After driving Dexter into the lake, Deb hits rock bottom but resurfaces to save him. Vogel summons them to work past their issues and reconcile, which doesn’t work quite well at first. But when the toe-breaker on the loose kidnaps the psychopath whisperer, it’s up to her two favorite children to save her: Morgans to the rescue!
KILL TOGETHER, DIE ALONE *
Significant turning points, negligible implications; that seems to be the case with the show’s plot developments lately. Deb was justifiably so devastated after learning the truth about Harry’s death/suicide that she attempted to kill her brother. Of course she jumped in to save him right after, instinctively perhaps, but now suddenly she’s become the total opposite of what we saw of her in the last few episodes? Apparently, the opening takes place a little after the lake dive but so much progression in such short period is a bit convenient (by the way, why so many time jumps this season?).
The family therapy scene pretty much annuls the intensity of last week’s final moment, as it basically spells out Debra’s intentions for us, as if they weren’t made clear already. On the other hand, Dexter being hurt was almost entirely unjustified; yes, the only person who genuinely loved him nearly got him killed, but seriously, leaving Harrison an orphan?! I mean, it’s not like Harrison has ever been in the line of fire! The list of the people who’ve infiltrated Dex’s apartment with no top lockpicking skills just goes on: Trinity, Travis, Isaak etc (basically, if there’s a killer in town, you bet he’s sooner or later bound to show up at Dex’s apartment!), not to mention the ones who endangered Astor and Cody (Lila, anyone?) and how Dex used to risk his life almost every night with his hunts. Thankfully, Jamie and Dan are always there to take care of little Harrison.
And of course, naturally, Dex and Deb’s roles are reversed here compared to the premiere; now Dex ditches her calls. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to see Dex and Deb working together as a team (better than him and Lumen). In fact, their rescue mission was one of the coolest parts of the episode, but how they got there, character-wise, wasn’t exactly plausible, to say the least. Moving through the episode’s weaker parts before getting to the good ones, the over-cliched dysfunctional family theme was basically being injected into our minds every few minutes or so (yeah, thanks for that, Evelyn…); with Vogel and Morgans becoming a family, her stray children/subjects, Masuka facing doubts (!), the Hamiltons, etc. . But at least, this time we had less overexplanatory narrations and admittedly a few pretty satisfying ones from the moment Dex walked into the station, which more or less came close to the quality of his colorful and brilliantly sarcastic remarks from earlier seasons.
The best thing was seeing a creepier side of Dr. Vogel and how she can manipulate her subjects by using their specific mental “triggers”, namely by projecting Yates’s abusive mother in this case (more on the musical triggers in “Reflecting beneath the surface”). Charlotte Rampling’s performance made up for the episode’s flaws; she portrayed three versions of Vogel this week perfectly: the confident counselor/therapist, the hostage in distress and finally Yates’s mother. Everything goes according to Vogel’s plan: her kidnapping creates an opportunity, urging Dex and Deb to leave their issues behind and work to set her free. Moreover, Yates, a liability, is removed and it seems that Dex has served his purpose in eliminating the Brain Surgeon Killer threat…or at least that’s what Evelyn wants him to believe. For one thing, Albert –err, AJ’s M.O. doesn’t exactly fit the BSK’s; one’s all about high heels and domination, and the other snatches and sends brain portions. His attitude towards learning that Vogel and her guardian angel are after him wouldn’t make sense if he were the BSK. But then again we saw Dexter find the brain schematics in his basement last week and at least for now we haven’t got a solid case against him, as Deputy Chief Matthews would confirm.
It’s interesting that Vogel very clearly acknowledges the human side of Dexter by clarifying for Deb how he’s deeply ‘hurt’. We should ask ourselves if accepting Dex’s nature and the overall notion of recovery is beneficial for Deb or it’s just one step further down the pits of denial. Still, it’s a pity that most of the dramatic moments never pay off; just an episode ago Dex was insistent that the experiment be over. The one real progress for Deb, for better or worse, was her reaction towards Dex killing Yates in cold blood right in front of her, as she proved to be more resilient than they (and we) gave her credit for. This is exactly what Evelyn had in mind for her.
But anyway…luckily for Deb, Good guy Elway comes through and helps them locate where Vogel’s being held at. But what actually catches them off-guard, other than Yates’s nature, is how Evelyn has him in the palm of her hand, “whispering” to him the same comforting words she’s been telling Dexter since “Every Silver Lining”, further taming him (“I can still help you…I understand what you’ve been through…what we have here now in this moment, you and I, this is real human connection”) Makes you wonder what is considered to be Dexter’s trigger in her journal…his repressed empathetic side? The code? Or the shadow reality?
* In reference to Jack Shephard’s words of wisdom and this cryptic season finale.
Next: “Elsewhere In Miami…”