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Showtime (ended 2013)

Dexter S08E03: "What's Eating Dexter Morgan?"

Trying to write about a TV show on a weekly basis is more difficult than you might think. Don't throw me a pity party; I love this job. However, it's always a struggle to not get bogged down by problematic episodes (or even just problematic parts of episodes) and overreact to things that will likely turn out to be minor faults. It's a conflicting, complicated situation to be in; this final season of Dexter is doing some fascinating things, and the Dr. Vogel character is so compelling that I really can't wait to watch every week. But man, "What's Eating Dexter Morgan?" was kind of a dud at the end there, wasn't it?

This episode sort of gave me everything I wanted: More of Dexter and Vogel, more of Vogel being extremely creepy around Dexter, and even some interaction between Vogel and Deb. Those three are our big players right now, and it was only a matter of time before the good doctor inserted herself into Dexter and Deb's tension. Even the outline of the story makes sense to me: Deb, shaken by murdering that bro last week, drinks herself into multiple stupors, pulling Quinn into her web of self-destruction and eventually trying to admit her involvement in LaGuerta's murder. That sounds pretty good... you know, except for the Quinn part. Yet this episode kind of spiraled out of control about three-quarters of the way through and by the end of it, I just wanted the whole thing to be over.

I think my big issue is that Dexter is a better show when people talk things out, even if those conversations result in screaming and yelling. It's understandable that Deb is at her darkest point right now, and I think Jennifer Carpenter found a better way to portray all that confusion, hurt, and disgust this week than she did when Deb was doing drugs in the season premiere. Nevertheless, once Deb stumbled into the station and tried to convince Quinn that she'd killed LaGuerta, the episode got really loud and hysterical in a way that just didn't work. Quinn's stupid, but the way he shrugged off Deb's comments and then assumed that she'd fainted because Dexter said she did was really stupid. It's not unrealistic for the character—Quinn's an idiot. It's just that he's such an idiot, and the show took advantage of it in a problematic way.


The yelling and the lying obscured some of the episode's better moments, or at least its better intentions. I appreciate that Dexter wasn't willing to let the tension between Dexter and Deb simmer, because the latter isn't willing to let things simmer and the former isn't afraid to take drastic measures when he's backed into a corner. As a result, the earlier Deb-Dex scenes, especially the one at the restaurant where he tried to manipulate her into remembering some of the great work she'd done before she killed LaGuerta—and it almost succeeding—was fantastic. Deb is hurt, but she also can't resist Dexter in a lot of ways, and she certainly wants to be the person she once was. But again, that was a scene where two actors got to incorporate so much history and emotion through a mostly level-headed conversation, not with screaming, or by injecting one another with some kind of tranquilizer.

And Dexter bringing Deb into Vogel's orbit? That was all aces... until the end of the episode. I'll reiterate how worried I am that the show's going to try to weasel us into forgiving Dexter for most of his actions over the past eight years, but watching Vogel look at him, almost mesmerized by the fact that he can simultaneously be a sociopath and still care (somewhat) for his sister, was simply fantastic. Charlotte Rampling is so great, and I'm already jazzed for her to win the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in 2014. Those sequences also worked because, despite my fears about where this story is going, there was some truly fascinating discussion of what it means for Dexter to care about people. This is territory the show has traipsed over before, but mostly on an internal level. Here, Vogel was outwardly telling Dexter, "Hey, you're actually a selfish sociopath, but I still love you, xoxo." The writers have clearly decided that they want to at least attempt to figure out Dexter's ability to empathize with or love another human being, and the only way they can do that is to complicate the relationship with the one person he actually claims and/or appears to feel for in Deb. In that regard, having creepy Vogel around to both praise and interrogate Dexter's processes is already working wonders for the show. Am I troubled by the fact that she's calling him perfect the week after giving him 2013's creepiest hug? Of course. But the thematic ground is fertile and the performances are so good that I don't totally care right now.*

*Speaking of that, this is where I'd like to point out that somehow, even after years of Emmy nominations and continued praise, I think we've started to overlook Michael C. Hall's performance on this show. He's trapped in an era with unbelievable dramatic work from leading men, but he keeps bringing slightly new layers to Dexter every season, even when the material isn't quite there to back him up. And when the material IS there, he can be just as good as anyone else who's working today. He's been great in these first three episodes.

What I do care about is the show's ability to accelerate and explore the drama between these three primary characters without going overboard like the last portion of this episode did. Dexter is a better show than that, and I think these characters are ultimately more interesting when they're not in forced situations, like they were this week. Let's hope next week is an improvement.



REMAINING BLOOD SPLATTER

– Dexter's mini-investigation into the cannibal was toothless, but I did appreciate Hall's comedic timing when Dexter was describing how he liked to stay in shape.

– And on that note, what's up with Elway's obsession with nutritional drinks and electrolytes and stuff? We thinkin' he's involved with the cannibal somehow? Using the body's natural chemicals to mix up some homemade Gatorade?

– Very little Batista and Jamie this week. I hope you guys survived without them. I know I barely did.

– What'd you think of the episode?

