For the past few years, Dexter has been one of the most stressful TV shows I watch on a regular basis. Every season sees the Bay Harbor Butcher avoiding detection, coming so close to getting caught that I can’t help but have a knot in my stomach between episodes. However, the way this final season makes me feel is incomparable. Despite being two episodes in, the urgency of the show has been ramped up exponentially. Knowing that whatever huge twist is revealed at the end of the season won’t be resolved next summer gives events a permanent feeling, and it works.
Last week’s premiere didn’t set up Dr. Vogel’s position too well, making her feel like an unnecessary addition to a packed show. Luckily, Every Silver Lining… makes clear why the show (and Dexter) need her: she’s technically responsible for his behavior. She reveals that Dexter’s father sought her help as his murderous tendencies became more apparent. Not only did Vogel counsel her father, she helped create Harry’s Code. The fact that somebody else has always known about Dexter is huge news, and even if the reasons she never reached out to him are evasive at best, he now has a new mother figure to join Harry’s ghost in helping Dexter through life.
He’s going to need it too, because everything around him is starting to fall apart. Once again, Harrison is never seen, so I assume he’s tied to a stick in Dexter’s backyard or something. Another corpse is found with part of its brain scooped out, and the hunt for the “Brain Surgeon” heats up when Dexter finds a print at the crime scene. Vogel asks Dexter for his help after she finds a jar with the missing piece of brain on her stoop, fearing the killer may be one of her past patients. She can’t go to the authorities for fear her “radical” methods of rehabilitation will end her career, so she begins to use Dexter has her lapdog/body guard/slave in general.
Dexter tracks down the man whose print is found, discovering a corpse instead. Vogel finds a DVD with a video of the man doing the killing at gunpoint from an unseen assailant, meaning the hunt for the Surgeon is still long from over. The way this season is going, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the killer is someone from the main cast, so my money is obviously on Jamie. She’s dating Quinn, after all, so who wouldn’t blame her if she needed to kill to blow off some steam?
Despite being forced to track down yet another serial killer, most of the stress weighing on Dexter is coming from Deb, who just continues to get better as a character. After finding the stolen jewelry that Briggs hid, she’s sabotaged by El Sapo, taking a heck of a beating and letting him get away with the load. The next day, El Sapo is found shot to death in his car, and Dexter traces it all back to Deb. He hides the evidence from the cops, but confronts her about the shooting. She says she was “out of it” when it happened, so whether it was from drugs, alcohol or from getting the ever-loving crap beat out of her is still up for debate.
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