A Sashurai’s Review: Dexter – Season 8×09 (It’s a good thing Rita and Hannah are both blonds)

I’ve been thrown through the fire enough times with this show that now I think every time two people sit down to enjoy a salad together, someone’s going to end up dead. Coming off the ninth episode on this final season, Dexter is slowing simmering to a boiling build-up that reveals all the players and more importantly, all the agendas each of those players brings to the plot. Empathy plays a solid role as a theme in this episode as we uncover new truths and portents to come. Like last week, I’ll be detailing all events of the episode.

(BEGIN SUMMARY)

In “Make Your Own Kind Of Music” Dexter and Hannah are in her hotel room after Dexter spent the night. While Hannah mentions that she’ll need to get the money she gave to her friend Arlene to help start her new life, Dexter tells her that he loves her. Hannah reciprocates by saying she loves him too.

At Zach’s photolab, Dex and Vogel search for any evidence with who killed Zach. Dex replays the song that was left for him and though Vogel admits she listens to the song and suggests maybe a patient heard it. Dex searches the photolab and finds a fragment of blood and hair under a table. Dex takes a sample to run the hair for a DNA check when Vogel mentions to him that Dexter’s reason for going after the killer is triggered by an emotional response. She surmises that he’s not the perfect psychopath and that killers can’t have a full emotional life.

At Elway’s PI building, Elway shows the passport information from Hannah to a US Marshall named Clayton (Played by Kenneth Johnson, who was once a regular on “The Shield, an old favorite cop show of mine)

Angel spots Deb at the lunch truck outside Miami Metro and tells her he’d still like her back on the team. Deb thinks Matthews won’t go for it. Quinn comes by and shows her Zach’s file, believing he’s the one who murdered Cassie. Deb recognizes the picture but doesn’t tell Quinn. She goes to Dexter and is stopped by Nikki. Misuka introduces them before Deb goes inside. She tells Dex about Zach and that Quinn thinks he killed Cassie. Dex says that Zach’s dead and that he wasn’t responsible. Deb reflects about possibly rejoining the force but, for now, decides against it. After she leaves, he gets a prompt on his computer telling him that the hair sample has a “familial” match to Vogel, making Zach’s killer related to her.

Dex gives this news to Vogel and she reveals that she had two sons, Richard and Daniel. When they were kids she discovered Daniel had drowned Richard in their pool. Once she discovered Daniel was a psychopath and had killed him, she covered up the death and put him in a mental institute in England when he was 14. He died 3 years later in a fire killing 7 other patients. Vogel thinks Daniel may be sending him the brain cores as a sign that he was aware that he lacked any empathy.

Back at the lab, Dexter takes a young photo of Daniel that enhances it to make him look like he’s in his 40’s. He recognizes the new picture and believes it to be Cassie’s boyfriend, Oliver Saxon. A comparison on the program confirms the match and Dex finds a death certificate of an Oliver Saxon who died at 10 in Oxford. Angel appears with Marshall Clayton and he warns Dex about Hannah and believes him to be a target. Clayton wants a patrol on Dex at all times, but Dex talks him down to let them watch his son. Dex then calls Hannah and warns her about the Marshall. Hannah stresses about the money she needs from Arlene and Dex tells her to wait for him.

At a restaurant, Quinn confirms from Deb’s intel that Zach was in the keys when Cassie was murdered. He wonders about how Deb got that information but then reflects on how Jaime compares herself to Deb. He wants to continue asking Jaime questions about Cassie but knows she’s uncomfortable with it. Deb offers to question her and Quinn agrees.

Dex and Hannah arrive at Arlene’s house to pick up her money. Hannah mentions that Arlene has taken some of the cut to pay for her debts and live in a new house. After Arlene returns the money, Clayton appears at the front door. Hannah hides in the bedroom while Dex tells Arlene to act natural as he sits at the table. Clayton enters and questions her about how she can afford to live in a house while working part time at Denny’s. Dexter cuts in and says he’s the one that’s been helping her out. Clayton leaves with a dissatisfied expression with Dexter’s choice in women.

Meanwhile, at Dexter’s place, Deb shows up to talk to Jaime where she tells Deb that Cassie mentioned how Oliver pushed for them to go to the Bahamas only after two weeks of dating. Deb finds it’s suspicious and calls Quinn to re-question Oliver.

