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.

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LISTEN: Charlotte Rampling, Darri Ingolfsson, and Producer Robert Lewis on 810 on Wrap-Up Podcast

LISTEN: Writer Karen Campbell and the Art Department of Dexter on 809 on Wrap-Up Podcast

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

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.

 

Hannah

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.

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[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.

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[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!

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[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.

 

Deb

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.

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[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.”

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[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.

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[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!

 

Other

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.

 

Obstacles

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.

 

Predictions

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.”
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[GIF Credit: gifthemall]

 

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

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[GIF Credit: onewaymylovelyother]

 

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

 

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.

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?”

What do you make of the influence that Hannah seems to have over Dexter? Do you think she is trouble, or is she no longer a threat?

Deb seems to be on the move in this week’s episode. Do you think she will kill Hannah McKay? If not, what kind of revenge should she take on her brother’s ex-girlfriend?

What are you expecting in tonight’s episode, 808: “Are We There Yet?”

807: “Dress Code”

Original Air Date: August 11, 2013

 

This week’s episode reminds us that time is ticking: Dexter must choose between Debra and Hannah (and Cassie), his life as a killer, as a father, whether or not to teach Zack Hamilton the Code, and what he will do about his undying love for his ex-girlfriend. We are told to pay special attention to Debra as she begins her downward spiral and her jealous rampage, and our attention is called to what Dexter and his friends and family wear. Here is my treatment for season 8, episode 7: “Dress Code.”

Dress Code

Once again, just when I’m thinking I’m reading too much into the details (in this instance, the characters’ wardrobes), the writers of Dexter throw me a bone. The title of 807 specifically draws attention to the costume designers’ work. First off, we have Debra dressing like Dexter: the button-downs in the blue family and the tan/khaki pants; not to mention she doesn’t get dressed up for her job with Elway. Even in Miami Metro she dressed a tad bit more professionally. These choices indicate that Deb is recreating herself in light of the new information she has on Dexter. She wants to get used to it, and perhaps show her support by mirroring his dress code. Perhaps this is our “Morgan Twins” phenomenon coming to life. Or, this could simply mean she’s trying to copy Dexter to get back on his good side again after nearly drowning him. Her dress code in her place of work becomes relevant in the fact that Elway calls her out on her shit in this episode – she takes him and the job for granted, he gave her “good pay, good benefits … [he doesn’t] ask a lot of questions … put[s] up with a lot of weird shit from [her] because [she’s] good at [her] job because [he’s] a nice guy.” Although he’s not pointing out her wardrobe, it’s clear that he’s unhappy with how casual she’s been about being professional and accountable. He’d probably rather see her in the get up from 806 more often, or something like it, more frequently.

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[Photo Credit: thetwocentscorp]

We have a specific dress code preventing Dexter from entering the Red Coral Club – he has to call in Zack Hamilton’s help in order to chase after Hannah. This reminds us, in addition to the help of Zack’s family’s lawyers demanding that Quinn “cease and desist” his 24-hour watch on him, that the more money and power you have, the more things you can do and get away with. (Did anyone notice the red checkered shirt under Zack’s suit jacket?) This is something Dexter warns Zack about; “You’re a weird guy who lives with his Mom. You might as well be wearing a sign. You need to have some kind of cover life that makes you look ordinary.” This appears to be the first lesson in Dexter’s “Serial Killing 101” class. Dexter is teaching Zack the “dress code” of his lifestyle so that he doesn’t compromise his cover. He already took a lesson a few episodes ago when he bought a less flashy car to do his dirty work in (less flashy, read: not “look at me I’m a psychopath” red). If we recall, Dexter had originally made a rule that they could not be seen together in public, yet here he is, calling up Zack to be seen in one of the ritziest clubs in Miami. He’s called Vogel out on going back on her own rules and moral codes, yet here he is, doing the same thing all in the name of seeing his ex-girlfriend again. Dexter’s  beginning to break his own Codes more and more frequently.

