Dexter Review: “This Little Piggy” (Season 8, Episode 5)

Episode 805

I have to say, it’s looking like Dexter blew its load just a bit early this week. I didn’t have an inkling of what to expect after last week’s ending, but I certainly wasn’t planning on seeing an end to the Brain Surgeon storyline. Now that Yates is dead and a “happy” ending has been reached, everything feels more uneasy than it did before, especially since Dexter hasn’t sworn off Vogel like he promised before.

This Little Piggy started off a bit shaky, with Dexter and Deb trying to work through the car wreck with Vogel in a family therapy session that really hammered home how much more sympathetic Deb is than her brother. Dexter sits in his chair, sulking and generally acting like a child, which even bleeds into his voiceover. I liked him better when he didn’t have any emotions, because hurt Dexter is more annoying than Luna back from season 5 (the object of my eternal hatred).

Once Vogel gets taken by Yates, the troubled siblings come together to try and hunt him down while also staying a step ahead of Miami Metro who have also found a trail to follow. Deb gets some help from Elway again, who is seriously being way too nice to escape suspicion. One of the funniest characteristics Dexter fans have developed is an instant mistrust to new characters, meaning that since his first charismatic grin, Elway has been on the watch list. I don’t know where the show plans on taking his character, but the biggest surprise would be if he ended up not being a creep.

The most arresting sequence of Vogel’s kidnapping is when she fights back against her former patient, using his fear of his abusive mother against him. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that this frail old woman isn’t quite defenseless, and when she starts slapping the crap out of her kidnapper, it’s mesmerizing. Many characters in the show exhibit brute force and use it to get what they need, but Vogel’s ability to wield anybody’s psyche against them is even more troubling. I swear, if she’s not a villain or even the real Brain Surgeon somehow, I’ll eat my underwear (probably not, but still).

At the end of the episode, the word family gets tossed around so much it’s a surprise the episode wasn’t simply titled that. Dex takes Deb and Vogel out on his boat to dispose of Yates (after he stabs him with a bedpost in one of the more ridiculous scenes of the season), and the happy family illusion is set forth. This Little Piggy feels too much like a season finale, even though seven episodes are left before the true end.

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