Dexter S8 Ep05 – This Little Piggy

Dexter and Debra looking for Yates

The family that slays together stays together! After last week’s little slip up in Dexter and Debra’s relationship—you know, the whole attempted murder-suicide thing—Vogel tried to offer some therapy to heal the new rift in their relationship. Of course, Dexter was still ticked off at Vogel for writing about him. So there was tension in every corner of this core relationship between the three of them. But it still somehow ended on a good note in possibly the weirdest, most disturbing, yet tenderhearted scene at the end. This episode resolved two of the major conflicts of the season in one fell swoop, and it left me wondering where the heck the rest of the show is going to go. We’re five episodes in, just under halfway, and now they have to introduce something new to drive the plot for the rest of the season. I’m not sure how to feel about that, but if this Brain Surgeon thing has just been a distraction, then I’m gonna need to have some words with the writers.

Dexter staring like a serial killer does featuring the corner of Batista's head

You can’t blame Deb. Who could possibly live without this perfectly normal and not at all evil glare in their life?

After trying to kill herself and Dexter, Debra had the realization that she didn’t want to live without him. Deter was not quite ready to forgive her, though, so after four episodes of Debra wanting nothing to do with Dexter, we got the opposite in this one. But it didn’t last long, because they had to work together to save Vogel from Yates, the Brain Surgeon. Then Dexter killed Yates, and Dex, Deb, and Vogel took a nice trip out on Dexter’s boat to dump Yates’s body out at sea. There out on the water Dexter admitted that it felt nice being there with family. So I assume that Dexter and Debra are OK now and the dreaded Brain Surgeon is dead.

The two main plotlines/conflicts of this season have been resolved before the halfway point. I’m glad that Dexter and Debra are on better terms, because I did not want an entire season of Deb trying to hit rock bottom by doing increasingly terrible things, but them killing off the Brain Surgeon this soon makes me feel a bit cheated. I always love the big mystery of the season. Even when you already know who the Big Bad is, like the Trinity Killer, there’s still always more to it. But I’d had a feeling that things were moving along too quickly for this plotline to be sustained for twelve episodes, and it looks like I was right. So what now? They just solved the two biggest problems, the two driving forces of the season (something I cannot emphasize enough), which means that they have to come up with something else.

Vogel comforting Yates

This is more creepy than comforting, you know.

I don’t mind when they throw us curve-balls, but this late in the game it feels like anything new will not have enough time to be developed properly. But judging by the previews for next week, the real Big Bad wasn’t Yates at all. At least I hope not. It looks like Vogel wants to teach the Code to someone else, and Dexter is not having that. So, what if this whole Brain Surgeon thing has been a distraction, a red herring, and Vogel is the villain of the season? She wants to create more serial killers like Dexter and Dexter is going to have to stop her. That’s the only way I can see them salvaging this.

Also, during Vogel’s captivity at the hands of Yates, we learned more about her than him. Like how she uses people’s weaknesses against them, such as abusing Yates just as his mother had abused him so that Vogel could get out of being tortured. I had thought that Vogel was too obvious to be the villain, but that was back when I had assumed the Brain Surgeon was going to be the main focus of the entire season. Then we discovered the Brain Surgeon was someone else and so there went that idea, but Vogel and the way she insinuated her way into both Dexter’s and Debra’s lives has still been a big focus of the season, more so in some ways than the Brain Surgeon has been. So if she becomes the true villain of the season, then I think that will make up for any feeling I have at the moment of being cheated with such a quick resolution of the Brain Surgeon storyline. It will be interesting to see where things go now, and I’m especially looking forward to seeing how Dexter and Debra will navigate their relationship with all that has happened.

Quinn and Matthews staring at something

Quinn and Matthews are on the Shady Patrol

In other developments, a few new recent elements have been touched upon again in this episode, giving us some new subplots to help fill out the rest of the season:

  • One: Masuka’s daughter is in fact really his daughter. But why is she here? Masuka hired Deb to do a background check because Quinn made him distrust her. Thanks, Quinn! Now, how is all this going to come back to bite Masuka in the butt?
  • Two: Quinn and the Sergeant Promotion Saga continues, with Miller being thrown more fully into the fray. She approached Batista about how she used to run briefings back in her old job, and she thinks she has what it takes to be sergeant. I think we’re supposed to be rooting for Quinn here, but Miller seems far more competent and trustworthy. I honestly think making him sergeant would be a bad idea. We don’t know much about Miller, but she has got to be better than what we do know about Quinn.
  • Three: Dexter’s neighbor Cassie made another appearance when Jamie tried to set up a double date at Dexter’s house. Dexter, of course, had to run off and take care of serial-killer-related things, and Cassie did him a solid by making excuses to Jamie about how she had to leave early. Dexter and Cassie rescheduled for another time. Cassie seems nice. RUN AWAY, CASSIE. RUN FAR, FAR AWAY.

This episode was kind of all over the place, introducing new potential plotlines (like the Hamilton family, which has the creepiest kid ever). Plus there was lots of resolving of other plotlines and continuing recent plotlines, and basically it felt almost overcrowded. A lot happened, possibly too much. But I’m hoping that the show will find its footing in the next episode, which marks the halfway point of the season. They better, because there isn’t much left to go.

Speaking of next week, Vogel has a new pet and Elway just might actually become interesting.

Zach Hamilton with camera