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[Photo Credit: www.fearnet.com]

Then we have Hannah appearing in two forms: all white, or garden fresh (give or take decorative blood spatter). It’s interesting to me that the costume designers have pulled every ounce of color out of Hannah’s wardrobe other than white and “look at me I’m a psychopath” red. White suggests a clean state, a kind of purity – but we know she has far from what could be considered a clean record or any ounce of innocence. She reappears like an angel in the end of 806, which we can only understand through Dexter’s perspective. He probably had dreamed of her up until the moment she walked back into his life. The “clean slate” aspect is true in the fact that Miles Castner provided her with a fresh start and a new name, but that’s pretty much it. She goes right back to where she was before she ran off and married him when she kills her husband in an act of (pretty much believable) self-defense. She is reborn, yet again, when she and Dexter dump his body overboard the Slice of Life (speaking of which, Dexter has only begun to let “family” on his boat – we are reminded of the Unholy Trinity – Dexter, Debra, and Vogel. This suggests Dexter considers Hannah family). She is given yet another new beginning in a place where she is a wanted woman. Her whites (or perhaps light tans, the lighting leaves it up to our interpretation) are in stark contrast with Dexter’s dark clothes. As Dexter is trying to blend in with his surroundings constantly, we have Hannah who doesn’t care who sees – bright white against the night, begging to be found out, to be caught, to be handcuffed again. Perhaps the light and dark are meant to represent the yin and yang – suggest that Hannah and Dexter are halves of a whole, or complementary to each other. I don’t exactly know if the “good and evil” thing apply here since there are many shades of gray (or should I say red) between good and evil in this series, as we have come to learn. Hannah is certainly the light in Dexter’s life, so we can’t go wrong in saying that she is the beacon in Dexter’s night.

Speaking of Dexter, did anyone notice that he was not in his usual stalk-hunt-kill ritual outfit? Perhaps this was because it was still daytime, but this is a significant break in MO for Dexter. Dexter’s been in rare form lately anyway, so this just adds to the list of ways that Dexter is not a full-blooded psychopath, stuck in the rut of his ritualistic ways. As he puts it, this encounter with Miles is how he gets rid of people “give or take a plastic room and a kill table.”

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[Photo Credit: yourveryownbaggagehandler]

When we see Hannah briefly in her flowered green dress, we are reminded of her pre-jail life – of her (deadly) occupation and her past. We are also reminded that both Dexter’s and Hannah’s choices led to the wilting of their relationship when we see the greenhouse in a state of disarray. Hannah appears most innocent and vulnerable here for she appears as Hannah – not Maggie, the new person she created for herself (with Miles’ help). We are reminded of John Milton’s Eve in Paradise Lost – wild, alluring, beautiful, innocent – yet, we are also reminded of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Beatrice Rappaccini from “Rappaccini’s Daughter” – deadly, seductive, serpentine. She appears the least threatening here, which allows Dexter to fall in love with her all over again and go to find and rescue her when he senses something is up.

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[Photo Credit: imacutyouuu]

And of course we cannot forget Niki’s “sports bar” dress code. Of course this episode could not go without nodding toward the running thread of our series: the horror of the possibility for incest. It’s her job to walk around topless at what Masuka calls the “breastaurant;” however, it puts Masuka in a strange position. For once, he sees this place for what it really is: a place for creepy older guys like him to look at “daughter breasts.” Although he’s just started to develop a relationship with his daughter, he instinctively flinches and hides his daughter from sight, as well as yells at a guy for checking out Niki.

All of these cases call into question whether or not these characters are “suited” for their particular lifestyles and situations: Is Debra really cut out for living her life condoning Dexter’s Dark Passenger? Is it smart for Dexter to be seen around Miami with Hannah McKay, a wanted woman? Is it wise for Dexter to be taking on a spiritual son? Furthermore, does Dexter have the time and resources to keep all of these people going at once? What about Masuka – will he change his ways in order to accommodate his 20-something year-old daughter? Will he become less of a “Masuka” and more of a man concerned with propriety?

 

Maggie Castner AKA Hannah McKay

It seems uncharacteristic of Hannah McKay to play anyone’s victim, and yet here she is, the prisoner to a man worth $700 million. She effectively traded her life and freedom for a new name, a clean slate, a huge yacht (speaking of which – the wood interior appears very red in each of the shots, and the yacht guys are wearing bright red shirts. Did anyone happen to notice what appeared to be octopus leg decorations by the window? They reminded me of the Kraken, also representative of Hannah feels trapped and swallowed up even), and a lot of expensive clothes (incidentally, “Castner” is a variation of the German name “Kastner,” meaning “cabinet/box maker” – Hannah commented on how she might as well be in jail because Miles follows her everywhere ). Ultimately, she is unhappy. When Dexter finds her in the Red Coral Club, and is pressing her for details as to why she has returned to Miami, Miles catches the two conversing. The way in which Miles acknowledges Dexter reminds me very much of the way in which Trinity said his name upon discovering “Kyle Butler’s” true identity. Because I am yet again reminded of Trinity, I labeled him “psychopath.”

Speaking of psychopaths, Dexter insists to Vogel that “Hannah’s not a psychopath. She has feelings,” to which she quips, “I’ll have to take your word on that.” Hannah confirms Dexter’s suspicions when she asserts that she “[doesn’t] enjoy killing” the way Dexter does.

