Dexter Review: “Are We There Yet?” (Season 8, Episode 8)

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I knew the Brain Surgeon would make a re-appearance somewhere down the road, but I didn’t expect him/her/it to get mixed up in Zack’s plot as well. Dexter finds the body in his apartment, meaning the killer at least knows where he lives. As badly as I want to point the finger at Vogel, there’s too much evidence that she’s not the villain. At least not physically. Who knows if she’s manipulating a patient, a family member, a pet badger? Needless to say, there’s still something a bit off about her, even if she’s been helping the Morgans and their killer family for the season.

A few of the scenes in the episode really highlighted the family dynamic between Zack, Dexter and Hannah, including the car ride during which Zack jokingly utters the title of the episode. The dinner scene with Vogel is the most fitting, but Zack’s death really throws a wrench in that development. I might have been happy with those three coming together as a family. I could have even overcome my hatred of Hannah’s character.

The worst part of the episode also happens to be the most affecting. Zack’s death scene was the most poorly edited and shot scene that Dexter has ever shown, coming as a surprise but transitioning far too fast to have any weight to it. Within a minute of finding his body, Dexter is seeing Hannah and begging her to stay in the country rather than leave him. Perhaps these shots were meant to echo Dexter’s thoughts, since he seriously won’t stop obsessing over Hannah. He finds Zack dead with half of his skull cut out, and his thoughts immediately cut back to Hannah. It’s like a middle school crush with the awkward teens replaced by serial killers.

Hannah herself is trying to be a better person than she was before, but her manipulative nature is too overbearing to totally disappear. I can’t help but to think that she’s still using Dexter for something, making him a means to an end rather than a lover. They’re a couple again, that’s for sure, but everything still feels a bit off. Vogel theorizes that Dexter’s love for Hannah could override his need to kill, and it certainly could since he hasn’t had a body on his table in quite a while. If Hannah is using Dexter for something and doesn’t intend to stay with him, then that would damage him beyond repair. Who knows what he could do if prodded the wrong way?

At the end of the day, all Are We There Yet? does is fuel speculation without giving any solid answers. It makes it clear that Zack is innocent, even if we hardly got to know the poor kid. Hannah is here to stay, and she’s going to play a huge role in the climax of the series. Deb is damaged and Dexter’s ignorance is doing absolutely nothing to help her. This doesn’t feel like a final season. If anything, it feels like the build up to one. But hey, with only four episodes left before Dexter is done for good, it means these last few are going to pick up the slack and end the series on the highest note possible….right?