Dexter: Every Silver Lining...

Dexter: "I don't take requests."

Wake up and smell the twisted shrink, Dexter!

Vogel loves psychopaths? They're alpha wolves? They're not a mistake of nature, they're a gift? Come on! If she's being totally honest with Dexter, I'll eat my hat. In fact, it seems blindingly obvious that she's the "brain surgeon", and that she created this situation so that she could connect with Dexter. That scene on the DVD had the "brain surgeon" off camera; it was shot in much the same way as those long ago sessions with Harry, with Vogel behind the camera controlling everything.

I think Vogel wants a serial killer on a leash. And Dexter won't be anyone's attack dog. If she has ulterior motives, and I'm sure she does, will she eventually turn on Dexter? I kept thinking something would happen to Dexter during that scene in the cabin, and I'm not usually afraid for him. Of course, I'm ultra aware that this is the last season.

At the beginning of the episode, I was thinking -- at last! Dexter can actually talk to a real shrink about his issues. It's what he's needed forever; it's been obvious since season one. But by the end of the episode, I just hated her. She misdiagnosed Dexter back when he was ten. Psychopaths are incapable of empathy, but Dexter needed someone to talk to after Harry died, didn't he? Dexter even reacted emotionally when Vogel hugged him. If Vogel made Dexter into a monster when he could have gotten therapy, when he might have lived a normal life -- I almost don't have words.

Dexter also loves Deb to distraction, and he is indeed distracted. He's covering for her mistakes now, as well as his own. Because Deb just killed a killer, and said coolly afterward that the guy deserved to die. Is Deb becoming like Dexter, after all? It occurred to me during this episode that Deb took out LaGuerta in a freaking shipping container, right after Dexter finished off the last of the men who killed his mother. Dexter's dark passenger was born in a shipping container, after all. There was another of those Dexter/Deb discussions in the breezeway between the walls of two huge buildings, but this time, it was Dexter trying to talk Deb down. Their roles have reversed. I think it's going to happen.

It's funny that Dexter and Quinn have almost become buddies because of their mutual concern for Deb. This was the first time I actually felt for Quinn, because he still loves Deb; he cares nothing about Jamie. ("Is this a Cuban thing?" Really, Quinn. Wanting to make a success of your life has nothing to do with being freaking Cuban.) Deb hasn't completely let Quinn go, either. That scene in the interrogation room with the steaming cup of coffee on the table was probably this week's Most Obvious Symbolism. There's still heat between them; it's just off to the side for the time being.

It's interesting that this final season, Dexter is spending most of his time showing people his true face. Like the recorded sessions with the younger Harry that upset Dexter so much, this is full circle stuff.

Bits and pieces:

-- When Masuka walked in on Dexter and Vogel, he thought something sexy was going on. Vogel is sort of Dexter's mom. And of course, the last couple of seasons have had Deb in love with Dexter, her brother. Just saying.

-- Elway clearly cares about Deb. Is it me, or does Sean Patrick Flanery look different? I swear I barely recognized him in the premiere.

-- Loved Dexter looking at Sussmann's air conditioning unit and saying, "Nah." It was like Superman passing the phone booth, making a face, and moving on.

-- El Zappo had a code of his own. He didn't kill Deb because he hadn't been paid to kill her.

-- Angel knows about Jamie and Quinn? Well, he is a detective. But he hasn't exploded? That's out of character.

-- The music that was playing in the cabin as Sussmann was being forced to kill his latest victim was Mama Cass, "Make Your Own Kind of Music". That particular song was used in Lost, too. Fascinating.

-- Vogel's office window faces a wall, but that wall has a kaleidoscope of color. When Deb was in Elway's office, she looked out the window to row after row of gray buildings. I'm not sure what it means, but I thought it was interesting.

-- This episode was directed by series star Michael C. Hall. Has he directed before? If he hasn't, the world has been missing a terrific director.


Dexter: "I remember that day. It was like a painting. And I wanted to be the artist."

Dexter: "Create me? You sound like Doctor Frankenstein."

Dexter: "You experimented on me? That's what mothers do?"
Vogel: "I developed a framework for your survival. That's what mothers do."

Dexter: "You think it's a threat?"
Vogel: "A brain on the doorstep. Hardly a love letter."

"Harry": "At the very least, she's a window to your past that you just can't ignore."

