A Sashurai’s Review: Dexter – Season 8×12 (Three scenes too long?)

Wrap ups, send offs, big goodbyes, and “The End’s”, are some of the hardest parts of all storytelling. Is a lesson learned? Does the main character live on? Do we get the obligatory double ending where nothing makes sense? In Dexter’s world, we meet the finale with what all fans can come to expect from the enduring psychopath; to face the storm head on.

With Elway’s presence threatening to undo Hannah and Dexter’s plan to leave Miami and Saxon hot on the loose after shooting Deb in the last episode, Dexter races to save those he cares about and put an end to the bloodshed he’s caused most of his life.

We’re treated with a final clash between serial killers, a pair of heartfelt flashbacks, and a moment of sorrow that will leave some viewers wishing it wasn’t so, like me. There are plenty of rushed moments and loose ends to tie, but in the end, the show “Dexter” ends with less reflection and more, a statement: Nothing ends.

Let’s take one last Slice of Life and into “Remember the Monsters?”

(FULL RECAP)

Dexter and Harrison are at the airport with Dex in a hurry to find Hannah. He gets a call from her from the ladies room where he finds out that Elway is close by. Dexter spots him and makes a short plan by going to a shop and purchasing items including a backpack. He then sets it under a chair and tells a boarding attendant that Elway left it. Security apprehends Elway and everyone including Dex, Hannah, and Harrison are evacuated from the airport.

At the abandoned hospital, Angel, Quinn, and Miami Metro rule Clayton’s death a murder by Saxon and they rush Deb to the hospital. Deb pleads for them not to call Dex. As Quinn rides in the ambulance with Deb, she recalls all the bad things she’s been a part of, but Quinn reassures her that being back on the force will be good for her. When they arrive at the hospital, Deb passes out, but not before whispering that she loves Quinn.

Matthews arrives and he and Angel agree to call Dex. When they do, Dex suggests to Hannah that they leave the city and fly from another location. He’s going to go see Deb in the meantime.

Saxon is seen bleeding from the arm. He knocks out a man by his truck and steals it.

Dex arrives with Harrison to the Hospital. They tell him that Deb will pull through.

Back at the airport, Elway is released. He calls Clayton and tells his voicemail that his contacts will report to him if they see Hannah. He then calls the Marshall’s main office and they inform him that Clayton was killed in action.

Deb wakes up and sees Dex and asks why he isn’t in Argentina. Dex feels guilty for leaving Saxon alone with her, but Deb tells him she’s responsible for her own life. She still wants Dex to be happy and tells him to go be with Hannah. After a doctor arrives to tell them that she’ll likely make a full recover, Dex reluctantly departs. Jaime is outside the room with Harrison and Dexter recounts a moment shortly after Harrison was born when he and Deb went to see Harrison in the nursery and are excited about the future even though Dexter is afraid he doesn’t know what to do to be a father.

In the present, Dexter asks Matthews to post guards near Deb just in case Saxon shows up. As Dex goes to leave, Elways is there. He offhandedly asks if he’s going to meet back with Hannah and that Clayton’s murder is partially on his hands. Dex threatens him to stay away and leaves.

Saxon spots an animal shelter and goes inside. He forces a male vet to stitch the cut on his arm. As he does, Saxon watches the news on TV and finds that Deb was taken to the hospital while the police are still searching for him. He decides to take the vet and his car.

At the hotel, Hannah tells Dex they can get away by bus to Jacksonville and then fly out from there. They make a plan and Dex tells her he’ll catch up later. He can’t leave until Saxon is caught. As the bus comes, he tells her to take Harrison. They each exchange goodbyes including Harrison who admits to Dex that he loves Hannah.

Saxon stops outside the hospital and forms a plan to get inside. He cuts the vet’s tongue out and lets him stumble into the main entrance where he sneaks in from the distraction. Dex comes in seconds after and realizes what Saxon is doing. He grabs a fork from a patient’s room and finds Saxon just outside Deb’s door. As they are about to rush each other, Angel gets the drop on Saxon and apprehends him. Once he’s taken away, Dex goes into Deb’s room, but she isn’t there. He finds Quinn who tells him that Deb is back in ICU. The doctor tells Dex that a clot formed and caused a stroke. She may recover the ability to breathe on her own, but she’ll never be able to eat, converse or live on her own again. The doctor thinks only a miracle would cure her, but Dex leaves saying he doesn’t believe in miracles.

He recalls once more the moment when he and Deb held Harrison for the first time. Deb recounts when she was a kid and thought there were monsters in her room when the lights went out and that Dexter was there convincing her the monsters weren’t real and he stayed with her regardless. She knows he’ll be a good father because he was a good big-brother and always made her feel safe.

Hannah talks about Argentina to Harrison, who falls asleep in his seat. Someone gently grabs Hannah’s arm and it’s Elway, sitting across from her. He explains what will happen when they arrive in Daytona. He plans to take her to the Marshall’s field office and also take Harrison to child protective services.

At Miami Metro, Dex sees Saxon in an interrogation room. Angel and Quinn enter to tell Saxon to cooperate. Saxon mentions his lawyer and jabs Quinn by pretending he doesn’t know who Deb is. Quinn attacks Saxon, Angel stops him and Saxon requests the presence of his attorney. Dex ponders letting the state handle Saxon from here on out.

On the bus, Hannah gets some tea from her thermos and offers it to Elway, who mocks the gesture. Hannah then injects a syringe with horse tranquilizer and then leaves the bus with Harrison.

Back at Metro, Dex signs in to perform a GSR on Saxon. He enters his holding cell and puts on his rubber gloves while telling Saxon that he wants to blame Saxon for what happened but that it’s truly his fault. He also says his eyes are own and he sees a trail of blood and body parts. He then explains that he intends to kill Saxon with the pen on the table. Saxon sees it and grabs it first, stabbing Dex in the upper left shoulder. Dex retrieves the pen and plunges it into Saxon’s throat. Saxon then bleeds out and dies.

Quinn and Angel review the footage of the murder and question Dexter about it. Dex wanted to look him in the eye. Angel and Quinn understand and decide to make up a story that it was self-defense. Angel tells Dex to go and that he’s praying for Deb.

At the condo, Dex is reflecting as the storm approaches and he ultimately decides to take matters into his own hands. He takes his boat to a dock by the hospital, donning his familiar brown wears. He enters Deb’s room and sits down on her bed. She’s still unconscious and hooked up to a breathing system. He tells her he would change everything if he could. He grabs her arm and apologizes to her. Deciding he can’t let her live like this, he shuts the machine off and disconnects her from it. The monitor slowly beeps until she flatlines as he whispers “I love you, Deb” into her ear. He then takes her from the hospital to his boat.

