he wants Saxon for himself, Dexter says that he “just want[s] him taken care of,” which is “new coming from [Dexter].” The fact that the ritual no longer makes him happy, that it is more of a bother and a time-waster than a ceremonious experience speaks to the fact that his needs have changed. Although I am not entirely sold on the idea that Dexter’s Dark Passenger could have disintegrated entirely, I do believe that he has evolved over the course of eight seasons, and forty-something years of life. “That doesn’t sound like the old Dexter,” Harry says; “Maybe I’m not the old Dexter.” It’s built into the language – it’s a given that Dexter has transformed into something different than what he once was – the “old” Dexter.

Dexter seems to be cornered: even though Miami is his home territory, Oliver is at the advantage because he has nothing to lose. Each time he shows up, it’s salt to Dexter’s wound. When in the confession room at Miami Metro, Oliver begins saying how he loves Miami and how his business, friend, and family are all close by, which draws a visible reaction from Dexter. When he shows up to his apartment, mentioning how “moving is one of the big causes of stress … almost as much as divorce and death,” you can see how Oliver takes pleasure in creating and provoking his pain. We know that he’s cruising for a bruising – both Dexter and Oliver. Oliver is the biggest opponent since the Trinity killer, Arthur Mitchell. However, Oliver does bring up a valid point: “You already had one wife murdered – that must be an interesting story. But it’s gonna put you in a very awkward position if everyone else starts disappearing from your life.” He is right, which forces Dexter to act. I have a sneaking suspicion that Dexter will take the fall for his family if all hell breaks loose and he has the opportunity to do so. I think he would rather die for everyone than see his son be orphaned, or Hannah or Deb harmed. (I’ve been pushing the 301/Unholy Trinity idea so hard that I’ve actually fully bought into it – here’s Dexter, the warped Jesus, dying for his own sins, as well as the ones everyone else was forced into.)

 

The Challenges of Straddling Two Worlds

Dexter’s refusal to pick one world over another (the life of the serial killer and the life of the husband/boyfriend, son, brother) has proven, time after time, to be lethal. First it was Rita, left bloodless in a tub of blood; next was Vogel, in a pool of blood of her own; we see Deb lying in a pool of blood after Saxon shoots her, following Clayton’s inadvertent assist in his escape. It seems as though Dexter is only getting the hint now that he is jeopardizing everyone he loves so long as he lives in Miami, living the way he does. It’s sure as hell a good thing that he’s moving to Miami. I would hate to see Debra die because of his indiscretion. Dexter says in his monologue: “The last time I saw my mother in a pool of blood, I was too young to do anything about it. But I am no longer a child.” We have been constantly reminded since Rita’s murder in the season 4 finale that his past is pervasive; he will never be able to fully escape his genetics, nor his birth in blood. Laura Moser, Rita Bennett, and Evelyn Vogel all shared similar fates – each cut up in various ways and their blood drained from their systems. If he is to keep the vitality in those he loves, he must remove himself from their lives, which is proving difficult to do, given all that we’ve seen this season so far.

The opening scene of this episode pictures Dexter washing Vogel’s blood from his hands, ruminating over the fact that she warned him about straddling two worlds and the fact that “she paid the price” for his missteps. Dexter seems to have wanted to make this transition only because of Hannah’s situation. I do not think that Dexter would have made such a quick transformation – the jump from the straddled life to the life in Argentina – had she not been there. Of course, other lives would still be in jeopardy, but it is the fact that Hannah could possibly be taken in again that pushes him to act. In my opinion, this is absolutely bizarre. Debra’s downward spiral should have kicked him into gear – I wanted Dexter to pick up and leave Miami with Debra and Harrison immediately following the season 7 finale, but of course there was no such luck. Dexter finally admits to us and himself that what he is isn’t “who [he] want[s] to be.”

 

Debra

Deb seems to finally be coming to terms with the fact that her brother is leaving, and that it is the best thing for him and Harrison, even if it means Hannah raising her nephew and cohabiting with her brother. She seems to hand off her brother and nephew to Hannah the same way in which Dexter “agrees” to allow Quinn to date his sister.

Debra has been struggling with her integrity and her own strength since the moment she walked in on her brother in the church, about to kill Travis Marshall. This struggle revealed itself with Deb’s quick down-spiral and attempt at killing both herself and Dexter; although it seemed for a while as though she had come to accept both herself and Dexter, we see in the preview for 812 that she is still doubting whether she is a good person as she’s being rushed to the hospital in the ambulance. Despite the fact that during Dex and Deb’s final steak-and-beer night they had a heart-to-heart of the same nature, discussing her strength and resilience, which was meant to reassure her, Deb continues to doubt herself, which begs the question: Will she confess again to Quinn about all the things she’s done, about all the things Dexter has done? I’m not sure she will – although I’m not sure she won’t either.

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[GIF Credit: parangarico]

Billy pointed out that we see Debra in a white loose-fitting blouse and red over-shirt – he saw this as symbolic of the guilt, self-doubt, and secrecy she’s held in for so long finally coming out and being embraced, and the white undershirt as the good and purity radiating within her, despite all she has been through. I do agree with his interpretation, although I just saw it as a mimicking strategy of both her brother (the button-up in red) as well as Hannah McKay (the flowy whiteness that she has been trying to mock to win over her brother’s affections). The white even reminds me of the cream-and-whites that Vogel donned this entire season. With this said, Debra is not afraid to get her hands dirty anymore. She reassures Dexter that if she gets Saxon, she won’t be “handing him over to [Dexter].” This kill is personal, to both Dexter and Debra, but Dexter’s sudden epiphany about being freed from his Dark Passenger gets in the way of the two of them accomplishing that goal. The vitality has returned to Debra Morgan finally, as is evidenced by this response, because she is back in Miami Metro where she belongs – it’s her “home.”

