A Beautiful Day: Dexter Season 8 Episode 1

[Show spoilers ahead]

LaGuerta is dead. The last person who had stumbled in on Dexter’s secret with vengeance in heart is out of his way. Dexter has very happily returned to his old life: bowling, coaching his son’s team and working as a blood splatter analyzer at Miami Metro. Life as he knew it is beautiful once again.

On the other hand, Debra doesn’t seem to be doing quite so well. Having quit her job, she’s now swimming in an abyss- taking small cases that involve tracing drug dealers. And to get through it all, she is indulging in the psychedelic world of drugs herself. Combining recklessness with small comforts, fusing a self-destructive path with narrow means to cruise through life, Debra is doing everything she can to live constantly in a pure, raw hell- something she believes she deserves for murdering LaGuerta when she should have murdered Dexter.

‘I shot the wrong person in that trailer’, she tells him when he finally does confront her. ‘I’m not the one who’s lost; you are’.

Because she is living where she thinks she deserves to live but Dexter is cruising through life as though its a breeze.

But underneath all of that, Dexter is starting to feel stranded without Debra. Most of this episode revolved around Dexter trying to reach out to her, to get her to see that she didn’t belong in the place where she was while she spurns all his efforts.

It is only when Dexter finds himself standing in the middle of a bad neighbourhood, holding his son Harrison in his arms while his hand, hidden from Harrison’s view, is covered with the blood of someone he just murdered in his attempt to ‘save Debra’, does he realize that he’s the one who’s lost. And he is making Harrison follow him as well.

As the new season threw story arcs into the air with little preamble (this is surely a season for die-hard Dexter fans), the things I found most interesting were: the new murderer on the block and the new neuroscientist (who specializes in psycopaths and serial killers, as it were), Dr. Evelyn Vogel. Why Dr. Vogel has suddenly offered herself for this particular case, providing free consultancy, is not clear at first. That is until she grills Dexter on the Bay Harbor Butcher (Dexter is all like, ‘Will you let that go already??’).

In the closing scene of the episode, she seeks Dexter out and leaves him with a package. He unwraps it to see some of his dark childhood drawings depicting murders, blood, loneliness. In that second alone, Dexter gets why she’s there.

He runs after her and confronts her.

‘What is it you want?’, he says grabbing hold of her arm and pinning her against a wall.

‘Dexter please, let go’, she says a little uncomfortable but clearly still totally in control. ‘You cannot kill me’, she mouths with confidence.

‘Why?’ he simply asks.

‘Because I don’t fit Harry’s code.’ she replies and walks away from him

This season is going to be about Dexter’s slow downward spiral and unfortunately, I don’t feel much sympathy for him. Uptil last season, I did but ever since he decided that murdering LaGuerta was a good option, I’ve kind of lost that angle for Dexter. So Dr. Vogel shouldn’t be so confident and complacent; Dexter meant to kill LaGuerta even though she most certainely did not fit his code. All she was trying to do was prove that Dexter was the Bay Harbor Butcher (which he was) and that was her job. I don’t want to see Harrison being put through the emotional journey that is bound to emerge here though. Because that is what is going to make something different out of his son; Harrison is big enough this season to see and understand and feel; he has a growing conscience and everything his father does is going to register somewhere in his tiny head.

Adding a photo with Rita in it seemed like a good idea to me right now.

Other comments: Debra has had a makeover and has gotten  thinner as well, Angel is unable to cope with LaGuerta’s death, Quinn is now dating Angel’s younger sister (in secret, like he always does) and Yvonne is yet to make an appearance

Until next week.

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