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anyone notice how dexter conveniently let Jamie use his suv and he is in a car from the police station when Deb drives them into the lake and the car is ruined (I know this comment is a bit late but I only started watching dexter in the summer and was busy so only finished watching the end of season 7 and all of 8 in the last few days)
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Not the best episode...But it was kinda scary.What's Deb gonna do?
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Show seems to be setting up to have Dr. Vogel be the end-all killer "The Brain surgeon" and will attempt to off Dexter or will succeed in offing someone of importance. Missed Ep1, but caught up with Ep2 and 3, still have 4 on DVR. So far the season is pretty good, at least they had the good sense of having Deb leave the Police force, her job as a righteous cop on one hand and shooting LaGuerta on the other to protect Dexter just didn't wash without some kind of ramificiations.
I am glad they worked that into the story. See how this plays out, but so far has some promise.
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I think this was this seasons most complete episode. Especially the end.
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For me there is some sort of.....i don't even know how to describe it. What i mean is that Dr. Vogel appears to be out of time. At least for us.
She sees Dexter as THE psychopath, very much in line with what we got in season 1, but over 7 years we saw Dexter evolove before our eyes. We know he isn't that kind of killer. We know he loves Deb and wouldn't hurt her.
On the one hand i feel that Dexter has become way to tame but on the other hand i know how he got there. Now bringing Dr. Vogel into the mix with her notions of how he should be, which again, are from a different time, only confuses me more. I don't necessarily mean this as bad thing. These few episodes of season 8 had me thinking about all that stuff quite a lot more than any others before.
But since this is a show it's prime directive (watched a lot of star trek recently. don' hold it against me) is to entertain. The way i measure the success of that is how often i have to pause during an episode because i can't bear the tension. By this scale this episode was in the upper mid. Seasons 2 and 4 raised the bar here significantly. "Hello, Dexter Morgan" took me probably a week to get through.
I find it to be interessting. Is Dexter really a psychopath? Can one stop being a psychopath? Did the show failed to show us the violent side of him recently? There was a time i felt the show emphasized too much on the fact that he only kills the "bad guys". Almost out of some sense of justice and not his inharent need to kill. For me, Dexters driving force is his unrelenting need to kill. Has it gone away? If there wheren't any other killers out there he would opt for someone else. But he needs to kill.
Totally agree with you on Michael C. Hall! He is great.
BTW, what is the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath?
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Vogel's problem is that she is reallizing that Dexter might not actually be a sociopath. That she and Harry might actually, if inadvertently, have created a killer.
The 'urges' that we hear so much about in the flashbacks might not, to begin with, have been anything more than a normal adolecant's attempts to find himself. Killing the neighbor's dog may have been an extreme example of such, but not every young, animal killer is a psychopath.
And Harry's insistance that 'it got into him too early' and other such statements, could be what drove him to become a killer. His first kill wasn't done out of any need, but as an, ill fated, attempt to please his father.
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I contemplated the same thing but i remembered some earlier season. One where jung Dexter stands on a rooftop for example just to feel his heart beat. Or the fact that his realtionship with Rita started to keep up the appearance of a "normal" life. It's quite interessting to think about what a journey Dexter has behind him and how he evolved.
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The third episode of this season is a solid but nothing extraodinary, except maybe that we've learned that Dexter is selfish (what a shocker!) when his own security's in danger. (aren't we all??)

What bug me a little are:

- Angel tutoring Quinn (yew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, please)
- Jamie becoming a jealous and annoying bitch
- Vogel trying to analyse every single action of Dexter like he's some sort of embryon
- Elway's sneaky smile, something's wrong with that dude

Wild thoughts:

- could Brian Moser be one of the research subject of Vogel too? maybe he's the killer (he's a surgeon, remember)
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brian moser is dead. dexter killed him. and he wasn't a surgeon, he was a prosthetist. but he could have been one of vogel's research subject, though.
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The thing I really thought just rocked this episode and the other two so far, is the way conversations between Vogel and Dexter end up speaking to the larger framework of human relationships these days and how so many people considered "normal" are in fact sociopaths, even if they are not murderers.

The large emphasis in media to glamorize individual rights to the point they excuse away moral responsibility, empathy, and accountability as likely created more versions of Dexter around us than people care to admit. I think this has always been in part why the show is so "disturbing" to some people. The way in which he relates to the word is a little too familiar for some to bear.

The cherry on the cake was Vogel asking Dex to describe what it is he loves about Deb, his response, and then her pointing out how it is the hallmark of the sociopath to interpret love under a self serving lens. I bet we can all think of some past "normal" lovers who definitely fit that to a tee.
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ATTENTION EVERYONE!!!!!! Today I rewatched the episode and notice that in the scene when Vogel received the his and hers brain boxes, there was somebody BEHIND Vogel's door. He wore a suit so he certainly looked a lot like Deb's boss. Can some body throw some opinions here, I'm not crazy, am I?
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I think perhaps you are :). I've watched this particular segment several times now, and can see nobody anywhere. Also, the door opens inwards, towards a white wall, so there's really no way for anybody to hide there. I think you may have been misinterpreting some reflections, but you have more detailed information as to where and how, I will certainly re-open my investigation (and reverse the insanity diagnosis!)
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here you go! http://tv-community-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/09ae57139a88488fb27fc043039ea06c.jpg
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I think that is Vogel's reflection, no?
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Ok, after looking more at the image I can see what you mean, but I don't think that's a person. Just a trick of the light and reflections making what appears to be the rough outline of a person. But neverthelesss, logic says it can't be anyone, since the person would have to be inside the house, and she would have seen him both before and after opening the door...?
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Yes, this is what I've been watching too. And I still don't see anything. Sorry... :) And IF somebody WAS there, wouldn't she have seen him before or after closing the door?
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I didn't see her "fainting" as much as she pasted out...and she WAS really drunk, so I could believe it.
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passed out.
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I loved batista's quote about quinn: "he's a good cop!" .... wtf dude, on WHAT exactly do you base that on?? We have 7 years telling us the complete opposite!
I swear, if quinn passes the sergeant test, it will be the most unrealistic thing ANY show has ever done ... ever!
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In my book - that canibal guy was just about the creepiest person on the show so far; I'm surprised he wasn't fired from that fitness store months ago. I was actually sorta relieved when all his squeezing and eye-throwing turned out to be because he, in a way, really WAS trying out the meat for tomorrow's dinner.
I really enjoyed this episode. Even Quinn's scenes. And Rampling is mesmerizing in every second, with her chemistry with MCH being absolutely formidable! I wish the Emmys/Golden Globes/Critic's Choice/SAGs would start rewarding duos, not just individual achievements (and, in the case of the SAGs, ensembles). IMO there really isn't much beating two joint actors discovering new heights in acting, and litterary CREATING the scene in front of your eyes. Although, then again, I guess such an award would end up only going to actors portraying onscreen lovers...
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Hey - I'm not anonymous :/
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of course quinn won't believe deb's confession. a. he's not that bright, b. the dude's in love with her, c. the deb he knows (and everyone knows; at least until she found out dex's secret) is not a person to do something like that in a million years, and d. she was really drunk. but maybe quinn will think it over slowly as his somewhat slow brain will work it out in later episodes?
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I don't understand why Dex based his suspicion of the cannibal on the guy pretending not to recognize Vogel or her book. Of course any psychiatric patient would keep his very private mental health history from a total stranger in a mall. The patient wouldn't necessarily have to be a murderer to hide his sensitive medical info. It would have been more odd if the guy had let on that he knew Vogel to his new customer Dex.

