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Dexter: “A Beautiful Day” Review

Posted on June 30, 2013 at 8:34 pm by Jeff Mueller

Dexter Season 8

Alright boys and girls, this is the beginning of the end for our beloved serial killer.

Before the show began I thought about the mixed feelings I was having towards this being the last season. As much as I would like for it to continue onwards, I get that it is time to close the curtains on the world of Miami Metro. I have loved Dexter, through it’s many highs and occasional lows, but I accept the fact that no truly great shows linger and wither on the vine; they all know when to exit and attempt to do it with a bang. As a fan of this show I like to believe it really is a great show, and so I accept that something I love will be taken from me on September 22nd, but I fully intend to enjoy the ride.

So what has happened since the shocking Season 7 finale? Oddly, seemingly quite a bit and almost nothing at all! It seems 6 months have passed since La Guerta’s death and in that time Dexter has returned to a normal life of work and trying to raise Harrison, while Deborah has AWOL leaving Dexter completely clueless as to her whereabouts.

The last two seasons created such a twisted, dysfunctional and broken situation, for both Dexter and Deb. No matter what other plot-line and story trappings get thrown into the mix the real question that needs to be answered in the next 11 episodes is if it will ever be possible for Dexter to break free of his psychopathic behavior and live a “normal” life and will Deb ever be able to come back from her decision to save him. I don’t see how this can get wrapped up in a neat little bow, to the real question is what kind of horrible will the ending consist of and who gets to ride off into the sunset with the least amount of emotional scars?

“People are crazy.” – Dexter Morgan

It didn’t take long to check back in with Deb, who has assumed a role in the private sector doing private investigator/bail bonds work, and it took even less time once she was on screen for me to remember how Jennifer Carpenter’s portrayal of Dexter’s sister blows me away. She plays broken better than anyone on TV right now and she deserves mad awards and recognition as far as I am concerned. She has almost eclipsed Michael C Hall as the anchor of the show, and even the writers seem to acknowledge in the dialogues between them that roles have in some ways reversed. I foresee her spiraling out of control even further as the season marches on, I just hope she doesn’t become collateral damage in Dexter’s wake; it might still be possible to come back from the immense amount of psychological trauma she has been put through over the years but anything more heaped on her is sure to break her forever.

Dexter- A Beautiful Day

“I shot the wrong person in that trailer.” – Deborah Morgan

While I love the layers and textures they have given to Deb, I have to say that I rolled my eyes when not 2 minutes after Angel Bautista occupies the screen we come to learn that he has abandoned his dreams of retiring (having sold his restaurant I guess?)  and is right back in the thick of things with the rest of the Miami Metro team. I have simply accepted the fact that both he and Quinn will never get any sort of proper service from the writers; and while I understand that this is a problem with shows with such a large cast usually these side characters are kept far enough from the spotlight that it isn’t a problem. The writers have continually taunted and teased viewers with significant back-stories and developments for Bautista and Quinn only to inevitable either drop them cold with zero explanation, or by dismissing what should have been a huge deal (like opening a restaurant to retire using your corrupt cops hush money as a down payment and then abandoning it to return to police-work) with not even two sentences of dialogue. This has always been one of the show’s biggest short-comings and it doesn’t look like they are going to fix that aspect here in the last act unfortunately.

While the obvious plot is going to revolve around Dex and Deb, of course there has to be more murder and villainy in Florida to occupy Dexter’s time as well (Who the hell wants to live in Miami with that many people getting killed on a daily basis? Miami makes Detroit look like Disneyland!) There is definitely no backing away from the shock factor viewers of the show are used to, with skull cavities and brains on full display. Victim found with skull sawed in half? Yuck. Scene in the morgue? Double yuck!

Anyway, when new character Evelyn Vogel is introduced I immediately got flashbacks to Season 2 when Frank Lundy showed up on the scene; luckily it seems that this will not be a rehash and there is a definite new direction being taken. As the show has such a well-established past of red herrings, I wasn’t going to guess as to how important a role she was going to play or how things were going to turn out; then the final scene erased any and all speculation as to where this is going. Oh crap!

My Score: A-

So let us know what you thought! Are you ready for this show to get shrink-wrapped? What is Vogel going to do with her knowledge of Dexter’s dark side? Are you as happy as I am that Harrison finally talks? How absolutely perfect was Deb’s password? How do you think this season, and the show, is ultimately going to end?!? Get to commenting below!

Make sure to follow @themightyjerd on Twitter for more blood spatter analysis!

Dexter: Season 8, Episode 1 “A Beautiful Day” aired June 30, 2013 on Showtime.

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