Speaking of vitality – there is another kind of healthy glow in Debra Morgan’s cheeks, and his name is Joey Quinn. I just want to bring up the ring-in-the-top-drawer moment only for this reason: Quinn knows Debra  so well – last week, I pointed out how he made the keen observation about Deb’s face (and how it turns red) when she gets mad – this week, Quinn assumes that she’s looking for his stash of Thin Mints (because he’s also assuming that she’ll be stressed about having to catch up on so much when getting back to work at Miami Metro). This is a small detail that I haven’t forgotten over the seasons of Dexter. I cannot recall which season it was, but it was one of the very few times when Deb and LaGuerta actually were getting along. They were in the break area of Miami Metro and LaGuerta was asking her about how she copes with certain things, and she commented on how she eats a lot of frozen Thin Mints when she’s stressed. If the ring is any indication of Joey’s pining for Debra, the Thin Mints are the icing on the cake – it seems as though he stocked up on them just for Deb, or he’s had them for the few months that she wasn’t in the office. Although this does not satisfy those who were unhappy with the hasty revelation that Debra still had feelings for Dexter, it does reinforce the fact that Quinn has been, and would have continued, waiting for Deb to come back into his life.

 

Motifs

My friend, the lovely Maria B., brought to my attention that the red v. green theme appears in several works of literature – lucky for me, I found this red v. green when Dexter first scopes out the abandoned hospital that Oliver Saxon has been using. The colors in this entire sequence, from Dexter walking outside of to entering the building, was just fantastic color-wise. We see the abandoned building from an angle – the longest street-side of the building highlighted in green, and the other side highlighted in red. Maria listed these fabulous examples to me to validate this observation: Thor (red cape) v. Loki (green costume); Spiderman v. Green Lantern; Superman (red cape) v. Lex Luther (green armor); Gryffindor v. Slytherin; “Expelliarmus” (red light emitted) v. “Avada Kedavra”(green light emitted) (these are the go-to spells of Harry and Voldemort, conveniently); Sir Gawain (red attire) v. the Green Knight; Star Wars has a slight twist: Jedis with green and blue light sabers v. Sith with red light sabers.

The obvious opposition in this scene is Oliver Saxon v. Dexter. Because Dexter is wearing a green shirt, I want to categorize him with the “greens,” which would make him evil; however, he is the blood guy, which suggests that he straddles the good v. evil line – he is certainly a good character in many respects, but also “bad” in the sense that he is a serial killer (which is generally frowned upon in society outside of the fictional world). This relates back to the straddling-two-worlds point. Dexter wants to be good – but he still straddles; his morals and the Code keep him on the line, and he has walked the line for several years now.

To circle back to the opposition of Oliver v. Dexter – we are hit in the face with it once again, both in lighting and in wardrobe choices. When Oliver pays Dexter a visit, under the cover of a prospective buyer for his apartment, Dexter is clothed in black, located in the shadow of his apartment, and Oliver is clothed in white, the light from the window like a halo over his head. This is interesting considering the fact that Oliver was clothed in black and in the shadows in Vogel’s home in 810. Perhaps this is to remind us that Vogel is his biological mother, or at least of the familial connection. Perhaps this angelic appearance has something to do with the offer that he is laying out on the table for Dexter – “Walk away. We go our separate ways. Go on with your life or come after me. Choose poorly, like Mom, and you will lose. You have a lot more to lose than I do.” Saxon’s offer seems like a God-send, but Dexter takes this as a “veiled threat,” as is believable, judging by how he has become the guard dog for the Morgans and those whom he loves. Of course Oliver does move out of the light to level with Dexter in the shadow of his apartment. (I’m surprised that Saxon offered to buy Dexter’s apartment rather than his boat. I think the Slice of Life is more suited for Oliver than the guy worried about the size of the boat’s beer cooler.)

When Dexter enters into what he calls Oliver’s “Sanitarium,” we are overwhelmed by the blue of the Sanitarium, which is strange, considering I cannot figure out where the lighting is coming from. It looks like a scene right out of a horror film. The blue does echo the blue of Dexter’s apartment when he and Debra double-team Saxon and take him down (cue: Eiffel 65’s “I’m Blue”). I’m not all too sure what the blue represents other than the fact that it is a third-party force (like the Star Wars analogy). It seems to be the turf on which the green and red duel – Dexter trespasses on Saxon’s turf, as does Saxon when he breaks into Dexter’s apartment to come after him (recall that he broke into Dexter’s apartment to dump Zach Hamilton’s (yes, I am finally aware that I’ve been spelling his name wrong this entire time – thank you, close up of the file on Saxon’s laptop) body. Dexter invades the Sanitarium once again when he straps Oliver into his own chair. The moment when he should have killed Saxon (but couldn’t because there is still the season finale left).

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 [Gif Credit: tongihts-thenight]

 

Reflections and Bookends

There is a strange similarity between the styling of hair and scruff on both Dexter and Oliver Saxon – although there are not that many ways in which men can style their hair, this look struck me when Oliver and Dexter stood in Dex’s apartment together. The back-and-forth provided a comparison, as if the two were brothers – and in a way, they are. They are the same “Mother.” Speaking of brothers – we began Dexter with brothers and sibling rivalry – Brian “Biney” Moser (alias Rudy Cooper) tried to make Dexter choose him, a blood sibling, over Debra, his adopted sibling. Their mother, Laura Moser, and her death shaped their relationship with the world as well as each other. It is because of what they witnessed that the two have issues coping with and/or controlling blood – both their own and others’. Their genetics also made them into the psychopaths they are/were. The startling truth about their mother brought them together, but is also what split them apart, leading to Brian’s death. Here we are now, Oliver providing his “brother” with an ultimatum, and a face-off. Will he choose his spiritual brother and “walk away” or will he choose his biological, chosen family and kill Oliver? Evelyn, the shared mother in this instance, drove them together. Now that Evelyn is out of the picture, they are at odds, just as Brian and Dexter were.

