This is the beginning of the end for our dear Dexter Morgan.
The episode starts six months after his plan to execute LaGuerta and frame Hector Estrada for her murder was foiled in the worst possible way. As you may have guessed, everyone isn’t doing so well, not even Dexter is. Sure, Dexter’s been getting the bowling team back together, sleeping with random women every night and, in a surprising twist, leading Harrison’s soccer team to a championship (why anyone would think Dexter could be a good coach is beyond my understanding.)
At Maria LaGuerta’s service; Quinn, Dexter, and Masuka fumble to put a positive spin on her memorial bench from Home Depot (“Concrete,” Dexter says. “Very sturdy”). If I die, and all my friends can do is some bench from Home Depot, you’d be hearing me cussing up a storm in heaven about how the only thing I remember about my friends was how cheap they all were. Batista has returned to take Deb’s place for the time being. Quinn is having sex with Jamie, or at least trying to between run-ins with her boss and brother. As for Masuka, he’s still making jokes at briefings.
There’s a new Big Bad on the scene, as well — a nasty bastard who removes the back of his victims’ skulls and takes a scoop of brain as a keepsake. All of the big bad guys we’ve had lately don’t hold a crate of TNT compared to Trinity, these other ones are nothing more than window dressings at best. With there being so much left to resolve in just twelve episodes, the focus should be on the characters. No serial killer can steal Dexter’s spotlight this close to the end.
Look at Debra, a once promising detective who’s taken a swan dive into the deep end this episode. No surprise that she’s a mess, but doing lines with Billy Walsh of all people – didn’t think she would do something like this. Deb left the force to work for a smooth talking P.I whose office looks like a set from Miami Vice and is losing herself in her “work” and anything she can shove up her nose, smoke, or drink to take the pain away.
Debra and Dexter’s confrontation in the cereal aisle of the bodega is devastating. It completely traumatizes her all over again by watching Dexter kill Billy Walsh, Deb says she felt fine around the junkie jewel thief. The message is very clear: she’ll never feel safe with Dexter again; as long as he is alive I’m guessing.
At the Pink Motel, Debra comes to realized that she’s always thought she needed Dexter, but really, it’s always been the other way around. The weight of this realization hits Dexter like a hammer to the head. From what we see in this episode, she’s completely right. She’s spent the last six months trying to get away from her brother, while he’s been obsessed with “saving” her. Meanwhile, Dexter is losing control, dealing with pressures of unexpressed road rage, snapping at Batista, and screaming at Harrison and then coming close to losing Harrison, AGAIN!
This is where we meet Dr. Evelyn Vogel – the “Psychopath Whisperer.” She shows up at Metro to help with the Brain Surgeon killer, but it’s more than obvious that she has her eye on Dexter from the start. When she hands him an envelope full of his disturbing childhood sketches, Dexter grabs her and prompts the big reveal, she knows about Harry’s Code. The question becomes: how much does she know about Dexter, and is she a friend or foe?
Without Debra as his center for moral support, Dexter is left with his ass hanging in the breeze. Perhaps Dr. Vogel will help Dexter through these murky waters, at least for now. Dexter needs all the guidance he can get and then some, as Debra makes clear: “I am not lost. I know exactly where I am. I am in some shitty fucking hell, which is exactly what I deserve. You! You are lost.”
Whatever clarity Dr. Vogel may be able to provide, it will more than likely be fleeting; since it doesn’t look like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for Dexter. As he stands in the motel parking lot, trying not to cover his son in the blood of the man he just murdered, Dexter knows now that Debra was telling him the truth, the whole truth and nothing but.