Dexter: "Miami makes more corpses than sunburn."

Vogel: "You're not evil. You're making the world a better place."

Quinn: "Can we go? That fucking quilt is creeping me out."
Angel: "It's like a nightmare in fur."
Super creepy.

Masuka: "If I were to cop a feel right now, it wouldn't be sexual harassment any more."

Dexter: "I've destroyed Deb. She's gone."

Fascinating. If this is just episode two, what will the rest of the season be like?

Four out of four Cuban things,

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


Paul Kelly said...

Dexter usually takes a few episodes to get warmed up, but these last two episodes have seriously scorched my arse. I long for Dexter to go out with a bang, and, so far, it's on course.

Good catch about Vogel always being off camera. I did think for a second that the blood on the car door would be a set-up, and that someone was out to frame Deb, but I like where they went with it better.

After a couple of series being uncomfortable with the idea of Deb loving Dexter, this season it suddenly feels okay. I think it's because there's now some distance between them. With Yvonne Strahovski due to return, Deb killing people, and Dexter, is the final season going to be some kind of serial killer war, with Vogel utilising every ex-patient at her disposal to wreak havoc on Miami one last time? I hope so.

The question is... why? Wouldn't it be fun if she was Dexter's real mom, and his murderous instincts actually came from her? The hug at the end did seem kind of maternal, did it not? It would also explain why Harry went to her and spilled his guts. Were they having an affair?

Anonymous said...

From what I've heard it was MCH's first try at directing. I liked his work, especially the light/shadow decisions.

I really hate Vogel. The way she tries to make Dexter believe again in the characteristics he proved himself are not applying to him in the past makes my stomach turn. The way she always speaks of your kind etc. is despicable.

But I think that through the Vogel character Dexter has the chance for a happy ending. Maybe he will fall under her influence for a while but in the end he will realize once and for all that all these characteristics do not apply to him and he can let go of the dark passenger for good because that's not who he is, that's only what Vogel wanted him to be and how she created him. Maybe Vogel forces him to kill Debra like his brother did in season 1 and he will refuse again - coming full circle.

Anonymous said...

PS: I doub't Vogel is Dexter's real mother. The given explanation so far works for me.

Book Spoiler:

If Dexter won't bury his dark passenger I think it's possible that they go back to the books now that Debra is killing herself. Maybe the end will be that she's okay with Dexter's killing and helps him from now on.

Anonymous said...

Another great episode and I don´t trust Vogel, something is off about her.

Your Modest Guru said...

Still cool so far.

I like that they are reexamining Dexter's existence from the past again. Even though Vogel's shadiness is obvious, that she could be the Brain Surgeon seems almost too obvious. If it is a red herring, I hope they don't keep it going long.

Vogel's so blunt about everything. Part of me thinks it's just the kind of personality it takes to be a psychopath-whisperer who commonly uses unorthodox practices. Then again, I just watched a whole season of Hannibal, so I'm indecisive on this. Also Charlotte Rampling is like a female Ian McKellen.

Can't blame Deb for killing that hitman, but I also kind of felt bad because he decided to spare her life when any other criminal would have shot her or done worse.

I guess the years really have not been kind to SPF. Amazingly he's more recognizable here than he is in Boondock Saints 2. Strange. Good dynamic between him and Deb, though.

Quinn has to be partially based on McNulty from The Wire. Seems to compensate for being a good cop by sucking at his personal life, and vice versa.

I like Jamie. It was funny when she went off on Angel.

My gripe is the same as it has ever been: Dexter always lets his need for "someone to talk to" influence him and it always goes horribly wrong. Now he's already starting to think of Vogel as his psycho-mommie. At least he's kind of suspicious of her... for now.

Probably not gonna get a happy ending. Hell, we'll be lucky to get a bittersweet ending.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this episode, liked some of the interesting camera angles as well. Still wondering whether Vogel is going to do what all of Dexter's other so-called people who understand him have done in the past, which is use him for her own end instead of show him how to undo the damage that's been done to him.

Not too much Deb whining this time, but her telling Dex to get lost and him following suit is getting kind of old to me. He's like a stalker.

I even liked Quinn, Jaime and Bautista's parts. It's great when they get something to do that's not peripheral. All in all I give the epi 3 1/2 stars.