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Showtime (ended 2013)

Dexter S08E05: "This Little Piggy"


Cliffhangers are a drag. You think they're going to be exciting and lead to something that's even more exciting, but so often, shows immediately run away from what they built to at the end of the previous episode and then I find it more difficult to trust them going forward. Dexter isn't the worst offender of this brand of cliffhanger abuse, but the transition between the last few minutes of last week's episode and the events of "This Little Piggy" were kind of weird, to say the least. It was bad enough that the show punted a relatively cool cliffhanger last week by having Deb almost immediately save a drowning Dexter (sure, he was never going to die, but at least that would have been a compelling image to go out on); then, this episode zoomed through the aftermath of that big moment way too quickly, mostly to get back to procedural motions that I can't imagine literally anyone in the audience cares about. And yet, here I am again, thinking about how great Jennifer Carpenter, Michael C. Hall and Charlotte Rampling are, and shrugging off what are clearly big flaws, both in the episode and this final season.

But let's back up to the early moments of "This Little Piggy." Deb tried to kill Dexter, then decided not to because they have the most screwed-up relationship in human history. What did they do immediately afterward? They chatted things out with Vogel. And when Dexter got a little upset that, uh, HIS SISTER JUST TRIED TO MURDER HIM (remember, sociopaths can have feelings too), Deb was like, "Bro, 'sup? Why are you mad?" And then he mostly let the anger subside, Vogel was kidnapped, and by the end of the hour, it seemed like every single one of their problems—all of which were severely complex—were forgiven, if not forgotten. Maybe I'm missing something, but... what?

I guess there are two ways to look at this. On one hand, the fact that Dexter and Deb buried the hatchet so quickly, just a day or two after she tried to murder-death-kill him, and only a few more days after we saw her blowing coke and blowing guys away with handguns, is a testament to just how unbelievably creepy and co-dependent these siblings are. They literally just flushed so much water under a creeky old bridge, and it was windy as hell on that bridge. In the middle of this episode, Deb told Dexter that she saved him because she couldn't—and didn't want to—picture a world without him in it... which, obviously. If there's one thing that Dexter has taught us over eight years, it's that above all else, Dexter and Deb will always choose one another, no matter how stupid it might be to do so, or how terrible their lives might become as a result. Mix in some A-plus level Jedi manipulation from Vogel, who Deb is now treating like a mother figure in a way that we haven't seen even from Dexter (because Deb's even more desperate than him), and okay, sure, you could sell me on such an early reunion between the Morgans.

But on the other hand, I'll repeat what I said just a moment ago: What? Not only did this happen super quickly, but it also derailed what had become the show's greatest strength in the tension between Dexter and Deb. Yes, I know, it's still early in the season. I don't doubt that the two of them are going to have a spat or 49 before the whole series comes to a close. But I don't totally see the value in cutting this spat short when there was so much there to mine. The writers try to get away with a lot by exploiting Deb's erratic behavior and mood swings, and while Carpenter can make it work most of the time, just think about all the things we've seen Deb do just in five episodes (which had to take place over what, two weeks? Three, tops?). She's seemingly recovered from severe depression and multiple forms of substance abuse (must've been that swag electrolyte drink Elway made her chug!). She straight-up iced a dude in cold blood and shrugged it off. Then she tried to murder her brother, who, less than six or seven months ago, she pretty much wanted to sex up. Deb's no-doubt seen some stuff, and that maybe means that she's just going to dizzily bounce off of people this season, but her desire to reconcile with Dexter, to be the one calling him non-stop just like he was doing to her like three episodes ago, is just nuts.

Maybe that's the point. Maybe this is all leading to even more troubling times for Deb, where she regrets letting go of most of the stuff she kept inside for too long. Maybe she's put way too much trust in Vogel and that's going to come back to bite her. And maybe she'll finally see that it probably wasn't smart to do really any of the things she's done since she walked into the church and saw Dexter killing our boy Travis Marshall. If all that comes to pass, it'll be pretty powerful, but I won't be able to stop thinking about how dumb it made Deb look in the process.


Despite all this, the two sequences that bracketed this episode were pretty darn good. Vogel's manipulation of Dexter and Deb was in full-force during their post-attempted-murder therapy session, and Hall delivery of the lines about wanting to "be with family" while he dumped body parts and evidence was classically icky. The unevenness and the questionable decision-making with this story bothers me, but the three actors carrying it are doing great work to make it seem like the show's much more on-track than it actually is at the moment.

I'm theorizing and trying to parse all this out because I find it confusing, but also because a huge chunk of this episode was dedicated to middling Dexter stories that never ignite much interest in me. Deb and Dexter coming together to search for Vogel had its moments, but it was also mostly driven by concurrent shots of the two of them sitting in their cars listening to a torture on speakerphone. I don't know about you, but that's not riveting TV for me. The race for the new Sergeant between Quinn and Angie, a character the show hasn't tried to sketch out at all, is still as ineffectual as possible. It's not remotely bad, and Desmond Harrington's doing what he can, but seriously, who cares? The same could be said for C.S. Lee and the plot with Masuka's new daughter. It really feels like Dexter's writers are trying to give all the actors as much stuff to work with as possible in the final stretch of episodes, but it's difficult to invest in Masuka in the new way the show is asking us to.


This season is becoming quite the challenge, both to watch and to review. I'm surprised that this is where Dexter is five episodes into its final season, and there's definitely some value in being surprising eight years in. And again, it's quite likely that weird stuff is happening almost entirely because Vogel is really, really good at her job. But the show might need to level out for an episode or two before I'm totally sold on where this is all headed.



A FEW SLICES MORE

– Jamie was so mad about Dexter ruining that double date and zzzzzz. Bethany Jo Lenz is pretty.

– I'm still waiting for Elway to be revealed as a creep, a killer, or a creepy killer. That's how this works, don't let me down show.

– Oh, Quinn, always wanting to beat confessions out of probably guilty rich kids. Seriously, that's what we're wasting time on in a final season.

