Well, I'd say we're heading to a very climactic series conclusion as Dexter's white-picket-fence dream life starts cracking and falling apart. The episode opens up at the conclusion of last week's episode, Make Your Own Kind Of Music. Oliver, who's really Dr. Vogel's psychopathic son Daniel, has just finished a hearty breakfast that she cooked for him. He's still very angry at his mother for locking him away after he killed his brother. He was a very jealous boy because his mom didn't pay enough attention to him, so offing his sibling seemed like a good idea just to make a point. He's also really pissed because Dexter Morgan received all the help and support that he felt was rightly his. Vogel seems genuinely sorry for her actions, but really, what was she supposed to do? Given him an extra scoop of ice cream if he didn't murder anyone else? She tells Oliver/Saxon/Daniel that she's sorry and wants to help him now by sending him to a really lovely looney bin, one with nicer drapes. He rejects that idea vociferously and screams at his mother that that will never happen.
He's fuming that she never even visited him. She sheepishly says she will make it up to him, but he storms out saying he wished he could believe her. At least he didn't cut the top of her head off and scoop out her brain stem. That's something, right? She's in a tormented state and all along I didn't see this coming. I figured her to be the orchestrator of many of the events of season eight and while she has been, it wasn't because of a conscious plan she had to screw with Dexter. I really feel sorry for her now.
Dexter brings Harrison over to Deb's house so he can see Hannah. He tells her that Deputy Marshall Clayton seems to be backing off his investigation, but he has her face plastered all over town. We cut to see Harrison playing on Deb's treadmill and Dexter tells him to get off because it's dangerous. That's an ominous sign if I ever saw one.
Dexter explains that since nobody is looking for a family of three, they can leave as a family and she'll be safe, but he still needs to kill Saxon because he feels like he needs to protect Dr. Vogel. Hannah makes an astute observation, sort of like one Dr. Vogel would make. She's never seen Dexter weigh options over a kill before.
He sighs with surprise too, but reiterates that Evelyn needs him to protect her because she's not thinking clearly. Dexter has changed before our eyes this season into something other than a compulsive killer.
Debra comes home and Dexter drops his bombshell on her.
Dexter: Harrison and I are leaving soon.
Deb: What do you mean you're leaving, you're leaving where?
Dexter: Leaving Miami with Hannah.
Deb: What are you talking about?
Dexter: We're moving to Argentina.
Deb: Are you kidding? Do you know how stupid that sounds? You act like this doesn't even affect me.
Dexter: I know it does.
She walks away in tears.
Jamie receives some mail and tells Quinn that she was accepted to an exclusive special needs school, but she isn't going because of their relationship. Not that she minds at all, but Quinn knows he's going to dump her for Debra and tells her that she shouldn't squash that great news so easily. Poor Jamie, it's just a matter of time now before he drops his bombshell on her.
Captain Matthews calls Vogel into the station and asks if she knows where Zach is because his parents are very worried for him, but she refuses to say anything about him and rushes off. Dexter sees her from his office and reminds her that she's in danger from her son, but she tells him that he needn't worry because she saw Saxon and he won't hurt her. She admits having breakfast with him. She's in crisis now and if I were Dexter, I wouldn't trust her anymore. A mother's love is a very serious thing to play with. Then Dexter asks a really smart question:
Dexter: And what is it that you can do for him?
She babbles on about trust and getting him back into a facility. She should know all too well terms like co-dependency and denial, but coming to terms with this in your own life is as hard for an expert in the field of mental health as anyone. Dexter asks her how many more people have to die, including her, before he gets her help? She begs him not to protect her anymore. "Please don't use me as an excuse for killing Daniel.". Just as he's talking to his alter-father, Batista walks into his office announcing there's another crime scene.
Debra tells Quinn that Dexter's leaving Miami and taking Harrison away for a year to travel, maybe never coming back and leaving her. Quinn for once actually serves up some good advice to Debra and tells her that she should think about what's best for Dexter. He explains that when he left New York it was the toughest thing he ever did, leaving friends and family behind, but it was the right thing for him in the end. She seems to listen and then tells him that she got her badge back, too.
Hannah makes an interesting point after Dexter tells her he has to kill Saxon because that's what he does. It's about their evil ways. She asks Dexter if when they get to Argentina, can they start fresh, meaning if they can both leave the killing behind? Can Dexter stop killing and try to live like a real person for an extended period of time with Hannah and Harrison or will his Dark Passenger take control again? So far it's been over five weeks (see episode: This Little Piggy) since he last killed someone, namely A.J. Yates, so something is definitely changing within him.
At the new crime scene Dexter tells Angel that he's going to leave for an extended period and Angel, while shocked, wishes him well. Dexter asks him to keep it quiet until he tells everyone the news.
Daniel/Saxon shows up at Vogel's house and says he wants to show her something. She's hesistant and he calms her by saying, "If I wanted you dead, I wouldn't be opening up this door." What a lovely son. He takes her to his kill room which includes the operating chair that we saw video footage of Yates committing a murder in-it's a replication of his old treatment room back when he was locked up. He has his mother sit in it and he describes what happened to him inside and the chair is a reminder. He then demands that she help him to exist in the world like she did for Dexter.
