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We're in the home stretch of Dexter's eight year run and the last episode (Goodbye Miami) ended with Dr Vogel getting her throat cut by her Brain Surgeon Killer son, Daniel. She died in Dexter's arms, covered in blood much like his real mother. This episode starts moments later with Dexter blaming himself for her death because he's been straddling two worlds. The first is his Dark Passenger side and the second is his relationship with Hannah. So Dexter begins by erasing all evidence that points to him from Vogel's life because he has to call in the murder to his squad at Metro. Angel and Quinn quiz him about the murder and the crime scene and after a while they let him go home where he tells Debra the truth about Vogel's murder. She's also upset because without Vogel helping them, she and Dexter wouldn't have found their way back together.
Hannah brings Harrison into the room and she hands Dexter their new travel itinerary of escape which starts in two days. Dexter has underestimated Daniel all season and he's doing it again.
Dex is also tying up loose ends of his personal life before he moves by selling off his property. And look who shows up to sell his condo? It's Sylvia Prado, the wife of the now late ADA Miguel Prado, from season three. She excited because she says six people are coming by to check out his place for purchase. Is one of them Daniel Saxon?
Back at Metro, Vince tells Dexter that Vogel's house is clean of evidence while he's looking for old places that Saxon inspected for his job which might give him a clue about his location. Finally, he finds a prime candidate: an old hospital that has been condemned by Saxon. Niki walks in and tells him that Quinn has him in the interrogation room. Of all people, Saxon is sitting there answering Quinn's questions about Cassie's murder since he put out an alert looking for him. Dexter takes a DNA sample from him as per Quinn's request and then Quinn lets him leave.
Debra comes back to Metro and Dexter fills her in about Saxon's stop into Metro and is giddy with joy because now having a DNA sample, he can tie him into his old life of being Daniel Vogel, the psychopathic murderous son of the now deceased Elizabeth Vogel. Debra loves the idea, but is also perplexed by Dexter's behavior.
Debra: Why are you helping us get Saxon? Don't you want him for yourself?
Dexter: I just want him taken care of.
Debra: Well that's new coming from you.
Before Hannah and Vogel, Dexter's bloodlust would have forced him to kill Daniel in his murder room regardless of Debra's wishes or anything else in the world, but the times, they are a-changin'.
Dexter goes to check out the condemned hospital and it's spookier than a Vincent Price House of Horrors. He immediately finds Daniel's torture chair and kill room where he saw Zach murdered. Dexter is having a familiar conversation with his alter-father and a new feeling creeps into his psyche: anticipation. He has so much anxiety about it that he can't wait two days to kill Daniel---he needs him dead now. That's not good coming from Dexter, who's always been meticulous about his kills That's why he's made it this far.
Debra: That doesn't sound like the old Dexter.
Dexter: Maybe I'm not like the old Dexter.
Dexter had been in a long disagreement with Doctor Vogel about this. She didn't believe he could really turn away from his impulse to kill or have any real feeling towards people, especially Hannah. However, sloppiness has never been one of his defects of character. In his search Dexter finds Saxon's computer and on it are videos of all his gruesome kills which gives Dexter an idea.
Deputy Marshall Do Right shows up at Debra's desk at the station and wants to know who the blonde lady was that used her name to take Harrison to the emergency room? Debra says it was her and and nobody else, the receptionist must have been wrong about the hair. Cooper says he believes her, but you and I know different. He's sizing up the situation and will pounce when the time is wrong for the Morgans.
There's not too many people attending Dr Vogel's funeral, but afterwards at Angel's restaurant, they have a wake and everyone finds out about Dexter leaving Miami Metro. Captain Matthews tells Dexter that the both of them (Debra too) have been like family to him and if Dexter ever wants to come back to the police force, he's got the job. Quinn then basically asks Dexter for his permission to resume seeing Debra again and now since Dexter has changed he's very okay with the pair hooking up. Remember how much he hated Quinn? Dexter then gets a call from Sylvia, who says she has a new buyer that wants to meet the seller and he'll pay cash. Why doesn't Dexter see that it's going to be Saxon? It's quite apparent that family life is mucking up his instincts as a hunter/killer. Dexter asks for a half an hour and heads over to meet with her and the new buyer. Hey, cash is still king even to a serial killer. On his way out, Batista grabs him and gathers everyone around to proclaim that this solemn event is also Dexter's going away party and sweetly proclaims that he'll always be right here in their hearts and offers up a toast. (Cut that heart out with a hack saw or butcher knife?) It did appear that Dexter was genuinely touched by the toast. Feelings, nothing more than feelings!
Dexter shows up at his condo and Sylvia does indeed have Saxon with her to inspect his property. Daniel dismissed her with a customer demand and then makes a Strangers on a Train proposal to him, No, it's not criss-cross murders
Apparently killing his mother was for him to make a point. You see, her murder was cathartic and so he offers Dexter this choice:
Saxon: That's why I'm giving you the choice. Go on with your life or come after me. Choose poorly like Mom and you will lose.
Dexter: You seem pretty sure of yourself?
Saxon: You have a lot more to lose than I do. You've created the perfect cover life. Cute little son, your sister. Step-kids even. Now you have a girlfriend, it's Hannah, right? All very lovely and all very easy to remove for your life. You already had one wife murdered. That must be an interesting story. But it's going to put you in a very awkward position if everyone starts disappearing from your life. The choice is yours.