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Am I really the only one who noticed the "You're a saint" reference to Sean Patrick Flanerys character, who happens to be a fan favorite from his roles in the Boondock Saints movies and cartoons?
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I noticed that too! I thought it was clever
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This show had been horrible since day 1, I don't know why I continue watching!
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I already wrote this below, but i decided to repost it well, cuz i wanted it to be at the top of the comment at least for a little while. lol
Ok here,s my theory of how the season will end up going, next episode Vogel wants Dexter and her to teach that kid the code. I thought well we have seen that Vogel is more than capable to teach somebody the code herself, so at first it will seem like this kid is the first since Dexter to learn it, and I think that the "lessons" with Dex and Vogel will go one way, and Vogel on her own will manipulate the kid into some loyalty to her. Than when ultimately Dexter uncovers just how twisted she really is to the point of having to kill her, she will make the ki d think that Dexter is evil and send him after Dexter. Also she will call in a few others that she taught the code to to be her own serial killer army to send after Dexter as well as Deb and probably everyone else, nobody will be safe, maybe they will kill of a character or two. its the final season and they know they aren't coming back, in many tv series I have seen that is when characters start biting the dust
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... and u think the episode was a drag - the reviw just went on and on and on. Heck, its even longer than the episodes, what gives?
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Remember season 4? How did this show go from that to this? God. Awful. Worst. Show. Ever.
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So um this is the final season right? Yawn. Season 1 was more intense and well written, serial killers battling it out through wit etc while balancing not being caught. This feels more like "As sand falls through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives"
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Hah, good one lumo. Doesn't it though?

Yes, thankfully, this is it, and we who have stayed with the show through excellent and stinko have 7 (SEVEN!) more episodes to suffer through, and then it will all be over.
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These best part in this episode was seeing dexter truly ANGRY like hulk. (I mean "hurt" according to Vogel). Would be nice to see more of the beast and less of the "adjusting to real life is hard" Dexter.
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Have to say enjoyed watching Quinn trying to be a grown up. love Masuka hate his storyline, he deserves to be in the thick of the action, i do like how Dex was surprised when he was actually good at his job! . Didnt really see all was well with Deb and Dex more of a workable impasse. the kill was pretty cool i guess, as we`re allowed to say that amongst friends :p ps Deb Dex Vogel scene excellent work! very very good. Happy with this episode
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......Where is Hannah???? Do you think maybe she's the brain surgeon killer? Or whoever is is probably working for her to fish out Dexter and Deb.
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Not that the writers care about facts, but how easy IS it to cut off a piece of the skull? Back in the day when writers were writers, there was talk of Jack the Ripper being a surgeon because the prostitutes were carved up with such exacting skill.

But Hannah or Deb or the guy on the enchilada truck could be TBS? Huh? So any Tom, Dick, or Deb can be TBS?

How so?

Writers on the show need not answer, since you couldn't even remember as far back as the last episode to explain what happened to the guy who saved Deb. It took a poster on another site to explain that Dex probably killed him and of COURSE we the stupid audience were never treated to the continuity of it all.
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you couldn't be more right about the brain surgeon. My basic point was where is Hannah? and I'm wondering if she's going to have some sort of connection to the final season's killer or if she'll play a role separate just for her or what
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She comes back starting next episode, so far I can only get info that she will also be in episode 7. So I know she will be in at least two eps, but I don't know if she will be in the rest of the season
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i agree about Quinn & Masuka storylines...like what is the point? at least Masuka's daughter is a hotty, so i wouldnt mind seeing more of her.
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also, the new neighbor is hot, but what is the point of that storyline either?
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Masuka's daughter? why now and why the unshaven armpits?
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unshaven? what?
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in the scene in front of the coffee truck with masuka. such a turn off.
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just watched that scene again. it's just shadow...i didnt see any hair
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oh, i didnt notice.
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While it's easy to go to what didn't happen let's look at what did. We knew Dexter was saved, more or less, by Deb. And, we knew when you save someone there's that tie that binds. No wonder the writers needed to just go ahead and bring Dexter and Deb back together. Together they're richer as characters with plenty of tension intact.

What's more surprising is Dr. Vogel is back in full manipulating glory. This raises the creep factor with almost unimaginable possibilities. The group effort to clean up the A.J.'s murder scene (how to clean up an impaled mattress?) signals a new paradigm in Dexter's evolution in some kind of bizarre bonding our protagonist has never allowed. Now, this is interesting.

Clumsy as the side-stories of Masuka and Quinn are, we know they're just setups for something else so give these some space before final judgment. Same with Deb's boss.

What's big is Dexter is now empowered once more. Though, he's seemingly in a much different (i.e. foreign) place, a pinnacle if you will, a place where he actually has a support structure of "family" as horrifically stated. Dexter has never had this, no not with Harry since the "code" was not about acceptance instead being damage control. This is the episodes "big reveal" and I'm surprised it hasn't been picked-up on as the centerpiece as it signals a dynamic quantum shift.

Other thoughts: Battista is marginalized, Captain Matthews has unknown dark motives as in his heyday. Quinn is back on the cusp of who knows what. Jamie's girlfriend has a secret side as, likely, so does Masuka's sudden daughter. There's plenty of undercurrent in the soup. So, maybe a necessary slow down before all hell breaks loose and in that way not a disappointing episode at all, but the calming before the explosive storm?
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Very nice summary, AudioFileZ. Well written.

If I wanted to give the writers a break, I would agree 100% with you. But since I think they've totally youknowwhat the pooch, after being given the rich opportunity to maintain the same excellent show we had at the start, I will only look forward to the finale.
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Wow the review seems a bit harsh, I kinda liked the whole family thing going on between Dexter and Deb.
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#make your own kind of music now i couldn't listen to this song without expecting some kind of chaos would happen in the next verse
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LMAO: the number of comments devoted to arguing the ethics and morality surrounding circumstances of Masuka establishing a relationship with his donor-daughter. Hilarious.

Speaking of ethics and morality, isn't it great to see that getting kicked off the force and then reinstated hasn't slowed Capt. Matthews down at all? Once a dirty cop...
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They should of started with the good stuff. Instead the writers are left waving their dicks in the wind.
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It's a pity the reviewer is not really enjoying the ride. I'm not overwhelmed, but Dexter is still a fine show in my opinion.

