Dexter Review: “What’s Eating Dexter Morgan?” (Season 8, Episode 3)


If there’s one thing that’s perfectly clear about this final season, it’s that Dexter Morgan is slipping. To be fair, Dexter has always been about the slightly lovable serial killer evading capture, but his secrets are spilling over from every side, and it’s getting more difficult to silence those who know. As tense as the situation is getting, though, this week’s episode didn’t break much new ground. More time was spent retreading old ground rather than pushing forward.

Dexter and Vogel are still on the search for the Brain Surgeon, with Dexter running through a list of Vogel’s former patients in hopes of stumbling upon the right killer. This week’s patient, Ron Galuzzo, happens to be a friendly neighbor cannibal who killed one of his childhood friends and has a grudge against the good doctor for institutionalizing him. Despite finding plenty of body parts in his fridge (marinading in a nice garlic sauce), there’s no proof he’s the killer, meaning he ends up on Dexter’s table. There’s a nice littler inner dialogue too about how the two killers are similar because they “consume everyone they love,” meaning Dexter won’t stop beating himself up anytime soon.

On that note, Deb’s situation isn’t getting any better either. For once, Dexter is shifting the focus from Dexter’s adventures to Deb’s suffering, and it’s immensely satisfying. Let’s pull back for a second. Jennifer Carpenter has always made Deb her own character, but this season is giving her the chance to shine more than her cast members. Sure, the character’s a bit of a drag when she’s busy being too drunk/high/depressed to function, but Carpenter covers the range well. Hopefully she’ll get some recognition for her work at the season’s end.

Deb starts the episode on a low note and ends even lower. After drunk driving through the city, she’s arrested and calls Quinn to bail her out. Her reliance on Quinn this season seems to rely more on his decision to never ask questions, since if he did even the tiniest amount of police work, he could figure out what’s wrong with her. Back at work, Deb and her boss Jacob Elway are on a job to expose a cheating husband. The wife’s denial parallels Deb’s refusal to believe that Dexter is what he is. It’s a concise parallel, but a bit obvious.

But the worst of Deb’s regret comes to light when Dexter tries to help her. He brings her to a restaurant and shows her a man whose life she saved enjoying dinner with his family. Apparently this doesn’t make her feel any better, and she stumbles into Miami Metro ready to confess her crime, albeit staggeringly drunk. Quinn calls Dexter, who then drugs her and handcuffs her to a couch. Needless to say, when she wakes up on next week’s episode, Dexter is going to have more than hell to pay.

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