So, the cannibal story tells us that we still have the obligatory case-of-the-week vetting, at least one every couple of episodes. Well, at least Dex vetted Galutso quickly, and that led, by the end of the very same episode, to the case-of-the-week lesson learned for Dex (that he too consumes people, in a way). It's fine that we didn't spend much time on this subplot. Heck, they didn't even bother showing Dex stab the guy, because we don't need to see a rote stabbing anymore. That's not why we're watching the show in S8. But we do at least need to know that Dex is still practicing his craft.

More on Vogel. Years ago, she made the very serious and irreversible decision to nurture Dex's darkness without even examining him. She told Dex last week that it was Harry's choice not to have Dex feeling sick by seeing a shrink, but as a trained and experienced professional, she should've insisted that she couldn't reach an accurate diagnosis, let alone make life-altering treatment decisions, based merely on a layperson's second-hand retelling only of the patient's observable behaviors and actions. She should've used her skills during therapy sessions with the patient himself, in order to get his perspective on what he was feeling (or not feeling) and how he saw the world. Somebody sue her for malpractice!

Even though Harry f---ed up by blindly following Vogel's lead, this new backstory redeems Harry overall. In S1, we saw flashback Harry tell young Dex what to say in order to seem 'normal' during a visit with some other shrink that Dex had somehow been referred to. But Harry wasn't actually stifling Dex's progress. Instead, he really did consult with a different shrink - Vogel - on Dex's behalf and I bet the flashback scene I just mentioned happened after Vogel advised Harry to keep Dex away from other shrinks who couldn't help him and that only she could.
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Totally agree on your first point - I really think a psycho patient pretending not to know his doctor is 100% normal. It would be normal if he pretended to her face, not to mention a complete stranger... So this was a weak point but I guess they just needed a quick reason to eliminate him.
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I find it interesting that Vogel keeps noticing the discrepancies of Dexter's behavior as opposed to a typical serial killer's behavior. This is something fans have been saying for a long time. It is common knowledge psychopaths have no empathy and don't form real emotional bonds with other people, but Dexter's relationships have always seemed genuine, and this is why he is a character people like, in spite of being who he is.

So, is this a way of the writers saying that maybe he's not a psychopath after all, or are they just acknowledging the fact these are flaws in the character's construction and are trying to make the best they can with the situation? To me Dexter has never been a textbook case of psychopath, but since it's television and that's entertained I never took that into much consideration. But now we are being forced to face that incongruity.

Another thing that calls my attention is that Dexter left Vogel with Deb so she can help her, but this is a situation he definitely has no control of. And Vogel doesn't care about Deb. Perhaps she cares about Dexter, but only him. Vogel has already suggested Dexter should have killed Deb, so I think she'll convince Deb to confess LaGuerta's murder, and be out of the way of Dexter for good. And of course Dexter won't agree with that and so that's where the conflict will start.

I'm just curious to see how all that will lead to a definitive situation.
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Oh, and Elway's obsession with nutritional drinks and electrolytes reminds me of that movie, Idiocracy. It's good because it has electrolytes!
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Guaranteed, Vogel is Deb's mother.
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In my opinion you are being way to dismissive about Quinn and his actions, sure he complied with Dexter and seemingly bought the whole Deb passing out thing, but clearly his suspicions are now peaked and I wouldn't be surprised if him becoming more entangled in Dex's web of lies is a large part of the season.
From his point of view it is more likely that Deb is drunk and saying outlandish things rather that believe his ex-love interest and close friend killed LaGuerta, you are applying our point of view (the truthful one) when really he of course sees it differently.

I'm still backing him to die at Dex's hand by the end.

I thought the episode was good but not stellar by any means, also pretty sure Vogel is the one cutting out bits of brain right?
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The most revealing--or perhaps it was a red herring--thing I noticed was that Vogel was alone, and seemed surprised when she got the text message to "look outside" as the text was unnecessary. She would find the body parts soon enough. Are they trying to tell us that what we see is what we are getting? Or was that just some screwing with our heads.

Dexter is really not your typical serial killer, as we all know, and profiling him is a stone bitch. The Criminal minds bunch wouldn't fare well there, I suspect because Dex is a very emotional psychopath, which just doesn't track.