Unlike what the review says, I'm glad last episode didn't end with the "cliffhanger" of Dexter almost drowning when we knew he wouldn't drown. So, I'd rather deal with the consequences of Deb saving him, And yes, the way they dealt with the situation wasn't the healthiest, but somehow that felt like an organic development to all we know of these two crazies, especially with the "Jedi manipulations" of Vogel added to the mix. Deb is mercurial, and Dexter knows that he screwed up Deb's life, so he knows he had it coming. All in all, the situation they ended up with was the best they could've arranged considering the circumstances.

I like the way things are headed. Now Vogel will try to open a franchise of psychopath recovery, saving another serial killer by having him following the Code. Sure, why not, that's what she does. Of course that's a mistake, but if Dexter had a chance, why shouldn't that cocky rich kid? Now we can see how Dexter and Vogel will part ways and become real antagonists.

I couldn't care less about the sergeant thing. Quinn doesn't deserve it, and that African American lady whose lady I never cared to remember does. But we know nothing about her.

The Masuka situation... Meh. It could be something for the middle of a middle season. Not for the character's ending.

The hot neighbor? Meh. I want Hanna back!
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Yeah, I had problems with this episode too. It was weird and confusing and had a lot of moments that became slow because they either led to nowhere or could've just been deleted altogether.
Carpenter and Hall have a chemestry that makes me keep on watching them forever and ever, but this episode... I don't know. It wasn't bad, but there was something off about it..
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Thank god this is the final season, because I don't think I could take another season of this. It's not that I think it's very bad, but just very average. Everything just seems so bland and predictable, and even the Dex/Deb dynamic isn't there. It's not as bad as that pile of garbage that was season 6 of Dexter, but it's on par or a little better than 5, which isn't saying much. Season 7 was a nice resurgence in the show because the new dynamic between Dex and Deb felt fresh intriguing, and a good villain in Sirko, who was may more interesting than any guest on this show right now. The relationship already feels old a season later, and though I was critical of Hannah last season, at this point I would like to see her back, even if she won't add much. I'm not even interested in how we get to the end, I just want to see the end.
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Quite true.
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It was a wacky episode and most of it was terrible but Dr. Vogel hitting and chastising Yates totally redeemed it for me. It was the first scene for me that showed how dangerous she is under that meek act of hers...
Matthews being a corrupt captain protecting the rich, oh so predictable...
I'll say it again, love Deb's boss - so obviously there has to be something seriously wrong with him
Jamie's pushiness with the double date - cringe cringe cringe
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I am wondering how much more Psychopaths or Sociopaths Vogel has created?
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Thank you for the first one, well not to think it but actually the first person to write it that I Have come across. That plays into my theory of how the season will end up going,next episode Vogel wants Dexter and her to teach that kid the code. I thought well we have seen that Vogel is more than capable to teach somebody the code herself, so at first it will seem like this kid is the first since Dexter to learn it, and I think that the "lessons" with Dex and Vogel will go one way, and Vogel on her own will manipulate the kid into some loyalty to her. Than when ultimately Dexter uncovers just how twisted she really is to the point of having to kill her, she will make the ki d think that Dexter is evil and send him after Dexter. Also she will call in a few others that she taught the code to to be her own serial killer army to send after Dexter as well as Deb and probably everyone else, nobody will be safe, maybe they will kill of a character. it's. the final season and they know they aren't coming back in many tv series I have seen that is when characters start biting the dust
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Great theory.. Me & a couple of friends were discussing the fact that Vogel probably created a lot more serial killers. (Ice Truck Killer? , ..) And I think that anyone who's watching this season, doesn't have any doubt that she killed Harry.. We didn't go as far as you in our thinking, but if the writers are planning to end the series the way you think, it could make for some awesome television! (If they don't screw it up ofc)
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So that zac hamilton kid had the word psychopath written all over him, like who in their right mind would wear that pink shirt with those plaid shorts , you can't pull off retirement clothes unless you are a ninety year old grandpa living in Florida. That guy is very creepy .

The minute dr. vogel put that music on , I was like… yep something bad is going to happen, when did dexter became a slasher movie? also the entire brain Surgeonplot came to a quite disappointing conclusion , I really hope there is more to that story and dexter just killed the lackey or something and the great master mind a.k.a deb's boss is still out there.

And by the way did you notice that bright orange radioactive drink made another appearance this episode while deb and her boss were sitting at the table, there better be a good explanation about those stupid drinks by the end of the show because if this is going to turn out as some publicity stunt for some new energy drinks I'd be really pissed.

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The brain surgeon plot didn't come to a conclusion. Yates was just a footfetish freak with mommy issues. And yeah Deb's boss would be a good guess, although the writers should know better..
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Ugh, that promo at the end of the credits for the next episode..they have Quinn spotting Dexter lurking in his killy-clothes and uttering, "I know what you're doing, Dexter."

Was that seriously supposed to make us worried/anxious/excited? I give it a 99% chance that Quinn immediately follows that line with another stupid Quinnish line along the lines of, "You're trying to help me make sergeant by finding some evidence on this kid!" I don't think you can call this misdirection or even lazy promotion...annoying and/or insulting are the only words I can think of... le sigh.

Too much wine for me tonight, and not enough Dexter of old.
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I'm sure Quinn made that statement to Zack and the tease was it looked like he was on to (again) Dexter..Total BS, ignore it.
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I know, I know...but I just feel like this type of stuff belongs in the 90s...I find it upsetting that lines from a once-great drama like Dexter can remind me so strongly of "Next time, on Beast Wars (or Beasties, depending on your country)"
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Not that I'm trying to diminish the amazingness of Beast Wars...I'm just saying.
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What an episode? I loved it. The tension. The acting. And most of all, Deb's gaze at Dexter when he impaled Yates. Chills down my spine.
There is just no pleasing you. One week you feel the writers are dragging things out and the next everything is moving too fast. I agree that Debs change of emotional state was a little fast but i discerned that to the limitations of time. Most importantly, you got the point the writers were trying to make. Would it really have been better to conclude this over 2 more episodes? In the light of that you have no idea what is planned for the rest of the season? I can see the headline 2 weeks from now if they hadn't. "Dexter and Deb. Make up already! No one cares!"
Dexter was always, from day one about Dexter. It even says so in the title. The supporting characters in this show never had any significance. But they are there nonetheless and they have some storylines. Good for them. Your complaining about it for years becomes repetitive. Get over it.
Sorry about the rant, i meant no insult to anyone.

