The theme of the season is EVERYONE has become a hot mess. Deb has understandably gone off the deep end after killing LaGuerta, Dex is losing himself after Deb shuts him out of her life, and Jamie has made the worst possible decision by beginning to date Quinn.
“You're not going to screw my life up are you, Joey?”“Nah baby, just because I've done that to my last twenty girlfriends THIS time's gonna be different!”
With the debut of a new serial killer in Miami who has a fetish for cutting out part of his victim's brains, legendary profiler Dr. Evelyn Vogel rolls into town to help catch him. She shocks Dex with the casual revelation he knows all about the Code of Harry.
Not the followup I was hoping for after the shocking ending to Season 7, but hopefully things start gaining steam from here. Get ready to match wits with the Cortex Killer as it's time for A Ghoul Versus Dexter's Final Season Episode 2: Every Silver Lining...
We open with interview footage of Harry discussing the ten year old Dexter with Dr. Vogel. He tells her he just took him to the scene of a HOMICIDE because Dex really wanted to see one, which again confirms my theory that HARRY was the fucked up one in the family who spread his insanity to his adopted son.
Dex and Vogel watch the footage, Vogel telling him she helped “create him”. Dex comments she makes him sound like Frankenstein, which is pretty fucking apt. It's amazing how badly the adults in Dex's life completely and utterly let him down. We quickly see Vogel is off her rocker, considering herself Dex's “spiritual mother” and cracking a joke she should have brought champagne to mark the occasion.
Rightfully horrified at all this, Dex calls her out for experimenting on him. She deflects this with a bunch of bullshit about how there was no hope for him and that he'd end up in an institution or death row. She finally cuts to the chase though, asking Dex for a favour. It seems the Cortex Killer is an unknown former patient of hers, having left the section of the brain he cut out on her doorstep and she needs Dex to help her figure out who's behind it.
When asked why she didn't fess up to the police about this, Vogel reveals she's treated former patients with illegal methods she doesn't want coming to light. Dex is all “sucks to be you” but Vogel gives him a DVD that she tells him will put things into perspective.
“You better deliver an epic ending at the end of this season or you'll end up starring in the SEQUEL to this!”
We briefly get a scene of a man tied to a chair while another man that looks a hell of a lot like David Arquette suffocates him to death with a plastic bag, apologizing but saying he has no choice because it looks like Scream 5 is NEVER going to happen and he's gotta make ends meet somehow. Back at his apartment Dex watches the DVD, which is more interview footage only many years later after Dex has begun the Code. Harry is having doubts but Vogel talks him into continuing, which is her way to telling Dex she's always believed in him.
Hallucination Harry pops up, telling Dex he should help her because perhaps in turn she could help him repair his relationship with his sister. The next day he gets called to a park where another body has been found, also sharing the traits of having the back of his head cut off and a part of his brain missing. Masuka dubs him the killer the Brain Surgeon, which I had considered calling him but thought the Cortex Killer sounded cooler. Dex finds the plastic bag used to kill the victim wrapped around a nearby bench, taking it back to his lab to run prints on it.
Deb and her boss Elway search the apartment that belonged to Briggs, finding the address of a storage facility he'd been renting where Deb suspects he hid the jewels he stole. El Sapo watches them menacingly from a distance. Dex and Vogel talk while Dex's computer searches the database for the prints found on the bag, Vogel surprised to learn he would have liked someone to talk to after Harry died. Their conversation is interrupted by the computer finding a match: a one Lyle Sussman. Vogel has no idea who he is, asking Dex to find him before Miami Metro does.
Dex searches Sussman's apartment, finding it long since deserted but does find out he owns a cabin near Lake Nona. Meanwhile Deb searches Briggs' storage unit, finding the jewels just in time for Sapo to jump her. She fights back but the hitman overpowers her and escapes, taking her gun with him.
Batista and Quinn go to interview Sussman's mother, Batista stopping Quinn outside to reveal he knows about him and Jamie. He advises Quinn gets his act together, suggesting he try out for an open sergeant spot in the department. Sussman's mother hasn't seen him in days, thinking he might be out in his cabin out by the lake.