Despite how innocent she may seem to us, Debra is convinced of the fact that Hannah is an inescapable force. Dexter himself has said that “just thinking about her throws [him] off course,” which is incredibly dangerous, considering all of the things that he is juggling: Harrison, promising Debra that he’ll “take care of” Hannah, Zack, Dr. Vogel. We know that Dexter is excited because of what Harry points out to us (and boy, it’s nice to see Harry again after such a long time); we will have to question Dexter’s loyalty to both Hannah and Debra, given the fact that we see him promise the same thing to both his sister and the love of his life: “I will take care of everything/this.” How can Dexter keep Hannah safe when he promises Debra to get rid of Hannah? Will he keep her shacked up in the Keys, as we see him planning to take her there in the preview for 808? We know Hannah has a special hold on Dexter’s heart because she admitted to him that he was “it for her;” she wanted to spend the rest of her life with Dexter, and it is likely that she still does.

Hannah no longer seems to be a threat to anyone’s life; however, she is a major threat to Debra’s sanity. As Harry says, “the threat of Hannah could derail all the progress she’s making.” It’s bizarre to think that someone so feared, so loathed, in this series could turn out to be just as innocent and helpless as Masuka or Angel. I think we should still be suspicious of her, just as we still should be of Vogel. The fact that she was in tears when she saw Dexter after she kills Miles is proof that she is scared and weak when she doesn’t have her poisonous flowers to take care of her problems.

It’s interesting that Hannah thinks that Dexter “owes her,” hence why she is back in Miami in the first place. She wants her revenge, yet when it comes time to get it, she realizes her feelings for him. I’ll admit, this is rather soap-opera-y of Dexter, and many of you are enraged at how Dexter becomes a useless blob of helpless puppy dog when Hannah’s in the picture, but it makes this season just that much more interesting, complicated, and edge-of-the-seat material. In reality, Hannah was “it” for Dexter, too, despite the fact that we’d like to think that Rita was the perfect woman for him. Debra knows this, too, which makes for quite a scary reaction.

 

Deb

Just the possibility that Dexter is still infatuated with Hannah would set Deb on edge – in fact, Dexter is still infatuated with Hannah – and this sets Debra off — so much so that the crazy psychopath within her comes out. I didn’t think Deb had this in her, but it’s clear that one’s experiences are enough to turn one into a sociopath. When Dexter questions whether Hannah “actually love[s] this guy,” meaning Miles, something visibly snaps within Debra. She has become possessive, obsessive, and vindictive ever since Hannah has entered the picture, and we’ve barely had time to recover from Hannah’s surprising entrance. The fact that she’s following and tracking her brother to determine how big of a threat Hannah is to the two of them is indicative of the fact that Debra is not over Dexter just yet, despite what we were led to believe in the past few episodes. She certainly feels abandoned, both by her brother and Harrison. Not only is her brother infatuated with Hannah, but just the mention of her name is enough to tear Harrison’s eyes and attention away from “Rasta Mouse.”

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[GIF Credit: parangarico]

Debra is mainly off-kilter because of the fact that she “thought [that] this part of [her] life was over. The moment [she] asked [Dexter] to kill [Hannah] was the moment that [she] started to lose [herself] and [she’s] just starting to get back. [She doesn’t] wanna deal with this.” (Did you notice her red-striped shirt?) Of course she said this to Dexter before he fell under Hannah’s spell again, but she knows better than to think that he’s still on board with her and her desires. She “want[s] [Hannah] gone,” and she is not willing to compromise. We cannot forget that Hannah tried killing her last season. Furthermore, we cannot overlook the fact that Debra is slightly over reacting. She’s more of a moody teenager, hopelessly in love with her older brother, than she is a sister who is concerned for her brother’s wellbeing. What it all comes down to is the fact that she knows Dexter is going to sleep with Hannah again and again before he ever touches her or looks at her in the way she so desperately wants him to.

The scene in the kitchen set off quite a few alarms for me. Not only did Debra get crazy-jealous on Dexter, but she is murderous when she lays it all out for Dexter: “Trust me. No one knows what it’s like to fall in love with the wrong person more than I do. But you better get your fuckin’ head on straight. She is everything that is wrong with our lives. She is a vortex, she is a black hole. She sucks everything into her being, leaving nothing behind. We have got to get her out of our lives” (emphasis added). The fact that Debra is shaking and narrowing her eyes at Dexter suggests that she’s about to explode, or implode. Although Dexter says he’s “working on a plan,” he doesn’t really intend on helping Debra with this plan. Deb questions his objectivity: “One little toss of Hannahs’ pretty blond hair and you turn into a fucking moron.” If we recall, Dexter’s type is a pretty blond – since Debra doesn’t fit this description (although her latest hairstyle, brunette-fade-to-blonde may be trying to compensate for this), I’m sure she’s even more livid in Dexter’s choice in women. She clearly wants him to choose between her and Hannah, even though she already knows who Dexter is more inclined toward. She worries that “he’s thinking with the wrong head,” but she is absolutely correct.

