Season 8 Episode 4

Scar Tissue

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jul 21, 2013 on Showtime

Episode Fan Reviews (10)

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  • He did it!

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

    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

    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

    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.

    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.

  • Scar Tissue

    This week's Dexter kept the pace going on the Brain Surgeon hunt as Dex continued to cross names off of Vogel's list while Deb got therapy Vogel style. I honestly would've liked to see the scene where Deb wakes up and gets introduced to Vogel or at least not jumped about a week ahead of where they left us last week with her handcuffed to the sofa thing in her house. But that's forgivable as the shipping container scenes with Vogel and Deb were some of the best of the week. The not so startling revelation that Deb blaming Dex for LaGuerta being that she would always choose Dexter no matter what scares her that she would protect such a monster. Vogel seems a bit too keen on "nothing's wrong with Dexter" you'd think that somewhere along the way she would admit that he is flawed in some ways and we for the past 8 years have certainly seem him make numerous mistakes but the whole "you're a good guy" blanket rubs me the wrong way to just wipe out the bad stuff that he's done in addition to the good. Dexter investigates another patient named Yates who seems legit but on further investigation turns out that he has killed again in a particularly suspenseful scene where Yates can hear a speaker phoned conversation between Vogel and Dex while Dex is searching his house. But Yates had kidnapped girls and has a secret basement in his house so it turns out. Honestly, I don't believe that he is the Brain Surgeon myself. That scar from surgery could easily be something of a fascination of his and why he has all the jars and books on neurology. It just seems too easy for him to be the Brain Surgeon since his MO with the girl in his basement and the shoes is entirely different than the Brain Surgeon seems to have done. Having a singular killer with two completely different MOs is highly unlikely, but he still could be. The whole scene where Dex lures him to the retirement home was also great seeing Yates use his dying father as a shield in a sense to help get away. Going through the basement of Yates' house he discovers that Yates kept Vogel's patient files (he could also be obsessed with Vogel but still not be the Brain Surgeon) and finds that Dexter is mentioned in her latest as Subject 0 and that his feelings aren't real for Deb, I think they are, but this causes a rift in their connection. Dexter tells her that after Yates is dead they're done. Deb also seemed to get better this week as she confronted her demons and had another great scene with her boss in which he told his life story coming from Texas oil money. Quinn passes the Sergeant's exam and almost got into a fight that nobody cares about and Angel is told to consider Angela instead of Quinn because she got a higher score. Masuka finds out he has a daughter if you care about that. But Deb's scene with Quinn was nicely handled in which she told him to work things out with Jaime despite her jealousy of them. Deb seeing how Harry couldn't handle what Dexter was really seemed to get to her in a good way. This show often floats the possibility of change, as it did with the spree killer who jumped in front of traffic last year taken out to reclaim all of the bodies of his other victims, and then the rug is pulled out from under us. But this was different in a sense because Deb, after making Dexter drive into a body of water, then decides to go back to save him. Also, the fishing guy only saves her and then totally disappears he doesn't even ask if she's ok he just sort of vanishes after saving her which was totally weird. Thank you for not ending on the cliffhanger of her driving in it drives me bananas and is something that another cable show call True Blood does and then instantly takes back pivotal death scenes at the beginning of the next episode. But this moved things along quite fluidly. I enjoy seeing Vogel a little more in the "getting to know you" department and that she may well be this season's main antagonist and she certainly won't let Dexter walk away after Yates (the Brain Surgeon still not convinced entirely he is) is ganked.
  • The anti-climax continues

    And so the tedious anti-climatic final season continues, and it honestly feels like the network is broadcasting a version of the show aimed for people who can't quite keep up. Do we need Dexter's inner narrative to join the dots in quite such an obvious and clumsy way? He might as well turn straight to camera and deliver the line with a wink and knowing grin at this point. Case in point: in the scene in which Yates pulls the plug on his own dad, did we really need Dexter advising us what had just happened right after it had just happened? That's condescending, lazy writing.

    I guess they needed to crowbar in some plot device to be able to justify Masuka's existence, but a daughter? Just like that? And then, they both do *that* laugh together. It baffles me that anyone's giving this show a high score any more. It's not remotely in the same league as the television greats any more.

    What should be a veritable thunder storm of a final season is petering out like a light shower, and not much can save it now. Vogel is desperately uninteresting with a daft backstory that doesn't make any sense; Quinn and Batista are inconsequential to anything; Deb is all over the place when she could serve some in a much more critical and exciting way; Dexter is just dull and not panicked and rabid like we all hoped he'd be in the final stages of the show, and LaGuerta is a bench.

    Somebody wake me up when this show finds it's heart again.
  • Interesting end to the episode.

    After a week from the previous episode Vogel seemed to be making progress with Deb and I was happy to see that Deb could forgive Dexter but when Deb finds out the truth about Harry's death things get bad when Deb tries to kill herself and Dexter When Deb is saved she realizes what she did was wrong and if she never saved him then she definitely wouldn't be able to live with herself Before this part Dexter finds the Brain Surgeon but wasn't able to kill him I was surprised that he was revealed so early and so easily and it only feels like a matter of time before Dexter gets to him.
  • Nice episode

    Yes, it was bound to happen!

    But I think now Debra is going to forgive herself and maybe even Dexter.. damn cliffhanger ;)

    And the new serial killer, does not seem to be intelligent at all, I feel a bigger conspiration behind it all and all around Vogel...
  • Oh F*cking My God, Vince!

    Wow once I got pass the fact that Vince hit on his own daughter I found it completely cute and funny, yet unsurprised. Also unsurprising is the fact that Deb was trying to kill Dexter, I mean she dreamt about it so it was bound to happen some time
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