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Dexter: “Are We There Yet?” Review

Posted on August 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm by Jeff Mueller

Dexter Season 8

Eight episodes down, four to go!

We are essentially down to the final act if we want to put things in theater terms. This is where all the loose ends need to be wrapped up, all the conflicts resolved and the endings for each of the main characters presented for us; maybe I have been too harsh on the past couple of episodes because the way tonight played out left me, once again, conflicted on how things are playing out. This is either going to end up being brilliant or a real let-down (I doubt there will be a middle-ground) and I still can’t figure out which it is going to be!

This is now the second time this season where the last 2-3 minutes have been such an “Oh sh*t!” moment that I have not only been left wide-eyed and in shock but also stuck having to scrap and re-write my entire review.

See, the way I write these reviews is that I take notes as the show goes on, noting certain scenes that stand out, plot-twists or reveals and quotes that strike a chord. Tonight, I had written a few paragraphs about how this was another episode that really didn’t move the plot along at anything faster than a snail’s pace and I had noted a few things that were presented as “obvious directions” the plot was going to go that got crumpled up and tossed right in the proverbial trash-can.

So where does this leave us? What actually happened this episode? Honestly, I am not exactly sure… We started off the episode knowing three things:

  • Zach killed Cassie and Dexter was going to exact revenge.
  • Deb wanted Hannah gone and was going to track her down and score a big payday for it with Elway.
  • Dexter had come to the realization that, no matter what, he was not going to be able to get Hannah off his mind. He loves her.

By the end of the episode only one of those things was true, and I think at least that part of the show’s end-game is now auto-pilot. Dexter will somehow end up with Hannah, be it in some sort of twisted fairy-tale ending or in a tragic Bonnie and Clyde kind of way. I also want to note, that the brief lunch scene on the beach between Dexter and Hannah is one of those classic moments, the normalcy amongst the macabre, that reminds us of how good this show can really be when it let’s itself. Other than that though, everything is up in the air!

“I would give everything to feel nothing again” – Dexter

So where do we start with the rest of this tangled mess? Do we address the constant overly obvious attempts at casting Vogel as the “Brain Surgeon”? We have talked about it before, but if she ends up being the master-mind killer I am going to throw my remote through my T.V. because there are soooo many things that point to her inability to actually be this particular serial killer. This doesn’t mean that I believe her motives are pure, not by any stretch, and while I was concerned when Dexter asked her to drive Zach home I definitely didn’t expect things to turn out like they did. I am convinced there is going to be a serious “ah-ha” moment coming when the killer is finally revealed but damned if I know who it is going to be or how it all ties together. All I know is that the staging of this last crime-scene is really weird.

In the time it took Dexter to knock some boots with Hannah the “Brain Surgeon” intercepted Zach at his home after Vogel dropped him off, killed him, transported him to Dexter’s apartment, broke in, conducted brain surgery on him and left that song playing on the iPod. How does this guy know where Dexter lives? Why would he leave a song playing for him that we only heard a few episodes back in the privacy of Vogel’s home? I am almost willing to bet it will be a new character we have yet to meet. Perhaps whoever it is that she seemed to remember when Hannah asked her about her initial fascination for her field of study? Whoever it ends up to be, it is all very confusing at this point!

Speaking of Zach, who I hated with an unbridled passion when he was introduced, the writer’s did a decent job of making him likeable right before yanking the carpet out from under him. Once we find out he didn’t kill Cassie, in the first “twist” of the episode, and that he looked up to and respected Dexter and the code. Add to that the humor he brought to the episode and I was actually bummed they offed him. I will say this though, I am glad Dexter didn’t kill him. This way his death can have a meaning and his inclusion in the story will feel like something more than a mid-season distraction.
Dexter - Are We There Yet

“I forget the impact murder has on real people.” – Dexter

Speaking of death, I found that moment where Jamie is just standing there staring into Cassie’s apartment to be, in addition to one of the few times I actually gave a crap about her character, a rare real moment. While it was pretty convenient that she took Harrison to Quinn’s (really?) her reaction to her friend’s murder anchored what can be a pretty unrealistic show.

Getting back to that whole Cassie murder thing that we were all convinced was perpetrated by the newly deceased though… what the hell?!? Someone went to a lot of effort to do it; not only is the who a burning question but so is the why? I guess this will end up being one of the final mysteries solved, but it really has left me scratching me head.

Getting back to what we do know, Deb seems to have turned a corner and been able to compartmentalize things enough to stop being full on psychotic, which is nice. I was a little concerned when she confronted Hannah in that motel room but the way it turned out worked really well I thought. I think she has come to the realization that if she can turn a blind eye to her brother’s murderous ways than she really can’t be judgmental of any other killers either (especially since she now falls into that category herself.) I think it is that realization that is prompting her to want to go back to police-work; to feel as if she is actually doing good in this world.

The one final thought I was left with tonight, is that it very  much seemed as though they are pushing a “only beauty can tame the savage beast” angle and I really hope that isn’t the case. No matter how much Dexter loves Hannah, I don’t see that as being the fuel he needs to be able to purge himself of his urge to kill. If Harrison, his own flesh and blood, wasn’t enough of a reason I can’t believe Hannah could be. That would be ridiculous if you ask me.

My Score: B+

So let us know what you thought! Does Quinn confiding in Dexter send anyone else into a fit of continuity-rage?!? Is Deb going to really rejoin Miami Metro? Who will Deb end up with, Quinn or Elway? Will Hannah escape the wheels that Deb unknowingly set in motion? What is going to happen to Harrison? With us entering into the last third of the season, what’s your theory on how this is going to end?!?! Get to commenting below!

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

Dexter: Season 8, Episode 8 “Are We There Yet?” aired August 18, 2013 on Showtime.

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