Showtime sent us the first four episodes of the final season of Dexter. Scotty watched the episodes and reviewed them for us. WARNING! There are spoilers for next week’s episode.
Dexter Season 8
Episodes 1-4 Preview
Warning! Spoilers Present!
I am a HUGE fan of “Dexter!” I have heard and shared this statement with many people over the past week and a half since the Showtime hit began its 8th and final season. I have been addicted to the show since it began. Every season, viewers find themselves pulling for Dexter Morgan. For those of you who have not watched a single episode (and shame on you if you haven’t), Dexter, played brilliantly by Michael C. Hall, is a serial killer. Now why would the audience pull for a serial killer? He is a serial killer who lives by a code. He has an innate desire to kill, but will only kill those who he feels deserve to die for heinous crimes they have committed.
Michael C. Hall plays the role of Dexter to perfection. Hall can portray so much with one look. There is so much looming behind Dexter’s eyes. He is also able to convey so many levels in his delivery of the dialogue. Hall can deliver the lines of how Dexter would want to convey to the other characters, all while making us know that he has other thoughts, worries, and plans on his mind. His talent has been recognized with many nominations and awards.
Over the past seven seasons, viewers have grown to like and even love Dexter. With each season that passed, fans watched Dexter mature from a psychopath to a person with feelings of consideration, empathy, and kindness. But, just as we, and Dexter think he is developing these qualities, a new character is introduced in the new season to challenge our feelings: Dr. Evelyn Vogel. We will get back to her in a minute.
The 8th season begins six months after the explosive 7th season finale. In the finale, Dexter’s sister, Debra Morgan, killed Captain Maria LaGuerta (Lauren Valez) to protect Dexter’s secret. We find out that Debra has quit the Miami police department. Everyone misses her presence, including Dexter. We come to find that she is now working as a private investigator. She seems as if she has completely lost herself after killing LaGuerta. Dexter makes great attempts to help her, but Deb does not respond. Again, we find ourselves witnessing Dexter’s ability to feel.
Just as we, and Dexter, think he is developing compassion and feelings; Dr. Evelyn Vogel enters the story. Dr. Vogel is played actress Charlotte Rampling. After the first four episodes, I already find myself loving this character. Rampling is perfectly cast in this role as a psychiatrist who helped Dexter’s father, Harry Morgan (James Remar), develop the code by which Dexter lives. She reveals this secret to Dexter. She lets Dexter know that he is a psychopath, and that it is ok. Dr. Vogel challenges us, and Dexter, with the idea that he can never be anyone else than a psychopath. This is hard for Dexter to swallow, as well as the viewer. As I watched these episodes, I wondered if she was correct or if she was manipulating Dexter.
In addition to all that we have learned, a “Big Bad” is out and about in the Miami area. This time, the killer is removing different parts of the brain. But these pieces are not kept as personal trophies. The pieces are being sent to Dr. Vogel. The suspicion is that it is one of her ex-patients she has written about in her book, Crave to Kill. We are introduced to a few of her patients, which are then disposed of by the new Big Bad or Dexter. They are killed off as the chapters go in the book. The next patient that Dexter investigates, A.J. Yates, gets away. Could Dr. Vogel be in cahoots with this killer, or she the possible next victim? Could the book act as her alibi?
Meanwhile, Dexter wants Dr. Vogel to help Debra. Debra is becoming an alcoholic and completely blames Dexter for the hell her life has become. I wasn’t sure I would like the path Debra’s character was going in by killing LaGuerta, but I think the writers have done a great job.
Debra and Dexter
Much against her will, Debra begins to see Dr. Vogel. Dr Vogel seems to convince Debra that she is still a good person and that she was acting as a loving sister by killing LaGuerta. Again, is there a secret motive to her wanting to help Dexter and Debra? We do seem to get the beginning of an answer after Vogel’s patient gets away. Dexter raids his computer and finds that Vogel’s notes on her patients have been hacked. Dexter pulls up the notes she has taken on him. It looks as though she is taking notes to help her experiment on him as a psychopath. Deter is angered by what he has found. He tells Vogel that once Yates is found, he wants nothing to do with her. So, we still see Dexter keeping a promise, nothing like the behavior of a psychopath that Vogel has described.
While staying with Dr. Vogel, Debra discovers that Harry could not live with Dexter’s behavior. She seems disturbed by this discovery. The next interaction with Dexter and Debra, we see that Debra seemingly wants to make amends. While driving, they have a conversation about Vogel. Debra asks if Harry had killed himself because of what Dexter had become. Dexter reveals what really happened. Debra then takes the drastic action of crashing the car into a lake. A witness swims out and rescues Debra. As she regains consciousness, she sees Dexter’s unconscious body in the car. As she sees the car sink, her loving sister instincts kick in. She swims out and saves Dexter again. Has what seemed to be an act of trying to kill them both to rid the world of Dexter and Debra’s guilt, symbolically played out as some baptism for a new life? As Debra and Dexter emerge from the water, we go to the credits. Is this a rebirth of a new brother and sister relationship? Can the two reconcile? Will Dexter ultimately catch Yates? How will this series end?
Although I am sad to see the series end, I am glad that these characters’ story will end on a high note. You don’t want a series to end with an audience who doesn’t care anymore. Bravo to the cast, crew, and Showtime for a marvelous run. Tune in to watch the final season on Showtime, Sundays at 9p.m. ET/PT.
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