Dexter S8 Ep01 – A Beautiful Day

Dexter confronting Dr. Vogel

Masuka staring through glass covered in fake blood

Amid the drama and murder, there will always be Masuka to giggle at “insert.”

Dexter is back! And this is his final season. So what’s in store for the lovable serial killer? Looks like more drama, along with a new character linked to his past that he’s not sure he can trust. This first episode set up a lot for the rest of the season, so it might feel like it was relatively thin itself on actual plot, but that’s because this is just the beginning. It’s an important domino tipping over, sure to lead to the end of the season, the show, and Dexter’s existence on our televisions (and perhaps his existence in general, because who knows if he’s going to get out of this alive). As the first episode, it is largely just the stepping stone for the rest of the season, but that’s not to say it wasn’t a good episode on its own. It was intriguing, exciting, and it gave us plenty to chew on until the next one.

Most of the episode was spent grounding us in where the characters are now, six months after LaGuerta’s death. Character was the heart of this episode, which I think hints at events to come. Dexter’s fate may ultimately be decided upon by one of the people he has chosen to surround himself with, and what sort of person he or she is will determine which way things go for him. The suspense is already in full swing, and this episode was a good lead in to what’s to come. Filled with drama, new twists, and even some of Dexter‘s usual brand of humor (Debra’s password? Classic!), I liked this episode and the direction it’s started the season off with.

Most of the focus was on Dexter and Debra, particularly on how they have grown apart after the events of last season and how hard it has hit Debra. But there are some other interesting developments that I want to cover first. I want to start with Angel Batista, who had been considering retirement last season, but has now renewed his dedication to police work in the wake of LaGuerta’s death. In fact, he’s the lieutenant now that Debra has left for a private firm (more on her in a minute). Batista, of course, was briefly married to LaGuerta, who died while trying to prove that Dexter was the Bay Harbor Butcher. But Batista doesn’t seem to hold any sort of grudge against Dexter. He doesn’t seem interested at all in following through on LaGuerta’s final mission. It would be interesting to see how he would react to discovering Dexter’s secret identity, especially since he’s always seen the best in Dexter. That could be an interesting angle I hope they explore, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Dexter, Miller, Quinn, Masuka, and Batista staring at LaGuerta's memorial

A bench In Memoriam of LaGuerta: May your butt-prints honor her.

Then there’s Quinn, who is now dating Batista’s sister, Jamie. This is probably not going to end well for anyone, and I’m wondering how it will play into the greater story arc of Dexter’s ultimate fate. Jamie is Dexter’s babysitter, but she took a night off to see Quinn, which left Dexter to bring Harrison along on a dangerous trip to find Debra. Is Jamie’s new love life going to interfere in Dexter’s schemes? And how is Batista going to take it when he finds out? He’s always been protective of Jamie, but he’s also friends with Quinn. They’ve forged an interesting relationship and Batista may consider this a betrayal of trust.

Quinn, to be perfectly honest, is a character of whom I have long been wary. He started off as a crooked cop that we couldn’t trust, but then he became a lovable cop who may or may not still be crooked and we may or may not still be able to trust. He’s made some interesting gains in terms of character development and become quite a fascinating character, but he’s also a bit of a wild card. He suspected Dexter before too, so will he have a hand in what happens in the end? At the very least I hope his relationship with Jamie will have a bigger purpose than just to stir things up, because one of the few things that I’ve ever criticized this show for is its tendency to throw characters together into relationships just to amp up the drama, like a soap opera. I’m hoping that this is more than just that and that it ultimately serves a greater purpose. Will it affect Dexter in the end? I don’t know, but I’m willing to see where it goes.

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