Dutifully Dissecting Dexter: “This Little Piggy” Review

Dexter: "This Little Piggy" (Photo: Showtime)
Dexter: "This Little Piggy" (Photo: Showtime)

Warning: If you read this, you’re going to know what happened last night on the fifth episode of the final season of Dexter. If you don’t want to know what happened, you should probably check out one of our other stories instead.

We’re five episodes in to the 12-episode final season and it kind of feels like we’re right back at the beginning after Sunday night’s latest episode, “This Little Piggy.”

Now, we’ve had some advances from the season premiere, but with five episodes in the books, Dexter has already dispatched one serial killer who wasn’t all that scary by previous psychopathic standards, and his relationship with Deb has gone from fractured to near-fatal and back to familial again.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, here are the key elements of last night’s episode.

Thanks for Trying to Kill Me, Deb… But We’re Good

We opened with Dexter and Debra in a pseudo-therapy session with Dr. Vogel, the Morgans sitting apart from one another facing their new counselor, discussing the sequence that closed last week’s episode.

Vogel frames Debra’s actions as both rock bottom (driving them into the lake) and the first step towards recovery (saving Dexter), but our antihero isn’t having it. He’s angry and snarky and hilarious, though that last part wasn’t intentional. He storms out, reminding Dr. Vogel “Don’t forget to write all this down” as he slams the door behind him.

Sidebar for a second: wouldn’t there have been some kind of investigation?

I mean, a car ran off the road, into a lake, in full view of the dude who saved Deb from the wreckage, and yet… nothing. No cops. No reports. No explanations offered. It’s like it never happened except for Dexter, Debra, and Dr. Vogel. This annoyed me. A lot.

Just as Dexter was annoyed with his sister and Dr. Vogel, A.J. Yates — “The Brain Surgeon” — strolls over to Vogel’s, kidnaps her, and The Morgans team up to save her after a quick and clean reconciliation in Yates’ garage as Miami Metro is digging up bodies in his backyard. They figure out how to hunt him down and save Vogel, get a little assist from the dopey gumshoes in the Homicide Department, and call in an assist from Elway when Vogel calls Dexter from Yates’ cell phone while he’s out of the room.

They track him down, find Vogel bound in a closet, and just as Yates is plotting to slide out from under the bed and slice Debra’s Achilles, Dexter drives a curtain rod through the bed, and into his back, killing him dead.

No one flinches. Debra quips about they’re curious family dynamic while Vogel is handing off brain samples to Dex, and then the three of them hit the ocean to send Yates to a watery grave. Why did Dexter want them there for his usually private moment?

He wanted to be with family…. Aww.

(barf sounds)

Yes, it sets us up for what should be an exciting final seven episodes with Dexter and Debra back on the same team, and Vogel hanging around to play surrogate mother and psychoanalyst (pun very much intended), but this just felt way too clean and easy for me.

The beauty of Dexter up to this point in its run has been that nothing every came easy; bad guys died, but problems weren’t wrapped up in garbage bags and dumped into the ocean inside of five episodes. Things better get all kinds of interesting down the stretch, because right now, Season 8 is feeling like a disappointment.

A Complicated Investigation

So remember that maid who was killed in what looked like a crime of passion last episode? The one Batista, Quinn, and Miller were working? No defensive wounds, no forced entry?

Anyway, turns out the prime suspect, Mr. Hamilton, is some rich dude who is a big contributor to Miami Metro, so Matthews cautions Quinn – who is now running meetings in Batista’s absence – to go easy on the guy; no accusations, no charges, no drama. When Quinn, Miller, and Dex go to get a DNA swab from him, he cops to having sex with the dead maid (they were having an affair), but swears he didn’t kill her.

Then his son, Zach, pops on the scene, gets told to scram, and everyone’s Spidey senses are tingling… except Quinn and Miller. Dexter heads back to his car, where an inquisitive Zach doing his best Dexter impersonation meets him. Our titular character seems to know the young Mr. Hamilton is probably responsible for the maid/mistress’ death, but it takes a curbside fruit vendor out front of her house ID’ing the son, not the father, for Quinn, Miller, and Batista to get hip to young Messer Hamilton.

Yes, Dexter has a sixth sense about these things, but the inept Homicide crew is killing me right now. At least in previous seasons there was always someone that was on top of things, making Dexter work to stay one step ahead.

Nowadays, you can walk in drunk off your ass, confess to killing your old boss, write it all out, and they just call your brother to come get you. No one has wondered where Debra’s written confession went either, though we know Dr. Vogel snatched that bad boy up. I’m sure that will come into play later this year.

It seems like the young Hamilton is going to be a storyline for the next few episodes, if not the remainder of the season. My only hope is that Quinn & Co. get back to being marginally competent at their jobs quickly. You have to make Dexter work for the kills or else where’s the fun?

NEXT: Quick hitters on minor characters and Spencer’s two cents:

Prev1 of 2
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>