Loved the matter of fact question, "Why didn't you just kill Deb?" Brian so wanted to and couldn't fathom his brother's reluctance to do so either, so Dex is absolutely one of a kind. Profile that, motherfuckers. Hey good title for the last episode, eh?
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I thought it was a great episode and the tension in the last 10 minutes was great. Loved it.
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Dexter's disheveled and weary look at the end with the slow creeping musical build up scared me. great piece of acting, the episode was worth it for me just to see that.
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Things I hated about this episode:

  • Harrison's stupid fake out at the beginning and how that was supposed to segue back to Deb.
  • All of Deb's investigation of the week. It's the last season peeps, we don't have time for Deb to have procedural subplots on the top of everything else.
  • Vogel's lecturing of Dexter becoming repetitive and stupid. It's ridiculous that she would continue to harp on about how he should have killed Deb. Despite her claim Dexter has never put the not getting caught part above the only killing bad guys part of the Code. I think Vogel taking credit for the don't get caught part sounds like retconning at its worst but if she did then something's gone wrong as this is not how Dexter interprets and applies the Code. I know what they're trying to do but in this episode the writers faltered.
  • Dexter's monologue trying to compare his effects on people around him with cannibalism (barf).

I didn't mind Quinn so much because he cares about Deb which makes him much more bearable as a character. The Quinn and Deb scene felt like more Dexter plot convenience but was just credible enough to get away with it i think.

Anyway the episode wasn't all bad. I enjoyed most of the other stuff and Vogel and Dexter's relationship continues to be very interesting.
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I didn't think that the episode was a dud at the end. It set things up well for the next episode, for Deb & Vogel. I'm looking forward to their interaction. Now that Dex & Vogel have gotten into a sort of routine, throwing Deb in will shake things up.

Cory, I had the opposite thought about three-quarters into the episode - Deb spiraled out of control, but the episode didn't. It was fascinating to watch her plummet. How far down will she go till she hits rock bottom? Yes, the last 3/4 was loud and hysterical, as you say, but it did work. I was actually laughing out loud, but not in a bad way, I wasn't laughing at the show. It entertained me, and isn't that what all shows should do? In the police station, it seemed like a sitcom scene, in a twisted way - mix-ups and misunderstandings, how they got away with it, Quinn not letting Deb confess and assuming she was talking out of survivors' guilt, etc. Like, you knew that Deb wouldn't be booked for LaGuerta's murder, so the fun was in seeing how the show would get her out of this pickle. And to see Quinn actually be useful in moving a plot forward, and to see his loyalty to Deb (though insensitive to Jamie) while doing it, was a nice change of pace.

I also laughed when Vogel helped Dex at the police station without his prompting, like taking the notepad and telling Quinn about her suspected diagnosis to explain away Deb's guilty feelings. As if Vogel were an old pro at this kind of stuff (maybe she is, hmm). Seeing an elderly lady deftly helping with a cover-up was sort of amusing in a Dextery way. That somewhat funny part balanced out the drama and edge-of-my-seat intensity of the scene.

It's better that Quinn didn't accept Deb's confession on its face. Because it would be repetitive for Quinn to figure out either Dex's or Deb's crimes. Why? First, he'd be station cop #3 to do so. Been there, done that. Secondly, Quinn himself already suspected Dex in S5 and that was resolved. Been there, done that as well.

Although I enjoyed the last 3/4, I also see Cory's point about the restaurant scene. Quiet scenes like this one are excellent, it's true. That's where the focus can be on the character-driven part of the story, when there's a welcome lack of contrived distractions, then our magnificent leads can indulge us with their understated and subtle acting chops, which really shines a light on them. But the episode can't be all quiet scenes, so we must endure the secondary characters and Cory must endure the hysterical scenes, in order to appreciate the quiet ones. As the saying goes, there can be no beauty without ugliness.

Dex is seeming more and more like Vogel's personal errand boy, especially in the trailer for the next episode. Going through Vogel's former patients one by one for her (along the way, killing whoever deserves it - does Vogel realize he's doing that? Probably).


I too was glad for finally getting a recap of how Dex covered up the truth about LaGuerta's murder. We already guessed that Dex explained everything away and switched the bullets, etc., and this confirmed it for us. It also made Quinn look less stupid b/c the forensic evidence was spelled out here, justifying Quinn not accepting Deb's confession.

I think that our question about Vogel's role in the Brain Surgeon killings is half answered in this episode. She is not presently working w/the B.S. because when she received the new packages on her doorstep, she was alone as usual, but this time we saw it from her perspective and so we know that she didn't plant the jarred brains or dvd from last week herself, in order to trick Dex. She was truly afraid (though not afraid enough to open the back door while alone in the house, hmm) and held something sharp in her hand as she went to get the package. But still left open is whether she used to work with the B.S. and it's only now that they're adversaries. Even if not, at the very least she apparently played a pivotal role in shaping the B.S into the killer that he is today.

Why didn't Dex tell the truth about Sussman not having killed himself? He could have pretended to use his forensic skills to conclude that the wound was inflicted post-mortem and at another's hand, saying he based his conclusion on the trajectory or the condition of the blood and brains. But, I guess it's more convenient to have the inept police out of the way; they wouldn't find the Brain Surgeon anyway, so this way, the job can be left to a pro like Dex.


Hey, no Harry for Dex to talk with. I'm trying to remember when else we haven't seen Harry. Other than when Rudy "reappeared", is this the first time that there has been no Harry? Has the very real Vogel made the need for Harry in Dex's mind or in flashbacks obsolete? Never fear, there's always Vogel's video Harry.

Why didn't Batista knock out Quinn when Batista (and Jamie) found out that Quinn lied to little sis in order to suspiciously duck out in the middle of the night?
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I too, find the absence of Harry conversations very odd. Those conversations always provided a peak into Dexter's problem-solving process. Dexter always seemed to be much sharper and more cautious as a result of these conversations. Now, he just seems to be reacting, without thinking, and far too gullible for my likings. Vogel worked her way into his life much too easily.
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well said!
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Staff
You have some really fantastic thoughts here. Have you checked out our Dexter community yet (http://www.tv.com/shows/dexter/community)? I feel like you have some good questions and thoughts that the users there would love to discuss with you! -Jessica, TV.com staff
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Im starting to get really irritated nw... Where the FUCK is Hanna Mckay???
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Hanna was the best character ever on Dexter (except Trinity maybe); but sadly the show can't seem to allow her to exist. She could potentially have elevated the show a few levels up and away from all that Debra bullshit. Although, last season seemed to indicate she could be back…
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Be patient grasshopper.
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Oh, she'll be back. They showed that on the, "This season on Dexter" promo. As ben put's it, "Be patient, Grasshopper..."
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1. I'm starting to think that whatever Deb's boss (Elway?) is giving her, because it could be anything really, might have caused her to think she murdered el Sappo (which I don't think she did). My money is on her boss either being a creepy killer himself (who enjoys drugging Deb), or Hannah has returned (off-screen) and is getting a little payback on Dexter (through Deb).