Both brother pairings deal with issues of parentage and upbringing: Brian and Oliver both embraced the standard view of psychopaths – they kill because they want to, without standards and without stooping to anyone’s rules. Whereas Brian tried to get Dexter to cross over into the lifestyle of the typical psychopath, tempting him to kill his own sister, Oliver begged Evelyn to teach him how to function in society and still be what he is, just like Dexter. Although this seems to be a great complimentary bookend – we are informed by the man who’s buying Dexter’s boat that Tropical Storm Laura is heading into Miami. This indubitably is meant to remind us of Laura Moser, Dexter’s birth mother. She is the storm that created what he is, and could very well be the storm that ends all that he is. Laura Moser: the be-all and end-all of Dexter Morgan. Billy suggested that the hurricane could be simply a baptism into a life without the Dark Passenger in it, or at least a reminder of Dexter’s origins. He also reminded me that we do see a clip of the rain soaking into Dexter’s skin and clothes that appears like blood – it’s another blood bath. A rebirth? A reminder of his origins? We shall see! (The monologue will be telling.)

Despite the differences, each instance stresses the importance of family, lineage, and bloodline. Brian wants Dexter to choose him over Debra; Oliver wants Evelyn to choose him over Dexter. Of course spiritual and adopted relationships win over simply because blood is not everything, just as Dexter is coming to learn as he evolves into the man he is today – somewhere between psychopath and typical human being.

Speaking of blood – It seems as though the women of Dexter are destined to continue winding up in pools of blood, which shape and break Dexter Morgan: Laura Moser, Rita Bennett, Vogel, and now Debra. Thankfully Debra is not dead. Yet. She’s back on the job one day and she’s already been shot, though. She’s got a matching bullet wound in her other side now. What a nice bookend for Debra Morgan.

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[GIF credit: gifshows

Returning to the idea of family: Matthews approaches both Dexter and Debra as a father would: “Harry would’ve been proud of the two of you.” He is a father figure to them, undoubtedly. If we consider what was posed in last week’s treatment for just a moment, the idea of Matthews and Vogel being romantically involved and/or married at one point, although I ruled these things to be impossible or unlikely, it is likely that Matthews and Vogel are meant to represent the spiritual father and mother of the Morgan siblings. This would connect them without having them actually be in relationships with each other. My suspicions seem to be confirmed with how Matthews acted after Vogel’s memorial service and then later at Papa’s. If he had been romantically involved, he would be more torn up and less business-y and up-right about the whole thing. That is, of course, if he’s not a psychopath himself (what a plot twist that would be!). I have a feeling that Vogel’s memorial service is the bookend for this season, complimenting LaGuerta’s memorial service, although I do have a feeling that we will be witnessing the funeral and/or memorial of Debra Morgan this Sunday (Jennifer Carpenter has expressed that the only way that she could be fully content with the ending of the series is if her character dies – she cares about Debra too much and would wonder “what if” if she did live. In recent interviews, she has expressed how content she is with the series’ end, which leads me to this conclusion).

We are constantly reminded of the dualities in Dexter’s life, as well as the gray spaces in between, whether we are discussing good v. evil, man v. monster, psychopath v. typical empathetic human being, serial killer v. common man. The two doors in Dexter’s office pull him in opposite directions depending upon where the people are. This never captured my attention until this episode when Masuka popped into one door, and then Niki into the other just moments later. This draws attention to the double life and how Dexter is straddling the one in which he is currently living.

We see Deb moving back into the desk she inhabited for season 1-5 (or was it 1-6? I’m losing track).

In either 802 or 803, our introductory monologue expresses how much Dexter loves Miami, especially since it “produces more dead bodies than sunburns.” Now we have Oliver gushing over the same things: “I love the Cuban food, nice weather, murder rate at about 20%.” Other than the fact that this is a bookend, Dexter says that he once felt the same way about Miami. Oliver points out that it sounds like “somebody’s changed,” to which Dexter responds: “It has” (emphasis added). I rewound and listened to this sound bit several times, because I thought I was mistaken. It seems as though Dexter believes his Dark Passenger, the “it,” has changed rather than he has, which is an interesting view coming from Oliver, the supposed psychopath, and Dexter, the supposed “man.” I would think they would hold opposite views, given their current situations and how the audience views both of their characters. Dexter realizes that he does not need to kill Oliver, confirming that his needs have changed, but he does say that he will see to it that Saxon dies by the electric chair. When talking about the fate of Dexter with my friend Lindsay B., she said that she thinks we will see Dexter in the electric chair in the final scene of the series. I think it would be a really riveting ending, but I am not sure if that is what the writers will be going for.

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[GIF Credit: posthawk]

The introduction sequence to Dexter has been the same since day 1 (with the exception of the season 4’s premiere, which I love to death). It is interesting that we end with Dexter leaving the apartment the same way in which the opening credits end, but with little Harrison trailing behind him. Could this be indicative of Dexter’s legacy, both in the world of entertainment as well as in Miami and through his genetics? I think both are accurate.

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[Gif credits: joeydeangelis]

 

Dexter: A Comedy

  • Debra: “You should go on one of those cooking shows … you know the competition ones. You’d win.”
  • Hannah: “Oh, I’d make sure that I did.”

 

  • Masuka: “I could go for some hookers and some blow right now, but since this isn’t the ‘90s, caffeine it is.”

 

  • Debra: “Well she needs to get her fuckin’ eyes checked because I haven’t been blonde since … a very bad freshman year.”

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[GIF Credit: parangarico]

 

  • Dexter: “You went out of your way to kill your mother in front of me and you just expect me to forget?”
  • Oliver: “It may’ve been a little over the top.”

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(Here is also the black and white/shadow and light comparison I made earlier.)

[GIF Credits: posthawk]

 

  • Dexter: “This is just for right now. It’s not forever.”
  • Debra: “I know that, fuckface.”

 

Dexterity!