The storm is almost on the city as Dex drives out to the ocean and stops just short of the storm. He then calls Hannah as they board the plane and tells her and Harrison both that he’ll see them soon and that he loves Harrison. He tosses the phone away and then holds Deb’s face in his hands. Gently he picks her up and lets her fall into the ocean where she sinks and fades away into it. His final narration tells us that he destroys everyone he loves and he can’t let that happen to Hannah and Harrison. He has to protect them from him. Dex then drives his boat into the storm.

After the storm passes, the coast guard finds a piece of Dexter’s boat, but no body.

At Metro, Angel receives a call and listens only to ask “Dexter?”

Hannah and Harrison are sitting in a cafe eating as Hannah reads an article on a tablet about Dexter’s boat being found but no Dexter. Hannah holds back her tears and takes Harrison to go get some ice cream. Fade to Black.

A final scene fades into a lumber yard where a truck pulls up. A man exits and disconnects a chain around the trees on the bed. The man is revealed to be Dexter. He leaves the lumberyard and goes to his small house where he sits down and stares out the window for a moment. He then faces forward, closes his eyes, and then reopens them staring right into the camera as the show fades to black once more.

(END RECAP)

My thoughts were a bit garbled from the moment Dexter drove to the boat to the hospital, to the moment when he let Debra Morgan fall into the ocean and sink like so many victims of his past. I’m not going to lie, I choked up. Deb was always my favorite character from day one and watching her final moments was hard. I don’t blame Dexter for what he did, nor am I angry with why. Inside I always knew one of them would be falling so the other could live free. I didn’t think the choice would be out of her hands, but for Dexter, it was all he could do. This was a surreal moment that made me forget the absurdity that was the rest of the episode and take in the entire scene. Had the show truly ended with him driving into the storm, I would have nodded and said “That works.”

But it didn’t. We were treated with a short segment with Angel sparking Dexter’s survival and with Hannah realizing that she’ll be raising Harrison on her own. I get those moments even though I don’t deem them necessary. Instead, we are given a wordless segment that not only shows us Dexter’s hidden life after leaving Miami, but that he’s alone, still reflecting, and sees us.

I’ll rant a little and then return to moments I thought really worked. To begin with, Saxon was meaningless, or, a meaning to less ends. Season eight introduced a flow of heavy themes involving Vogel as a maternal figure for Dexter. I was on board because I thought her agenda was much larger than we knew. Once it was clear it wasn’t, I stopped believing in that portion of the plot. Enter Zach, the protégé. Zach had a willingness to carry on the torch, but, sadly, he wasn’t a character the audience was really going to get behind, so he was disposed of rather quickly. Saxon had shoes he couldn’t fill in. He was never going to be as smart as Dexter’s brother or as the Trinity killer. There was just no way. Saxon villain role was to put him in the position to destroy Deb, at make Dexter choose to end her life. As much as this episode parallels a combination of familiar films I’m left only truly loving the moments he and Deb shared together, and that’s what they did do right.

At first I thought the flashbacks were overstating the relationship between Deb and Dex, but more and more I began to realize that Deb’s statement about Dexter always making her feel safe, that was what was needed to finally set Dex on his path. Nothing else from the plot mattered, not Elway, not Angel, not Quinn (Even though his sorrow with Deb in the ICU made me think she was already gone) Not even Hannah truly mattered in this plot’s final moments. It was always about Dex and what he had to do to finally put Deb in a better place. I want to be angry, but I can’t be. Jennifer did such a great job with her scenes and even though her pleasant attitude should have been the obvious twist of her fate, I never thought she would be the one to go.

Was this an agreeable ending to the series and a franchise as a whole? It is and here’s a simple reason why. Dexter has to endure, no matter what. I really wanted that storm to kill him, to sweep him away and drown him in the tempest that was his killing way of life. But that’s too easy for Dex. His trouble is that he’s too perfect at what he does and he’ll continue to live knowing what that life of killing has cost him. In seeing that he’s still alive, we have hope that he’ll, one day, be reunited with Hannah and Harrison. Though, Dex will fight to make sure that doesn’t happen, but writing is writing and ratings are ratings. Was Angel’s call from Dexter himself, or was it just a call to Angel “about” Dexter? Why put that scene in there at all? It has to keep us going, it has to keep us believing that things aren’t over for him. Time will tell.

Overall, this episode provided a rich moment that I’ll watch a dozen times over. Deb’s final scenes and beyond until she reaches the sea shook me up, and I’m glad. Everything else about the episode was just to make that scene happen, and though it fit for a Dexter show, I wasn’t as glued or impressed as I have been in the past with previous finale’s. All I really wanted was a single moment, and I got it. I’m satisfied. This could have had the same impact if the show ran only five seasons, but it still happened and I can appreciate the effort put into it.

Where Dexter, or the rumored spin-off’s, prequels, whatever, ends up, I’m glad I stuck through it. It was a great premise, and had some solid sticking points. I’ll miss Rita, Trinity, Debra, even Doakes. I’ll even miss Dexter and rewatch the first two seasons, from time to time. Thanks for reading my season eight reviews on Dexter. I’ll have others in the future I’ll be reviewing.

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Dexter – Season 8×11 (This time…It’s personal)

Here we sit on the eve of Dexter’s final days, watching events unfold in horrible, vicious, blood-thirsty ways…yet in the penultimate episode “Monkey in a Box” everything was a lot calmer than what this reviewer ‘thought’ would be happening. No doubt the deck is stacked against Dexter, and the layers of irony continue to flow as free as blood can. All the goodbyes were said and salutes given as Dexter tries to put Miami, and his life of kills behind him. Like many shows in the past, Dexter (the show’s namesake) plays the root of goodbye as a both a change in environment and a change internally. As Dexter finds more about his inner machinations, his final rival is right there to thwart his path. Is there really an endgame here? Let’s slash into it.

(EPISODE FULL RECAP)

We open on Dexter washing Vogel’s blood off his hands. With little time to mourn, he scours Vogel’s house and erases all evidence of any files, notes, or footage that references Dexter in any way. Once finished, he calls in the murder and waits for Metro to arrive. Once they arrive, Angel tells Dex that he can’t help with the scene as he was there with the body. Quinn confirms that a neighbor witnessed a man in his 40’s leave the house.

In the morning, Dex goes to Deb’s house and tells her that Saxon killed Vogel. Hhe thinks Harrison should be with Jaime for the time being while he goes after Saxon. He tells Hannah the same news and tells her he has to take care of Saxon before they can leave.

At Dexter’s condo, Sylvia Prado (Miguel Prado’s wife) is helping Dex with selling his place. Jaime is emotional with Harrison and Dex leaving. Dex asks Jaime to spend the day with Harrison. She agrees. Dex also shows his boat to a buyer who doesn’t seem very interested in it.

