Dexter

Season 8 Episode 4

Scar Tissue

46
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jul 21, 2013 on Showtime
8.2
out of 10
User Rating
158 votes
11

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT

Dexter goes in search of another serial killer from Dr. Vogel list. Quinn passes the seargent exam. Dr. Vogel treats Deb for her PTSD.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • He did it!

    9.5
    He finally broke with the end?Dexter and Debra! Great!
  • Scar Tissue

    9.5
    Fantastic episode. The relationship between Deb and Dexter has always been the heart of this show, imo. I think the ending means they might be back on the right track. Hopefully now she will realize there's no way she can live without him.
  • Scar Tissue

    7.0
    I thought they revealed Vogel studying Dexter a bit too early, but the episode was still interesting, and further peaked my interest into what is actually going on right now. Can't say the ending made sense, but it was shocking and exactly the kind of thing the show needed.
  • Scar Tissue

    9.0
    I loved how the drama between Debra and Dexter played out in this episode. The pace was delightful as the ending neared, this episode managed to surprise me with such a unexpected turn of events.
  • Visible Scars But Deeper Ones Unseen.

    9.5
    The episode "Scar Tissue" is so named because sometimes internal damage is also outwardly visible. Specifically the title refers to one of Dr. Vogel's past patients who Dexter observes has had brain surgery due to an externally visible scar on the rear of his head. But, we're getting a bit ahead of things as the main focus of this episode is Dr. Vogel's healing manipulation) of Deb's scarred and damaged psyche.



    Apparently Deb is living with Dr. Vogel for some intense treatment. As the episode begins Dr. Vogel has forced Deb to revisit the container where she shot LaGuerta. A sparing session ensues between the two in the container with Dr. Vogel asking the seemingly silly question: "are you upset?". Dr. Vogel makes Deb re-visit a dream in which she shoots Dexter. Vogel also makes Deb faces some of the outcomes if she didn't shoot LaGuerta and how they have, perhaps, even heavier outcomes for both Dexter and Deb. By reliving the actual outcome Deb can, eventually, break free of the guilt-trip she's on. Finally, by purposely applying the pressure of guilt she makes Deb declare she is mad, not just a sad-sack guilt-ridden victim herself, and declares this to be "good". These methods seem as more a step in manipulating Deb as per Dr. Vogel's personal needs as it remains quite shaky as to if they're actually helping Deb for her own sake? Nonetheless, a real insight into how Dr. Vogel is intent on something, but what that something is clearly remains up for discussion.



    The treatment of Deb shifts forward to Dr. Vogel's residence. At this time Deb views Dr. Vogel's selected video of her father Harry and Vogel discussing Dexter while he is still a burgeoning serial killer which, between them, they're controlling under the guise of the so-called "code". Here's where the "outward" scar tissue comes into play as Dexter appears at Vogel's house angry over what he supposes is a possible "mad-scientist" brain surgery on his latest Vogel patient of interest. Vogel begs innocence as she claims she thought he may have had a lesion affecting his behavior, but never knew if he actually did have one. This patient, named Yates, is squarely in Dexter's sights now and the perfunctory breaking in his house follows. Dexter almost bites one off here as Yates is in fact in his basement "control center" watching Dexter's moves on the floor above. Dexter finds a collection of women's shoes signaling something isn't quite right and calls Vogel. Dexter expresses his doubts that while a strange-duck this isn't the brain surgeon killer. Meanwhile, Yates has crept up and is about to use a stun gun on Dexter until he realizes that the phone conversation is with his old doctor. Yates retreats to his nefarious basement in which the viewer casually notices also includes a female prisoner. Something about Vogel has caused Yates to not act on his initial impulse.



    For the price of a beer (Vogel is limiting Deb's drinking) Deb agrees to return to the container. Vogel is ready for some intense guilt layering on Deb in order to force Deb to realize she made the only decision she could have. "How do I make it right" Deb asks? Vogel said accept you're a good person in an impossible situation making the "best" of it. She challenges Deb to walk out the door with a new acceptance of this as she is the only one who can decide to move forward. Deb doesn't fall apart or fly into a rage so the viewer is to believe there's, finally, an opening as to Deb leaving it as such?



    There's a fair amount of other periphery going on too. Quinn passes his written test for sergeant, but he almost loses it the first night in a bar fight centered on Deb's almost arrest and the loose lips of the officer who brought her in. Vince finds out he may be the sperm-donor father of a daughter. Deb is connecting on a more personal level with her boss who remains a bit of an enigma. Deb actually refuses a beer hinting at her turning a corner. More on these things later is implied.

    In a quite fantastic scene, Dexter returns to Yates home. He finds the basement room realizing in the process Yates is fully aware of his past intrusion. Dexter's distrust of Vogel is clarified at Dexter's voice-over narration in which he reveals Vogel's claim that he isn't a monster is anything but true. The improbability of this sequence rises as Dexter saves Yate's last vicim who Yates has engineered a slow death wound as well as quickly brings Dr. Vogel back to bear witness to the scene. It gets wilder as Dexter peruses Yate's laptop and finds Dr. Vogel's patient files including recent ones about Dexter himself. As impossible as this maybe, Dexter reads what Vogel's real "professional" diagnosis of his psyche really is. It's a big revelation that cements all of his distrust in Vogel. "I'm nothing but a lab rat just like Yates" Dexter exclaims in an angered burst. Dexter's insight into the separation of him and Deb comes into focus as not treatment, but a means to Vogel's manipulation . not to help either). Dexter will take care of the Yates problem after which his and Vogel's relationship with himself and Deb is terminated. He threateningly asks "do you understand or do you need to write it down"? Vogel says she understands which is hard to believe coming from a "puppet master" who, obviously believes she is on a narcissistic higher plane. It's easy to believe even if Vogel disappears from the show as suddenly as she appeared she is going to cast a huge shadow over this final season. Deb reinforces that by breaking into Vogel's video vault and consuming more of her Dad's conversations with Vogel.



    Scar Tissue is a completely dark episode with gobs of emotional turmoil churning. The main things the viewer is left with is Dexter fully admitting he has a conscience and feelings when it comes to family of which Deb, and Harrison we're certain, are the outward manifestation of. Feelings a run-of-the-mill psychopath is likely not to feel hovers in the air. Deb is finally at, if somewhat brittle, a point where she is allowing a peace of sorts. Then there's the reveal of the "brain surgeon" killer, Yates, who certainly is hanging over everything else as Dexter's attempt at putting him away is cleverly foiled. Intense as all this may be the "wham-bam" final minute is as abrupt and unexpected as anything long-time viewers have ever seen. This episode is an excellent follow-through to things set in motion by the first three episodes while it makes a connection with everything before. Simply, excellent as improbable as it may be.

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Aaron McCusker

Aaron McCusker

A.J. Yates

Guest Star

Bethany Joy Lenz

Bethany Joy Lenz

Cassie Jollenston

Guest Star

Kurt Caceres

Kurt Caceres

Officer Martinez

Guest Star

Sean Patrick Flanery

Sean Patrick Flanery

Jacob Elway

Recurring Role

Dora Madison Burge

Dora Madison Burge

Niki Walters

Recurring Role

Jadon Wells

Jadon Wells

Harrison

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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