After last week’s breakdown, Dexter (Michael C. Hall) enlists Dr. Vogel (Charlotte Rampling) to fix Deborah (Jennifer Carpenter) before it’s too late. The question is whether she’s already too far gone?
Let’s bitch it out…If there was ever a better title for an episode, I’m not sure what it would be. ‘Scar Tissue’ is exactly what we’re dealing with in an episode that digs into the psychological wounds that continue to afflict Deborah. Following last week’s near confessional meltdown at Miami Metro, she’s been pulled back from the edge of self-destruction, but there are new bombshells to disrupt the uneasy peace.
Yes folks, I’m talking about that shocking moment (that I probably should have seen coming a mile away) when Deborah attempts to kill both herself and Dexter. It’s very strategic plotting by the Dexter writers considering Deb spends the majority of the episode seemingly on the mend – both with the help of Vogel’s “unconventional” methods, as well as in opposition to them. We should have known that Vogel’s ominous warning to Dexter that Deb may not have hit rock bottom yet would come to pass.
In Deb’s defense though, Vogel says this knowing full well that she’s lying to the fractured Morgan. Vogel’s never really been the “up front” kind of person (she is the psychopath whisperer, folks!), so it’s not exactly a surprise that she’s been strategically hiding evidence that fails to corroborate her claims about Harry’s (James Remar) support for the Code.
Deb’s murderous attempt can be anticipated in two key scenes. The first is when she appears to be on the upswing and partakes in a casual dinner with new boss Elway (Sean Patrick Flannery). In between what appears to be mediocre salad and unopened beer (!), both confess the love/hate relationship that they had with their respective fathers. Deb is clearly still in awe of her father, though even she seems a little surprised when she admits that she’s more like Harry than she knew. That’s nearly acceptance: if Harry overcame his doubts about his son, then certainly she can. After all, Vogel has already subconsciously implanted the belief that Deb will always “choose” Dexter because she must play the role of “the loving sister.”
Of course it’s never that easy and with a minimum of digging, Deb uncovers the whole sordid truth: Harry rescinded his belief in the Code, and even feared what his son has become shortly before his death. Although there are other telling factors that suggest that Deb has already made up her mind of what comes next, when Dexter confesses that Harry believed he was a monster and it drove their father to suicide, it’s the revelation that pushes her off the bridge (both literally and metaphorically). The result is a murder/suicide attempt.
And yet, just as Vogel foreshadowed, Deb ultimately does choose Dexter, rescuing him in the episode’s least surprising moment (it’s not really a show called Dexter without the Dexter). Still, the image of the water as the car sinks below the surface, followed by those moments of still silence before the pair emerge, is pretty powerful.
- In case you doubt when Deb decided to take the plunge, consider her conversation with Quinn (Desmond Harrington) which has all the hallmarks of a goodbye. “I just want you to be happy”? A hug? A kiss? Either they just broke up all over again or Deb is non-verbally telling Quinn she’s three minutes away from a swan dive
- Clearly Jennifer Carpenter is the best thing about this episode, but in general the Vogel interactions with both Morgan siblings continues to dazzle. Rampling is bringing out both Carpenter and Hall’s “A” game, which isn’t surprising since the entire purpose of the character is to walk around alternately manipulating or psychoanalyzing others
- This week we learn that Vogel is keeping a file on Dexter that bears a suspicious resemblance to a new book, which understandably makes Dex testy. Even before this, however, it’s pretty clear that Dex has made up his mind that Vogel doesn’t truly understand the nature of his relationship with his sister (we’ve long known that he’s unconventional – it’s why he’s America’s serial killer). The contrast between Dex and the Brain Surgeon, Yates (Aaron McCusker), makes it pretty clear that Dex is not in the same psychopath wheelhouse. Using your dad as a prop to make a getaway? That’s cold!
- Matthews (Geoff Pierson) wants Angel (David Zayas) to make Miller (Dana L. Wilson) Sergeant instead of Quinn and oh crap, who cares?
- Masuka (C.S. Lee) has a daughter. See previous point
- Finally, new neighbour Cassie (Bethany Joy Lenz) shows up to borrow some laundry detergent (is that the 21st century version of a cup of sugar?) Obviously she’s being introduced as a sexual partner for Dex…which means she’ll probably get mysteriously poisoned the moment Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski) returns
- Vogel (after Deb explodes): “Are you upset?”
- Quinn (learning her passed the Sergeant’s exam): “I’ve never been this happy to get back a positive test before” Woh woh
- Dex (telling Vogel she’s out of his life after finding her journal): “You understand? Or do you need to write it down?”
Over to you readers: is Carpenter killing it for you this season? What’s Vogel’s ultimate agenda? Is Yates a worthy foe for Dexter? How much time/effort should we put into the latest case involving the young woman murdered in her home? Thoughts on Masuka’s daughter? Ugh…
Dexter airs Sundays at 9pm EST on Showtime