  • Dexter: “If [Oliver] wants to take a last stab at me, he has to do it tonight.”

 

Predictions

Dexter’s ending monologue conveys his optimism for his future with Hannah and his ability to escape the country unscathed, despite all of the opposition he will face (Elway, Hurricane Laura, Deb being in the hospital, Saxon): “I used to live by night in the shadow of my Dark Passenger. I lived in shadows for so long until the dark became my world. The people in my life flipped on a light. At first I was blinded it was so bright. But over the years my eyes adjusted. I could see and now what is in focus is my future. Bright. Brighter than it’s ever been.” Although Dexter has high hopes, I do not. The storm is coming, as Elway keeps reminding us, and I don’t think anyone is going to get out alive (except for Harrison. You can’t kill the kid!).

I would absolutely love it if we discover that Matthews has been in on Dexter’s secret this entire time. I truly believe that he has been involved in enough sketchy practices that this would not be such a far-fetched concept. Matthews does seem to keep his eye out for Dexter and Debra, as if stepping in where Harry left off. Do you recall when Matthews refused to see LaGuerta’s claims through of Dexter’s suspicious activity? And also his own run-in with leaving the scene of a crime? And how protective he was over the Hamilton family? What about his knowledge of Vogel’s son’s death? I would really like to see that this is true – not only to be right about something for once in my life, but because it seems right. It will probably enrage many of you, though, if this is true.

I believe Debra Morgan will die. I do not want to see her have to endure a world without Dexter, especially if he is removed from her life by the electric chair or put in jail. When Dexter called up Debra so that she could be the “hero of Miami Metro” for finding Oliver Saxon, that was a huge red flag for me. LaGuerta was viewed as a hero for going against Estrada in a supposed “battle” in that shipping container. I have a feeling that Debra is going to die a hero, too.

Dexter says that he will leave the knives in the hospital for evidence when they were supposed to find Saxon; however, the situation did not go down as originally planned. I have the worst feeling that somebody is going to find these knives and draw them back to Dexter Morgan.

I think Miami Metro will be suddenly clued into Dexter and Debra’s suspicious activity. I have a feeling that Masuka’s daughter, Niki, will have something to do with that. Lindsay thought so as well.

Clayton was shaping up to be a huge threat to the Morgans, but we know for sure that Elway is going to take on the torch and continue on in his search for Hannah McKay all because he is in pursuit of money.

Oliver is still on the loose. We cannot forget that he is still a loose end and that he will be going after Debra, Hannah, and Harrison with the strongest vengeance possible. I don’t think Quinn will leave Deb’s side much, but I do think she will be the first one that Oliver goes after – if the beginning of the series is anything to judge by, I have a feeling that she will be the number-one target. I don’t know if Oliver will kill Harrison, but he may take out Hannah, too. All I know is – this last episode is going to be one huge bloodbath.

We know that Dexter ends up in the hospital somehow for long enough to ram Elway into the wall and be all macho about protecting Debra and Hannah. I have a feeling that the plane will never even leave the ground because of Hurricane Laura (we know that it develops into a Hurricane because of the previews). Laura Moser – the genetics of Dexter Morgan – chained Dexter to his Dark Passenger and his past. Hurricane Laura will continue to chain him to his past and to Miami. I just checked out the etymology of the name “Laura” – it is related to laurels, or the “victor’s garlands.” Laura is bound to trump Dexter and his efforts. Always has and always will.

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[Photo Credit: dexter.wikia.com]

When all is said and done, I have a feeling that our little Harrison Morgan will be left as an orphan – perhaps he will be sent to live with Paul Bennett’s parents with Astor and Cody. If Deb is going to die, and if Dexter is going to either be locked up or imprisoned, Hannah is certainly going with him. I think Harrison will be left in the mess of blood, all by himself, to fend for himself, just as this entire journey started out for Dexter.

 

Final Thoughts

I really hope the final episode does not come down to a giant court hearing or story within a story, as is the frame of The Reader or perhaps the entire premise of The Canterbury Tales. When first considering what I would like to happen to Dexter, I thought I wanted Dexter to go to jail or die for what he had done: it’s wrong, right? Upon a serious reflection, I do not want Dexter to die, even though I think that he has done so much that it has to catch up with him somewhere, in some shape or form. If I had to take an educated guess as to what Dexter Morgan’s fate will be, I would have to say that I think that Miami Metro is going to find out – whether it be Quinn or Batista. I think it is going to be by someone who will hit close to home with all of us. There was a scene in the 810-811-812 combo preview that leads me to believe that either Quinn or Angel will find Dexter stalking after someone in the hospital. I do not think that Dexter is going to get out of this neatly.

As for Hannah, I’m not sure. I’m mainly worried about the Morgans: Dexter, Debra, Harrison. Hannah is just a casualty at this point in time. It’s her fault that any of these disasters are happening. If she dies, I have a feeling that Dexter might become a full-on Brian or Oliver. If Harrison dies, I think the same thing. If Debra dies and Dexter lives to see that day, I think he will lose the Dark Passenger all together and become super human.

 

Overview

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. This is my rating, or as I like to call it, the “DEX-factor.”

Dexterity: 8

Simply because Dexter said Oliver was going to take a “stab” at him, which so cleanly mirrors our tagline.

Entertainment: 8

Deb got shot – Clayton’s dead – and Oliver Saxon is roaming free!

Xtremity: 8

Because this entire season has been one giant whirlwind of “WTFs” and “what the hell just happened?” moments.

DEX-Factor:   8

 

810: “Goodbye Miami”

Original Air Date: September 8, 2013

 

Is this goodbye forever? Will Dexter and Hannah escape Miami? Will Oliver come after Dexter’s loved ones? Will Oliver snitch on Dexter in Miami Metro’s confession room? Will we come to a big revelation that Dexter was Dexter speaking down to us from Purgatory this entire time? Will we realize that Tom Matthews has been in on Dexter’s secret all along? Things get real in this treatment for season 8, episode 10: “Goodbye Miami.”