I see those as more likely scenarios than Deb actually killing that guy herself.

2. I have a feeling that Vogel is going to turn out to be Dexter's main nemesis this season. With all her comments about him being perfect, and the weird looks she gives him whenever he shows even the slightest bit of empathy, I could really see her trying to eliminate the people he actually cares for to make him a better killer (which he would probably have a problem with).

3. I'm really, REALLY, hoping that Quinn doesn't end up catching/killing Dexter as the show's series finale (which I could see the show doing, if the truth about Dexter comes out, because it would end Quinn's character on a high-note: probably getting that Sergeant's promotion).

However, I'm still hopeful that if anything is going to affect Dexter's fate it'll probably be Deb. I could definitely see Dexter, in an attempt to prove to Deb and himself that Vogel is wrong about him (not being able to truly, selflessly love someone else), turn himself in/get caught/get killed for Deb's sake.
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Good thoughts. Dexter is special as a one of a kind. I think Jeff Lindsay (Dex's creator and author of the books) keeps Dex more true to life. Showtime makes him more special, and likable, as the anti-hero. We need Dex to go out intact, so we are left to wonder...
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I try to keep my image of the book version of Dexter completely separate from my image of the television version, because having watched/read both versions... they are pretty darn different.

I feel like the book version is a straight up sociopath; whereas, the television version has shown cracks of emotion and empathetic behavior.

That being said, I pretend the third book in the series never happened, because WTF was with all of that?!?! lol don't want to spoil anything in the books, though most of it was pretty crazy.
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Charlotte Rampling is really awesome in this role and I would love to see her winning an Emmy but didn't they totally ignore Ray Stevenson who was also awesome last season? I'll say it again, Awards Shows suck. I thought the episode was another decent Dexter episode, but I feel like the secondary characters all became useless for the overall storyline.
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there is a theory that dexter is not actually a sociopath. that if vogel and harry would've gotten him proper mental help instead of hiding his problems, teaching him to kill, and giving him the code, he could have become a normal person, and the show is not about a sociopath killer with a moral, but a normal person who was turned into a killer. this would be a big reveal. this theory could be gaining steam by how amazed vogel is by any emotion dexter shows and her refusal to believe his feelings for deb are real love. we also know that vogel has had experimental techniques with dealing with people she thinks are psychopaths, and some have gone wrong.
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I think I like the idea of some sort of 'rehabilitation' for Dexter as an ending rather than prison or his death.

But on the other hand..can he really change at this point? What could possibly make him realize that he could've been fine prior to learning the code
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Yeah answering that question should be the focus of the remaining episodes. I hope they don't go down the road of blaming everything on Vogel, that would be too heavy-handed for me.
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More good thoughts...
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In retrospect I'm not too sure what to say about the episode. Things seem to be moving along a little too quickly and all, but it being the final season I guess that's inescapable. I also realize that, for the same reason, this entire episode is going to focus on Deb and Dexter's relationship and how it conflicts with Dexter and Vogul, but I liked that (toothless as Cory says it was) even while the main story-line of the season continues, they throw in a little of the 'old Dexter' with the cannibal. Dexter was back to simply wrapping someone up and shipping him/her off, which was nice.
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I agree Quinn is total idiot but Deb needed an injection there, haha. But I'll defend him some. I mean if your former chief or whatever her title was, came in and admitted murder I'm sure you wouldn't take it seriously. But if you're looking at it as having to do your duty I guess so? And she was super drunk so it's not out of line and with medication she takes that could happen. Let's not play doctor. I really wasn't into this ep. but next week seems to look pretty good.
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im not sure but did i do a double take and Quinn did a double take when he injected her?? Quinn already suspects Dex but loves Deb so that might play a factor.Fact of modern life having twitter is when you can see actors leave, so i have a rough idea how that will work out.at least in my head :) yeah bit of a topsy-turvy ep. Vogel/Dexter scenes and reveals still amazing .
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You gotta admire dexter priority system between looking after deb and trying to find that brain Surgeonmurder, one would think he'd probably forget to kill that hannibal guy but not dexter.

Poor deb she's so wasted when she confess to killing LaGuerta Quinn doesn't even believe her , I agree Quinn is an idiot and all but deb wasn't doing the best Confession job in her part so I can't really blame the guy.

I don't know how much I like this dr. vogel character this all analyzing dexter thing she does and their weird sessions together … it's those scenes exactly that led deb in season 6 to the most uncomfortable conclusion that she is in love with her brother in those therapist sessions so please don't let history repeat itself that hug alone that they shared in the end of last week episode was all the uncomfortable I need for this season.

plus the way she keeps insisting that dexter loves deb in a selfish way is totally not true , dexter has proven more than once how much he loves deb in a selfless way , he killed his only brother that accepted him for who he is for deb's sake , he sacrificed his relationship with hanna , again someone who accepted him for who he is because as long as they are together deb is in danger I'm sorry but this is just annoying me after seven seasons of seeing dexter grow and develop now they and by "they" I mean the writers want us to think he's just a sociopath does dr. vogel even know he has a son .(it's no surprise that she wouldn't though we barely get a glimpse of his existence …but still )

Also deb's new boss is poisoning her right? I mean come on last week with that bright orange radioactive drink and now this "shit shake" with electro something , I know she doesn't look very credible now because she's so wasted it's unclear whether it's the alcohol or the weird stuff her boss gives her to drink but after everything deb went through I still find it hard to believe that she murdered that al sapo guy because she killed LaGuerta to protect her brother but this murder doesn’t make a lot of sense . Plus her boss has a really weird smile , seriously did anyone notice that when he smiles you can barely see his teeth what's up with that.