Dexter: I think I can live with that. I'll let Mrs. Prado know I put an offer on the table.
Dexter knows that Daniel is right about his life but comes to a different conclusion than what Saxon believed would happen. All these people in Dexter's life are the reasons he can never let Daniel go because they'd always be at risk with him alive.
Deputy Marshall Cooper shows up at Elway's office and asks for his help to catch Hannah McKay because he believes Debra is hiding her out at her house. He convinces him to patch things up with Deb somehow for the reward money. Elway shows up at Deb's door with a lame excuse about returning some personal property and hustles his way into her house to case the place out and sees Hannah's hot red shoes in a corner. He leaves but Debra knows they are busted. Hannah tells Dexter that Elway and the Marshall know she's at his sister's so Debra drives her to a hotel so she can hide there until they leave.
Dexter uploads one of Daniel's murder videos to a local news station hoping to draw Daniel out to him, but that seems like a very reckless play. Dexter tells his alter-father that this is a different kind of kill.
Harry: Dead is dead.
Dex admits that the hunger to kill has lessened greatly since Hannah came into his life and now he feels that he only needs her. Love has been good to him so far, but switching addictions never works out and what happens to him if something happens to Hannah?
Niki brings the DNA evidence of Saxon to Quinn and Debra at the Metro and it shows a definite match for him actually being Daniel Vogel, which leads Quinn to put out an APB on him.
Dexter is back at his condo and Debra shows up with food to cook so they can celebrate his last night in Miami. Dexter tells her she shouldn't be here and admits that he's expecting company: Saxon.
Nothing is going to stand in the way of me having one more night with my brother.
Elway and the Marshalls are ransacking Debra's house looking for evidence of Hannah when they find a website with flights to Argentina.
Oh, great, a storm is heading for Miami. A portent of things to come? A river is going to run very red soon only I hope it's not filled with Debra's blood.
Debra shares a tender moment with Dexter and tells him that he's always helped her put the pieces back together even when it was his fault and what will happen if the job doesn't work out this time? (They are both in denial. He about Saxon and her about the Marshalls)
She tells him the code didn't make him a good brother and she's always known the right things to do and then he begs her to leave for her own sake because Daniel will probably there shortly.
Saxon is pumping gas and sees the news reports of his videos on TV and he yells, "F*@king Dexter!" I do believe he would have left him alone at least for the near future. He rushes over to Dexter's condo and finds Dexter in bed, sleeping. As he descends upon him, Debra jumps out from the darkness and puts a gun to his head screaming, "Freeze motherf*@ker!" while Dexter shoots him up in the neck with his favorite knock-out elixir. At the start of the season, Debra was crumbling under the weight of her murder of Maria and now she's helping Dexter finish off Daniel. I'd say she's changed mightily herself.
Dexter brings Daniel to his own kill room in the abandoned hospital and describes to him how much he loves Hannah and how that's changed his life.
Dexter: This is usually my favorite moment. The kill, the moment before the kill, the kill itself, the moment right after, but now I don't even want to be here. I'm feeling a much stronger pull. I don't need to kill you.
Saxon: Then don't. Walk away.
Dexter: I will.
Saxon: I guess I'll live to see another day.
Dexter: Oh no, you're still going to die. It's going to be in the electric chair.
He then grabs his cell and calls Debra and tells her about a change in his plans. I didn't see Dexter NOT killing Daniel. I imagine some fans will be pissed that for another week Dexter didn't kill somebody.
Debra parks in front of the hospital not knowing that Deputy Marshall Cooper has followed her. I thought Elway would be with him too. Dexter tells her that she's going to bring him in and to say she found him by looking up his old properties and then she'll be a big hero. Dexter starts to rush over to Hannah's when Debra curses him out for a hug. As he's getting into his car his alter-father pops up and says this:
Debra is on the phone calling for back up outside the hospital when Deputy Marshall Cooper bursts into Daniel's kill room to find him restrained in the chair and soon begins to untie him. As soon as Saxon gets a hand free, he grabs one of Dexter's knives and plunges it deep into his chest, simultaneously grabbing his gun. Debra rushes into the room, gun drawn and Daniel shoots her in the side. She gets off a shot that hits him in the arm, but he escapes. She's lying on the floor bleeding out, but still manages to get a call off reporting that she's been shot.
Dexter begins his usual voiceover at the end of an episode and we see him with Harrison leaving his condo, heading for the airport. Hannah is at the airport checking her flight time when we see Elway following her.
Dexter (voiceover): I lived in shadows for so long until the dark became my world, but over time, the people in my life flipped on a light. At first I was blinded, it was so bright, but over the years my eyes adjusted and I could see and now what's in focus is my future, bright, brighter than its ever been.
I think the brightness has just turned into an inferno. I didn't much love the set up by the writers of the perfect family of three high-tailing it out of town to the safety of Argentina, but they are setting Dexter up for a huge emotional fall. He's had so many unknown feelings to process for himself that finding out Debra has been shot is going to rock him. And if anything should befall Hannah then I think the hurricane that is falling upon Miami isn't a storm, but Dexter Morgan.