As Dex and Hannah leave Arlene’s Dex suggests that the only place Hannah can be safe is at Deb’s house.

Quinn and Deb go to the “Hacienda Del Sur” condos and find Oliver. Oliver explains that it was Cassie’s idea to go to the Bahamas even though he’s booked solid as a building inspector.  When they leave Deb tells Quinn that Oliver lied and that maybe they should look deeper into his alibi. Quinn, feeling that there was something sparking with how they handled interrogating Oliver, kisses Deb. Deb is confused, which leaves Quinn apologizing for the action. Deb dismisses the moment.

Later that evening, Deb goes home and finds Dexter and Hannah inside. Dex speaks to her alone and asks if Hannah can stay. Deb agrees just for a few days and brings up Quinn being on Saxon’s trail. Dex tells Deb to stay away from Saxon, leaving Deb to once more feeling helpless in her situation.

Dexter arrives at Oliver’s condo and finds it’s empty. He checks his trash and takes a empty can with his saliva to test against the hair he found at Zach’s photolab. In the morning, Dexter confirms that Oliver is Daniel, Vogel’s son. Harrison makes a comment about wanting Hannah to be his mom.

Dex shows a recent pic of Oliver to Vogel, explaining who he is. When Vogel asks what he’ll do if he finds Daniel, Dex answers with “What do you think?” Vogel doesn’t want Dex to kill him and to keep Vogel at ease, he says he won’t. When he asks about how to reach out to him, Vogel mentions that every Saturday she used to take him to the King’s Bay Cafe. Dexter locates it on his phone and has her log an entry on her computer saying she’s going there, believing that Daniel has the ability to spy on her computer.

Later, Dex is with Hannah at Deb’s house where Hannah tells him she can’t stay in Florida, but asks if he would go with her to Argentina. Dexter says yes and says he can put his notice in and take Harrison with him.

At Miami Metro, Matthews asks Angel about Zach and that his parents haven’t heard from him. Angel goes to his office where Deb is waiting and he gives her her detective badge. Deb wants time to think about coming back and Angel says to take all the time she needs. Afterwards, Deb runs into Quinn and mentions that Saxon cleared out his place. He thanks her for her help earlier.

In the evening, Deb returns home and finds Hannah has cleaned up her place. Hannah asks if Deb is hungry and Deb folds her arms and reflects with how screwed up her situation is. Hannah makes a salad for the both of them and Deb finds herself surprised that she’s eating it.

In the morning, at Dexter’s place, Clayton shows up to tell Dex that he believes the threat of Hannah on him is dying down. He notices a Harrison drawing a picture of three people and asks him who they are. Dex watches, not knowing if his son will say the woman in the pic is Hannah, but Harrison simply says that the woman is his mom. Clayton then leaves.

At Elway’s, Deb is confronted by Elway about Dexter having dated Hannah. He pushes further and thinks she’s lying about having seen Hannah in the keys. He then leaves after telling her to rethink her job with him.

At Vogel’s house, Dex drugs Vogel’s tea and converses with her about her plan with Daniel. He waits until she passes out before he goes after Daniel at the cafe.

Dex waits outside for Daniel to arrive. When he does, he watches Daniel play the song repeatedly and then finally leaves. Dex follows and sees Daniel leave in a truck. He can’t follow because Daniel slashed his tire. Thinking Daniel may be after Vogel, Dex calls, but there’s no answer. Dex eventually makes it back to Vogel’s house, where she answers and warns him to leave Daniel alone. Dexter tells her that after this is over, he plans to leave with Hannah.

When Dexter leaves, Vogel is seen with Daniel and he believes her that she didn’t set him up. They sit down at a table and Vogel touches her son’s hand and smiles affectionately. Daniel looks at it without expression.

(END SUMMARY)

I’m actually relieved that Vogel isn’t crazy. Let me restate that, she IS crazy, but she’s not suffering from a personality disorder. One thing I can say I miss is that sense of real urgency with Dexter’s life. Many times in the past we’ve been pushed to the edge of our seat as he races to save, kill, stop, abduct, or pursue a situation that is overwhelmingly important. I do believe they are saving those scenes for the last few episodes, but I just hope they haven’t gone the way of Zach and the deep sea.