At the lab, Misuka tells Dex that there are no prints at Vogel’s place. Dex checks Saxon’s work schedule and finds a work permit to demolish an old hospital. Nikki directs Dex to an interrogation room where he finds Quinn with Saxon, who is there to clear his name with Cassie’s murder. Dex swabs Saxon’s mouth and leaves. He tells Deb that Saxon is there and that the swab of DNA can prove his relationship to Vogel as his son. Deb is surprised that Dex would let Metro take Saxon in. Dex explains that he just wants the situation take care of. As Deb grabs some stationary items from Quinn’s desk, she notices that Quinn kept the engagement ring, originally meant for Deb. Quinn shows up and remarks that he kept it and Deb leaves smiling.

At night, Dex searches the old hospital and finds Saxon’s kill room. Harry shows up and wonders if Saxon will be back. Dex feels he doesn’t have time to wait for him and that he just wants him dead by anyone’s hand. Harry says that’s not the old Dex and Dex thinks he may not be the old Dex anymore. He searches further and finds Saxon’s laptop with all his video footage saved of his murders.

At Miami Metro, Quinn asks Deb if she’s going to Vogel’s memorial. She’ll attend. When Quinn leaves, Marshall Clayton appears and asks Deb about the nurse who identified a blonde woman bringing in Dexter’s son to get his chin looked at. Deb says it was her who brought him in. Clayton tells her that the nurse verified the photo of Hannah, but Deb sticks to her story that it was her.

In the morning, the Metro crew leave Vogel’s memorial and drink at a local cafe. Quinn and Dex chat about Deb and that Dex is okay with her and Quinn rekindling their relationship. Dex wants Deb to be happy. Angel then chats with Deb, recounting their first case together before he makes a short speech to the crew about Dex and his departure. They have a drink salute. Dex gets a call from Sylvia who says there’s a buyer who wants to see him about the condo and has cash.

Dex arrives at his condo to see that the buyer is Saxon. They talk privately and Saxon tells Dex that he has one of two choices: to either let them go their separate ways or to go after him. Saxon warns Dex that he had plenty of people who matter to him and to not make a poor choice. Dex feigns agreement with letting Saxon go on his own.

At Elways, Clayton asks Elway to go to Deb’s and see if there’s any connection to Hannah. Elway is concerned that Deb won’t talk to him, but Clayton reminds him of the reward.

As Hannah is making lunch, Deb converses with her shortly before Elway shows up at the door. Hannah hides as Deb answers. Elway says he has some left over items from the office and then barges in and notices a pair of expensive shoes nearby. Deb makes him leave but tells Hannah that Elway is onto them and that Clayton won’t be far behind. Hannah then calls Dex and tells him about the incident.

When Dex arrives, Hannah says she’ll go to a hotel, but they need to leave before the storm arrives. (The storm’s name is Laura) Dex says he needs to take out Saxon first and then he’ll be at the hotel.

Dex decides to send all the footage of Saxon’s kills to the news. Harry says Dex won’t accept Saxon’s offer and that he’s starting to sound like the old Dex again. Dex thinks the kill is now personal. He also says that his need to kill has lessened and that he “needs” Hannah. Harry asks what will happen when they reach Argentina. Dex doesn’t know.

At Metro, Nikki hands the DNA results to Quinn and Deb. Quinn reads it and realizes that Saxon is related to Vogel and wonders if Saxon killed both Cassie and Vogel. Deb pretends she doesn’t already know all this.

Deb arrives at Dex’s empty condo and tell him that there’s a warrant out for Saxon’s arrest and she wants to eat dinner with Dex. Dex stresses that she needs to leave, but she refuses.

At Deb’s house, the FBI are ransacking the place but find no evidence of Hannah there. Elway tells Clayton that he found a website of an airline and says he can view their manifests and compare passport pictures. Clayton says he’ll follow the Morgan’s to see if they lead them to Hannah.

As they eat together, Deb and Dex reflect on their natures and Dex says Deb always had a compass to follow that he never had and that if she continues to follow it that she won’t need him. Deb tells him that the code isn’t what mad him a good brother, that there’s a human being inside of him. They notice on the news that the footage of Saxon’s murders have gone live. Deb is surprised by this and Dex once more asks Deb to leave as Saxon will no doubt hunt for him soon.

At a gas station, Saxon sees his profile appear on a news station and realizes what Dex has done. He drives to Dex’s condo and quietely breaks in. He spots Dex in the bedroom and goes to kill him, only to be apprehended by both Deb and Dex, who had been waiting for him.

Saxon wakes up in his own kill room with Dex. Together, they talk about Miami and their lives. Saxon isn’t afraid and Dex realizes that he doesn’t need to kill him, he feels a stronger pull toward Hannah. He then gags Saxon and calls Deb.

Deb arrives and Clayton is scene showing up at the hospital out of sight. Dex gives Deb a plan that allows her to save the day with Saxon’s capture. He and Deb hug. Harry then appears and tells Dex that with him leaving, he doesn’t need him anymore. Dex realizes this and leaves with a clear conscience.

While Deb was outside, Clayton finds Saxon releases him. Saxon stabs him just as Deb enters the room. Saxon steals Clayton’s gun and fire, hitting Deb on the side of her gut. Deb falls but is able to call the paramedics. Saxon escapes.

A short montage is shown with Dex packing his bags and leaving with Harrison. Hannah is at the airport with Elway closing in. Dex leaves the condo with Harrison. Screen goes to black with the looming thunder of “Laura” on its way.

(END RECAP)

With Vogel’s death on the tail end of last week’s episode, I thought there would be one more big death to top it off before the finale, but that wasn’t the case. That doesn’t mean there still won’t be a major death but I’m less and less likely to believe Deb will be that character. My knee-jerk reaction from his episode was that we, the audience, have been given a rival that is a complete moron. Okay, maybe not complete but certainly not able to think three steps ahead. I honestly thought Saxon was well on his way with kidnapping Harrison or killing Jaime, or something else, not…gassing up his car seeing the news for the first time and reacting by doing exactly what Dex knew he would do. That felt extremely forced and easy to tackle. I was more surprised by how Saxon played into it than I was with how Saxon escaped later.

I like the idea of a storm coming in to bottleneck our main characters, forcing them into a final showdown. Storms are appropriate for these kind of occasions and I hope they go all out with this last episode. It’s been eight long years and there needs to be deluge of epic proportions, my thoughts anyway. This episode was clearly meant for the all the heartfelt, character-growth, and saluting moments our characters need to have both sending off Dexter the person and us the TV show. It’s ceremonial and I’m glad we got it out of the way now so we can concentrate on what’s to come. It seems to me that the writers want a bowtie on this series one way or another. No cliffhangers, no Shakespeare ending, just something that can reflect and give us all the end we want…or think we want. I don’t want Dex or Deb to die, and I don’t think they will…but if I had to choose…nope, not gonna say it.

