Although the title suggests that something is bothering Dexter (Michael C Hall), it’s more appropriate to suggest that Deborah (Jennifer Carpenter) is the one headed off the deep end. And wait…is Quinn (Desmond Harrington) suddenly an integral character on the show???
Let’s bitch it out…Another week, another shame spiral for Deb. Just when you thought she couldn’t go any further, Deb finds a new low to hit! If she wasn’t trying to self-destruct her dedication might almost be worth applauding. Instead it’s just painful. The DUI that opens the episode is chillingly book-ended by her tearful confession at the end – the first hinting at the second with a pause for a few smiles and a nice dinner in the middle to throw us off. I’ll confess that I fully expected Deb would eventually hit bottom, but I never expected her to do it so early in the season. It’s genuinely startling when she croaks “I killed LaGuerta” onto Quinn’s shoulder, nearly akin to the shock of seeing her turn up in the church in the season finale of S6.
What’s interesting is that all of the sudden Quinn is a key player again. After being saddled for year with bad storylines, the former boyfriend is integral to the A-storyline as he becomes unknowingly complicit in covering up Dexter’s crimes. It’s quite the turn-around for a character I desperately want to run away with a stripper last season just so that we never had to deal with him again. This is the kind of development that suggests that things could come together and the other minor characters in Miami Metro may still have useful roles to play before we hit series’ end.
So let’s talk about this fractured brother/sister relationship, especially now that Deborah has come so close to sinking them both. I’m sure we’re meant to worry about the steely-eyed look on Dexter’s face when he and Vogel (Charlotte Rampling) deposit a sedated Deb back at her apartment, but I don’t buy it. Dexter may have accepted that he’s at his best when he’s being a psychopath (as Vogel suggests in her creepy purr), but I don’t believe for a second that he would ever hurt Deb.
Vogel, on the other hand? All bets are off. Although the psychopath whisperer is cleared of suspicion that she is the Brain Surgeon this week (unless she’s sending texts to herself), I still don’t trust her as far as I can throw her. There’s a Hannah-esque (Yvonne Strahovski) vibe about her that makes it clear she’s plotting something. I wouldn’t be surprised if Vogel announces that the only way for Dexter to keep calm and carry on is to eliminate Deb.
Of course, that may just be my general impression because everything in ‘What’s Eating Dexter Morgan?’ is reinforcing that Deb is nearing her expiration point. Between Vogel’s dialogue about Dexter’s lack of genuine affection for his sister and Deb’s own questionable actions, the implicit message that the writers want us to walk away with is: Deb can’t be trusted! She’s a loose cannon! She’s told Quinn! Who will she tell next?!
Watch your back, Deb. You’re in big trouble now
- If everything about Vogel, Deb, Dex and – to a certain extent – Quinn are satisfying, the B-story conflicts remain a woeful distraction. Are we invested in whether or not Quinn passes the Sergeant’s exam and redeems Angel (David Zayas) in the eyes of Matthews (Geoff Pierson)? Nope. Do we care if Quinn and Jamie (Aimee Garcia) break-up? Definitely not. The way that Quinn has been incorporated into Deb’s storyline works because we care about these characters. Everything outside of the central sphere remains maddeningly unsuccessful
- The opening scene when Dexter discovers Harrison in a puddle of blood-like Yum Yum Popsicle juice is cheeky. It’s an obvious red herring, but did anyone else flash back to Rita (Julie Benz) and the bathtub at the end of S4? Should we consider that some eerie foreshadowing or just another symbol of the impact Dexter has on the lives of those around him?
- I’ve always found the voice-overs a little too Grey’s Anatomy for my liking, but holy cow is it grating when Dexter investigates the home of cannibal Ron Galuzzo (Andrew Elvis Miller). As though we didn’t figure out that the guy is eating people the moment we see a) the meat grinder on the counter or b) the finger in the stew. Do we really need Michael C Hall to spell it out for us that this guy isn’t the Brain Surgeon and that he likes to eat his victims? We’re not idiots!
- Finally, Elway (Sean Patrick Flannery) continues to display unusual behaviour. Perhaps it’s simply that TV has turned us into suspicious viewers, but each time Elway hands Deb an electrolyte shake, my Spidey senses (and many other commenters) go off like crazy. Plus no one likes pastel colours that much, even in Miami where Art Deco is so popular
- Vogel (discussing an old case that could very well be about now): “It’s rare that someone can convince me they’re lying.”
- Matthews (refusing to consider Quinn for Sergeant): “He’s irresponsible, unpredictable, not to mention unintelligible.” Snark
- Vogel (after Dex needles Deb): “That was interesting” Her delight in his method is pretty hilarious
We’re now 1/4 of the way through this final season. How are things shaping up for you? Are you shocked that Deb confessed? Do you think Vogel’s intentions are pure? (Bear in mind we’re not discussing next week’s preview) What about Elway – what’s his story? And do you want Quinn to remain within the core storyline? Drop your comments below
Dexter airs Sundays at 9pm EST on Showtime