Dutifully Dissecting Dexter: “Scar Tisuse” Review

Dexter: "Scar Tisuse" (Photo: Showtime)
Dexter: "Scar Tisuse" (Photo: Showtime)

Warning: If you read this, you’re going to know what happened last night on the fourth 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.

Now things are starting to get interesting!

After last week’s episode was a traditional “keep things moving along” moment, you had to know this week was going to produce some twists and turns and a bunch of excitement, and that is exactly what we got last night.

Debra Getting Better… Well…

I know this show is called Dexter and the titular antihero is supposed to be the lead, but as I’ve been saying throughout the first three episode’s – Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) is running away with this season so far, and that continued in this week’s episode.

Working to process the events the night she killed LaGuerta, Deb returns to the shipping container with Dr. Vogel, where she refuses to truly take part in what Vogel is trying to do. Debra gets fired up and emotional, and when she does, Vogel takes it as a minor victory; at least now Debra’s not just suppressing her emotions all the time.

Back at Vogel’s home, she has Debra watch one of her taped sessions with Harry, one where her Dad tries to process walking in on Dexter as he was researching a potential kill. He nervous and unsure of the course he and Dr. Vogel have point Dexter down, and Deb seems to be come around little by little.

She and Vogel return to the shipping container the following day, and this time, Vogel closes them in completely, pushing Debra to explain why killing Dexter would have been better than killing LaGuerta. When Deb doesn’t answer, Vogel fills in what Deb refuses to admit: she’s a good person who was forced to do a terrible thing, but if she had it to do over again, she’d do the same thing.

She’s always going to choose Dexter.

In the middle of the night, Deb creeps back into Vogel’s office, opening a locked drawer on her desk to find more DVDs of her sessions with Harry. He selects the disc that follows the one she’s already watched, and sees her father repulsed by his latest discovery.

Harry talks about walking in on Dexter after a kill; plastic lining the room, blood everywhere, his victim cut up into pieces. Despite Vogel’s assurances that this is what they had intended for Dexter, that it’s him operating inside the boundaries they established, Harry’s final comment rings out – “I can’t live with myself.”

Deb turns up at the police station, has a little “You mean a lot to me” moment with Quinn (after telling him to make things work with Jamie… more on them later), and invites Dexter to go for a drive and talk, something Dex is eager to agree to.

With Dexter behind the wheel, Deb asks him if Harry had killed himself, and Dexter acknowledges that he did; Matthews told him a few years back. Deb asks if it was because of Dexter, and her big brother affirms that it was, at which point Debra says, “He only got it half right.”

Then she grabs the steering wheel, launching the car into a lake!

A good Samaritan who was fishing (or something) sees it all go down, and swims out to save them, first pulling Debra from the sinking car. As she comes to, she sees Dexter, unconscious, stuck in the car and disappearing under the water, and just as Vogel said she would, Debra choose Dexter, swimming out to save him from the wreckage as the final credits roll.

Dexter & The Doctor

Our once bonding, “Brain Surgeon” hunting duo is coming apart at the seams. Having left Debra in the care of Dr. Vogel at the close of last week’s episode, Dexter isn’t fond of how the doctor is keeping him from her, and continuing to pick apart his feelings (or what he interprets as legitimate feelings) for his sister.

Vogel tells Dexter that he doesn’t need Debra – that wanting her in his life is different than needing her in his life – and to prepare for the fact that he may not have Deb in his life going forward. This isn’t something Dexter is keen to accept, so he storms off to check out another one of Vogel’s former patients, A.J. Yates.

While watching him, Dexter spies a large scar on Yates’ head that is reminiscent of the incisions being made by this season’s serial killer. He asks Vogel about the scar, and why she didn’t tell him, and Vogel apologizes for the omission, admitting the scar was a result of a procedure she recommended.

Dexter goes back to Yates’ house to investigate, and finds a closet stocked with individual women’s shoes. Little does he know, Yates has a secret torture room/security center in his basement and the house is wired; he’s seeing everything Dexter is doing. After creeping upstairs to surprise our favourite serial killer with a smile, Yates stops in his tracks when he hears Dexter talking to Vogel.

Clearly, there is some kind of deep connection between the two.

Dexter returns again, ready to needle Yates and put him on his table, but he’s nowhere to be found. The house is torn apart, the shoes are gone, and Yates has apparently flown the coupe. Just as he’s about to leave, Dexter sees a light coming form Yates’ basement layer, and heads downstairs, where he discovers the surveillance equipment, a “kill by numbers” drawing of the head that seems to confirm Yates is “The Brain Surgeon,” and a dying women stuffed into a tool cabinet.

After dropping the stabbed victim Yates left to die at the hospital, Dexter and Vogel are back in his hideout, with Dexter working through the files on his computer to see if he can find anything out about his new target. He discovers that Yates has Vogel’s files on his computer, including one that was started just two weeks prior. Vogel urges him not to open it, but it’s too late.

It’s notes on Dexter; not by name, but it’s clear from the description. He’s angered, demanding that Vogel explain herself, wondering if he’s just another case study she can write about. Receiving no good answers, Dexter tells Vogel that when he’s done with Yates, they’re time together is through.

The next day, Dex lures Yates to his father’s nursing home, but when he seemingly has him cornered, Yates disconnects his dying (and unconscious) father’s ventilator, giving himself a chance to escape out the window as Dexter is forced to hide while the nurses come rushing in.

It’s a choice Dexter would never make, and one that obviously will help frame and shape the cat-and-mouse that has now started between the two.

MORE: All the little pieces and Spencer’s two cents…

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E. Spencer Kyte

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.

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