And I know deb is really slipping here but would it kill her to brush her hair or something or shower. I get that it'ssupporting her current state but it just bugs me.

Totally loved the fact that even dexter was grossed out from that finger soup , cause I imagine to a serial killer and blood spatter annalist he's seen a lot worse than that

Oh and handcuffing deb to the sofa was hilarious


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I wouldn't worry about the writers expressing their views on Dexter through Vogel, she's clearly batshit crazy and shouldn't be taken seriously.

I think it's possible to explain Dex dealing with his brother and Hannah according to the Code, not due to unselfless love for Deb, I'm not saying that's definitely the case (it's probably a bit of both) but I haven't been convinced yet of the authenticity of Dexter's emotions.
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I think you're onto something with her boss.
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Interesting theory about Elway.
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The less Jamie the better. I liked her when she was just the nanny, and even when she was dated that nerd guy (bummed he turned out to be such a creep), but now she's useless. She and Quinn have zero chemistry. blahh
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If the Brain Surgeon turns out to be Vogel trying to manipulate or analyze Dexter I'm officially done with the show.
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Happily, we'll all be done with this show soon.

It's a stinker, that's for sure.

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Vogel's remaining steadfast in her diagnoses of Dexter gets weaker with time. All she can see is white swans. She said that teaching Dexter to hunt animals wouldn't of satiated his passenger. However, each week she keeps recognising ill-fitting personality traits to the opposite and redefining them. Whether it's professional pride or fear of losing her protector seems confused.
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Jennifer Carpenter is doing an excellent job with the Deb character. She has all my empathy right now even when she's being a douche herself. I love all Deb/Dexter moments and I've always found Dexter not to be a one note serial killer. Dexter always talked a good game of not feeling or reacting, but season by season Dexter has reacted more emotionally than other character. A trait the Dr. Vogel seems to think he shouldn't have. And I think her fault will be that she discounts the fact that Dexter may truly care or love someone. She seems so matter of fact in her assessment of who Dexter is. As season's adversary reveal themself and find themselves in Dexter's orbit they all try to analyze him, most end up being wrong in the end when a choice needs to be made by Dexter. The only one that might have been somewhat right was Doakes because in the end Doakes did appeal to that other side of Dexter. He just didn't live long enough to see that. I think the Dr. will underestimate Deb as well. She seemed surprised when Dexter handicuffed Deb because I think she prides herself on manipulation and Deb couldn't possible hurt her. I maybe in the minority, but I rather enjoyed this eppy. And I give slack to Quinn because people see what they want to see or if they don't want to see it they turn a blind eye to it. Deb did it,, Quinn did it, even the Dr.'s doing it because she refuse to believe Dexter can feel. I'm thrilled the last season of Dexter is focusing on Dexter and his family, even Harrison played his part in this eppy.
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Staff
I love your analysis of Deb! Have you checked out the Dexter community page (http://www.tv.com/shows/dexter/community) yet? You may enjoy sharing your thoughts on the characters there, too! -Jessica, TV.com staff
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Yeah, but who watched Harrison when everyone was eating out?
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Let's go with new black lady cop.
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So, we all agree that Quinn is a idiot, but first and foremost, he's the world's biggest slacker. This makes everyone in the Miami homicide department idiots and slackers because the phrase, "Idiot slacker's got my back," said nobody, EVER!!! A course Dexter doesn't care; it just makes his job easier--and that's the most unbelievable part of it to suggest he got lucky enough to work for the dumbest police department on the planet. (Note also, that the letter "a" was used correctly in all instances.)
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That doctor is truly creepy, her fascination with Dex has gone into a weird kind of territory. I don't understand why exactly she is trying to push Deb out of Dexters life.
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The second episode stunk! And the show has taken a decidedly unpleasant move to the downside. Not good.
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Nope.

How many more episodes until we're all put out of our misery?
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Curious--if you don't like it then why watch it? I quit Under the Dome and I usually like to give shows a chance--but it was so bad I couldn't justify spending the time on it. I'm just curious why someone watches a show if they don't like it. Are you hoping it will get better (in your opinion)? That seems like a valid reason...
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What I thought about this episode was that your review is perfect.
Basically, I tend to agree with you about these characters working better when they're not in those situations like when it ended since it feels a little forced.
This week I actually didn't mind Quinn's interaction WITH DEB on screen (all of his other scenes I wanted to be over quickly). If played nicely, I think it could be an interesting development towards the ending, as Quinn was once upon a time very suspicious of Dexter and still has feelings for Deb. If they go down that path, turning him against Dex or start suspecting him and they add some brain cells to the mix in Quinn's direction, it could be good.
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I think a phenomenon occurs in most shows that when usually painful secondary characters start to interact significantly with, and therefore have more screen time, the main characters that they become less painful because they're character actually seems to have an interesting storyline or newfound purpose in the context of the show.