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Or maybe you are just trying to find things that are no there. This show is about a serial killer that works for MDPD and whose dad, who was a cop, made him into what he is today, a very nice serial killer. Considering all that, you are questioning the decision-making in this show? It's like Deb said in that scene when she told Dexter that Vogel had been taken, Dexter is like "so things are back to normal?" and Deb is like "when were they ever normal?". So having an issue with the fact that the characters on this show are making decisions that a normal person wouldn't make, it's just naive. I think you just have wrong expectations from it.
This is one of the greatest episodes of Dexter just because the fact that Deb helped him kill another a**hole and was perfectly fine with it. It's the perfect situation for the fu**ed up family that they are,.
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Not sure who you are directing the "you"to in your post but I for one agree with what you mean, which is EXACTLY WHY I find fault with the current writing thread. They have strayed quite a ways away from Dexter's core and are engaged in a lot of predictable fluff backdrop - the LAST thing that this series has ever been, until now.
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If they hadn't strayed away from what the show was like in the first seasons, then it would have become boring. At least for me. I'm glad they went on this path so that I can continue to enjoy this show until it's last episode.
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I think that the writers are ready for a vacation... could the story lines get more predictable and rushed than this episode? Dexter right now feels like its on the fast track to crashing straight into series ending mediocrity.

-Jamie I am sick of too and I wish she would just disappear already.
-Vogel's scenes were completely unoriginal and predictable.
-Quinn could possibly have had a storyline to loop into the ending nicely, but I see where it's headed and that is nowhere, no-place.
-Gee the "son" did it?? Wow, rreally? What a surprise.... yawwwn

That the actors are so amazing is really the only reason I am hanging on here but I gotta say, I really hope they turn things around with something different because so far, this is seriously a dud.

*where is Spartacus when we need him??? :P

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" Jamie was so mad about Dexter ruining that double date and zzzzzz. Bethany Jo Lenz is pretty." Haha so true!

"I'm still waiting for Elway to be revealed as a creep, a killer, or a creepy killer. That's how this works, don't let me down show." I'm sure the show won't let you down, since he's the only new male recurring character..

"Oh, Quinn, always wanting to beat confessions out of probably guilty rich kids. Seriously, that's what we're wasting time on in a final season." Enough said..
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Dexter is never a show with much logic even during its best season. Dexter however is always exciting to watch. The seasons where he was nearly exposed and how he smartly maneuver his way back. The seasons where the BIG BAD was really BAD and how they plot their wits against him and how he won ! Those were the excitement. This season is not the worst but its not the best either.

Perhaps because it is the last season, things need to be wrap up but they should have introduce a more sinister and clever BIG BAD.

Still I am a big Dexter fan and every week eagerly awaits the next episode. I will definitely miss it when it is gone so I am enjoying what is left.

Hey, I do like C.S. Lee and the character Masuka the BEST out of all the side characters and the daughter is really pretty, almost Hannah pretty.

And again wishing Hannah be back soon !
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You know what they say - cops and killers are more alike than different. Would it be so unimaginable that what really bothers Deb so much is NOT that her beloved brother is a serial killer but the fact that maybe deep down she actually concurs with Dexter's way of living?

Sunday's episode showed Deb in that bedroom with a glint of deep satisfaction if not enjoyment watching Dexter kill that dude. My opinion is that Deb is slowly accepting that she too enjoys righteous killings and, consequently, accepting Dexter the way he is.
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I just thought of a great spin-off and satisfying ending--The trial of Deb and Dex. Surely Miami has a DA's office that is as incompetent as Miami Metro Homicide and oh what fun that would be. Jimmy Smits could reprise his role as Victor Sifuentes and defend our two murderous heroes. It could be like the finale of Seinfeld...
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Dear God, this was a GREAT show that if they'd put it to rest a couple seasons ago would have gone out on top and you're asking for a Spin Off!? Spinoffs! Spinoffs!? (Use Jim Mora voice) LOL
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A couple of seasons ago was when the show was at its worst.
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You're right the show was at it's worst, I'm projecting here. Hopeful that they would have found a good way to end it especially playing off the Trinity story line. Instead they bring in an "assistant/love interest" poorly played by Julia Stiles going after a guy that we never really developed as a plausible bad guy. If S5 and S6 never existed and Hannah followed Trinity I'd be a lot better with all this..hard to maintain greatness but you've got to know when to say when.
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Wouldn't let me reply to your below note but I guess you're correct in that Julia Stiles acting was fine, it was her character that sucked and for an entire season they never developed much in the way of the arch criminal and his posse. They were just a bunch of rich kids led by a self help guru. It was pretty lame. Also didn't dig the sidekick which the writers seem to feel is now necessary eventhough Dexter didn't need one the first 4 seasons!
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"Poorly played by Julia Stiles"

I have never heard anyone say that. All the comments I've seen about Julia Stiles as Lumen have been positive. I think she was awesome. Far better than Yvonne Strahovski as Hanna McKay. Both a better character and a better actress.

I agree that the "big bad" of season 5 wasn't very good.
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Jim Mora voice--now that's funny...
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Last night's episode was further proof of the fact Dexter should have been wrapped up a couple of seasons ago. It's hard to reconcile this is the same show as the one John Lithgow appeared on as "Trinity".
Really lazy writing this season, it all seems very rushed. The review nailed a lot of that but what about Dexter just popping in and out of serial killers houses, of him and Deb thinking that it was more expedient to go search for Vogel themselves rather than enlist the Miami PD (Although if Deb was a Capt. on that force maybe they were right).
Don't like this whole Deb working with Dexter arc, yes the two have always done stuff for each other, but really why did she become a Cop in the first place? To please Harry I'd think and to that end wouldn't she be a "super cop" certainly not someone who lets two serial killers hide behind a sheet and walk away not knowing their identities (S5) or shoot their friend and fellow officer in LaGuerta rather than take Dexter in. Just not buying the arc.
Also anyone remember when Masuka was funny?
Playing out the string here. Thanks for some years of great TV Dexter, but you should have quit on top.
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A couple of seasons ago was season 6. That was the worst season of all. Season 4 wasn't significantly better written than seasons 3,5 or 7. It only seemed that way because John Lithgow was awesome.
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Hahah this is the same guy in this comment thread posting the same trolling crap under a different username, over and over and over...we get it you don't like the show or are trolling...
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Awwwwwwwwwww, so sorry bro. If you read carefully, you will actually see there are more than just two people who hate the stupid hot mess this show has become.