Quinn’s engagement ring in the desk was a nice touch of his lasting feelings for her and Deb recognized that as we did. It was a touching moment, more so than Angel’s strong-will salute at the cafe-bar. Some of the heartfelt scenery was too forced for me to truly take a lasting moment and breathe it in, in many ways Angel’s role has always been the supportive one and over the last few seasons I’ve come to admire his growth, but it was never meant for him to exceed into Dex’s troubles, and I’m more or less okay with that in the end…not withstanding the sheer chaos that’s to come.

Overall, the episode played well with those who need to see the goodbyes appear through characters and scenes, but I don’t feel the last few minutes really gave me fear that Deb will die or that Dex will lose himself all over again to kill Saxon once and for all. I don’t now what’s going to happen, but I’m not that worried at the same time. It will be more poetic if somehow Dex has to turn himself in to save Deb from a life of prison, but there’s a lot of poetry to be sung in Dexter’s world. The siblings have shown they’ve grown too close to ever let anything truly separate them. They each respect their new choices in life and even though Deb has suffered a gunshot wound, it won’t be her last moments. She’ll pull through, or Dex will lose his mind.

And bring Harry back for one last scene, James Remar is great!

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Dexter – Season 8×10 (Treadmills are dangerous, that is all)

“Goodbye Miami” has a certain ring to it, though it’s certainly not the goodbye we want to see. Dexter’s pre-penultimate episode starts off with a casual tone and ends with an explosive cliffhanger that brings the focus of Dexter’s real fears to light. Aside from a few cathartic moments with certain characters at ease with their direction in life, the main course of problems escalates matters to a showdown that may not give us any kind of fairy-tale ending whatsoever. Bet let’s be honest, how do you want this series to end? Bring on the blood!

(BEGIN SPOILERS)

The episode begins directly after the last with Vogel encouraging Daniel to let her help him, specifically with professional care. Daniel has an outburst, and though Vogel apologizes to him, he leaves.

At Deb’s house Dexter tells Hannah that Clayton is back off on his search for her, but she still needs to lay low. He suggests they leave as a “family” to avoid suspicion. Hannah questions his motive to still kill Daniel when Deb comes home. Dex tells her that he’s leaving for Argentina with Harrison and Hannah. Deb thinks its a selfish move and avoids further dialogue with him about it.

Jaime tells Quinn while they eat lunch that she received a job interview in Atlanta but is not pursuing it. Quinn tells her to do what makes her happy, suggesting she take the job.

At Miami Metro, Vogel meets with Matthews as he questions her about Zach’s disappearance. Vogel, feeling uncomfortable about discussing “Doctor/patient” confidentiality abruptly leaves, when Dexter sees her and takes her to his office. Vogel reveals that she and Daniel had breakfast but he stormed out of the house shortly after. Dex reaffirms that Daniel needs to be killed. Vogel wants Daniel back in care and asks Dex not use her as an excuse for wanting to kill Daniel. When she leaves, Harry appears to tell Dex not to leave Daniel unfinished and that Vogel’s life is at risk. Angel then shows up to pull Dex for a crime scene.

Quinn and Deb are eating together as Deb describes her feelings with Dex wanting to leave for Argentina. Quinn relates when he was younger how good it was for him to leave New York and be on his own. Deb tells him that Angel gave her back her badge. Quinn then receives a call to go to a crime scene.

At the crime scene, a bicyclist was hit and killed by a car. Nikki arrives and Misuka is surprised to find out she’s high. He sends her away but not before she gets tells him not to say what she can do outside of work. Dex tells Angel he’s going to leave due to stress and not to tell anyone else for the time being. Angel wishes him the best and that he can come back whenever he wants.

After Dex puts Harrison down for a nap, he and Hannah discuss Dex’s plan for Daniel. He says it’s what he has to do and Hannah says as soon as it’s done they can leave. Dex thinks Vogel is the key, but more specifically her computer.

At Vogel’s house, Daniel arrives outside and takes Vogel to his kill room that was designed to look like the treatment room where he was “cared” for as a teenager. He tells her about how the doctors shoved meds into him and recalls starting the fire that killed several people there. He also recalls her wanting to help him. Vogel wants to but not to help him murder innocent people. He tells her to find a way to help him. She agrees to find a way to talk to Dexter and make him understand the situation.

At night, Dex uses Vogel’s spare key to enter her house and (this is funny) reverses the remote desktop on her laptop so he can view Daniel’s computer. He finds a few videos of his murders including one where he killed Zach. Dex copies them to his USB thumbdrive.

That night, Clayton shows up at Angel’s office to inform him the trail for Hannah has gone cold. He also says he overheard Angel’s conversation on the phone about finding a forensics replacement and thinks it’s Dexter. Angel confirms that Dexter is leaving with his son to travel.

Jaime and Quinn are making dinner at his place when he admits that their relationship isn’t working out. Jaime gets upset and asks why he let her move in. Quinn thought it would make things better but they aren’t. She thinks he’s still into Deb and though he denies it, she storms out of his place.

Deb goes back to her place and sits down with Dex. She says she wants him and Harrison to be happy and that she feels scared that he’s leaving. Deb feels her life will be better for it. She then joins him with Hannah and Harrison.

In the morning, Dex calls Hannah from his condo when Vogel appears at his door. Vogel professes that she was wrong about Hannah and encourages him to leave with her. Dex shows her the vid of Daniel killing Zach and convinces her that he needs to be killed. Vogel, heartbroken, agrees and he says to make a public meeting with Daniel and he’ll follow and take care of the rest. Her request as she leaves is to make Daniel not suffer.

Clayton appears outside Deb’s house and questions her about Dex. He brings up the coincidence with him leaving around the time that Hannah disappeared and thinks they got back together. Deb denies it and Clayton gives her his card anyway. After he leaves Deb goes back in her place and tells Hannah Clayton was just there but she covered for them. Hannah thanks her as Deb leaves.

Deb arrives at Elway’s as he tells her that he took care of her departure. He’ll have her things sent to her but he’s keeping all of her files including the ones with Hannah.

Back at Deb’s house, Harrison gets into an accident when he runs on Deb’s treadmill and falls, splitting his chin open. Hannah is forced to take him to a hospital. When she shows up, the nurse seems to recognize her as they take Harrison in.

Meanwhile, Dex is setting up his kill room with lights, plastic, and pictures of Daniel’s victims. He speaks with Harry about how he’s changed, though, Harry warns Dex not to have unrealistic expectations. Dex reassures him of his plan after killing Daniel.

At Miami Metro, Deb arrives and passes by Jaime, who curses at her upon leaving. Angel gives Deb her job back but Deb wants a week before she can start. Angel agrees and also tells her what Jaime told him about Quinn and their breakup. Quinn shows up and Deb takes him outside to confirm why he broke up with Jaime. Quinn says it’s not about Deb but reveals he still has feelings for her. Deb reciprocates and they kiss longingly.