This episode gave Dexter plenty of opportunities to explain his action plans, which I thought were more placement strategy for future segments then of Dexter’s own will alone. When he agrees to leave with Hannah to Argentina he hugs Hannah only to state “Only Debra will know the truth” To me, that’s a on odd thing to say unless the writers are trying to implant the suggestion that Hannah may still try to kill Deb before this show is done with to tie loose ends in Florida. Even without that line, I still felt just as apprehensive over the dinner scene with Hannah and Deb. Then Dex tells Vogel before the final scene that he intends to leave with Hannah, almost spelling out to her what he’ll be doing to someone who potentially will try to thwart that plan now that Vogel knows he intends to kill Daniel, no matter what. These seem like careless mistakes on Dexter’s part. I can only think that his emotional ties to Hannah and Deb having been making him more and more susceptible to these mistakes, but that’s just one way of looking at it.

Oliver revealed to be Daniel, Vogel’s eldest son and current Brain Surgeon, was an interesting touch. There were only a few new characters that were brought onto this season and mathematically, Oliver should have ranked high on that list of suspicious characters. I apologize for not guestimating that sooner. With that said, Vogel siding with Daniel is definitely not surprising. Vogel’s character has shifted a bit too much for me to gauge fairly any longer. There were times I enjoyed her dialogue and found her intelligence and expressional form, intriguing. But now I fear she’s teeter-tottered a little too much for me to give any proper analysis on. I liked that she had interest in the psychotic nature of killers and how she perpetuated the code into Dex, but then she floundered back and forth with her interest in Zach, then Hannah, now she’s completely distracted with Daniel, her actual son. Her alliance and loyalty will only be for him. We as the audience know the truth, and it’s just a matter of time before Dex does too.

I do wonder if Daniel is willing to show that real lack of empathy by eliminating Vogel, his own mother. As much as she preached to Dexter about Daniel’s lack of empathy, she still showed that motherly affection by touching his hand. Will that play against her in the future? I think it’s a strong possibility.

Quinn flirting with Deb again was only a matter of time. The only ending to this is bad and Jaime will one way or another find out, which will have disastrous results. Still, somehow it makes more sense than Elway and Deb now, as he’s quickly destroying any chance he had with Deb. At this point, I’m fine with the show writing him out. There’s nothing more to be gained by him except as a hindrance to keeping Hannah safe for Dex. As much as I don’t want Hannah caught I do hope Clayton is in at least one more episode. I enjoyed Kenneth’s work on “The Shield” and his short run on “Sons of Anarchy”. He’ll always be Lem.

Harry’s two spots in this episode continue to bring Dexter’s worries in physical form, yet I’m hoping there’s more to offer in the final episodes to come. I was holding out that Vogel had something to do with Harry’s death, but unless that becomes another point to drive home that Vogel is evil, I doubt it’ll make it in. Daniel is now our main focus, and it’s time to see just how smart this serial killer really is. Can he rank up to the Trinity Killer? He has 3 eps left to prove himself.

Instead of adding more “theories” I’ll simply state a few fears I have, moving forward. I do fear that Nikki might be used as another victim by Daniel, and I still fear Angel will eventually find out that Deb killed LaGuerta. As for Hannah, I really don’t know what’s going to happen to her. I’m on her side until she decides she needs to kill Deb to make sure nobody knows where she and Dex run off to.

Overall, I enjoyed this episode a bit more than last week’s. The killer reveal was someone already pre-established, and now we know why Vogel didn’t want to talk about how she got into her field of studying psychopaths. It was a good clue but way too subtle for me to catch in terms of a killer son. I chuckled a bit when Dexter reacted to Hannah asking if he could support her in half a million to start a new life. My only gripe is that Dex’s DNA scan revealing Zach’s killer to be related to Vogel just seemed off to me, like that scene could only happen that way to properly hammer in Vogel’s story about her sons before we find out for sure that Daniel was really alive. Still, that means Daniel would have to have had insight on Zach’s murder of the maid in order to reproduce it the same way on Cassie. Unless that really was just a coincidence.

No  more words

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