Imagine that? More than two?

Yup.

And they're called 'opinions', not trolls.
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@Lex1fan. WRONG! My opinions are my own. Like2know speaks for him/herself. I'm watching until the end, but don't kid yourself, this show has jumped the Shark.
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Yup.
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SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO true. Thank you, geoffmaze.
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Your welcome..I can see we're not alone. Hate to take shots at this show, it used to be SO GOOD but...unfortunately they went down the path LOST took...sigh
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When is Hannah coming back?!?!!?!? I actually miss her.
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I believe she is back next week :)
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She is exactly what this show needs right now. I'm so excited!
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Well played on the Demolition Man MDK reference Cory.
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I'm 100% convinced Dexter is going to die.

I really wanted to see Dexter get caught this season and witness the sheer shock throughout Miami metro. But that seems like too much work to write when you could just kill him off in the shadows and have much less impact on the world of these characters.
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This was probably the less depressing episode of the season so far. But it was also derivative, uninteresting and even less believable than the previous 4 episodes. I'm only gonna continue watching it because it's the last season, because not even the return of Hanna can save this mess of a season now. It's still not the worse season of the series but there are 7 episodes left.
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That many? Ugh.

Same here, I've stunk with so many shows that slid into absurdity that this one will be a cake walk. At least Big Love had a nice, lovely ending. Would that Dexter has the same.

It's sad to see how far this show has sunk, but it's the fault of the writers. Hall and Carpenter must be mortified to act opposite Channing and to spit out the moronic dialogue they've been given. The voiceovers alone are like something out of Dexter in Phonics.

Oh well, 7 (SEVEN!) more and it will all be over. Here's to everyone dying.
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Ooops, freudian slip.

Yes, 'stunk' fits this stinker of a show, but that should read:

'I've stuck with so many shows' - that stink, stank, and stunk.

Big Love, Weeds, et cetera.
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The someone on the internet that has compiled a list of Dexter's most ludicrous kills needs to revise it today, unfortunately.
Entry number 10 gazillion:
Stabbing a man (blindly, of course) through a mattress with what I presume to be a curtain rod.
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True, very dramatic but how strong does one need to be to get through the mattress, actual bed and the guy's body... I guess Dexter must have been watching True Blood and doing V
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I doubt that he would even make a hole in the top layer of fabric this way.
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Normally I'd agree, but did you see the top part of the pole? The metal thing had a point on it that looked sharp as hell. Like a spear out of a child's swords-and-sorcery picture book. Since it was most likely symmetric, the bottom end probably had that same "tip"

Still, even with a super sharp tip it would be hard as heck to go through a mattress... even for someone as fit as Dexter.
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Anyone remember when Jack Bauer threw a screwdriver through a bullet proof vest? Almost all TV shows throw reality out the window in action scenes. Sometimes literally, because it's too easy to break windows.

It's pretty disappointing actually. It wouldn't be too hard to make most of these scenes more realistic, and it would almost never make the scenes worse.
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I have a double bed in my guestroom and some pointy curtain rods that now reside in the garage, and no way this works IRL. But it was fun to watch for drama's sake. Once again TV taking liberties with physics for a really cool shot...
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I'm ordering a new mattress next month and tossing the old one. I kinda wanna myth-bust this now.
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Sure, but remember when Dexter used to kill people realistically, like Trinity bashing someone's skull in with a hammer or Dexter, you know, stabbing people with unconventional tools like his knife?
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Okay, tried to contain my rant about this episode/season in another post so this one can be merely speculative/informational, but let me say, yikes. I don't know what the problem is, but I've suddenly become incredibly critical to the point of not being able to stand flawed television. I blame Breaking Bad. And AMC in general. Damn you for setting the bar so high and ruining me for normal television. *sigh*

Anyway, yes, Yates, was obviously NOT the Brain Surgeon (and if you thought so for a second, you should probably go kill yourself), and I believe Dexter knows it. The conversation she was having with him over the phone was just so obviously inconsistent with the Brain Surgeon's profile, and Dexter seemed to be exhibiting quizzical looks. He's the only character on this show who isn't (always) a blithering moron. Brain surgeon is cool. Calm. Collected. Plotting. A behind the scenes genius controlling every piece of the puzzle. An ice truck killer 2.0. Not some bumbling baboon with a foot fetish.

What's my proof? Jesus, just think back to the "his and hers" boxes. Yates was shocked and confused by Dexter's presence and needed Vogel to explain it. I could go on for a page and a half but plenty of commentators have already beaten me to it. Again, if you really thought Yates was the Surgeon, you should probably just go back to watching Wipeout or Jersey Shore or Honey Boo Boo or something. Seriously.

Anyway, my theories from before stand. Vogel is the mastermind, trying to turn everyone into serial killers with her little surgery, sometimes succeeding (Yates*) and sometimes failing and having her lackeys dump the bodies of failed experiments**. She may do the surgeries herself, or may have an accomplice do them. I believe the latter is more likely, and perhaps this accomplice is the one who has turned on her. She knows who it really is, but cannot divulge his identity or it would in turn reveal her plan, so she needs Dexter to stumble on him organically. Why she went along and pretended the Brain Surgeon was caught at the end of this episode I have no idea. But rest assured by the end of next episode we'll see another Brain Surgeon victim.