Edit: September 13, 2013. A major oversight on my part is taken into consideration about Dexter’s first and last kill room.


Our Mother Who Art In Hell

It is evident that Daniel Vogel, alias Oliver Saxon, has it out for his mother. Although he is in his mid-forties, we see that the rage and jealousy fuel his juvenile desires to reconnect with his mother by eliminating Dexter Morgan, the son who is always chosen over him. Oliver is enraged for several reasons: his mother paid more attention to Richard (his younger brother); when he killed Richard, desperately seeking attention and help, Vogel institutionalized him back in England; not only did she do this, but she never visited him or tried to make contact whatsoever; Oliver discovers that his mother did for Dexter what he wished she would have done for him, her biological and blood son; even when threatening her life and intimidating her, Vogel still chooses Dexter; she agrees to help Oliver live the live which Dexter lives, but then violates that promise by arranging for Dexter to kill Oliver. If I were Oliver, I might be murderous myself.

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[GIF Credit: late-dawnsandearly-sunsets]

The issue lies in the fact that Evelyn Vogel is straddling two worlds – the one of the in-denial, empathetic mother (“My son isn’t going to harm me … I just [know].”Dexter also had to show Vogel the video of Oliver cutting into Zack’s brain to get the idea through her head – pun intended – that Oliver enjoys killing), and the one of the closed-off, experimental Neuropsychiatrist – a decision against which she warned Dexter. A decision which led to her own death because she “chose the wrong son” again. Oliver had given her this ultimatum earlier on in the episode: “Choose right this time;” however, Evelyn’s definition of “right” changed depending on whom she was standing in front of. I was not convinced of the genuine nature of Evelyn’s emotions up until this very episode. I was under the impression that she has been acting solely to manipulate Dexter – perhaps it is the intensity of Charlotte Rampling’s gaze that threw me off; however, she was purely genuine – believably genuine – for the first time this entire season.

Dr. Vogel agrees to help Oliver, but fails both herself and her son in the fact that she tells Oliver she intends on finding a better institution for him that the one to which he was first sent. It was clear to us that Oliver wanted to live in the way Dexter does, but somehow Evelyn cannot consider it an option for her own son. Oliver did persuade her, but it was under the conditions of being on his operation chair, in the kill room which resembled where he would be taken to, strapped down, and force-fed pills, which was only the “highlight of [his] day.” (On a side note: this is the second time Dr. Vogel has been taken captive, against her will, by a serial killer. First we have Yates, sizing up which of her toes to break, and now we have Oliver, half a step away from strapping her in and slicing her skull open.

Oliver was a significant wake-up call for Evelyn. She was proud of her work with Dexter. She did not mind treating other psychopaths and performing experiments to see if she could shape these creatures of nature. Why? Because nobody she loved – none of her family – was being directly affected by her actions, by her practices, teachings, and mantras. Evelyn clearly favors Dexter over Oliver because Dexter did not kill Richard: Daniel did. She cannot forgive Oliver, nor does she trust him. She, therefore, must classify Oliver as the worst kind of psychopath – the one we thought of when we heard the word before we started watching Dexter. Dexter is the best kind of psychopath because he takes out other psychopaths, or “people who deserve to die.” Her other subjects may have been the lesser psychopaths because of the unorthodox treatments she used on them.

Oliver sees Dexter as a threat and his mortal enemy because Evelyn gave him the tools to succeed in the world, existing as he is (the Code), and because his mother chose Dexter when he was spending his time in the severely corrupt institution. He also is aware of the relationship his mother has built up with Dexter over the course of this season, so he knows Dexter automatically is ahead in the mother-winning game. Oliver is aware that Evelyn takes pride in what she made Dexter into, or else he would not be so hung up over Dexter. Furthermore, Oliver also saw Zack as a threat. He took out Zack because he knew Dexter and his mother were trying to recreate what he so desperately wanted for himself – Dexter’s life.

Dexter, strangely, sees Oliver as a man of which to be jealous. Dr. Vogel has expressed to Dexter on several occasions how he is “perfect as he is” – in his “natural state as a psychopath.” I may be paraphrasing here, but the bottom line is that there has been a noticeable change in the way in which he operated pre-Hannah and post-Hannah, both in the scheme of the series, and over the course of season 8. Dexter was on-target and focused until Hannah showed her pretty little face in Miami. Ever since then, he’s been a deranged puppy chasing his own tail, and then Hannah’s. Although at times it seems as though Dexter has everything under control, it is clear that he cannot escape this series without losing many of the people he loves. He’s already lost Vogel – it is now time to see whether he can avenge her death, while also making it out of Miami before the hurricane comes in and permanently grounds him and his family (Hannah and Harrison) and guarantees Hannah’s capturing. Dexter wonders:  “is [Oliver] the perfect psychopath [he] once was?” It seems as though this question haunts Dexter. At some points, it seems as though he is proud of his serial killer-to-human progress. Other times, like this one, Dexter seems to mourn the loss of the emotionless self that accompanied the Dark Passenger on these stalk-hunt-kill rituals.

Personally, it is painful to watch Oliver beg his mother to help him become “someone [she] can love” – the way she loves Dexter. He asks her: “As your son … Please help me.” Although I have often viewed Vogel as the Master Manipulator (and Hannah McKay named Dexter the Master Manipulator), Oliver usurps this position of power in this position. She is in his kill room after all. All in all, he just wanted his mother to understand the rejection he experienced because she was incapable of handling what he was at that point in time. Once he is scorned once again, he takes out his own mother, out of both anger and vengeance against Dexter. He wants Dexter, too, to feel the loss and pain he endured without Dr. Evelyn Vogel, their mother.

