Dexter: A Beautiful Day

Deb: "I shot the wrong person in that trailer."

And we're back!

Throughout the episode, I got more and more upset about what Deb was doing to herself. She left the cops by walking out to go to lunch and never coming back. (I've always wanted to do that.) Sleeping with her target, doing drugs, her voice was shaking and she was clearly strung out and self-destructive. She was bonding with a criminal because she sees herself as one.

And yet, when we got near the end of the episode, Deb told Dexter something that had the absolute ring of truth. She said that she used to believe that she was the one who needed Dexter and couldn't go on without him, but actually, the opposite was true. I think she's right. Deb is acting out and trying to find her way, but she is probably going to come out the other side a whole person again. I'm having my doubts about Dexter.

In nearly every moment of this episode, Dexter was obsessing about Debra. He was so "lost" that he nearly killed a guy on the road that made the grievous error of cutting him off. He was yelling at Harrison, too, which was un-Dexter-like. And he stalked Deb twice and ended up killing her mark. In front of Deb. With Harrison outside in the car. By the end of the episode, I wanted Dexter to just leave Deb alone to work things out her own way.

I'm emotionally invested in Deb and I very much want her to live through the season, get through her pain, and come out on top. But as fascinated as I've always been by the character of Dexter, I long ago accepted the probability that the series would end in his death. I don't read spoilers and they haven't actually filmed the finale yet, but frankly, it's what I'm expecting. Doesn't mean that I'll find it easy to watch.

I thought there would be a lot of cast changes, but no. Only Lauren Velez (Maria LaGuerta), understandably, is missing. Aimee Garcia (Jamie) and Geoff Pierson (Matthews) were added, and they've both been around forever. There was a different Harrison; this one can handle lines. The young actor's name is Jadon Wells.

Angel is the lieutenant now, and that surprised me because I thought the restaurant thing was their way to write him out. (I'm happy David Zayas is with us for the final season, though, don't get me wrong.) Deb now works for Elway Investigations doing skip tracing bounty hunting, with the terrific Sean Patrick Flanery as Elway.

I found it disturbing that Jamie is sleeping with Quinn. It just doesn't feel that she's emotionally old enough for him. He's a better person than Louis Greene, but that's damning with faint praise.

Dr. Vogel (Charlotte Rampling) is a special guest star, and it seems pretty obvious that she must have treated Dexter when he was little, since she actually knows about Harry's Code. There were hints that she knew Dexter was the Bay Harbor Butcher, too. She was clearly moving in on him in order to confront him with her knowledge, consulting with him about Doakes and the current freaky brain-scooped-out-with-a-melon-baller case. During the major Dexter/Vogel scene, the dead body with the missing chunk of head was positioned between them and the camera kept going there. That doesn't bode well for their future relationship. (It would be too obvious if she turned out to be the killer, wouldn't it?)

The thing is, Vogel said that psychopaths have no empathy. But Dexter does. When he nearly killed the guy who cut him off in the car, he stopped because he saw the guy's frightened kid in the back seat. And Dexter is feeling pain because Deb is suffering -- so much so that he's losing it. I rest my case.


-- It's six months later. I loved the opener with the instrumental of "What a Wonderful World" with a rainbow in the background. It is most certainly not wonderful in Dexter's world.

-- What did I love more? That Deb's password was "fucking password", or that Dexter guessed it?

-- The details of what happened to the murder victim were creepy. It sounded like he was kept in a box for five days or something before he was melon-balled to death.

-- There were at least three candidates for Most Obvious Symbolism: the Maria LaGuerta Memorial Bench surrounded by litter and garbage; the incredibly ugly red vase of Maria's (it looked like a urinal) that Harrison knocked over and broke; and at the end, the blood on Harrison's stuffed dog.

-- Poor Harrison. That scene where Dexter was hugging him while trying to keep his bloody hands off? That was obvious symbolism, too. For that matter, so was Deb's full mailbox. She's too full of guilt to function.

-- Angel found and tore up the warrants for Deb's and Dexter's phones, but he won't forget them. We might be heading into a situation like Maria unable to let go of Doakes. Matthews won't forget it, either.

-- The Pink Motel was a fascinating location. It looked like where they shot the climax of L.A. Confidential. Was it? Does anyone know?

-- In this season's hair report, Quinn has practically no hair now, and neither does Angel. Deb has gone curly, and it looks good on her. She's so gorgeous, anyway; I doubt she could look bad.

-- I also loved that Angel still has all of Maria's tacky clothes. It's such a sad truth that when we're gone, what's left is usually a bunch of boxes that someone doesn't know quite what to do with. And sometimes a memorial bench.