We hear Vogel warn her that “before taking matters into [her] own hands, be sure to consider all the consequences of those actions,” which can only lead us to believe that we should expect Debra to do something absolutely crazy. I would not be surprised if Debra killed Hannah before the end of the season (but not before episode 12). She clearly is set on stalking her brother and tracking his every move with Hannah – we see her put a GPS on his car, which leads to her meeting Cassie (and we see that she’s bitter about the fact that her brother was even dating at all), and we also see her following Hannah and her brother to the marina to get rid of Miles’ body. I’m sure she doesn’t like the fact that he took Hannah out on his boat when she was just invited for a ride not too long ago. Speaking of Cassie, Cassie does not seem to fit Dexter’s usual type – now that Debra knows this, she’s probably even more livid, thinking “if he’s gonna date a brunette, date me!”

Speaking of Cassie, Debra’s run-in with her is quite an interesting one. Cassie asks what Dexter’s “deal” is, and Debra seems more than happy to tell Cassie to stay away from Dexter. Of course she says “Dexter is not a mystery you want to solve,” but at some level, Debra’s possessiveness is speaking. Debra doesn’t want anyone else to pull Dexter’s attention away from her. We see this when Deb looks visibly relieved to learn that Hannah is married, so why should it be any different for Cassie?

 

Victim: Cassie

I did predict that Cassie was going down – but I thought that it would be by Hannah’s hand; however, Hannah ended up being indirectly involved in this. Because Dexter was distracted by Hannah, Zack went and killed Cassie, for he could not contain his rage.

When Dexter enters the scene of the crime, we see a “negative” of his apartment – all pink (which reminds me of the Pink Motel from 802, I believe). We also see a tableau that should remind us of several things: Our season 4 finale, Rita in a bloodbath; Harrison sitting in that blood bath; Dexter’s birth in a pool of blood in a shipping container. This is also a throwback to 806: “A Little Reflection.” We see Dexter’s reflection in the pool of Cassie’s blood. It’s a reminder that everything he does can always be traced back to the ones he’s involved with, the ones closest to him, the ones he loves. Cassie died because he was not careful enough with how he managed his time. Rita died because he let Trinity into his life and let down his guard and messed up a few things along the way. In a voiceover, it is confirmed that the M.O. of Cassie’s killer and Norma Rivera’s killer are the same, placing Zack Hamilton as the best bet for Cassie’s killer. This is the universe’s way of telling Dexter that he has too much on his plate, and that if he is not careful, he will lose even more people that he loves. He asks, “Can anything good ever come from putting two killers together? Whether it be student and teacher or whatever Hannah and I have. Or will it always end the same way? Like this.”

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[Image Credits: wolfbuddy]

Of course, this meditation also calls Dexter’s relationship with Zack into question. The preview for 808 suggests that Dexter and Zack may be going head-to-head at some point, and that Dexter intends on taking the boy out, which will create additional friction in Dexter’s life with everyone and everything around him. Debra is technically a killer herself; could this meditation be questioning the nature of Dexter’s relationship with his sister? Debra can hardly live with herself knowing that her brother is a killer, but the fact that she became one in order to defend her serial-killing brother has put her into jeopardy. We can also consider Dr. Vogel a killer, for it is because of her work with Harry and Dexter that many have lost their lives, despite the fact that many of them deserved it. It is plausible that any of the above pairings with Dexter are terrible combinations due to what we have seen throughout season 8 (and season 7 in Debra’s case). Perhaps this is simply meant to suggest that Dexter is a danger to everyone around him, despite the nature of the relationship and whether or not the people are killers themselves.

 

Firsts

Despite the negativity of this episode (between Cassie’s death and the Deb-Elway falling out, not to mention Hannah’s return and the strained Morgan-sibling relationship, it’s hard to see the light), new beginnings were had by many. To begin, we have Hannah with a fresh start, a clean slate, a new name. After she takes care of her (now ex) husband, she is even more free than she was before. Niki calls Masuka “Dad” for the first time, which visibly shocks him. Deb calls Elway “Jake” twice in this episode, which she has not done at all up until this point. Elway’s attraction to Debra has finally been addressed for the first time as well. In addition, we have Dexter being unable to think rationally for the first time because of a person – because of a woman – because of Hannah. He was distracted when Harrison was first born, but that was because he was overtired and overworked. That was a situational issue.