In Dr. Vogel’s final scene (not counting the one in which she is killed and lying on the ground in a pool of her own blood – a theme we revisit time and time again, from Laura Moser to Rita to Cassie), I would like to draw attention to the lighting and the chosen wardrobe. We have Oliver Saxon, our dark and mysterious character, dressed in black, lurking in the shadows. And then we have Dr. Evelyn Vogel, the woman who tried “playing God,” wearing all white, with the spotlight shining on her. The glow of death is already upon her as her hair and skin become more washed out than her age allows for. It is clear that Vogel is seeing the light at the end of a tunnel – the afterlife. Whether or not it is Heaven is debatable, if you want to go the religious route.

To run with the idea of “playing God,” we see Oliver and Vogel drinking from silver-rimmed tea cups. This immediately brought the idea of Gods drinking from golden goblets on Mount Olympus. I do not know why. This just serves to remind me, and it should remind you, that these are people we are dealing with. Not gods. The things in which they dabble (killing, treatment and facilitation of psychopaths) are dangerous trades.

Similarly, Dexter has been offered the ultimatum which will determine how this series ends up: his “real” family, meaning Debra and Vogel (of course before she was dead – so carrying out vengeance on Oliver); or his “created” family, meaning Hannah (I do not count Harrison into this equation. He goes where Dexter goes). Dexter, in attempts to make everyone happy (as he is so apt to do) has difficulties straddling his own two worlds (both the ones of the public man and the private serial killer, and the ones of Miami and Argentina).

 

Dexter: From Serial Killer to Man

Dexter’s conversation with Harry in the kill room he prepares for Saxon is a throwback to how he used to operate: pictures of victims on the wall, precisely placed plastic sheets, his roll of knives, and of course his kill outfit. He states to Harry that he has changed quite a bit since the last time he was “here.” Some people have taken this to mean that this is the first kill room we ever saw Dexter in (Jaworoski’s? The minister or pastor’s?), but I do not know if there is substantial evidence for this (EDIT: Someone said it is blatantly said that it is the choir director’s kill room. My bad. See what lack of sleep does to you? Thank you, Billy! He points out to me that this is a great bookend, and I agree.). I took this “here” to mean that the last time he put up pictures and performed the ritual – both are true in their own right.

Dr. Vogel believes that Dexter is using her as an excuse to kill Oliver. She is still operating under the assumption that deep down, Dexter is still the psychopath he always was and always will be. Dexter’s internalized Harry says the same thing to him time and time again. Harry is even more direct with him – which could mean one of two things: Dexter is thinking of what his father would say to him, OR Dexter’s subconscious is speaking to him through what he perceives as what his father would say (meaning Dexter is 100% aware of the fact that he will always be a psychopath and he cannot change it or run away from it for as long as he lives). Harry highlights for Dexter that moving to Argentina is not akin to moving away from his Dark Passenger. His Dark Passenger will always lie in wait, within him. Harry says: “Going to Argentina isn’t going to change who you are … I just don’t want you to have any unrealistic expectations about whatever happens next.” I think that is setting us up for a bookend along these lines: In season 1, we heard Dexter say: “If I could have feelings for anyone at all, it would be Debra.” Meaning – if he wasn’t a psychopath, things would be different.

On the flip side – Harry says Dexter is “choosing to be afraid (when going after Oliver) for the first time in [his] life. [He] think[s] [he’s] got something to lose. Is that who you wanna be?” I am confused as to what Harry / Dexter’s subconscious is suggesting here. All along Harry was pushing Dexter to be normal, act normal, pretend. Harry effectively made Dexter want a normal life, and here we are. And yet his internalized dead father is persuading him against it? This is why I am unsure as to whether Harry is an apparition speaking from the grave, a “what would Harry do” situation troubleshooter, or Dexter’s subconscious speaking through Harry. For those who do not believe that Dexter has changed, look at how Dexter sobs over Evelyn Vogel’s dead body. I think that speaks volumes. Remember how Dexter refused to blink when watching a movie with Rita so that he could be “crying” with her? Dexter likes to think he’s changed, and so do we. But is it true, or have we all been fooled, Dexter included?

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[GIF Credit: turntechdestiel]

When discussing Argentina, Hannah expresses her interest in a “fresh start” – for both herself and Dexter. This indubitably means that neither of them plan on committing any felonies while in Argentina, including (serial) killing. On several occasions, I have wondered whether Hannah realizes the extent to which Dexter is a killer. We all know that she said to him, while on his Table, “Do what you gotta do,” but does she realize that he is a psychopath? We know she is cognizant of this – Dexter discussed Harry’s past with Evelyn, and how she came into his life years ago without his knowledge – but has she grasped the concept fully? Hannah questions Dexter in this episode when he says he “feels” he needs to kill Oliver, for she knows that “When it comes down to [Dexter] and killing, feelings ever enter the equation.” My point is that Hannah may be asking Dexter to give up the part of himself that is unshakable.

She asks Dexter why he’s going after Oliver. Dexter responds: “It’s what I do. It’s who I am. It’s all I know.” Is this true? I don’t think it is, and I don’t know if Dexter even buys this. We’ve seen him act as though he isn’t just a serial killer. Why the sudden lack of confidence? Hannah urges: “Dexter, you’re more than that.” We know he’s more than that. At least we hope he is.

What frustrates me most about this season is the fact that Dexter is more of a dad and a lover than a serial killer. What infuriates me is the fact that Dexter is so blinded by Hannah’s pretty blonde hair that he fails to realize that upping and leaving the country at the same time Hannah McKay was suspected to be in Miami is the most suspicious thing he could ever do. Perhaps he thinks he is invincible, given all of the things he has gotten away with over the years. If he was smart, he would wait for a long while and then leave months later to join Hannah in Argentina. The thought of letting Hannah go again is too much for Dex to handle, and here he is, like a puppy dog, running after her with his tail wagging and tongue hanging out, panting. If you recall, Jordan Chase’s buddies and partners in crime in season 5 tried skipping town, but Chase advised them against such suspicious activity. Dexter should know better than anyone that what he is doing is a grave mistake.

