Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Ghoul Versus Dexter's Final Season Episode 4: Scar Tissue

 Previously on Dexter...

An episode that probably should have been about Dexter stalking and killing a cannibal is instead about, uh... Deb drinking a lot. And then drinking even more.

Sigh, again? Alright Miss Lohan, you know the drill- OH GEEZ, my bad! I thought you were someone else!”

Almost a third in the season and... yeah. We're still waiting for someone to do something besides drink. I give you A Ghoul Versus Dexter's Final Season Episode 4: Scar Tissue!

The episode opens with Vogel taking Deb to visit the storage container where she murdered LaGuerta, and DAMN if I'm not pissed we didn't begin with Deb waking up and handcuffed to her own couch. That would have been some Grade A entertainment there, but once again continues the season's theme of skipping over the stuff they SHOULD have focused on.

Vogel is trying to cure Deb of her guilt, but Deb really isn't interested in any of her nonsense. She does rightfully call out Vogel for using Dex to stop the Brain Surgeon, but OF COURSE the doctor dismisses that instantly.

Another day in Miami, another murder. Dex is called to the crime scene of Norma Rivera, who was brutally beaten to death. Quinn, probably for the first time in his entire career, is ON TOP of things and concludes it was likely her ex-boyfriend. Batista chooses this moment to tell him he passed his sergeant test, which does lead to a reaction from Quinn that I must begrudgingly admit is quite hilarious.

“I've just never been this happy to get back a positive test, you know?”

Batista wonders what the fuck Jamie sees in Quinn, which reminds me why I love Batista so much. Alright, back to the real story. Next on the Dex Hit List is A.J. Yates, who now works as an installer for a cable company. Dex stalks him, intrigued to see he has a scar on the back of his head which is exactly where the Brain Surgeon has been cutting the heads off the back of his victims. Dex confronts Vogel about this, asking if that scar was part of her “illegal treatments” of her former patients. She says it was just a lesion on his brain that she thought might be contributing to his violent behaviour, and suggested the hospital treating him remove it.

Dex and Vogel engage in another endlessly circular conversation about Deb, who is now staying with the good doctor. Fortunately Dex gets as bored of this as I am, so he breaks into Yates' house to see what he can dig up. Dex finds a closet full of women's shoes and BLOODY HELL, did Vogel ever actually CURE ANYONE? Is this going to be the whole season, Dex bumping off red herring after red herring until he finally gets a showdown with the Brain Surgeon?

Alright, onto attempt #317...”

Unknown to Dex however, Yates is monitoring him from a hidden room in his basement. He comes upstairs to attack Dex, but halts when he hears his uninvited house guest call Vogel and discuss him via speakerphone. Yates returns to his basement to contemplate his next move as we see a woman tied up to the wall.

Dex returns home, finding a strange woman in his apartment. That'd be funny if she were just some random serial killer who took him out for the hell of it and the credits started rolling. Or not, as she introduces herself as Cassie, one of his neighbours. We see she's there with Jamie, but one would have to be blind to see the look Cassie throws at Dex.

We go to a bar where the police station is celebrating Quinn's passing score, and lo and behold Jamie has totes forgiven him AGAIN! I don't think she's the most positive female character on this show. But it has been like twenty minutes, which is WAY too long for Quinn to not start fucking things up so he throws me a bone when he overhears two officers talking shit about Deb latest foray into the world of Professional Alcoholism.

Debra Morgan Protip #11: if you don't finish a bottle while in the store, you're not trying hard enough.”

With Jamie begging him to let it go, Quinn walks up to them to shut them up. Naturally he punches one of them and a fight breaks out... yawn. I don't even know what to say at this point, Quinn is one of the WORST CHARACTERS EVER. I'm starting to think his actor, Desmond Harrington, had some juicy blackmail photos of the show runners is how he kept getting larger parts each season.

Next scene is Quinn and Jamie having sex and HOLY GOD she forgave him again?! I think it's safe to say we found our Dexter Drinking Game! Jamie has forfeited any and ALL rights to being even a remotely sympathetic character, anyone THIS moronic deserves all the pain Quinn's gonna be sending her way.

This does get a little weird as she starts pressing into his ribs that were bruised during his bar fight, getting a perverse little smile on her face as she intentionally hurts him. Then the scene just ends. Okay? I mean, I don't blame her but that was a little off.