Of course, Dexter's role in this is all still very vague. She definitely needs him, and she's been following his movements for quite some time, but why he continues to intrigue her instead of the other legions of crazies she's come in contact with isn't clear. Also, I'm still holding onto the idea that Vogel killed Harry and Rita, because they interfered with the perfect fulfillment of Dexter's purpose. It's my biggest stretch, but it's something to hold onto. For more insight into why I think that see my other posts from last week and the week before on the Entertainment Weekly recap.

And again, Dexter is becoming more human. By the season's end he will accept that the killer inside him is gone, and a functioning human being has replaced it. Maybe that is Cassie's role: to be that perfectly normal, humanizing element that can ground Dexter and be his goal to achieve as a normal person. Being with her would symbolically indicate he has fully healed himself and embraced the normal human world. But still, all these subplots running around are becoming unbearable. I understand it's the last season, but not every character needs to be given justice with all this random new face time. In a word, this season has become convoluted.

PS: Let's keep an eye on that daughter of Masuka's. Masuka asking for that background check doesn't really seem like a normal character behavior, so I think it's a plot device to turn up something really interesting. Don't be surprised if this particular subplot ends up playing a much bigger role in the season than we thought.

*remember, Yates didn't originally come to her as a serial killer, he came to her as an angry guy with a temper. Her surgery transformed him into a killer, which is why he was so resentful of her for doing it during their little exchange.

** can't take total credit for this theory, as it was also bolstered by some insight provided by a commentator on my post for last week.


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Vogel is obsessed with Dexter, and now through him, with Debra and the dynamic between the two siblings. She takes an inappropriately maternal pride in Dexter, considers him to be her greatest accomplishment. In her own manner she is as twisted and codependent as either of the Morgans.

She has abandoned the "psychopath" rhetoric now that she has gained access to Deb but she will continue to maintain her position on the "rightness" of Dexter's existence and how he is the beautiful predator nature intended. My fear is that she will not be truly happy until she has access to Harrison.
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Perhaps the big reveal at the end is that somehow Vogel is Deb and Dex's real mother, who knows...
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Hey Wipeout is funny...not hosts(ok Jill is),but I watch sometimes on Youtube and I like these type of competitive shows. I skip any scene with hosts in booth,but I watch and laugh,when they show competitors and Jill. I watched Wipeout Canada as whole episode,because I thought and still think those hosts were awsome. But that just me.
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P.S.: I never thought Yates was Brain Surgeon killer.
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Let me say this: You've put more thought into this plot than the writing team.
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Which is a darned shame, unfortunately. I always tell my friends to watch the first season of Dexter. That season was freaking brilliant. A beginning to end masterpiece. But then I tell them to pretend the rest of the series didn't happen.
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Season one was very close to Jeff Lindsay's first Dexter novel and he was a more realistic serial killer with appropriate emotions--or lack thereof.

Dexter has become an emotional mess since and I'd love to hear what the Criminal Minds bunch would do for a profile these days. I wrote a serial-killer-thriller novel called Roadkill and not many buy it, but those who do give it great reviews on Amazon.
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I started reading the first Dexter novel a few years back. But I gave up after 100 pages or so because it just didn't feel right to read about Dexter in my native language (Dutch)
I tried to find the books in English, but libraries didn't have them and at the time I didn't want to spend any money to be able to read them in English. But maybe I should buy them now because I'm really interested in how the story evolves in the mind of Dexter's true creator.. Have you read the books Muderboy?

ps. I tried to find your novel on amazon, but maybe you can give some more information? (Author name?)
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Season 2 and Season 4 are very good as well. Otherwise a mixed bag of fair to bad
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True. I personally quite enjoyed season 2 as well, and season 4 was made decent by Lithgow's stellar performance. However, since 2 didn't tie up as neatly as 1 did and you'd have to sit through season 3 (the absolute worst) to get to season 4, I typically recommend a 1 and done approach. However, someone could get a pretty good idea of the series and its high points by watching seasons 1, 2, 4, 7, and 8.
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Why are you even on here ranting about the show? You tell your friends not to watch past the first season yet the show is on its eight season and your still watching. Why?
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Why? Because I hope. I optimistically (perhaps unrealistically) wait for Dexter to show me signs of returning to its former glory. Every time I see ten signs of lazy, terrible, idiotic writing and I'm about to throw in the towel, I suddenly see a glimmer of talent that gives me the hope to wait in vain through ten more lackluster attempts.

Also, I greatly respect and enjoy the talent of the actors and the overall production values. If only they could get the writers to craft a plot with some semblance of intelligence.
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Probably for the same reason I've stuck around. Invested a lot of time into the series at this point, have to see it through. Personally I loved 3 of the first 4 seasons, it started going downhill with S5 and Julia Stiles. Don't get me wrong, S6 and especially 7 had their good moments, even this season but the show is a shell of what it once was. Proof that it is very difficult to keep the creative bar so high, AND why you should wrap series up before milking every dollar you can out of them.
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"Also, I'm still holding onto the idea that Vogel killed Harry and Rita, because they interfered with the perfect fulfillment of Dexter's purpose."

Did you miss the part where Trinity is the one who actually killed Rita? 0_0
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He never admitted to it. The timing never added up. Something smelled fishy about the whole thing. Again, this is why this is only a theory.
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Masuka's daughter is the Brain Surgeon.

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She is blonde, so yeah...
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And her lover is Dexter's neighbor, Cassie.
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No no no no no no no. Please don't be going back to that painfully trite Dexter we saw in earlier seasons where all we wanted to do was scream "WHY THE HELL AREN'T YOU PEOPLE CALLING THE POLICE?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!!!!"

Seriously. Vogel is KIDNAPPED. Probably very soon about to be MURDERED. Why doesn't Deb immediately call the police when stumbling upon her ransacked house? Why doesn't Dexter when he hears about it? His usual excuse is that he wants to kill the person himself, but that greedy need to kill has been suspiciously absent this entire season, making that excuse not really fly.

And finally, WHY IN THE NAME OF GODGIVEN F**K does Vogel, when her life is on the line and she could be killed any second, with the 15 seconds of time she is (miraculously, unrealistically) given, opt to call DEXTER instead of 911? Seriously? Is she THAT concerned about her "alternative" methods being discovered? No. Fail. Stop. Dexter writers, please go home.