Perhaps all of this character development reminds us that Dexter’s character has come quite a long way as well. Throughout the entire first season, I would have sworn on my life that Dexter was a psychopath through and through; however, I have come to believe that he is something more than a psychopath, yet something a tad bit less than “typically” human. It is certainly a first for Dexter to lie to his sister about “taking care of Hannah.” Of course we do not have enough information just yet to know that he is flat-out lying to his sister’s face, but I do not foresee Dexter being able to overcome his love for Hannah in order to do what is right for everyone, what will keep everyone (meaning himself, Debra, and Harrison) safe, what is the best option. I think for the first time in the history of this show, we should doubt Dexter and his intuition. I think Hannah is the reason why he will be taken down this season.

 

Additional Notes on Zack

He’s already been described as the “anxious” serial-killing “puppy dog” seeking Dexter’s approval at every turn. When he shows up unexpectedly at Dexter’s doorstep he seems incredibly excited. Dr. Vogel seems to have said that Dexter was going to “teach him” how to live the way he does. When Dexter puts a lid on his excitement, it seems as if Zack goes to say “But Mommy said I could?” – in fact he says “But Dr. Vogel said …” which builds upon the “Spiritual Parents” / “Unholy Trinity” theory.

The boy already seems overly confident in his abilities. He nearly scoffs when Dexter mentions Quinn following him to his apartment; however, Dexter warns him: “One day, he’ll be there when you don’t expect him,” which means, of course, that Quinn can and will show up at the worst possible moment. I sense a big screw-up/realization in the future for Mr. Joseph Quinn.

Speaking of disaster, it seems as though Vogel has washed her hands completely of Zack. She tells Dexter that “the moment [he] took Zack off of that table” he became Dexter’s responsibility. So much for being a “spiritual mother” again. I have a feeling this was Vogel’s way of stepping back to study Dexter and Zack once again for the book that I am still convinced she is going to write.

 

Predictions

When Jamie and Quinn have the conversation about moving in, Quinn agrees, saying that he would “eventually” like to move in; I took this as “somewhere a few years down the line, when I’m finally over Debra.” He does tell Batista that they are moving in, but I believe that was to get back at Angel for getting on his case about following Zack Hamilton around in efforts to find evidence of his guilt. I think that Quinn will realize that his feelings for Deb are still very real, and that it will be the end of his relationship with Jamie. I would not be surprised if this coincides with a run-in with Dexter and Zack Hamilton. This may also coincide with his own death.

We see Deb going to Elway for help on tracking Hannah McKay. I have a feeling that she is going to try to use Elway to make Dexter jealous, or at least to get Dexter’s attention. I do not think that the attraction between the two (or at least on Elway’s behalf) is over just yet. I would also not be surprised if Deb were to take matters into her own hands and kill Hannah McKay when she’s least expecting it. Of course her relationship with Dexter would be irreparable after this, but we shall see what happens.

I have a feeling that Dexter is going to get into some serious trouble once he is discovered to be hanging out with Hannah McKay. He has no real excuse to be hanging out with her, nor will he be able to lie effectively enough. His emotions and intentions have been compromised by her and he will not be as smooth as he has been in the past. I think he is going to get into real big trouble once someone discovers that he’s been protecting her and housing a criminal.

 

Dexter: A Comedy

  • Debra’s face when Elway calls her “a fucking bitch.”

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[Photo Credit: klokwerk]

  • Dexter: “[Miles is] rich.”
  • Hannah: “He has … other talents. He’s the adventurous type.”
  • Now what did you mean by that?

 

  • Dexter mentioning how the open sea is a “good place to disappear” for Hannah. Funny that many of Dexter’s friends have done the same …

 

  • Harrison: “Hannah? Hannah is here?”
  • Debra: “Both of you? Jesus, really?”

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[GIF Credit: parangarico]

 

  • When Masuka hints at getting a part timer in the forensics department of Miami Metro, he poses it as “an extra warm body to offset all the cold ones.”

 

  • Cassie: “I have a thing for unavailable men.”
  • Debra: “That’s alright. I get it.”

 

  • Masuka’s face when Niki tells her father that she’s “not gonna be a stripper, Dad.”

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[GIF Credit: futurastic]

 

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.

Dexterity: 9

Entertainment: 9

Xtremity: 9

DEX-Factor:   9