Daniel: I want you to show me how to exist free in the world just the way I am.
Vogel: As a killer? Daniel, I can't help you murder innocent people.
Daniel: If you care about me the way you say you do, you'll figure out a way to make this work. I want to be someone you can love.
Vogel: I want to be your mother again. I'll do whatever it takes.
She agrees to help him and call off Dexter who he knows is hunting him. He warns her not to choose Dexter over him like she did with her other (dead) son. Oh noes.
Dexter realizes that he can find Daniel without Evelyn's help so he finds her spare house key and reverses Daniel's spyware on her computer to try and find something on him. He doesn't find a location, but he something very disturbing: a video of Daniel/Oliver/Saxon cutting into Zach's skull with a surgical saw while he's alive and screaming.
At the station, Deputy Marshal Clayton comes to tell Batista that the trail has run cold on McKay but he overhears Angel making a call and putting in a hiring request for a new forensic tech and learns it's Dexter. To me, this signals the beginning of the end for the Cleavers.
Debra and Dexter finally have a nice heart-to-heart about his leaving with Harrison and she tells him that she's scared, her family is moving away.
Debra: You've always been there. I don't know what my life looks like without you.
Dexter: Maybe it looks better.
Debra: Really? Hanging out with two serial killers, does it get better with that?
Dexter: So you see my point.
She tells him that without him in her life, it feels like she's jumping off a cliff and he knows what she means, but clearly Quinn's advice to her took hold. She knows she can't be a detective if Dexter is still taking out the bad guys in Miami.
Evelyn shows up at Dexter's and suddenly thinks that he and Hannah could happy together after she's been issuing danger warnings to him about their relationship. She begs him to leave because she thinks there's hope for Daniel now, but Dexter shows her the Zach/skull video he found and she begins to crumble. Dexter tells her there's no hope for him and she appears to believe him after seeing that horrible snuff video so she agrees to set up her son for Dexter.
Deputy Marshal Max Clayton shows up at Debra's house while she's playing with Harrison outside and Hannah's inside making lunch. He tells her that he finds it odd that Dexter is leaving Miami as soon as Hannah was spotted in Miami. Deb trys to blow him off the trail, but Clayton tells her that men do crazy things for beautiful women. She assures him that Dexter is not in a relationship with her, just burnt out. Kenny Johnson is too big an actor to just show up for a few episodes and slip away. Dexter's happy family is in big jeopardy now and not from a serial killer, but from a Deputy Marshal. Debra comes inside and warns Hannah about Clayton and Hannah thanks her for hiding her - again.
Who knew I'd be so good at it?
Debra goes to see her boss Jacob Elway to give him her two week's notice, but he tells her that he knows she's leaving and to buzz off. Oh, and he's keeping Hannah McKay's files too. Looks like he'll be in on trying to take Hannah down with Clayton.
Harrison, get away from that treadmill! He's back on it and starts playing with the buttons that increase the speed as Hannah is telling him to get off. In a flash, he goes flying into a table, cutting open his chin which is bleeding profusely. She calls Dexter, gets a voice mail so she leaves the safe confines of Deb's house and brings him to the hospital where she tells the intake administrator that she's his mother. Hannah sees the administrator is checking her out and Hannah's intuition kicks in, but she still takes Harrison to see the doctor.
Dexter sets up his kill room, blades lined up, pictures of his target's victims hanging; just like the good old days. He tells his alter-father that he feels like he's come a long way, baby, and feels like a different person. I'd have to agree with Dexter on this one.
Unfortunately, the hospital attendant calls Marshal Clayton because she recognized Hannah and tells him that she was there with her child, Harrison Morgan.
While Hannah is telling Deter what happened to Harrison, Dr Vogel calls him and says that Daniel is coming to her place which makes Dexter freak because it's not safe there for her. While she's serving tea, Daniel immediately suspects she's hiding something from him.
As Dexter pulls up to her house, Daniel calls him on the cell phone and simultaneously opens the curtains to her house, showing Dexter that he has Vogel. Dexter knows what's coming.
Dexter: Don't touch her.
Daniel: Mother chose the wrong son again.
And Dexter watches as he cuts her throat with a huge knife. Dexter crashes into her house and cradles Evelyn in his arms, crying as her life passes away.
Dexter watches his second mother die, covered in blood, butchered like a piece of meat just like before. There is no witty voice over from Dexter, just agony.
Throughout the episode, Dexter was afraid for Vogel's life because he knew what her son was and in the end he couldn't save her. Will this undo all the changes that he's made and rip him apart? He still has Hannah, but as Clayton now begins to close in on her, what will happen to him if she's caught?
A total blood bath maybe?
* It's weird to see Joey Quinn acting like a mature adult these days. Is he going to 12-step meetings?
* Quinn finally breaks up with Jamie and later tells Deb that he still has feelings for her. Seeing Dexter being with Hannah, she admits the same and lays a liplock on him.
* Debra goes up to the department to ask for her job back, again, and when she passes Jamie, Jamie tells her to go fu*k herself.
* I had this weird idea that Daniel and Vince's daughter Niki were a couple after she showed up at the crime scene high on pot. I know it's nice for Vince to connect with her, but there's something I'm missing with her.