At the hospital, Clayton interrogates the nurse who recognized Hannah and shows him her signature stating that her son was Harrison Morgan.

Back at Deb’s house, Hannah shows Harrison’s chin an Dex feels back for not being there. He receives a call from Vogel who tells him that Daniel is coming to her house for a private good-bye that she requested. As Dex leaves, Harry warns him about struggling with his choices between leaving with Hannah and protecting Vogel. Dex leaves, flustered.

Daniel arrives and realizes that Vogel is hiding something. He questions her more and more, making Vogel nervous and fidgety. When Dex arrives, he gets a call from Daniel. He and Vogel appear from Vogel’s window and Daniel slits her throat. Dex bursts into the home and holds Vogel as she dies in his arms. The scene ends Dex both angry and distraught over Vogel’s death.

(END SPOILERS)

There was a lot of honesty in this episode. I kept believing that Vogel, Hannah, and even Deb would deceive Dex in someway, but everyone continued to flow with honesty that seemed different than what we are normally used to. In the end Vogel was truly caring about her relationship with both Dex and Daniel, not wanting one to kill the other. I find that surprising given the nature of her personality from the start of the show. Her death is now the necessary fuel to give Dexter all the reason he needs to put the Brain Surgeon to rest, once and for all.

Seeing Vogel die didn’t feel that nerve racking. I was expecting it, I believe we knew it was coming. I’m more surprised with Dexter’s emotional ties to the situation. He’s grown so human over the years that he’s not longer an empty shell with a need to kill, he’s truly a man with a need to live. In every way, he now has to kill the person he used to be. It’s circular and I respect the plot for it, though because of the events of this episode, the predictable nature of what’s to come it all but given away.

Clayton will no doubt find and attempt to apprehend Hannah which could result in one of them getting killed. I’m not ready for Hannah to die, so my money is on Clayton by her hands…or Deb’s, since she’s been protecting her a lot this season.

Misuka’s scene with Nikki was cute, but likely the last time we see either character until the end of this major plot. I’m glad both characters are safe and secure…or are they?

Quinn and Deb reconnecting was also predictable. It makes sense considering Deb needs to find the ties that keep her happy and Quinn was/is one of those ties. Does this mean Quinn will be some sort of sacrifice now that two characters are happy? I kinda hope not. I always believed no matter what Deb will make it out of this alive. Quinn dying won’t serve any purpose except to confirm that Deb belongs alone. I don’t believe that. But if Quinn finds out the truth, can he truly live with it as Deb has? That’s the real question.

One of the things that’s been bothering me is whether the series finale will be an opus of reveals for all characters. This could be mainly pointed to Angel who, even now, is still oblivious to every single bad thing that is tied to Dex and Deb. As much as I want that to stay true, I also need as much explosive power as there can be and I think it’s time to let Angel on the biggest secret the Morgan’s have been hiding…possibly LaGuerta’s death, but that may be too late to bring up since it hasn’t been mentioned in awhile.

Overall, this episode felt like a very well played build-up episode, but all of our pay off isn’t until next week, while all we got was Vogel’s death. I just wasn’t that connected to her to feel any real sympathy for her wanting to save her serial-killer son. If she didn’t flip-flop so much, or if she was, in fact, as devious as some may have thought, there’d be room for wanting to see more of her on screen. There’s plenty of loose ends to wrap up and only two episodes left to do it in. Expect another major death next week for sure, who is it going to be? My money is on…someone male. Okay, I’m bad, I have no idea, but I’m sure it will be someone who’s made their mark. Stay tuned!

No more words

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

A Sashurai’s Review: Dexter – Season 8×08 (The Brain Surgeon really likes that Lost soundtrack…really)

Rubber bands have a funny way of snapping at you when you’re not careful. And thus, Dexter’s 8th episode reminds us that just because the first arc had run its course, there’s still a little bit of brain power left to weave in this mystery killer…or not so mysterious if you play the cards closer to home. What in the gravy of weirdness do all my puns mean?

This review will contain full spoilers from start to finish and a bit of theory-hashing as there didn’t feel to be a grand amount of substance in this episode, but rather another lead into the season’s first concept revolving with a new serial killer and a “mother” who’s changed her interests as many times as Quinn’s changed girlfriends. Let’s dive in.

(BEGIN SPOILERS…ALL OF THEM)

In “Are We There Yet?” Dexter is viewing Cassie’s body and, after noticing different blood under her fingernail, determines it belongs to Zach. He swaps it and will check on its origin at the lab. Deb shows up and briefly asks Dex about Hannah but is distracted by Angel and Quinn. She then leaves with intent to finish asking Dex about her.

Dex meets Hannah at the marina as they converse about Dexter missing some of (Casner, Kasner, Kassner??) blood, but Hannah says she cleaned it. Back at Miamo Metro, Dex checks the blood and confirms it belongs to Zach. Misuka introduces Nikki to the lab and that she’ll be their new assistant. Dex tells Misuka the blood is Cassie’s and hands his report to Nikki. Nikki wants the freshen up the lab a bit. Meanwhile, Dex tries to steer Quinn away from Zach even though Quinn found Zach’s previous murder and Cassie’s very similar.

At the marina, Dex discusses Zach’s failing with Vogel who thought Zach had potential. She wonders about Dexter’s upbringing without help. At Dexter’s house, he tracks a credit card purchase made at the Fiesta Key. Deb shows up and continues her conversation about Hannah. Dex discusses Hannah wanting him to kill her husband but that he didn’t do it and that once she gets her new passport, she’ll leave. Deb wants her in jail. Jaime tells Dex that he’ll watch little Harrison at Quinn’s house, because she can’t handle what happened to Cassie.

At the marina, Dex photo’s Hannah and then invites her to go with him to the Keys. Meanwhile, Deb asks Elway to join her on tracking down Hannah, mentioning there’s substantial reward for her capture. When they go to the marina they find that Hannah’s boat is gone.

Jaime and Quinn are eating dinner while Harrison is watching TV. Jaime is still scared about Cassie’s murderer and Quinn tries to console her.

Deb is checking the tracker she placed on Dexter’s car and then calls him. Meanwhile, Dex explains to Hannah about Dr. Vogel and Zach and that Vogel created the code that Harry taught him. When Deb calls him, Dex gives her the runaround, which Deb realizes instantly. After she speaks with Elway, she thinks Hannah may have killed her husband herself.

The next day, Dex and Hannah are eating at the beach and Hannah wonders what Dex “Calls her” when she’s not around. He teasingly calls her “Fiendish Florist” but eventually says he just calls her “Hannah”. They notice the police near their bench and then leave to find Zach. They drive to the hotel and Dex spots a window that is covered in plastic. He breaks in and discovers a “kill room” complete with knives similar to Dexter’s. Harry appears and asks Dex if he “has” to kill Zach. Zach decides to use the room himself for Zach.