And of course, now that it's resolved and they killed him, why didn't they just call the police? Now Miami Metro will have that unsolved serial killer blemishing their record until the end of time. Explaining that to Miami Metro could've been absurdly simple (especially with how dumb and gullible the entire homicide department is). No reason to further lower their already abysmal clearance record. God this episode made me want to strangle every character/writer/producer/director/editor involved. And by the way, Yates was obviously NOT the brain surgeon, in case any idiot donks couldn't figure that out (apparently that includes you, James Hibberd, writer of this article). Jesus.
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Who cares whether he was the brain surgeon or not anymore? He was a bad criminal (bind her, in the front, and then UNbind her? Phew, the stink), a bad actor, and the storyline blew.

The aim now is to get through each episode without putting a foot through the glass.

Oooops, sorry, channeling the old CRT set. The aim now is to mute the especially moronic dialogue - SO so much last night - and to not throw the HDTV on the floor.
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I personally kind of enjoyed that opening mock-therapy scene. It was bizarre and kind of surreal, but enjoyable to watch nonetheless. You can kind of tell it took Michael C. Hall out of his element.
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Oh, and Jamie? A CLOSED door means you don't enter without knocking.

Dex? You (or rather the writers) have turned into a *****. The old Dex would have ripped this intrusive simpleton a new one.
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That was a situation where it's OK to open the door. He had just closed the door a few seconds ago, and he knew that he had walked away from the conversation in a way that pissed her off. He had to expect her to follow her. Anyone would have.
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>>>>The guy who saved Deb's life. Nothing? Not a word? He just goes away?

Answered on another board. Dex killed him. Thanks for nothing, idiot writers.
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I don't think it was strange for Deb to suddenly feel bad about trying to kill Dexter. It made sense where she was coming from when she tried to kill Dexter, and then having to face him after and seeing how betrayed he felt after always being there for her, it makes sense that she would over-correct in her attempt to "say sorry".

I don't understand why they all think the brain-surgeon-killer was the creepy shoe guy. It seems pretty obvious to me, I mean, the shoe-guy only kills women and buries their bodies after taking one of their shoes. The brain surgeon cuts a part of their brain out and dumps the body, totally different MO, but at the end of this episode Dexter and Vogel take all the stuff that the brain surgeon sent Vogel and throw it away as if they've gotten rid of the guy.

[Spoiler Alert] As far as Quinn wanting to "beat confessions out of probably guilty rich kids", it seems that may bring him into the main storyline according to "Next Week On" preview where it teases that Quinn is on to Dexter. At least that could make boring-quinn-storylines a little more interesting.
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Hmm, that's interesting about Quinn. I don't see the next time on with screeners, so we'll see.
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Made it seem like they were both following the probably-guilty-rich-kid and then shows Quinn saying "I know what you're up to" and cuts to show Dexter in his green long sleeve and black gloves outfit.
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They made it look like that, but knowing how 'stupid' Quinn is im assuming he will think Dexter is helping him find evidence that hes the killer. If Quinn cant realise Dexter has dragged an unconscious Deb out of the police station after drugging her he wont work this out from Dexter wearing some gloves
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Well I'm okay with the "Let's get over it; Let's get on with it" tone of Dexter for it's final season. I'm also okay with them trying to incorporate veterans of the show by giving them a piece of the pie in the final season. Watching Quinn (who I might add wasn't one of my favorite character's on the show, but he's grown on me) grow up seems "about time moment". Quinn may not be as blinded as some think. As far as Masuka, I'm really looking forward to another range for him. Masuka has always been the clown, the sleazy guy they tolerate but don't take seriously. It was kind of nice to see him be....well "human." I thought the Dexter, Vogel and Deb scene played very well and was entertaining to watch. The one surprise to me was Dexter telling Bethany Jo Lenz's character (sorry don't recall her name), that he would take a raincheck was very unDex like. Sure Dexter may not be what it use to be, but it is still one of those "must see" shows on my list.
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How is it unDex like? He used to date Rita for God's sake. lol< (so that he would seem normal)
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Because when he dated Rita, the audience knew he was doing it to seem normal. With this it seemed spontaneous and he naturally wanted to do it. But that's just my opinion no one needs to agree with it. BTW, I realize he use to date and he married Rita to seem normal.
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Did anyone find the CGI while they were on Dexter's boat at the end really painful as well? I don't remember them ever being that bad before, but actually quite good, but this, dare I say it, may even have been as bad as Ringer's infamous boat scene.
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Yeah but I didn't mind it in Deb and Vogel's frame, it was Dexter's that I had a problem with. It was plain awful.
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True! Not as bad as Ringer but geez it looked cheap
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Actually unless this whole season is all a dream and Dexter died already (like in Lost)
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I know that was weird right, what's even weirder is if you go back and look again Dexter looks like he's on the boat, while Deb and Vogel look like they filmed there parts elsewhere and than they were digitally added to the boat. I wondered if that was done on purpose to show that those two while there with Dexter will still always be seperate from him in the end
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You made me think.... Maybe he WAS on the boat but Deb & Dr. Vogel were just figments of his imagination ie as if it was just his wishful thinking that if they were aboard it would mean they both truly accepted him?
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That is also a reasonable theory, it makes sense cuz cuz just look at Harry,s "ghost" We all know that Harry appearing to Dexter isn't really a ghost, but his own subconscious. We already saw once another person pop up in Dexter's head, Brian in season 6, which was an awesome episode. So while Deb and Vogel are still alive, Dexter more than anything wants to be accepted and be himself around people, especially Deb, and now Vogel cuz of her connection to Harry.
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A solid episode, not the greatest, but it did its job. This sort of felt like a mid-season finale for me with Yates being hunted down and killed by Dexter, and the dramatic tension slightly increased with Vogel being kidnapped and Dexter and Deb in a very weird place in their relationship.

While this all happened very quickly, as you incessantly discussed Cory, I didn't mind this. It's always better for a show to be moving too fast than too slow, and saying that as a show Dexter should take the time to stretch out and develop its stories more is pretty much the best piece of criticism a television show can be given. It's a real testament to the show, and this finale-like feeling of this episode emphasises that Dexter really could have kept going on for several more seasons; the possibilities and stories and endless.