What is even more absurd is the fact that Dexter brings up Rita’s death as a reason why he’s leaving Miami. Rita died four years ago and we all know damn well that he was not nearly as impacted by her death as he was by the possibility of Hannah leaving forever. Perhaps Rita’s death triggered something within Dexter that made him realize that he never wants to lose another woman like Rita (or Hannah) again. But Rita’s death happened four years ago. We all know Batista is too much of a heart-felt guy to question this though.

 

Debra

Debra is a lioness, protecting her cub (Harrison). She’s pissed, to say the least, at Dexter for deciding to pick up and leave. She’s not even pointing out to him that what he is doing will look highly suspicious. Deb has taken the hint from Hannah – she is finally supporting Dex in whatever she thinks will make him happy, although her initial response is selfish. Her response to the sight of Dexter, Hannah, and Harrison is always a painful one – she doesn’t feel like she belongs, nor does she know how she will live without Dexter. “You’ve always been there. Moving on without you feels like jumping off a cliff.” We already know that Deb does not want to find out what life would be like without Dexter in it because she already tried getting rid of him (via killing him in a car crash), but decided against letting him drown at the last second. She says: “I don’t know what my life looks like without you.” We hear her talk about how Dex has always been there, “for better or worse,” which sound more like marriage vows than brothers and sisters’ commitments to each other. “Here she goes with the incest again,” you all say, shaking your heads and rolling your eyes (Speaking of that topic – did anyone catch the implication of Hannah signing Debra’s name and calling herself Harrison’s mother – um HELLO! It’s RIGHT THERE.). In a way, it sounds like Debra is about to take the suicidal route again, but since Quinn is back in her life, I have a feeling she will lean on him rather than go bat-shit crazy.

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[GIF Credit: late-dawnsandearly-sunsets]

Despite all of this, Debra continuously proves her unconditional love for her brother. Not only has she allowed Hannah, her mortal enemy, to cohabit with her, but now she’s lying to Deputy Marshal Clayton about Dexter and Hannah’s involvement and whereabouts. The case can be made that by throwing Hannah under the  bus, she is also throwing herself under the bus – but even so, Deb warns Hannah about Clayton’s whereabouts and suspicions. She’s being a good sister.

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[GIF Credit: late-dawnsandearly-sunsets ]

It is because of this selfishness that Debra will be able to move on with her life and return to Miami Metro, become a detective again, and do “something good for a change.” Dexter will not be around to compromise her integrity or her position.

It’s been a long time coming, Jamie and Quinn’s break-up. The way in which Deb and Quinn get back together is very soap opera-y, as were many things this season; however, it’s nice to see the two of them back in action, both in the field and romantically. I say this mainly because Deb looks happy again. The light has reentered her eyes – she’s doing something she loves, working with the people she loves, doing something good for Miami. Here’s the thing – people are complaining about how Deb didn’t show feelings for Quinn the past several years, but they fail to see that Debra says: “I used to feel like something was holding me back.” That “something” is DEXTER. She just let go of the idea/dream/notion of her being romantically involved with Dexter. She is finally coming to the terms with the fact that Dexter will not always be in her life like he has been. She understands that he is in love with Hannah and that he intends on making a life with her. Since she has let that go, any reservations she had about Quinn have gone away, or at least she is willing to go back to what she already had that was so great. Quinn and Deb were a really great couple when they were together and I have no doubt about their future together beyond the series’ conclusion. It’s foolish to say that this was not inevitable or that it made no sense.

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[GIF Credit: fant4sy-land] 


Other

Jamie is getting screwed by the Morgans left and right: Not only will Dexter no longer need her employment, but he’s taking Harrison from her; Debra inadvertently stole her man. Or are they doing her a favor? She is free to go to wherever it was that wanted to interview her for a job. She can finally start her career.

Personally, I felt it would have been more fitting for Evelyn’s skull to have been sawed open and her anterior insular cortex scooped out. That would have been how I saw Evelyn’s death – however, this was more personal than any other death we saw this season. It seems as though draining the blood from Dexter’s loved ones is the way the Dexter writers prefer to take them out: Rudy Cooper / Brian ‘Biney’ Moser (side note: my typo read “Brain Moser”) was sliced through the carotid artery, Sweeney Todd style (minus the cannibalism – Ron Galuzzo is already dead), as was Dr. Evelyn Vogel; his blood mother, Laura Moser’s blood drained out and formed a pool in which Brian and Dexter sat in for days; Rita’s leg was sliced and her blood drained into the bathtub.

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[GIF Credit: giinaarr]

What was bizarre was the fact that Dexter ran up to and smashed himself against the window as Oliver killed Evelyn in front of him – which, not to mention, had to have been a traumatic experience to see yet another one of his mothers killed before his eyes. If he’s not consuming the ones he loves, he’s watching the blood drain out of their veins and bodies.

The light was on – couldn’t the neighbors see Oliver slicing Vogel’s neck?

Lemmegetinyourpantry asked me this week about the possibility of Dr. Evelyn Vogel and Tom Matthews being married at one point. I do not think that this is the case after re-watching the episode. If you take a look at the way in which they greeted each other – the cordial, distanced handshake – it does not seem like the greeting ex-spouses would give each other. It seems like an old friendship more than it does divorcees saying hello. Matthews when discussing Zack Hamilton’s disappearance with Evelyn, appeals to Evelyn’s motherhood. He says “you know what it’s like to lose a child.” He would have said “you and I both know what it’s like to lose a child” if they had been married. I do think there is more awaiting Matthews as far as the plot goes. I still stand by the idea that Matthews may very well know what Dexter is and what Evelyn did for both him and Zack. She asks Evelyn to open up about Zack and what she knew about him that could possibly help them track the boy down, but perhaps he already knows the reason for his treatment. Matthews knows a lot more than he should, and covers up a lot more than he should.