You ever think all these demons and serial killers ever get their cabins mixed up since they all look so identical? Like one of the Deadites from Evil Dead accidentally wanders into the cabin from Friday The 13th and is all “Oops, my bad yo!”
Dex gets called to another crime scene, this one a man shot multiple times in his car. He's shocked to discover it's Sapo, which means Deb is still in danger. He also notices the blood of someone else on the car, taking a sample with him to follow up on. Masuka finds Deb's gun in the car, which is probably NOT going to go well for her.
Dex takes off for Deb's house, finding her fast asleep on he couch. She is unfazed by the news Sapo is dead, rather still bitter at him for stomping the shit out of her. Or probably because she did it, that's an option I'm not going to rule out. She kicks him out, again telling him she wants nothing to do with him. He goes to Sussman's cabin next to tie up that particular loose end, but finds someone has already done that as Sussman has been murdered. Now THAT'S what I call a... dead end!
Thank you, I'll be here all week! Don't forget to tip the waitress!
We are next “treated” to a scene of Quinn being a complete asshole to Jamie. You know, I do NOT understand the existence of Quinn at all on this show. He's a fuck up, he's not interesting, he never adds anything to the plot, and yet he gets SO MUCH screen time. Are they trying to court a female demographic with those chiseled good looks of his?
Anyway, this scene is “Wah wah wah, poor me” and then he unleashes a tirade against Jamie that even includes mocking her Cuban heritage. CLASSY AS FUCK Quinn! Jamie tells him to fuck off and leaves, and I wonder what the hell she ever saw in him in the first place.
Oh that's right, she has GODAWFUL taste in men.
Running a search on the blood he found on Sapo's car, Dex finds it does indeed belong to Deb. Big shock right? Speak of the devil, she just happens to show up at the station. She talks to Quinn in an interrogation room, Dex secretly monitoring them from outside. When Quinn shows Deb the crime scene photos of Sapo he begins to freak out, Dex bursting in under the pretense of a family emergency to drag her away.
He takes his sister out into the alley to confront her, Deb admitting to the murder. When she learns that her gun was found in Sapo's car she tells Dex to switch it out with another one, making a vague threat against him if he doesn't. He asks what she means by that, and she replies:
“Anything can happen in this hellhole that is now my life. Your gift to me, Dexter.”
Deb's losing me fast at this point. This is all part of the gray morality that permeates this show, but now she's outright blackmailing her brother and using his own guilt against him, blaming it ALL on Dex. I ain't see him pulling that trigger girlfriend! Sure she did it because she loves LOVES her foster brother oh so much and felt there was no other way to save him, but shooting LaGuerta was still HER decision and her decision ALONE.
Dex easily switches out the guns though, because Miami Metro is still as incompetent as ever and hasn't even got to investigating the gun yet. I mean, it's only a MURDER committed right on the streets! They can definitely back burner that bad boy til next week. That night the police officers meet at a bar for drinks, Quinn telling Batista he's patched things up with Jamie and will start studying for the sergeant's test. Jamie, congratulations for losing all my respect and taking this dirtbag back!
Vogel calls Dex that night for his help, as she has come home to find her front door wide open. He rushes over, searching the house but finds it empty. Vogel sees a new DVD on her laptop, firing it up to find the footage of Sussman strangling his victim. A third man can be seen in the room, holding a gun to Sussman's head to make him commit the killing. Dejected that he was wrong about Sussman being the Brain Surgeon, Dex decides to open up to Vogel about his relationship with Deb.
Uh huh, that's all we got huh? Another setup episode, as Deb falls deeper into the darkness, Dex beginning to confide in Vogel, and our Big Bad widening his killing spree over Miami. As long it's all GOING somewhere we can hopefully look back at this as a good episode, but on its on it was rather weak.
Anytime Quinn was on screen everything ground to a halt as EVERYTHING he does feels like padding to make this a full length episode. I've never looked at online communities for this show, but do Quinn fans actually exist? Especially after his racist rant in this episode? If so, WHAT DO YOU SEE IN HIM?!