I didn't have a single problem with any of Quinn's interactions with Deb throughout this episode, but yes, all the others were awful. So why I wouldn't be overly thrilled if Quinn catches onto everything like a lot of people are preposing, the same phenomenon worked quite well for LaGuerta last season didn't it? She had to be one of the most hated characters on television, and you know what, her final season on the show she wasn't actually all that bad because her character was driven and her storyline was intertwined with Dexter's and Deb's.
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True, but her character was written to be the most obnoxious, painful and hated Miami Metro Detective, so while it served it purpose as a character and as a storyline, most of us still didn't wanna see a hair of that woman.
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I am glad they never changed the opening titles sequence. Not only because it is great. But it also give us a constant reminder of Dexter's evolution through time. We go from the perfect Dexter outline that we started with, to this messy psycopath that is about to get caught. Plus the aging factor, of course, if it ever matters!
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Good point, especially since I thought the same thing. The Dexter who slyly smiles at the camera at the end is now a sloppy mess who easily allows a stranger to manipulate him and, wonder of wonders, to HUG him.

We all knew Dexter the show had gotten progressively worse (remember when Angel wasn't an idiot?), but the opening sequence is proof positive that Dexter the character has morphed into an ooey gooey shadow of his former self.

Oh yeah, and Harrison? We hardly knew ye. The kid IS dead, right? How else do you explain a kid that no one ever watches?

Sheesh.
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To me the evolution of Dexter's character is more about the devolution (is that a word?) of the writers. I don't think we've ever had the changes come across as believable or inevitable. That covers the messiness and riskiness. As for Vogel it does seem like he's a little to accepting of her but when you think about it was it really eny different with the Ice Truck Killer?
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I have no idea the accuracy of this but I read wikipedia then the following* and couldn't decide (not sure of the accuracy of either site). In cases like this I end up using a "work around" (word substitution).
*
http://www.newgrounds.com/bbs/topic/1013036

Will you use it everyday in verbal communications or in online comments? promises, promises...
Using it everyday may lead to devolution of your vocabulary!
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I liked reading the newgrounds link. Here I thought no one ever used the word but this page had an in depth article about it! Since I was using devolution in the degeneration or deterioration sense, not in the biologically evolving to be simpler sense I think I'm still okay. Yay for me!
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I think "devolution" is a word (I think there is some controversy about the meaning~not sure) and maybe "regress" or "degenerate" might work....
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Just checked wiktionary and looks like devolution is okay! I'm going to start using it every day now. Apologies for the devolution in quality of my comments.
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Yes, I remember when Angel wasn't a idiot, but that ship sailed several seasons back into the sea of Dumb as a Post...
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"...and overreact to things that will likely turn out to be minor faults."

I also think the opposite is true. We should not underestimate things that might evolve into major story lines. It looked like Quinn is a complete idiot. But maybe he isn't? In he last scene we saw him in, he opened the door for Dexter who carried Deb out. At that point Quinn turned around and it's like his face was saying "what the fuck is going on?" Also, in the interrogation room with Deb, it looked like he was saying she didn't kill LaGuerta just to comfort her, but maybe at that point he did think that there might be something more to her story. Quinn has suspected Dexter before. So maybe during this last season, Quinn finally puts his thinking cap on a figures out Dexter's secret? That would be an interesting turn of events: Quinn finally using his brain, and getting killed for it. Or maybe as a final act of love towards Deb (which he clearly still has), he would protect her or save her, giving his own life in the process.
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I dunno, they spent so much time in Seasons 3-5 having Quinn suspect Dexter only to have it peter out dismally. After all this time bringing that back would seem pretty tired to me.
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Quinn takes Dexter down in the end, solves the murder of 236 people and becomes the new deputy chief.
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... marries Jamie, they both adopt Harrison and all live happily ever after...
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And no dog? They HAVE TO adopt a dog!
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That's exactly what I thought. I just finished writing about that same thing. I don't wanna bet on Joey Quinn and lose money, but something tells me they're gonna go down that path again - Quinn suspecting Dexter and getting caught up in the middle of him/Deb
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For a moment there, I thought you were going to suggest that he was the brain collector serial killer... phew!
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But that would be pretty funny though. Quinn killing people and being fixated on mutilating their brains because he doesn't have one himself.
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If I only had a brain...
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Typical humans and hypocrisy...it's ok to eat animals,but "line" is crossed,when someone eats human(or human parts). You come back as hero from war,after killing of countless humans,but one does so in "real life" and they are serial killer.

I already see,where this season is going and it's boring as hell. Season 7 was show's last spark of hope and now it's gone. Personally I hate this Vogel character and they focus too much on wrong stuff.
Got little interesting,when Deb actually said she killed LaGuerta,but that got instantly destroyed.
9 more painful episodes to go,so I can have closure with this show.
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"you are what you eat"
so if cannibals eat humans, are cannibals the only humans?
;-)
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I don't get this review or the comments... This season is great for me so far. My least favorite seasons were 2 and 3. Seasons - 1, 4,5,6,7 and now 8 are one of the best things I've seen on TV.
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Oh, you live in a different universe then. Are the twin towers still there?
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Yes! Happy place you should come :)
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This is what I love about watching television. It all comes down to taste really. I mean, you think you and all the shows other fans generally think the same thing, and then BAM!, someone tells you they loved the tragic love story that was LaGuerta and Batista.
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Nothing wrong with that, and nobody is an idiot for what they enjoy--except for Quinn :P
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Anyone else find Dexter's face hilarious when he opened the crock pot? Also just a tiny bit odd considering what he does and has seen?

Also I would have expected him to look into the cannibal a littler more out of curiosity. I mean wouldn't he want to know more about someone that was also in Vogels treatment. Or if the guy had his own code when it came to eating people after getting their information?

And while I want to say the police cleared it as a suicide and that guy as the killer who acted alone, seems extremely stupid. You'd expect they'd profile him a bit more to see if he was capable of it on his own, but I guess with Vogel and Dex around they didn't question it.

And while I like Vogel and what she brings to the show, I don't like how easily she's seemed to have manipulated Dexter. But I guess that hug and Dexters face during it in episode 2 pretty much sums up how I feel.