At a cafe, Quinn meets Cassie’s date and shows him a picture of Zach. He recognizes Zach from somewhere but can’t place it. At Miami Metro, Matthews, Quinn, and Misuka watch Nikki spruce up the lab and then Matthews asks Quinn about his status with Cassie’s investigation, which Quinn says there’s no solid leads.

Zach enters his hotel room where Dex and Hannah are waiting for him. Zach denies killing Cassie and says that he’s been tracking someone named (Sean Decker) who confessed to him he strangled a girl to death during an intimate encounter. Zach shows Dex Sean’s body in the trunk of his car, to which Dex chastises him for not having a back-up plan and now using plastic in the trunk. He agrees to help clean the car and hide the body. Zach offhandedly mentions Dex to watch his hand on the car door and that he cut himself earlier. Dex wonders if that’s where Zach’s blood came from with Cassie’s murder.

After Hannah dumps the plastic from the hotel room, Deb finds her and tries to put her under arrest. Hannah and Deb argue about Dex, meanwhile, Harry speaks to Dex in his car about passing the torch to Zach and that his feelings for Hannah could be leading him into a need that stronger than his killing urges. Back at the Hotel, Dexter shows up and asks Deb what she’s doing there. Deb admits he bugged Dexter’s car but then leaves when Zach arrives.

At night, Dex and Zach are at Vogel’s house, when Vogel invites them and Hannah to dinner. Dex is reluctant but Vogel persuades him. Vogel and Hannah meet and they eat dinner. (Getting strong vibes from a Hannibal episode here, especially when Vogel calls it an “old family recipe”) As they eat, Vogel remarks about Hannah and Dexter’s feelings for one another and that “The greatest obstacle is boredom, not danger.” She surmises that Dex and Hannah are a good couple and possibly a bad couple as well. As Dex refers to Cassie’s murder, Zach requests to view the pics. Though they are remarkably similar, they believe Zach was framed.

Jaime is at Angel’s house with Harrison. Harrison drew a zombie, Angel loves Jaime’s cooking. This scene really felt oddly inserted…

Deb returns to her office and Elway asks about Hannah. Deb wants to drop the search and Elway is confused as to why. Deb confesses she wants what she does to matter and Elway wonders if she’ll go back to being a cop.

Dex asks Vogel to drop Zach off. (eyes roll here for the obviousness-ness that this will bring) Dex then drops Hannah off at another hotel. They flounder around her departure instructions and then Hannah makes an advance toward Dexter. Dexter reciprocates and they (narfle the garthok) er, have a passionate night.

When Dexter gets home, he finds Zach sitting in his chair, dead with half his brain missing along with the Mama Cass song playing in the background. A quick summary of shots shows Vogel getting another brain piece delivered, Dexter dumping Zach’s body in the ocean and Elway still investigating Hannah.

The next morning, as Hannah prepares to leave the marina on a small plane, Dexter arrives and pleads for Hannah to stay. They embrace silently.

(END SUMMARY)

I refer to “substance” at the beginning of the review and this 8th episode into the season, feels a bit laid back comparatively to the last two episodes which really centered on Dexter’s calling to train a new recruit. Once more the writers head-fake us with a return of the Brain Surgeon (which always seemed likely considering the guy who took the wrap was no brain surgeon, just wasn’t) Although I’m left with a bit of a disappointment feeling because I thought their direction seemed more organically appropriate, but that would have left Vogel on the back-burner for the rest of the show and it looks like she’ll be very much front and center for the remaining episodes. And quite honestly, if that means keeping Hannah over Zach, then I agree, Hannah is a much more endearing character and someone who Dexter truly needs.

And there’s where the theories shift focus. It’s more than obvious that Vogel is the one responsible for Zach’s killing. My theory doesn’t end there. I’d like to suggest that if Vogel is actually the brain surgeon is it possible she’s suffering from a personality disorder? Cassie’s murder seems a bit brutal for something in Vogel’s nature. If she’s responsible I wonder if she’s aware of it. This episode showed us a quick shot of Vogel in her house holding another container of brain matter. Now, was she just getting it, or was she preparing to send it? Still, something’s off with the director’s decision to include that shot, especially when we’ve already cornered her as the one responsible for Zach’s murder, why try to throw us off by showing her surprise? My only conclusion as of this episode is either she’s suffering herself from some mental illness, or whoever is responsible is really really close to her. Now let’s examine that one step closer.

At the dinner scene (Wonderfully shot, I might add) Vogel redirects Hannah’s question about how she got into her profession. Vogel could have lied or made up any kind of excuse but she chose to avoid the answer completely and instead, concentrates more on Hannah’s relationship with Dexter. Vogel mentions there being too much redwine in the meal and Zach immediately agrees, but Hannah compliments by saying it was perfect. In any case, Vogel’s lost her interest in Zach and more so in the development of Dexter’s feeling with Hannah and where that will lead them. Vogel is about that experiment and Zach would just be another Dexter and that’s not new an interesting, in fact, it fits more with her mantra of “The greatest obstacle is boredom, not danger” She has no idea how Hannah and Dex fits and that excites her, so much, she’d be willing to bring back the Brain Surgeon to assess what Dexter will do now.

Having said that, I ask any fan of this show to consider what introducing a new character this late in the season to be the “new big bad evil” and make any kind of impact as he/she is revealed to be the Brain Surgeon. It seems more likely that it’s Vogel…however if it turns out to be Nikki, I’ll just throw my hands in the air and just call it a day.

There was very little development for any character that wasn’t Dex or Hannah, and to an extent I’m fine with that. The romantic release was eventual and to be fair, I’m glad they got their desserts in now, because when it comes to sex, death is shortly arrived soon after, and I’m not talking Zach and his unfortunate demise. (He wouldn’t have made a good spin-off anyway). Bigger things have to happen. With Zach gone, Quinn will be in an endless loop, and Jaime will be forever scared. Angel will continue to play mediator while Matthews endlessly barks down at Quinn for his unrelenting detective-ism toward solving Cassie’s murder.

If Elway indeed is still investigating Hannah, then that will blowback just as Deb may, or may not, except Hannah being with Dex and then all hell breaks loose.

This episode was meant to be warm, and it was. But, there was a lack of theme and an even stronger lack of direction. The twist/reveal at the end was more groan-worthy, than surprising. I had let go of my previous (The Brain Surgeon) isn’t dead theory, but I was prepared to let that slide, until Mama Cass’s song started blaring for the third time this season. Am I really surprised? No. Do I think they’ll try to pull another fast one over us? Yes. I’ll accept that. I’m still not convinced it will be a complete happy ending and but I’m not so sure this is a “pick Hannah or pick Debra” finale kind of vibe. Something’s off but I need another episode to fine tune it. Until then.