Angel: "She deserves more than a place where people park their butts."
Quinn: "It's a nice bench."
Dexter: "It's concrete. Very sturdy."
Masuka: "You can buy them in the parking lot at Home Depot."

Harry: "Dexter, you're the problem. Not the solution."
Truer words, "Harry". Dexter does know himself much better than he did at the beginning of the series.

Masuka: "I hear the FBI calls her 'the psychopath whisperer'."

Vogel: "We both chose murder. Maybe we're both a little crazy."

Dexter: "You could die here!"
Deb: "I don't fucking care!"
Very upsetting.

The first episode of the season is usually wall-to-wall set-up, and this one was no different. Three out of four memorial benches,

Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.


Josie Kafka said...

Excellent review, Billie!

I'm really excited to see how this season--this series--ends.

Miguel said...

I loved the idea that all along it was Dexter who needed Deb. I had never thought about it that way before but it definitely makes sense. Dexter just can't let her go - She has always been the one constant part of his life.

It's interesting that you have so much faith Billie that Deb will eventually get through this. I'm not really seeing this ending well for her, although I really really want it to. Deb is highly emotional and extremely sensitive, and I just don't ever see her forgiving herself for killing LaGuerta. I hated seeing Deb like this...She certainly doesn't deserve to be in this "living hell" she is in, and I am certainly rooting for her. What a change Deb has gone through since this series started when she was just a wide-eyed, naive police officer.

It looks like Dexter is certainly going to go out on a high-note, an impressive feet considering this is their eighth year on the air! I can't wait to see where the final season takes us.

Miguel said...

Probably the most powerful line for me was when Dexter told Deb she was going to die and she yelled "I don't fucking care!" Really shows the dark place she is currently in. I really hope she can come out of it.

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed this ep ! This season seems to be taken a more darker tone than usual. I was actually afraid for Harrisons safety after the motel. I really hope that if the season ends with dexter getting caught it happens around the 9th or 10th ep so we see the fallout. I would love to see him stand trail. I really dont envy the writers task of ending such a great show. Great review as usual billie !

P.S I also loved debs password..

KidLazarus said...

As soon as Angel mentioned having the boxes of LaGuerta stuff, I anticipated him finding that phone/GPS warrant and getting suspicious. I appreciate that the writers subverted that expectation immediately.

That said, wouldn't it have behooved Dexter at some point in those six months to steal that warrant from her stuff and destroy it? I guess it's fair to explain that omission by pointing to his being lost without Deb.

Great start for the season, though I really wanted to see Hannah.

Anonymous said...

holy frankinf#ck thank you tv gods for getting rid of zombie harrisons!

that is all

Your Modest Guru said...

Total misdirection!

We start off thinking everything's tops for Dexter, meanwhile Debra's life is in total disarray. Then Deb turns out to be a high-functioning drug addict PI, and Dexter has never been more psychotic.

I got tense when Angel picked up paperwork from Maria's investigations on Dexter and Deb; I'm sure he'd kill Dexter if he ever found out, and maybe even Debra too. I should have known that he'd never believe they're guilty. He's cool and sad at the same time.

Jamie and Quinn doesn't really surprise me. I thought it was established a long time ago that he's not very mature in general. Maybe this is the season he gets to be really impressive.

Flanery as Elway seems cool thus far, though I wonder how big a role he's gonna play as Deb's passive boss. Rampling as Dr. Vogel has already put an interesting spin on this season. The odds are against her, though. Most new arrivals who both know Dexter's secret and try to influence him usually end up on his table by the end. Who knows, maybe one of them will wind up having a piece of their brains scooped out?

Dexter dying would be a bit fitting for the end. If he ever goes to prison, he'd be the scariest inmate.

Anonymous said...

Agreed - great episode. But -- and maybe it's me -- there's something I don't get. Deb shot LaGuerta with her own gun, right? Meaning, Deb's gun...) Didn't ballistics find that out? And how did Deb explain that?

Anonymous said...

First of all, great review.
Second of all, I liked the episode a lot and Jennifer Carpenter deserves an award. I have no idea what´s in store for this season.

Honeypum said...

First time I comment here, i have watched all seasons (up to s08e01 up to today) in the past 2 months and read and loved your reviews.
I love this tv show and would no like to see it end...

greetings from Spain

Anonymous said...

Dexter cannot pronounce parietal ( as inthe parietal and occipital bone sliced through) OK that's weird. Where is their medical technical advisor? This reminds me of when the actors on house used to mispronounce medical terms.