Hannah’s back in Miami to once again mess things up for Dex and Deb. Meanwhile, Dexter has to keep an eye on his new disciple, Zach, so he doesn’t step out of the temporary code.
Despite the way she was introduced in Season 7, Hannah’s presence has always brought complexity and tension to the show. No matter how uninteresting the whole deal with her new husband is – she killed the first one too – at least she saved the episode from becoming another pointless filler like the previous episode, thanks to Yvonne Strahovski‘s great performance. There’s also a sense of where the show might be heading, now that Vogel has been sidelined. We have to ask though, couldn’t Season 8 have just started with this episode? I mean, there’s clearly the continuation of Hannah’s fugitive state, she could have been the complex big bad and the past 6 episodes haven’t exactly followed a specific plotline with Vogel, so…
Anyway, apparently Hannah poisoned Dexter so he’d somehow get the message and kill the controlling husband. It worked with her dad, so why not? But why poison Deb? Just to get back at her? Couldn’t she have just sent Dexter a text message!? Even considering the attraction between her and Dexter, Hannah still can turn him in if she ever needs to. I don’t buy into her excuses. But Dex has nothing to be scared of for now, as it seems Hannah’s not there to destroy his life, but rather to complicate it. As if Vogel’s spell wasn’t enough to maneuver Dex’s life, now Hannah’s there to further use him for her own purposes. Miles was necessary so he could protect her and bring her back to Miami and so was Dexter in making him disappear. Will she dispose of him too as soon as he becomes useless?
Vogel didn’t make much sense in this episode, or maybe she’s not that good at hiding her true intentions: “When the Brain Surgeon was out there…” Wait, what?! So it was definitely Yates? No way, c’mon! And then she goes on about two psychopaths working together (Dexter and Hannah, supposedly)…but isn’t she at the same time encouraging Dex to teach Zach his ways? Anyway, she’s probably right about Hannah half-poisoning them just to show who’s in charge.
Miles is out of the picture, and by helping Hannah get rid of the body and the evidence (nice job bodyguards, btw.) Dexter makes up to her for turning her in last season. But is she truly a vortex, destroying everything and everyone standing in her way, as Deb says? Her track record pretty much suggests that, but maybe her spells don’t work that well on Dexter. Maybe she truly feels obligated to him. Hannah said she changed her mind, but do we take her word for it? It even seemed she was deliberately making Dex jealous of Miles so he’d snap and kill the guy!! Yeah, she knows how to shatter Dexter’s sense of control.
Is Hannah a psychopath as Vogel indicates? Well, she happens to run into obstacles she has to remove. She wasn’t born in blood like Dexter, as far as we know, but let’s not forget about the counselor who’d abused her. So perhaps she’s picked up a few psychopathic traits along the way. For one thing, she always seems to have a justification up her sleeve for the poisonings. Besides, she’s basically followed Vogel’s first survival rule all along: Don’t get caught (Should have added a “don’t rely too much on Dexter” to that as well). In that sense she’s more like [SPOILERS for LOST ]: a twisted version of LOST’s Kate as she also happened to be on the run for murder, ended up marrying a random cop played by the awesome Nathan Fillion (I always wished we’d see more of him…) and like Hannah she wasn’t really obligated to anyone…except Jack, and Sawyer. [/SPOILERS] No matter what, Deb won’t take kindly to her presence.
FOLLOW THE MASTER AND GET AWAY WITH IT
Dex starts teaching Zach the basics of the code and we soon learn that Detective Quinn is very easy to lose, so good for them. Still, the protégé storyline isn’t going anywhere, it looks like Zach is just another newly introduced character who’ll eventually get killed off like Price, Louis, Mike Anderson and now Cassie. It was fun to watch him help Dexter enter the club (Did he also bring that hilariously awkward suit?). We can’t be sure why he was so desperate to meet again (yeah the floodgates are open, etc.) or whether he truly bludgeoned poor Cassie to death. If the latter is true, then Dex has failed to make him follow the first two rules of the new code; not only were they seen together in public, but Zach couldn’t wait any longer for the next kill (By the way, that Oliver guy actually looks more suspicious).
Maybe it’s all about who the mentor is. Harry and Vogel were only able to nurture Dexter into becoming an efficient killing machine, because they weren’t psychopaths themselves (assuming Evelyn isn’t one), if that makes sense. Truth is, there’s no real motivation on Dex’s part to work with Zach, he’s probably only doing it out of respect for Vogel! The ‘initiation’ worked well with Lumen, but with Zach, there’s no traumatic event in his life as far as we know. He might as well be a weaker version of Miguel Prado. Vogel was right about Dexter’s duties: by not killing Hannah and Zach when he had the chance, Dex basically became responsible for their future acts. The same happened with Travis. Do the wrong thing once, shame on the victim, do it twice, blame the dark passenger!
“Dress code” was more engaging than last week’s unfocused filler, thanks to Hannah’s return, but definitely not nearly as good as the season premiere. There’s still no clear indication of where the final season is headed, and most importantly there’s no sense of dread. With Deb taking matters into her own hands, Zach’s possible misstep, the inevitability of Quinn showing up when we least expect it (according to Dexter), the enigma that Vogel appears to be and Hannah’s unpredictability, anything can happen at this point. Is it a good sign? Not really.
- Little progression with Elway and Deb. Kind of significant, but still nothing extraordinary.
- Masuka’s Clockwork orange aversion therapy at the breastaurant was more fun than Zach’s scenes, even though Niki’s character still doesn’t make any sense. Last time she just walked away as if it was over, and now it’s all good?
- Good thing the show addresses the fact the Deb started to lose herself when she asked Dex to kill Hannah last season.
- Figment-Harry’s obvious remarks are proving to be slightly more annoying than Vogel’s ‘psychopathic’ vocabulary. It’s more Robo-Harry now: “Dexter — you had to go through with plan A – - Not plan B – - and definitely not C – - Wrong.”
- Cassie, you had a thing for unavailable men and loved food…you will be missed.
7 / 10 Seriable Stars
Read more Dexter Afterthoughts here.