Oh Mother S—! What We Learned From This Week’s Filler Episode Of ‘Dexter’

Entertainment Features
07.15.13 88 Comments

Episode 803

It’s a bit early in Dexter season eight to throw at a filler episode, but that’s exactly what last night’s episode was. In fact, a filler episode anytime during the final season of a network’s highest all-time rated drama is really inexcusable. The substance of “What’s Eating Dexter Morgan”? episode could’ve fit into about three scenes. I hate to get too down on the show, but man, last night’s episode was a crawler, and the matter isn’t helped by the fact that — if you were watching it live — the episode was preceded by a trailer for what we were about to see that essentially gave away 80 percent of the episode.

BUT, there was at least one heartening development. Let’s get right into it.

That heartening development was that the Internet’s pet theory last week — that Dr. Vogel was the actual Brain Surgeon Liller — has essentially been debunked. Thank God! It would’ve been an interminable long season had that been the case, but the fact that Dr. Vogel expressed surprise at the his and her presents she received from the killer — containing pieces of brain inside, one for her and one for Dexter — suggests that she in fact is not behind the murders, unless her character 1) is a method actor who plays up shock even when no one is around, or 2) Dr. Vogel is a schizophrenic, and her alternate identity is behind the killings. Neither are likely theories, although — based on previews from next week — someone over on Reddit posited that the serial killer may be a patient of Vogel’s who she conducted brain surgery on in order to turn him into the perfect psychopath by removing that person’s anterior insular cortex (the suspect in next week’s episode clearly had his skull removed for surgery). It’s not as satisfying as the fun Masuka theory, but it’s much better than the Captain Matthews theory.

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In either case, it’s apparent that Dr. Vogel is not the Brain Surgeon. She is, however, f***ed in the head, and they are beating us over the head with her obsession that Dexter is the perfect psychopath, a notion that I suspect the final season is determined to disprove. In other words, if there was anything in last night’s episode that pointed toward the finale, it was the idea that, because Dexter is the perfect psychopath, he is incapable of selfless love, and therefore incapable of helping Debra. That’s the season’s thesis: Is he the perfect psychopath, and will he kill his sister? Or is he flawed as a psychopath, and therefore, will he sacrifice himself for Debra?

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Speaking of Debra, she is hard-core downward-spiraling. The guilt and the alcohol got to her last night, and after a dinner with Dexter in which he demonstrated to Debra that she is, in fact, a “good” person, Debra owned up to her goodness and confessed to the murder of LaGuerta. Fortunately, she was sh*tfaced, and only confessed to Quinn, who is so lousy a detective that he couldn’t sniff out a pile of sh*t in a dog park. He, of course, attributed Deb’s confession to guilt and alcohol and dismissed it, sending her on her way with Dexter. (Quinn, by the way, is still very bad at being a boyfriend to Jamie and potential Sergeant for Batista. Quinn, as always, is a colossal f***-up).

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Other than the dismissal of Vogel as a Brain Surgeon suspect, the other narrative development last night was that, after Dexter knocked Debra out with a narcotic, he finally left her under the care of Dr. Vogel. To what end, I don’t know? Does Dr. Vogel actually want to help Debra, or does she just want to get her out of the way? Will Dexter have to come to Debra’s rescue again?

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There was also an obligatory kill: A serial killing cannibal who was apparently able to kill, dismember, and eat several people without raising the suspicions of the police. Dexter killed him, although even that murder was off-screen so we were deprived of even that.

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God, hat a lousy episode.

Harrison is super cute, anyway. Especially after he’s eaten a whole box of popsicles. I can’t say much for Dexter’s parenting skills, however, as he both allowed his child to eat an entire box of popsicles, and he gave Harison Pepto Bismol, which you’re not supposed to give to kids under the age of 12. BE A BETTER DAD, DEXTER.

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The other semi-amusing moment was the expression on the face of Dexter — a serial killer and a blaod spatter analysis — when he spotted a finger in the cannibal’s stew.

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