Also I am a little excited to see what happens when Hannah comes back, and what Vogel would say of their relationship.
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I'm glad that Dex didn't keep the cannibal alive long enough to look into his murderous ways out of curiosity. This shows that Dex learned his lesson from S4, not to delay what has to be done just to indulge his sense of curiosity (Trinity wouldn't have killed Rita but for Dex's delay).
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I expected Dexter to throw some good Silence of the Lambs references...
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The writers have just gotten sloppy. We're not seeing the Dexter of the first few seasons.

Oh, and anyone else think there was too much fixings and not enough meat in that stew? One finger? Now how many cannibals is THAT going to feed? And why so much stew? Was he having cannibal company over for dinner? Perhaps the marinated brain was an appetizer.

I assume the writers thought that entire sequence to be funny, because it certainly wasn't intelligent.
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It certainly wasn't a meal of Hannibal's calibre. On Hannibal I actually want to eat what he's cooking, here, you're right in saying the writers would have thought they were being funny, but it came off as being stupid.
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I found the whole scene in the cannibal's kitchen to be macabre funny. As for Dex's reaction being odd given what Dex does and has seen, it's not as if Dex expressed revulsion or disgust that would cause an ordinary person to throw up. It's just that Dex was surprised b/c he didn't expect to find a finger in the stew.
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There is also the fact that Dex realises the whole earlier interaction the guy was sizing him up for a meal. Dismissing the girls when he approached, checking his body fat ratio and putting him on level 5 on the treadmill. Like exercising livestock, the soup discovery had me recalling the guys strange interaction with Dex and had me smiling to myself.
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First and foremost Dexter, please bring back Hannah soon.
Dexter trusting Vogel so easily and quickly and her trying to push that he is a perfect sociopath when clearly he isn't are my only two problems with Vogel. My problem with the show is since when does Dexter jump to conclusions about someone and kills them before he finds evidence. I guess the answer to that is probably what Cory mentioned; there's probably some connection between Elway and the cannibal so they couldn't have Dexter investigating and finding that out yet.
But whatever my problems with this show, I will happily continue to watch because overall this is a wonderful show. (I'll even listen to the voiceovers and not fast forward)
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I gotta mention, I love the doctor's reaction when Dexter just casually dosed Deb with the syringe to shut her up.
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Yeah, Vogel's all like, 'Oh, what intriguing behaviour by the psychopath I helped create. Good show chaps' (I may be paraphrasing slightly).
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You did the opposite :-) It was actually a short statement like.

A look on her face and a short statement like "Oh my that was unexpected"

But between Dex so casually deciding to knock out his sister and the statement I laughed quite hard.
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did they take the notepad that debt was writing what happened that night? cause i dont think they did.
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Vogel took the notepad so nobody would find it, and Dexter told Vogel to hold the syringe
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Yeh, the doctor took it. I forget if she took it on her own or Dex handed it to her.

So, she had a syringe and a yellow notepad on her.
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She took it on her own and hid it from Quinn and quite sure she hid it from Dexter as well.
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Dexter actually took it and handed it to her and said "here hold this" or something.
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Nope. Just kidding. He handed her the syringe and she grabbed the papers on her own.
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I liked all the Dexter/Vogel interations and conversasions, but overall I found this to be another boring episode, and probably the most slower paced so far this season. Drunken and hungover Deb, yeah like i've never seen that before, BORING! Hopefully Deb will be less boring in the next episode, at least during her time in the company of Vogel. Vogel is the only really interesting thing about this season so far. I'm intrigued by that character! But this is becoming one the worst seasons of this series, which is particularly sad given the fact that it's the last one.
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"I liked all the Dexter/Vogel interations and conversasions, but overall I found this to be another boring episode"

Funny because 85% of the episode were dex/vogel conversations. Bit of a contradiction in here. Lol.
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Okay, you got me. I didn't like all the Dexter/Vogel interactions and conversaions, only most of them. And maybe this episode a little less boring than the 2 privious ones, but still this was a boring episode for the most part, IMHO.
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Dexter sure is getting slack in his pre-kill investigations these days isn't he? In the old days he would demand being 100% sure of guilt, despite overwhelming evidence.

Now he just has to find a finger and some organs in a kitchen and that's case closed. I was really hoping he would ask for last words from the victim of the week and he would say "I never killed anyone, I stole a cadaver from the morgue/bought on the black market"
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have to say it was a "business-like" kill. no justification,no showing of victims,although if he wasnt vetted......a lot of this episode was slack in the writing, we need more SLICK!
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He already knew that guy was a psycopath. How many times do you want Dexter to vet him?
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I used to like the show when Dexter was smarter than us.
It REALLY went downhill in the religious themed season, but I forgave it, hoping it was just a sneaky commentary on what religion can do to an otherwise intelligent person.
Now I swear Dexter just keeps getting dumber, I mean, being adamant that the 1st guy was actually the brain surgeon despite no supporting profiling. "Oh he likes to hunt animals, he is definitely the man who cuts open the heads of victims with surgical precision. Now we find out, that like number 4# on Vogels list is an ER surgeon, I'm no serial killer expert, but that goes to the top of my list.
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Even the voiceovers are moronic.
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A cannibal killer AND the killer who takes parts of brains...? Seriously? It's the serial killer convention down there...!
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And such a neat cannibal killer.

Those Miami cops are SO good at their jobs, aren't they?

Sheesh.
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That's why Quinn didn't want Deb to confess, they have to keep up their record of never solving cases and never charging anyone.
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but this (La Guerta) is a case they actually "solved" (lol)
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Some shows only survive mostly and purely because of the main actor/ actress doing an excellent job. Without them the show would have been canceled after a season, or half season in some cases. Like Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black.
For me, from the first episode, Michael C. Hall put the whole show on his shoulders, later on, Jennifer Carpenter grow to be his equal.
Without them= No Dexter.
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