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: Dexter – Season 8×07 (Warlock nostalgia kicked in…then promptly left)

Vogel’s overbearing and monotone sessions take a mild backseat with season 8’s seventh episode which call on a suitable return, a classy cameo, and a bar that makes Hooters look like Farrells. Dex tries, as always, to balance his relationship between Deb, Zach, and now a returning Hannah.  There are some poignant moments that maneuver the show’s two top themes into a few scenes that set up and throw down on one very sharp question that may be the show’s skeletal framework for the finale. And that question is “Is Zach a lego-maniac?” No, not really, but it’s very Zach related. Let’s dive in.

(BEGIN SPOILERS)

In “Dress Code” Dex wakes up on the other side of town and gets a call from Vogel, followed by Deb. He realizes Hannah (obviously) is behind his abduction but it glad Deb is okay. Far from okay, really, but Deb guesses it’s Hannah who drugged them. Dex gets an idea to check the video surveillance for Hannah’s vehicle while Deb reflects that she doesn’t want to deal with Hannah after finally getting herself back on track.

At night, Zach appears at Dex’s house and is warned not to show up at the apt. ever. Zach spoke to Vogel about Dexter’s way of killing and they spot Cassie and her “date” going for a night swim. Dex suggests to Zach that he find a cover in life to start.

At Elway’s, Deb is looking at Hannah’s when Elway snoops in and sees it. Deb reacts angrily and complains about her space and his flirting. Elway reiterates, also poorly, that he was nice in giving her a job and not asking a lot of questions and calls her names before he leaves.

Dex reviews the security footage and discovers Hannah’a van and calls the rental company. Using his keen subterfuge skills (and shady voice talent) Dex gets the name and number of who rented the van, a Maggie Cassner (Kasner, Casner, there’s a lot of variations here) Harry returns to offer Dex his psychological caution and concern over Deb’s fragile state. Dex simply tells Harry that Hannah doesn’t scare him. Meanwhile, Jaime asks Quinn to think about moving in with her to a new place and Nikki apologizes to Misuka for presuming he just wanted to give her money to get rid of her. She tells him to show up at a sports bar “Lucky Pete’s” after her shift ends.

Dex wanders the Marina and discovers Hannah, elegantly dressed with a man (JULIAN WARLOCK SANDS) and they leave in a rich car. Dex follows them to the “Red Coral Club” but is unable to get in because of that pesky “Dress Code” Harry warns Dex to call it a night but Dex wants in. He calls Zach and uses his family’s connection with the club to gain entry. Along with Zach, they spot Hannah alone at the bar and Dex tells him to text if the man returns. Dex confronts Hannah, but she is quick to say her name’s Maggie and won’t divulge why she’s in town and why she drugged Dex and Deb. Dex ignores Zach’s text and Hannah’s husband, Miles, and quickly identified Dexter as the man who betrayed Hannah. Miles and Hannah leave and Zach wonders what he and Dex will do now.

The next morning, Deb shows up at Dex’s house where he reveals that Miles owns international casinos and that he and Hannah are married. Deb thinks Dex is still in love with Hannah, which Dex is quick to deny. Once more, Deb pleads that Hannah needs to be removed from their lives.

Misuka shows up early at Lucky Pete’s and discovers it’s a topless bar and Nikki runs into him while still on shift. Nikki fine with her choice to work there while Misuka awkwardly tries to handle the situation as a bothered father. Nikki thinks its sweet and offers to have dinner with him later.

At Vogel’s house, Deb discusses Hannah with Vogel, who warns her to consider all her options before taking things into her own hands. Vogel trusted Dex to take care of the “Brain Surgeon” but Deb isn’t so sure she can trust Dex to do the same thing.

At Miami Metro, Dex sees Zach and a lawyer enter Angel’s office where the lawyer shows photographs of Quinn following him. Quinn is told to “back down” and Matthews is there to ensure that Quinn will leave Zach alone. Quinn leaves the office, but not before telling Angel that he and Jaime are moving in together. Caught off-guard, Angel pursues only to run into Misuka who requests they get a part-time assistant to help him. Distracted by Quinn’s comment, Angel agrees.

Outside the building, Dex tells Zach about “How not to do it” in reference to kills, and adds timing and urge-control are vital. Zach says he can’t wait, Dex says, he can. (I’m thinking he can’t, but that’s me)

Dex is then at a gas station where Miles drives up and mentions he saw him with his son (Does he think it’s Zach or did he actually see him with Harrison?) Miles threatens Dex with calling people to ruin his life. At this point Dex thinks Hannah is in danger and texts her. She replies to meet him at her old greenhouse.

At the greenhouse, Dex finds Hannah among a room full of dead plants. Hannah finally reveals that she wanted Dex to kill Miles because he’s possessive and controlling, but she changed her mind. She also tells him that he was “it” and there wouldn’t be anyone else who would ever understand her like Dex does. Dex says the same for her but she leaves when he tries to kiss her.

(END SPOILERS)

Impatience is very much the thick of the theme in this episode. Miles refers to it and Zach is the living embodiment of it. Every character shows a piece of such as Misuka showing up at Lucky Pete’s early, Elway poking at Deb’s computer, Deb’s outbursts at Elway, Jaime trying not to rush Quinn’s decision but Quinn making the decision to push back at Angel. Most of all we see Dexter’s impatience around Hannah’s situation that he’s neglecting his “responsibility” as Vogel describes it to him, in regards to Zach’s teachings. Those consequences are’a’comin, you can rest assured.

Hannah’s return was an appropriate insert to the plot, but I hesitate to believe if she’ll resonate all the way to the end. Will Dexter get one more love scene before light’s out? It’s a shame that after all Deb and Dex have been through, that Hannah will once more play the split between these inseparable siblings. It’s not a tired routine, but it is literally a rehash of last season’s arc. It’s tough to determine which is the subplot; Zach’s upbringing, or Hannah’s resurgence.

As much as I find Zach an enthusiastic and fair-weather-loyal friend, I really don’t want the series to continue with him. It won’t, I’m really certain it won’t, but still. Sometimes shows do that. They test the waters with new characters and it’s our jobs as fans to push back and say, NO! Let the story play out organically and we’ll be fine.

The themes I mentioned earlier I thought played nicely. When Dexter explains his methods and teaching to Zach, we get the ominous play and I feel there’s a really good sense of how season one brought us to this point, this very honest approach why Dexter is still the best serial killer he knows. The final theme is more of a regular insert, but how it is brought up felt more basic and foreboding, because even though Dexter is “mostly” sure about what’s to come, we know “exactly” what happened and what’s to come.

I’m relieved that Nikki and Misuka are maintaining their efforts. Situational irony works in special cases and for Misuka, his is perfect considering how he’s acted for the last seven seasons. I want their relationship to stay well far from the rising plot and for the love of Pete…..’s bar, keep Zach away from Nikki at all costs. Do not set up a scene with those two, I mean it!