I didn't even mind the subplots too much this episode. Batista is still annoying though, I mean, 'I'd never have expected the son'. This coming from Miami Metro's lieutenant! Anyway, this is obviously shifting to the main plot from the next episode, so I happy with its early development despite the heavy procedural/ bureaucratic necessities.

It's nice to see the writers trying with Angie and Masuka, even though its too little too late. Angie never stood a chance with her late addition to ever become more then a plot device character, and it was sort of painful to watch Masuka get a serious storyline after all these years. It felt wrong that the guy that gets the one liners was being so serious, which is a shame, considering it the writers had tried earlier, something more could have been made of him.

The worst part of the episode was really Jamie. She's so annoying! She can add crappy matchmaker to her list of unappealing traits including over-enthusiastic babysitter, constant nagger, and being a no-tit shower. I'm sure Cassie is a nice person, but no, Dexter doesn't need you.

Oh, and Cory - if you're worried about the derailed tension between
Dexter and Deb all you need to do is remember two words: Hannah McKay.

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So was that guy even the one sending brain bits to Vogel? He seemed to first find out about Dexter when he was in his house, but the brain guy already knew from the cabin...
Yates seems to have no interest in brain surgery, why would he bother when he has so many other tortures in the pipeline. He acted like Vogel came after him.
The big problem I have these days though is trying to tell the difference between a red herring and crappy writing
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Yea. Differentiating between a red herring and crappy writing has gotten a bit hard. I feel like they've really dumbed-down Dexter, as a character, over the years/seasons.

Throwing all that stuff away, after killing Yates, is a complete dunce move. I mean, he clearly is NOT the "Brain Surgeon". His MO (e.g. choice of victims, method of killing, etc.) is way too different, compared to the "Brain Surgeon", for Dexter not to have noticed... and THAT is a glaring flaw, to me, in the show's writing.

Anywho, I'm thinking the "Brain Surgeon" is: Vogel, Dexter's new female neighbor, or someone we've yet to be introduced to.
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Or Deb's new boss.
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From what I've seen of these writers it will probably end up being the butler or the chinaman (Jaime or Vince I guess...)
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Good thought...
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That's what I didn't get either. Plus they have two completely different MOs, but then Dexter and Vogel start throwing away all the stuff from the brain guy as if the case was solved...
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Dexter is not what it used to be...
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Did you just figure this out? Do people really need to say this after every episode? We know that it's not. Dexter peaked in the middle of season 2. It started going downhill when Lila torched her apartment in season 2, and hit rock bottom in season 6. Season 7 was an improvement, and season 8 is better still.

So I think this would be a good time to *stop* complaining, and just appreciate that the show got better rather than worse after season 6.


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No I did not just figure this out but (so far) I do not find season 8 an improvement compared to season 7. I just had hopes season 8 would continue the improvement which is not the case so far in my opinion. That's why I posted the comment.
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Nope.
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Coming here to read comments after the episode is not fun anymore. Nobody is saying anything constructive or speculating with future episodes, or pointing out fun stuff! Yeah, yeah, the show is bad and the side characters are bad, and the episode is bad, and the writers are bad, and the producers are bad (wasn't Michael C. Hall one of them, together with Carpenter?) and all is bad so bad. But hey, here's the news: this is season 8. Why are you still watching. You can just read the recap if it's about to know what happens, guys. Oh, ok. so keep watching and crying here every week. I'll keep to the other shows, but I'm done with coming to this section for the comments. Why? I just said why. Bye!
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So true! There used to be fun discussions in the Dexter reviews, but like you said: all that remains is bitching about how everything is bad.
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Well since apparently you won't be back to read this I suppose it's a waste of time. In any case, you're correct. It doesn't help to sit around bitching and moaning about how lazy this show has become. I'm pretty guilty as charged. As I've posted before and probably the same reason a lot of dissatisfied viewers are still on board, We've invested years into this series and it's wrapping up! Not going to just drop it now, MAYBE they'll surprise us! It's the same reason I put up with LOST eventhough that story arced downwards big time after Season 3.
I do hope that some people involved in writing these shows do read these kind of blogs from time to time, they'd figure out how to end a series on top (Like Breaking Bad seems to be doing) rather than milk a couple extra seasons out of it.
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I know what you mean, I've almost gotten to the point of not reading the reviews anymore. Love the show, and even though there may be some filler scenes, the show has a way of making things that don't seem important, important later on.
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What's with all the cliffhanger hate lately? It's something that makes television unique in terms of the way in can tell its stories compared to other mediums, and they make everything so much more compelling (even if they don't turn out to be).
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Cliffhangers are fine and good if the end result is worth it. I think the specific problem with this one is that the cliffhanger itself was pretty HUGE -- Deb just tried to kill Dexter and herself! -- but what we saw as a result of it in this episode made it seem like it was pretty damn meaningless overall.
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This episode was really bad and I got deja vu from season 6. Halfway through season it got so bad and it dragged on forever. Writers have no idea what they are doing and what they want out from the show.

Scene,where Dex is at that rich guy's house and he gets call from Deb was most painful scene ever on Dexter. And his voiceover is so annoying,stating obivous,etc.
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I wouldn't call it anywhere near as bad as season six, but you are right about that scene. It was all very awkwardly handled, and god yes, that voiceover at the part was awful and completely unnecessary.

I also had a problem with the direction of this episode. It felt as if it was trying too hard to be pretentious i.e. opening up on close ups of Dexter and Deb's faces at different angles, juxtaposition their seating with Vogel, a very long shot of Vogel as Yates berates her are a few examples.
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So true.

Muting Rampling's horrid acting helped a little. But only a little.

I wonder if Hall is as horrified as we are at what the writers are doing to his character?

Speaking of which, the writers also obviously forgot Dex used to cut up his kills. But hey, they can't remember last week, how can they remember last year.
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The 'side' plots can crawl off into a corner and die horrible painful deaths. I am not interested in sperm donation kiddies or Quinn's romance or his job...
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