The next day at the police station Matthews pulls Batista aside, recommending he promote Angie Miller over Quinn as she scored higher on the exam. Who's Angie Miller, you may ask? FUCK IF I KNOW! Apparently she's been on the show since the seventh season, but I literally have no memory of her.

So it was REALLY FREAKING ABRUPT when she started appearing this season in a speaking role.

And once again I'm forced to say ALL of this is bullshit padding. Who gives a fuck if Quinn doesn't get the promotion? Is he really some tragic figure we all sympathize with and want to see triumph over the odds? HELL NO! I wanted to see Dex kill this dumbass since season five, but he's somehow still hung on since then. In his lab, Dex runs the fingerprints he took off Yates' shoe collection. He finds they all correspond to missing women, the latest belonging to Janet Thorton who was the one we saw trapped in his basement.

You know what though? I think we need more subplots featuring the supporting cast that have nothing to do with anything, so let's see what Masuka has going on. He gets a visit from a beautiful young woman named Niki, whom he creepily hits on until she reveals that he's her father. YOIKES, that's a party foul if I've ever seen one.

We're... we're really doing a long lost child plot on freaking DEXTER?”

That was good Dexter, but that's the best you can do? Ooh, here's Elway talking about his dad and flirting with Deb at work! There we go, let's REALLY swing for the fences with pointless story lines! Deb does decline a drink though, so I guess we see whatever Vogel is trying to masquerade as therapy is starting to work for her.

When the sun goes down, Dex breaks into Yates' home to kill him but finds the place empty and the shoes missing. He does find his secret basement though, finding a lot of evidence that Yates is indeed the Brain Surgeon. He also finds Janet locked in a tool chest, rushing her to the hospital as she's slowly bleeding to death.

Dex must have just dropped her off outside the ER or something, because next scene he's back in the basement with Vogel going through Yates' computer. He finds all of her patient files stored on there, including one she's been keeping on him. Dex opens one of the files and reads her notes, discovering she believes he's delusional about his love for Deb.

He also finds her 50 Shades of Grey fanfiction, but tactfully ignores it.

This is FINALLY enough for Dex to arrive at the same conclusion that Deb did: that's she's just using him. He warns her that when the Brain Surgeon is dead she WILL be out of his life forever, and NOW we're getting somewhere.

Just to prove this point, Dex comes up with a genius idea on how to lure Yates out of hiding. Discovering Yates' father is living at a nursing home, Dex calls Yates from there pretending to be a nurse and informing him that his father is about to die. These last two scenes have been better than the first three episodes multiplied by three.

Yates rushes there, only to fall into Dex's trap. HOWEVER, Yates turns the tables by pulling his father's life support and escapes while Dex hides from the nurses alerted by the Code Blue alarm. GODDAMN this turned back into Dexter with a freaking vengeance!

Heading back to the police station, Dex meets up with Batista who wants him to examine the clothes of a stabbing victim that was recently admitted to the hospital, a one Janet Thorton. Before he can get to this however, Dex is visited by Deb who wants to go for a drive with him. Deb is much warmer towards Dex as they talk, but honestly I am too distracted by how freaking WEIRD the camera angles are during this scene.

Did they accidentally lean on the ZOOM button for this shot?

Deb brings up the Vogel's DVDs, a lot of which she watched unbeknownst to Vogel. One led her to wonder if their dad killed himself over the guilt of what he did to Dex, something Dex confirms for her. Deb says she know how he felt but then adds he only got it HALF RIGHT, as she grabs the steering wheel from Dex and drives them off the road into a lake. HOLY FUCKING SHIT!

Unfortunately for her a fisherman nearby witnesses this, diving into the water and pulling Deb to safety. She watches Dex slowly descend into the lake before she takes action and decides to saves him.

Cue the credits.

I certainly can't say nothing's happened in the season anymore. The entire episode was largely interesting, with the exception of Quinn wasting our time, but then it REALLY kicked things into overdrive in the last few minutes. It's just sad we had to endure SO much incompetence to get to this point, and likely will have to endure oh so much more.

This is how the first episode should have ended, with a crazy ass cliffhanger that makes you RABIDLY anticipating the next episode. How is Dex going to react to his sister trying to kill him? What's Vogel going to think about all of this? Is Quinn going to try to test Jamie's limits by suggesting a threesome with her and Deb? Tune in next time to find out!