It will be rather complicated when Deputy Marshal Clayton shows up to Debra’s house and finds that she’s been hiding away Hannah McKay. I’m glad Harrison didn’t mention Hannah when Deb sent him inside the first time Clayton paid them a visit, but we know they are going to find Hannah and Deb together. My best guess is that Elway is going to send someone over to Deb’s house with the stuff they packed up from her office, just as he promised, and discover Hannah there. I will bet my left kidney on this. It’s an obvious prediction, but I take pride in the little things in life.

 

Wardrobe

I always like looking at what the cast of Dexter is wearing. Ever since “Dress Code,” for some reason I feel inclined to keep watching out for what the costume designers have to say about the relationships between the characters, their situations, and each other.

Vogel has been a central figure throughout the season. She’s been in pale colors (as was Hannah – they both had secrets to hide, and they had to fly under the radar, Vogel with her practices, and Hannah with being in Miami). Vogel was in pink in both 809 and 810, which links her to Hannah and Dexter. Her connection to Dexter is more obvious, but pink seems to be the color things turn when they are in big trouble (Hannah was in a pink dress the day that she and Dexter went to Arlene’s house to get the stashed away money, which was also the day Clayton stopped by – Vogel was in pink when she has breakfast with Oliver, I believe).

Vogel donned a lovely royal blue dress, both to remind us that she regal, but also to connect her to Debra and Dexter. This is the familial connection – she has a line of family that she wants to remain connected to (even Oliver).

If you have noticed, Debra has been in blue/jean-colored button-down shirts, which look a lot like the shirts her brother wears day in and day out. Although she has always donned this kind of look, she was much more into stripes and plaid in seasons past. She’s changed. She’s tainted, just like Dexter is. It seems as though her wardrobe has been mocking her brothers this entire season. She even has a pair of khaki-colored skinny jeans that she’s worn in several episodes which look like Dexter’s usual pair of khaki work pants.

 

Dexter: A Comedy

  • Deb: “I don’t know what my life looks like without you.”
  • Dex: “Maybe it looks better.”
  • Deb: “Hanging out with two serial killers – doesn’t get  better than that.”

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[GIF Credit: psychopoison]

 

  • Deb: “Did you break up with her because of me?”
  • Quinn: “No – yes – I mean no and yes. Don’t get mad. Your face gets all red when you’re mad.”
  • Deb: “No it doesn’t.”

(Side note – do you notice how Quinn knows Deb better than he probably knows Jamie. I don’t even think he’s paid as much attention to Jamie as he did Deb.)

 

  • Deb: “Hey, Jamie.”
  • Jamie: “Go fuck yourself.”
  • Deb: “… what?”

 

Predictions

We all know Dexter too well to think that he won’t go after Saxon. It is clear that Dexter is going to track him down, because the preview for 811-812 shows Oliver’s picture being spread on the news, and then him ending up in the confession room at Miami Metro. This should remind us all of the fact that he turned in Hannah. Hannah did not snitch on Dexter because she loved him. Oliver, however, has nothing to lose. He even says to Dexter that he, a father, brother, and lover, has “a lot to lose” – I think Dexter is going to be taken down, or at least another tempt to take him down will be made. I’m sure Oliver has his sources, so of course he has hard proof – his mother’s files – that Dexter is a serial killer and that he was trained to be one.

Deep down, as I’ve mentioned before, I am hoping that Matthews knew of Vogel and Harry’s involvement back in the day when they were creating Dexter. We see Quinn yelling at Batista about something in the previews – could this be Quinn defending the Morgans? Protecting Debra? Fighting Batista about something? I have a feeling that everyone will find out what the Morgans have been up to. I think it feels right if everyone were to find out everything. I think this show has a lot to offer thematically. It proves that in dire situations, as Hannah tells us, people do crazy things. Dexter is very telling about humanity.

What we do know from the preview:

Deb is going to shoot someone.

Quinn flips out at Batista.

Dex and Elway are going to duke it out in the hospital – I have a feeling Debra will be in the hospital (I saw a picture she tweeted weeks ago which gave that away). Whether it will be from the hurricane, or by her own self-loathing, we will find out.

Oliver gives Dexter an ultimatum: “I’m giving you a choice. Go on with your life, or come after me.” We all know Dexter wants both, and so he will choose both.

Dexter will be in the hospital going after someone, and someone from behind him says “DROP IT.” We cannot hear very clearly who is behind him, but Dex looks absolutely mortified. It could be Batista – it could be Elway – it could be Clayton – it could even be Quinn, or someone else.

One thing is for certain: SHIT. IS. GOING. TO. GO. DOWN.

We do hear one final thing in the preview: Dexter saying “It’s all my fault.”
Hell yes it is.

I think Dexter will make it on the plane with Hannah and Harrison, and then get a call that Deb is in the hospital, and will have to get off the plane because he thinks his sister is dying. I think that will be what goes down. Family first.

 

Bookends {Season}

We began season 8 with Debra a tornado; we are now ending season 8 with a Hurricane. Will Deb finally go down?

 

 

Bookends {Series}

I think we will find that our bookend in season 8 will say that he is and always will be a psychopath. Perhaps he feels connection – perhaps he conjured that connection, as Vogel suspected all along. Perhaps he feels no real emotion at all.

We began Dexter with Dexter’s biological brother trying to get him to kill Debra. Could Oliver try killing Debra?

We began by discovering that Dexter’s mother was murdered in front of Dexter; Evelyn Vogel was murdered in front of him in this episode.

 

Overview

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. This is my rating, or as I like to call it, the “DEX-factor.”

Dexterity: 6

Nothing stood out to me in this episode that was intentionally put there, although Billy said there was a shake weight somewhere in Deb’s apartment in this episode. I gave it a 6 instead of a 5 for that reason.

Entertainment: 9

Because VOGEL DIED. WHY, MOMMY, WHY?

Xtremity: 9

Because … Vogel died.

DEX-Factor:   8