Overall, the episode was a tried and true method that helped reestablish an old rival-love interest, and placed her in a very twisting plot that doesn’t necessarily need the star-power. I enjoy cameo’s of Julian Sands and though his character is extremely one-dimensional in this episode, he still brought that accent and flair we’re used to seeing him perform at. Some of the setup was predictable, but good story telling is both the build-up and the release and “Dress Code” gave us a solid grasp with how anyone and everyone deals with impatience, from rich international tycoons, to up-and-coming killers, who need guidance, badly. In any case, welcome back Hannah, I hope you last to the finale.

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A Sashurai’s Review: Dexter – Season 8×06 (This should have been the first episode of the season!)

Some seasons take a few episodes to rev up and truly begin defining their themes. Dexter’s mid season point finally shows a bit a that and more as we are given ample teases and portents to come. All of Dexter’s balance acts and narrations have come full…no, technically, half-circle in Season 08’s episode “A Little Reflection” and promises to solidify a stronger ending arc, one I am in full support of. Let’s begin.

(BEGIN SPOILERS)

Dexter’s is at the aftermath of a car-accident and notices Zach taking pictures of those involved. After a week of tailing Zach, Dex still has no proof that Zach killed Norma. As Zach departs the scene, Dex follows him, surprisingly, to Vogel’s house. After Zach leaves, Dex confronts Vogel who wants to treat Zach and to see her first if Dex finds any proof of Zach’s involvement in Norma’s killing.

Deb shows Misuka information pertaining to Nikki’s financial debts and assumes Nikki is after his money. Deb suggests he wait it out and see with Nikki, which Misuka agrees and hugs Deb for the help. Elways then puts Deb on a case, this time to catch Elway’s, younger sister’s husband, in the act of cheating.

At Dexter’s house, Dex and Harrison are working on a puzzle. Jaime reminds Dex about her birthday plans and that Cassie will be there. She also tells Dexter that the TV remote is missing and thinks Harrison took it. Harrison denies it and Dex believes him.

At another crime scene Dex sees Zach taking pics again and offers to let him inside to take better shots and possibly connect with him, in hopes Zach will open up in some way. Dex details how the murder likely took place and Zach precedes to mention smarter ways to handle the murder. Dex asks Zach to call him when his pictures are developed.

Cassie and Dex are on a lunch date and Cassie probes Dex with what he’s passionate about. Dex mentions his boat but Cassie doesn’t understand why he has it as Dex only mentions he goes out and back again.

At a high-end hotel bar, Elway and Deb collectively spy on Susan’s husband and Deb offers to bait him herself. Elway agrees.

Dex show up at Zach’s photlab and admires his pics, particularly the way Zach focuses on the saturation of blood. He notices the picture of a woman, which Zach throws away then gets a call. He seems distraught and Dex leaves, suspicious about the woman in the photo.

At Miami Metro, Angel and Matthews discus the sergeant’s position and that Angel has yet to pick either Quinn or Miller. Angel admits he knows Matthews wants Miller and argues that Quinn has more street smarts. Matthews gives Angel till the end of the day to make a decision.

At night, Dex and Deb enjoy *actually they really hate that steak* dinner and discuss a little about Vogel once having a husband, a Dr. Richard Vogel. Jaime enters and shows Dex the broken TV remote that Harrison denied taking. Dex wonders if he should be worried, to which Deb disagrees.

The next day, Angel informs Quinn that Miller is being promoted. Quinn is initially upset and complains, but ultimately respects Angel’s decision, albeit in professional courtesy only. Quinn runs into Dex and asks for anything linking Zach to Norma’s murder. Quinn says he’s going to trail Zach all day and night, which worries Dex and he joins Quinn on his trail.

They find Zach taking pictures of a yoga class at a park. Quinn surmises that everyone on the force essentially has dirty laundry and that some hide it better than others. He mentions Deb’s crazy confession to killing LaGuerta and also believes that Jaime will leave him when she finds out he wasn’t promoted. Dex notices a woman in the class matches the woman in the photo he saw at Zach’s lab and memorizes her car’s plate number.

At night, Elway puts a mic on Deb and she proceeds to woo Susan’s husband. She succeeds and they head up to his suite when Elway intercedes and punches him. Elway then threatens him to leave Susan, and apologizes to Deb for reacting poorly.

Dex researches the woman and her car. Her name is Sophia Fuentes and she works at the Cypress Harbor Yacht Club, which is conveniently owned by Zach’s father.

Dex breaks into Zach’s photolab and discovers a thumbdrive inside a camera. He finds pictures of Norma’s murder and Zach himself in one of the photos. Dex prints them and shows them to Vogel. Vogel says that Zach already confessed to killing Norma and she suggests teaching the code to Zach. Dex refuses and says he’s going to kill Zach.

(END SPOILERS)

There’s a lot of presentation in this episode that both capitalizes on our prerequisites for watching a Dexter episode and offers a new sentiment, one that can only come from a mother figure and her desire to create a family, or more importantly, a legacy. One can only prophesize that in an ideal finale, Dexter won’t have a partner, he’ll have a full fledged villain who knows everything he does. Yet, we’ve seen that how many times in past seasons?

The point is, I’m okay with this direction. I wasn’t before, when it only included Vogel and her book of would-be one-off killers. If there’s no more to be gained on that front, then by all means, continue with the thread that has been introduced in this episode.

I am sad about Misuka’s failing with Nikki. That truly bummed me out, because Misuka was set up to fail and he’s trying to be genuine, again, something else I appreciate. He’ll have little to do with the plot going forward, so his only send off is to pull and retract with Nikki until she either comes around, or abandons him completely.

Deb and Elway’s innocent flirtation is something I thought was going nowhere, but after watching, I can see there being some sparks that Deb will have to fan out to grow. His white-knight scenario was more for protecting Deb, which we all saw coming, but, deep down I believe Deb appreciates that and will eventually be taking strides to understand him better.

I won’t discuss the end of the episode, but I was very happy with the last ten seconds. Very. It wasn’t what I predicted, but I’m perfectly fine with what they did. How does that play in this story arc? I just hope it’s not a one-off. Some characters deserve better.

Overall, this episode was easy for any casual fan to watch and for the die-hards to sink their teeth into. We’ve all seen Dexter try to partner up, teach, and understand those who kill with him, but for the first time, we see Dexter truly take his situation and imprint it on another, who can’t be the son he has, but perhaps the son he needs…okay that was cheesy even by Dexter standards.

I don’t peek at next weeks eps, but I’m saving any guesses till later. I’m excited for next Sunday and everyone’s part to play, even Quinn’s. And yes, Quinn’s unintentional funny moment with Dexter felt a great throwback to the older seasons when Dex always had to think fast or get caught red-handed. This season needed more of that.

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